Diagnosed at 25, New to T1D

Hey Guys!

I was diagnosed at age 25 after going into DKA and spending three days in the ICU. I am now 26 and am still having trouble controlling my blood sugar. Some days, it will be super high and others, it will get low. Every time it goes low, I seem to over do it with sugar and make it go extremely high. My biggest fear is getting too low and consequently, dying from it.

I also am very active and workout 6 days a week. It is also a struggle controlling my blood sugar with being active. The hardest part for me with being a T1 is keeping my blood sugar at a consistent level, so I can get the most out of my workouts. I have been battling this for the past year and would love any advice for better controlling my blood sugar and living a healthy lifestyle. I don’t know very many people that are T1’s and would love to talk to people who know what I am going through.


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I Courtney @chamm welcome to our world of T1D and a Warm Welcome to TypeOneNation!

I hate to cause you any more upset, but I can almost assure you, based on my 60+ years living with diabetes that you will never completely control T1D and probably not be able to anticipate what exercise will do to you; although you can not “control” diabetes, you will with time and effort learn to successfully manage diabetes.
I too am and have always led a very active life although now in my late 70’s I’ve slowed down some. I’ve found that I can do almost exactly the same activity three days in a row and eat very similar meals and have completely different levels of body glucose. There are just so many variables - such as stress [I’m retired and very relaxed], changes in weather and the “mystery gods/demons” dropping sugar granules on the drop used in BG checking.
Over-treating a low BG is common and natural so the advice I’ll offer is the 15, 15, 15, 15 rule. Simply put, when you get a low BGL reading take ONLY 15 grams of carbohydrate, wait 15 minutes and recheck BG; if still to “low”, take another 15 grams of carb and wait another 15 minutes, etc. If your first Bg is really, really low, take more than the 15 grams of very fast acting carb. Taking only 15 grams and waiting 15 minutes takes patience - I over-treated my low a few nights ago. Damage could happen by going very low too often, so be careful; although I’ve had many, many “lows” while living on insulin for 62 years I’ve only needed EMS help a couple of times and these have been only in the last couple of years - but without any long-term harm even from the time the medics [according to my wife] got BG readings of 11 and 9 mg/dl.
I had diabetes for about 20 years before I met another person with T1 with whom I could talk - a teen babysitter watching our kids and she taught me some good stuff, like giving shots in my abdomen - before that I had used only legs and arms. I meet regularly now with a group of people from a JDRF Chapter; we have a monthly Cups of Hope coffee meeting where we share and listen to a presentation.
You can find a group near you by visiting the JDRF web-page [JDRF.org] and clicking “Near You” in the top center margin.

@chamm hi Courtney, please add a plus 1 for everything @Dennis said.

Highly active to me means precise basal control and to stop chasing the rabbit.

Precise basal can only be done with an insulin pump. I can dial my basal insulin back to 0-1% for intense activity. This is impossible with 1 or 2 shots of long acting.

To stop chasing the rabbit takes practice and luck. The practice part means you start with your normal favorite way to raise blood sugar (mine is starburst) and with no insulin on board you take one and see how high your blood sugar gets in 30 minutes. So if 1 starburst raises my bs 30 mg/dl then if I am low by 60 then I eat two and no more. The luck part depends on activity, insulin on board, the phase of the moon and the rotation of the earth because nothing and no one is perfect in figuring out t1.

Good luck. Read “Think like a pancreas “ if you haven’t and please let us know how you are doing

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Hi Courtney,
Welcome to the diabetes community! I have two resources for you:

  1. For advice and tips on being an adult and recently diagnosed, check out this link: https://collegediabetesnetwork.org/newdx
  2. For exercising and diabetes, consider talking with your endo about a good plan for you. Everybody’s diabetes is different, so your doctor will probably have a better idea of how to help you manage while exercising. You may need to either increase or decrease your insulin depending on what kind of exercise you are doing. For some basic workout tips, check out this link: https://collegediabetesnetwork.org/content/sports-exercise
    I hope this helps!

I’m T1. I used to bike quite a bit. 20-30 miles regular. 50-60 every once in a while and 100 once. It took a while to find a balance between fueling, bg levels and distances. I found a triathlon shop that carried various drink powders and energy bars. I did well with Bonk Breakers, Stinger chews and Cytomax drink powder. I also ALWAYS carried a meter and glucose tabs with me.

Hi! Welcome to TypeOneNation!

I don’t work out, per se, but my job is really active. I consistently walk 5-10 miles a day and frequently lift loads of 30-130 lbs. My blood sugars have been on quite the roller coast ride the last couple years, so I started wearing a CGM and seeing a nutritionist. We’ve been working on fine-tuning my dosing to even out the ride. It’s still a work in progress, but I’ve learned a lot about how my body responds to different stimuli.

I’ve always thought that activity and heat boost metabolism (so my active, outdoor job would push my blood sugars down, right?) but I recently learned that different kinds of activity affect your blood sugar in different ways. The nutritionist said that unlike cardio, high intensity exercise (like weight lifting) will actually raise your blood sugar. Something about the body anticipating the need for ATP and producing extra glucagon. I actually saw it in action about a week after I started wearing my CGM. I was doing a lot of heavy lifting one afternoon. Afterwards I checked my CGM and saw that my blood sugar had been a little low when I got started but then rose all on its own before I ever realized it was low.

The nutritionist also said it’s important to follow up the 15-15 rule with some protein and healthy fat. I’ll often use a fun-size skittles packet (~13 g) or a granola bar (~26 g) to treat lows at work. I thought the complex carbs and protein in the granola bar would help to keep my blood sugar from dropping again, but the nutritionist said the granola bar doesn’t have enough protein. She said the skittles are fine, but once my blood sugar’s back up (about 15 minutes later) I’m to eat some nuts to help keep it up.

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