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Question:

From Newark, Delaware, USA:

I got diabetes about five years ago and I've been having problems with my blood sugar. I love to eat a lot, and I mean a lot. I'm not fat. I go to the University of Delaware and I'm in my senior year. The problem that I have is that my eating habits revolve around my blood sugar count. If my blood sugar is low I eat more sugary food, if my blood sugar is high I take more insulin. This works out fine for my blood sugar hemoglobin tests because the high and lows equal each other out so they look fine (I'm not a doctor, but this is what I think is happening).

How would I be able to get my blood sugar in order? I check my blood sugar five times a day or more. I do drink beer every once in a while and I just quite smoking cigarettes. I also never had diabetes training when I got it and I never followed the calorie diet that I should follow because I love to eat, even when I'm not hungry.

Answer:

Congratulations on your efforts to improve your health, especially stopping smoking. College can be a difficult time of life to pay needed attention to your health.

Your main question about food and diabetes would be difficult to answer directly. I would recommend meeting with a nutritionist who is a Registered Dietitian experienced in the care of people with diabetes. With a dietitian you could look at your overall food intake for its "healthiness." You could also look at ways to satisfy your food likes while keeping your diabetes in balance. I do teach people to adjust their insulin based on their food intake (as this is what your pancreas would do if you didn't have diabetes), but it sounds like food cravings and highs and low blood sugars are a problem for you. You didn't mention if you are having a problem with weight. These issues could be discussed with the dietitian and a physician and diabetes educator.

LM

Additional comment from Joyce Mosiman, diabetes dietitian:

A more consistent eating pattern might lead to less swings in appetite as sometimes adjusting insulin creates the necessity to eat because the insulin is on board. Even though there's not a weight problem now, these often develop with this kind of eating pattern down the road.

JM

Original posting 23 Oct 97
Updated 30 Oct 97

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:54
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