I read a story this morning about a 17 year old girl who was found dead in her bed. This story really hit a nerve with me, because I have something in common with this girl. Type one diabetes. I like to think that I have relatively good ‘control’ over my diabetes, but in actual fact as many diabetics know, ‘good’ and ‘control’ aren’t words that go together. In fact, type one diabetes is impossible to control. No amount of good carb counting, measuring your BSL or watching what you eat can accurately control your diabetes; there will always be other forces at play. Things like how much exercise you’ve had, how stressed you are, your current health and even small things like if you have a small cut or not can affect your blood sugar levels. So to think that this poor, young girl went to bed at 12.2 mmol/L and didn’t wake up absolutely scares the living daylights out of me. 12.2 is relatively high (non-diabetic normal range is 4.4 – 6.1)!
I’ve been lucky *touch wood*, I haven’t had any scary hypos, or fits, or any problems really. But, reading things like that definitely make me sit up and take notice. I need to keep my body healthy so I can attempt to keep my diabetes in check. Long term complications from being diabetic is probably one of my greatest fears. It’s also the biggest motivator for me on my journey to eating a plant based, whole food diet. What I’ve discovered by transitioning to eating a plant based and whole food diet is that my blood sugar levels are more stable than ever before, and I also have an increased insulin sensitivity. Meaning I require less insulin than ever before!
Another benefit I’ve noticed recently is that my fingers no longer look like they’ve been scraped across a bed of razor blades. My fingers used to look so bad from the zillion blood glucose tests I do that my fingers always looked weirdly pock-marked and scarred.
I also feel stronger. My body feels lighter, but definitely stronger. I’ve been working hard at the gym this year and I’ve definitely built up (some) fitness, but I’ve noticed that my body rarely hurts after a workout, and I recover quicker. Instead of feeling a bit drained and exhausted after a hard session, I feel energised, awake and ready to take on the day!
The hardest thing about being plant based and diabetes? Trying to find food when your blood sugar levels are low. I used to run for the chocolates and lollies because generally when I’m low I crave sweets. Lately, I’ve been using pears or other fruit (not together, obvi) which, while it hits the spot, it doesn’t immediately come to mind when I’m scrounging around for food!