Monday, December 5, 2011

*MY* Diabetes

Quite often when I talk about my experiences with diabetes, I refer to the condition as "my diabetes."  This morning I was thinking about this phrase, one that most people with diabetes use. Why?

Diabetes is a personal disease.  No two people have the same exact condition, even those who are related.  My mom and I react differently to the same foods.  I have trouble with pizza, where she seems to be able to eat pizza without too much trouble.  However, her glucose levels go up with ice cream, while I don't seem to have too much trouble.

This could be the serving size and ingredients, the medications we take or don't take, and our activity level, but also it could be just our own physiology.  My mom was diagnosed later in life, after all of her children were grown.  I was younger, still in my 30's.  "My diabetes" is different than "her diabetes."

This disease is definitely not a "one size fits all."  The typical "diabetes diet" may work for some, but most diabetics need to figure out their own plan.  In his blog, Alan suggests figuring out what works best for the individual.

Diet, exercise, and medication needs must be individualized.  Some may need a heavier carb load in the morning, while others may need it later in the day.  For example, I try to eat very low carb (20-30g carbs) at breakfast unless I know that my activity level will need higher carb intake.  If I eat a lunch's carb load (about 30-45g carbs for me) at breakfast with normal activity, my glucose levels will be elevated. 

Overall, a person with diabetes (PWD) needs to take advice from his/her medical team but also listen to his/her body and meter.  I try to do this as well. Afterall, it is my diabetes.


  1. I try to remember this when I get frustrated with PWD who eat a whole plage full of carbs. I'm not on insulin, so I can't tolerate very many carbs at all. And I have to avoid ice cream totally. The only time I ever get above 200 is when I eat that.

  2. Bravo!!!!! I think this is something so many people don't realize or understand - diabetes is not "once size fits all" or "what works for me will work for you". It never ceases to amaze me how my diabetes can be so different from your diabetes, but I guess we all just need to figure out what works best for each of us. Great post!