This is the first in a series of three guest posts by Allison Schwalm, who has managed her Type 1 diabetes for more than 10 years. Allison is the author of Low Snacks & Lip Gloss, a blog about the life of a twentysomething living with diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, nearly 24 million Americans are currently diagnosed with diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, which is why type 1 was once known as juvenile diabetes. With type 1, the body does not produce insulin, a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life. People with type 1 diabetes use some sort of insulin treatment, either injecting insulin by syringe or using a pump, to manage their blood glucose. Type 1 diabetes cannot be controlled solely through diet and exercise.
Carbohydrate counting, or “carb counting,” is a meal planning technique that some people use for managing their blood glucose levels. Carb counting is useful for people with type 1 diabetes who use fast-acting insulin to cover the carb content in their meals. Carb counting allows them to calculate the right amount of insulin to counteract the corresponding rise in blood glucose from their meal. By keeping track of how many carbohydrates and taking insulin appropriately, you can help to keep your blood glucose levels in your target range.
My favorite low-carb meal after diagnosis was an omelet, made with Egg Beaters, with ham and cheese. Having to adjust to measuring and taking insulin for everything I ate was tough on my teenage self, and my mom who was making my breakfast. An omelet would fill me up before I headed to school and didn’t require me to take a lot of insulin.
Do you have experience managing Type 1 diabetes? Do you have low-carbohydrate recipes or other ideas for living with type 1?
How Stacey Got the Shot: ISO 100, 60mm focal length, f/22, two-second exposure, diffusion material and posterboard used as fill light.