The final stretch of last year was a pretty challenging time for me, physically.
I felt tired. All. The. Damn. Time.
I would often find myself crawling into bed at the end of the day, feeling utterly exhausted. I was no longer waking up to my 1am alarms, and my blood sugars definitely suffered for it. I would wake up after a solid eight hours of sleep feeling bleary eyed, wanting nothing more than to close my eyes and go back to sleep again.
I honestly could not find an explanation for the way that I was feeling. Although the management of my blood sugar levels had slipped a little since achieving a personal best hba1c in July, my ability to manage them was still far better than they had ever been in my pre-pumping era. My bloodwork from July was also really good, and I had seen my endo in August.
I probably should have made an appointment with my GP, but I honestly didn’t feel that he would have been very helpful to me.
I felt more burdened than I had felt in a long time. in fact, I’d go as far as to say I felt equally or more burdened than I did during my start on insulin pump therapy. These feelings affected my work, my attitude around others and my overall quality of life. Part of me was ready to accept that these symptoms were simply a tradeoff of living with a demanding chronic condition like diabetes.
Living with type 1 diabetes creates somewhat of a complex relationship with food. We need food to fuel our bodies, but at the same time food spikes our blood sugar levels – and we want to avoid out of range glucose levels at all costs.
What’s the best nutrition advice for a person with diabetes? From my experience, It depends on what you’re reading and who you’re talking to. While I absolutely love my diabetes community, the overwhelming messages that seep into my brain is to avoid this food group or cut back on that one that and stop the spikes from happening.
I don’t want to single out any particular way of eating, but diabetes has distorted my relationship with food without me even realising.
The average male needs to consume about 8,000 kilojoules of energy per day to fuel his body so that it can function properly and match energy expended through activity. I don’t think I was even coming close to that. Not to mention having an active job where I’m on my feet all day expending even more energy by the minute.
I honestly cannot ever recall being taught to eat to fuel my body and meet my daily energy needs – from healthcare professionals and diabetes websites alike. Or perhaps I wasn’t listening carefully enough.
The past month or so has been a bit of a learning curve for me. Let me just say that it is pretty challenging to eat 8,000 kilojoules of quality food every day, and I have slacked a little at keeping tabs on this at times.
Of course, as with anything you make a major change to in life, diabetes management also demands attention and there have been a few tweaks to basal rates. I’ll share more specifics in time.
But I’m sitting here in the sunshine typing this today, feeling far better than I have in quite some time.