Top Five Wellness Tips We Learned From Lauren Bongiorno!

At Lyfebulb, we’re SO lucky to have Lauren Bongiorno on our T1D Lyfebulb Ambassador Team! Her expertise in countless areas related to self empowerment, fitness, nutrition and health is what makes her such a great influencer. We can all learn a thing or two from Lauren’s expertise!

Today we’re highlighting some of Lauren’s best wellness tips from  IG to share with you today. Her advice is relatable to everyone living with a chronic illness, T1D patients, or  even those interested in creating a well-balanced life.

Check her out at LaurenBongiorno.com !

TIP 1: PENCIL IN VACATION WORKOUT SESSIONS TO KEEP BALANCED

TIP 2: ENJOY YOUR VACATION: DON’T THINK ABOUT “EARNING YOUR MEAL”

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HERE’S THE TRUTH: I aways work out on vacation so I can be less strict about what I eat. yeeeeeppppp. For me it’s not about burning calories/ earning my meal, but with being able to eat waffles, risotto, pizza, tropical fruit, truffle fries without my blood sugars roller coastering all over the place. Sure it would be easier to cook all my meals in the room or only order fish and vegetables out, but i want the freedom to indulge if that’s what I want. For someone like me with #typeonediabetes, if i’m not working out, eating these foods would spike my blood sugar real fast and it would take hours to get it down. When this happens I feel so tired, moody, killer headache… not fun. I feel 10000x better strategically structuring my workouts to support a little more flexibility on vacation. Also, I had 2 waffles for breakfast, pancakes, eggs, + a croissant and it was 💯. The end.

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TIP 3: PRIORITIZE YOUR HEALTH AND WELLBEING!

TIP 4: BE PRESENT IN THE MOMENT, YOUR BODY, AND LIFE

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part 1/3. New Year Intentions. I should have had multiple burn outs. I’m actually shocked at how all over the place I was last year. I know the only reason I was able to keep moving forward was because I prioritized my health( sleep, food, blood sugars). I heard once that busy isn’t a badge of honor. Couldn’t agree more. December was actually my best, most enjoyable month of the year. I told my best friend Alex it was my month of “yin”, which meant only dedicating time to the things that were absolutely essential, not overextending myself. Towards the end of the month I was so sad it was ending because I felt SO good. But then i realized oh wait i can do this all the time hahah. So that’s what i’m doing. My word of 2019: ESSENTIALISM. My guiding statement: “stay in relationship with what matters.”. Sign: 333 (the number I frequently see which I will use to remind me to trust that i’m on the right path). 2019, we in it. What did you guys set as your intentions? More excited for the next 12 months than I’ve ever been before. Can’t wait to throw these up on a vision board. #yearoftheessentialist

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TIP 5: STICK TO A DAILY ROUTINE

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part 2/3: My 6 new years daily habits💫 Its cool to set intentions in whatever way you’ll feel most successful! For me i’m a lover of checking boxes off + getting real specific. So last week i took some time to map out my 2019 daily habits: 1. Movement: yoga, hiit circuits, weights, pilates, walking. My WHY: blood sugars are best, mood is happy, love a challenge. 2. Tackle the big rocks before 12pm: the things on my to do list that are the most difficult. MY WHY: i have most energy and focus in morning hours. Want to sync up more with sunrise and sunset energy. 3. Be present through listen + feel. MY WHY: i sometimes find myself guessing where convo is going or rushing it to be doing something else. I want to feel a greater sense of connection and appreciation, treating every convo as sacred. 4. Lateral thinking exercise: solve a brain teaser or write down 10 ideas. MY WHY: get outside my box and limitations of habitual thinking patterns. See what blossoms. 5. Study outside my industry of health: book, podcast, documentary, the Economist, become more proficient in SPANISH! MY WHY: expand my knowledge into different areas. 6. Align + Manifest- journaling, card pull, visualization, or meditation. MY WHY: we attract the level at which we vibrate at. Excited for all these! My daily routines were getting a bit stale. What things are you looking to make into habits this year? #newyear #growthmindset

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Working Out With No Obstacles

Hello friends! My name is Judy and I’ve been a T1 diabetic for 18 years now! You may know me from my Instagram account @hyper.hypo and blog/shop (www.diahyperhypo.com), and you may already know how much I love to help other T1s with my experiences and tips. I believe that diabetes should never be a limitation, and with a positive attitude and positive thoughts, it is easier to live with this disease that often feels like riding a rollercoaster.

I know that having T1 can often lead to a lot of questions:  ‘’Should I inject for this’’, ‘’Should I eat now?’, ‘’Should I tell people I’m low and not actually drunk?’’ However, in my opinion, one of the main subjects that us T1s tend to ask questions about is type one diabetes and exercise. A lot of diabuddies think that they need to workout less or not at all because of their numbers, or even limit themselves to a type of exercise but I am telling you with full confidence: THAT IS NOT TRUE!

I believe so much in the affirmation: ‘’Diabetes is not a limitation’’ that I decided to launch my own line of diabetes sportswear.

I decided to create something that will empower a lot of type ones when exercising: a sports bra with an integrated pocket to put the insulin pump (or PDM or supplies or phone, you decide!). I know that working out while having T1 diabetes brings extra responsibilities, so having a pocket that will let you have an intensive and satisfying workout will motivate you to get off your couch and move!

In my case, every time I work out, I feel good. You may think: ‘’Okay Judy that is so cliché!’’ It is, I have to admit it, but it’s the truth! Here are my 3 main tips that help me exercise with type one diabetes:

  1. It’s okay to change your schedule

Be mindful. Accept the fact that you didn’t stick to your workout plan. Accept the fact that you exercised during the evening and not in the morning like you planned to because of your numbers. Once you accept that your schedule might me modified, you will be happier while working out. Things happen!

2. Try to workout with no insulin on board

Working out in the morning works best because there is no insulin in the body (well usually). Sometimes, the blood sugar might spike, so it is important to know your body and to know that a correction might be needed. If there is insulin on board (meaning you injected yourself not so long before), you might need to set a temporary basal rate (if you’re on the pump) or try to inject less insulin before a meal/snack before a workout for next time.

3. Yes, what you eat is important!

Food. Everybody loves food, right? The thing with food is that it can give you instant satisfaction, but might get you lazy if you don’t eat something good for you. Eating a lot of vegetables, fruits and fibers will get you motivated and won’t make you say:

“Ugh yeah I’ll go to the gym tomorrow.” Eating proteins and carbs coming from non-fatty foods will make you feel good, help with your digestion, and affect your numbers before/ after a workout in a beautiful way!

And always remember: Train 30mn a day to avoid being tired 24h a day!

– Judy

Real Talk With Dave: Appreciate the Ordinary Days

When living with Diabetes, there really aren’t any “ordinary” days. Every day, regardless of what goes on, has some type of situation. You could have perfect blood sugars all day, but you may have to change out your pump site. You could have a day where you are still within your weeklong range of wearing your Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) and don’t have to put in a new site, but be struggling with constant high blood sugars. My point is, no day goes by with T1D in which everything is just “perfect”. However, even though Diabetes doesn’t seem fair all the time, we can still experience several really good days.

When I sit down and think of what an ordinary Diabetes day looks like, I immediately think of how that consists of sticking to a relaxed daily routine. We all have them, but some days, those routines can change quite drastically and you may have to skip out on some tasks you always do. However, an ordinary day with T1D can simply be waking up every day feeling the same and knowing how your blood sugars typically will be in the morning, given that some mornings may be so off to the point where you really don’t know what went wrong, I mean after all, this is Diabetes we’re talking about, things happen, unexpectedly.

Another “ordinary” Diabetes day consists of having a stress-free day (weekends, holidays, etc.), pretty much any day that you have off from work and school, in all honesty. I have to admit, I almost enjoy having to go to school and work as it puts my Diabetes on a schedule (meals, snacks, basal rates, etc.), but I do appreciate a day off where I don’t have to constantly think of the fear of going low or high when I’m away from home.

For some reason, home is always a safe place in my mind in terms of Diabetes. When I go low or high, I would much rather experience it at home, just as a form of comfort and safety, some may disagree, but we all have our own individual preferences, and that’s okay! Any possible way to avoid stress on your mind and body will also help and benefit you and your Diabetes as stress plays a huge role on blood sugar management. Another way to feel like your Diabetes is going just great is when you have what you need and normally have with you on hand, such as your favorite low treatment solution or adhesive for your sites, allowing you to move forward with your Diabetes and own it, just the way you are used to. If some things are off and you don’t have the necessities you need, you can create a problem, which can put you in a difficult place with your Diabetes and could even cause an emergency.

To sum up, I appreciate a day where I am familiar with my Diabetes and its very unique patterns.  I like having days in which I am used to and know what is going on with my health. I can trust my Diabetes and feel confident in almost knowing what to expect and when to expect it. I think that goes for every Type 1 Diabetic. We like having days in which we have little to no worry in managing our Diabetes as we feel as though we’ve got it all under control. This doesn’t mean every now and then we have perfect days, no day is perfect, Diabetic or not. I stress the fact of appreciating ordinary days and we don’t get them always, but when we do, it’s a victory to celebrate. Non-Diabetics should understand this, as we go through so much with our Diabetes daily, that some days are just horrible. Highs, lows, fears, you name it! When we do have a successful day with our T1D, we’re going to show it!

Don’t stress, the more days in which you are comfortable with and the days that allow you to appreciate life and the blessings of Diabetes, the better!

 

Live well,

 

David

Real Talk With Dave: What’s In My Diabetes Bag?

When you are first diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, sitting there in the hospital, you don’t really know what to expect and don’t know how T1D is going to change your life. You are given your very first blood glucometer and have no idea what it is, what it may be used for, and how you are going to have to carry it around with you wherever you go. You are given a plain, boring, and lifeless case to carry the major components to checking your blood sugar in: meter, lancing device, test strips, a few syringes, alcohol swabs, and some lancets, all in a tiny little carrying case. Where’s the fun in that?

Over the years of living with T1D, I’ve come to realize how if you want to thrive with your Diabetes, you must fully take control and turn it into your own. You have to OWN your disease. I’ve noticed several amazing Diabetic brands form such incredible Diabetic bags and meter cases, designed to fit our style and relate to our own individual needs for a person living with T1D on the go. I will be listing some of my favorite Diabetic branded meter cases and bags and hopefully it will inspire you to go out and purchase your own, allowing you to fully accept your Diabetes and love the amazing life you live!

 

Myabetic / The Myabetic meter cases are so amazing and allow you to show off your style however you want (and most people won’t even know you are carrying Diabetic supplies!). These meter cases and Diabetic bags come in a variety of colors, designs, and styles. They have a variety of Diabetic backpacks, cases, and purses, all with different compartments for specific T1D supplies!

Shop Casualty Girl / These meter cases are so fun for a person who fully understands the true struggles with T1D as they are these nicely sized bags, simple and clean, but have a funny phrase or saying on the bag, such as, “But First, Insulin” or “Test Strip Graveyard”. Any Diabetic can relate to all the fun sayings on the bag, opening up interesting discussions at the dinner table!

 

Genteel / The Genteel lancing device is a great way to give your fingers a break from pricking day and night as it is an all new device that allows you to prick other parts on your body, such as your palm or leg, and allows you to get a blood drop without any pain due to their vacuuming technology! When you receive your Genteel lancing device, you automatically get a meter case with their logo on it, big enough to carry the device and more.

These are just some of the many brands that have helped us Type 1 Diabetics get creative and have something more inspiring and stylish to carry all our Diabetes supplies in daily. It can be hard to have to carry everything around all the time, from backup pump supplies, to a whole supply of low treatment options, but with the help of these carefully thought out bags and kits, we can now LIVE in style and be the amazing Diabetics we all are!

 

Live well,

 

Dave

Real Talk With Dave: You Are NOT Alone

“You are not alone”. Just one thing they immediately tell you when you are diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Though this is so true, when one is first diagnosed, that is not necessarily something you would want to hear. It takes time and a personal connection with T1D on a unique level to fully understand this phrase.

When I was first diagnosed at the age of 11, I was still unclear as to what my life was turning out to be. I was frustrated, scared, and confused most of all. Out of politeness and respect, everyone would tell me, “you are not alone” and how millions of others fight the same fight daily and struggle to make ends meet with their Diabetes. However, I simply did not like that saying at the time. I hadn’t fully accepted or made peace with the fact that I had this disease to deal with now for the rest of my life or until there is a cure, causing me to feel as though nobody understood what I was going through and how no one could ever relate with me. Fast forward to today, I now know that is not the case AT ALL.

Take it from an actual Type 1 Diabetic, if someone ever says the phrase “you are not alone”, believe it, because that is actual truth right there. Over the past few months, I have been given the amazing privilege of actually meeting such awesome Type 1 Diabetics in person and just the few times I’ve spent with them, I’ve realized how we really are not alone. We all go low. We all go high. We all know what it feels like to be so sick of dealing with T1D every day and it being such a big deal in our lives. We know what it feels like to wear a device on our bodies 24/7 in order to stay alive. We know what needles feel like. And we simply know what pain feels like.

The few meet-ups I’ve been to where the majority were Type 1 Diabetics, there were countless times in which I actually saw one another with the full T1D package. Pump sites, medical devices, low/high treatment solutions, you name it! We all go through it and know EXACTLY what it is like.

I can remember being surrounded by other Diabetics and going low and having others around me offer to help and ask if I was feeling okay, simply because they knew what it feels like. Something about being so real with each other and experiencing similar situations can really build up trust and loyalty with one another, creating lasting and memorable friendships. Of all the wonderful T1D’s out there, whether on Instagram, YouTube, or just about anywhere else where we can share via social media our daily struggles, I constantly see others showing what they are dealing with and seeking support from each other, which is why the Diabetic community never ceases to amaze me at how kind everyone truly is. Seeing how others are doing at different parts of the day really keeps us all in the loop together and allows for discussion and a place to vent off on our T1D. None of us know what may happen with our Diabetes at any given point in our lives, which is why, when something does happen, we can always depend on one another for the right words and support we crave.

If you are in a bad place with your Diabetes and are feeling all alone, fret no more! Surround yourself with other Diabetics and don’t be afraid to completely vent off on your feelings towards T1D, chances are, everyone else will feel the exact same way. It always helps to have someone to turn to in any situation regarding your Diabetes for a sense of understanding and care. I can guarantee you will feel so much better about your Diabetes and will be so inspired to spread awareness in ending T1D. There are thousands of other Diabetics out there, in person and online, and several Diabetic organizations that are constantly up with ways to bring us closer together, allowing us to never feel alone.

Just remember, life is a beautiful gift and though Diabetes is a factor in our lives that we never wish we had, it makes it so much easier having each other to remind us that we can do anything as long as we stick together.

 

WE ARE NOT ALONE. Don’t forget that.

 

Live well,

 

Dave

Real Talk with Dave: How To do Disneyland as a Diabetic

   We all know Disneyland is The Happiest Place on Earth, however, going to the park as a Type 1 Diabetic can be somewhat of a challenge and not always the happiest it could be. This past week, I had the privilege of spending my 21st birthday at Disneyland and I came across some minor challenges and things I had to figure out throughout the day, but through it all, I learned some valuable bits of knowledge to carry around with me whenever I am out on the go for a long period of time away from home. I have put together some helpful tips and tricks in making your trip to Disneyland, or any other long day trip by that token, a fun and enjoyable experience.

DO:

1/ Plan your day: When going to Disneyland, you may not want to worry about T1D getting in the way of your fun, however, it is very important, especially as a Diabetic, to plan out your day, what time you will arrive, leave, eat your meals, etc., so that you can arrange accordingly your day and ensure the most fun and less stress during your Disney day! When you know approximately what time things will take place, you can plan how many snacks you should bring to regulate your blood sugars throughout the day as you walk around the park, you can know what you will be doing and when, making sure you have all the right supplies in case of an emergency, and so on.

2/ Bring enough (and more) supplies: When going literally ANYWHERE as a Diabetic, it is always smart to have all the necessary supplies that will be of great help, whether in an emergency or not. Always planning ahead and preparing for the worst is key in making sure you have the best outing possible. When I go to Disneyland, I have a backpack with me at ALL times and in that backpack, I carry different pouches and cases full of backup pump sites, syringes (incase my pump were to somehow break), batteries, alcohol swabs, juice and glucose tabs, water, and so much more because nobody ever knows what may happen as the day goes by and it is better to have all the supplies readily available with you than having to leave the park and go home simply because your site went bad, perhaps. I typically advise that you bring a second backup of everything, just in case your first backup tends to fail somehow. Yes, your bag may be heavier than you would like at this point, but it is better to be safe than sorry!

3/ Stand your ground: As a Diabetic, one of the most frustrating things can be dealing with uneducated people (such as security or anybody else in the public eye) and having to explain what your Insulin pump or medications are for can be somewhat of a challenge (sometimes). When going through security, depending on the guard at the time, be prepared to explain your Diabetes to them and don’t let them force you in through the metal detector, resulting in your pump to breakdown from radiation. Simply explain the dangers of going through with a pump and most of the time, they are very understanding and kind, they just may have to pat you down or use a wand, which isn’t all that bad, again, better safe than sorry. Your right as a Diabetic allows you to carry all your supplies, food, and drinks with you at all times, as you are dealing with a chronic disease that shouldn’t be cared for lightly.

DON’T:

1/ Forget to stop and check: When at Disneyland, you’ll probably be so caught up in all the fun, that the last thing you will want to do is worry about your T1D. However, it is important that every now and then, you stop and take a rest to check your blood sugars and treat accordingly. You will have a much better time knowing that your numbers are just fine if you simply take mini breaks throughout the day to care for yourself!

2/ Show up to the park with an almost empty pump reservoir: It happens, but sometimes, we need to take a step back and think before we act. When going on a fun-filled day, we MUST always make sure we have a decent amount of Insulin in our pumps (or carry an extra vile of insulin) as you never know what emergencies you may run into. Also, when at Disneyland, you may run into foods and treats that you want to allow yourself to have and most of those foods may be high in carbs/sugar, requiring larger amounts of Insulin. When I know I will be out of the house for a full day, I always either change my pump site the night before, allowing for a full reservoir of Insulin or I just make sure I have a fresh new vile of Insulin that I carry around with me throughout the day incase my pump goes empty, in which depending on the weather, you will need to make sure your Insulin stays cool and out of direct sunlight or severe cold temperatures.

3/ Have only a few sources of sugar on hand: One of the scariest parts about T1D is going low and we all know the panic that comes with low blood sugars. Always make sure you have some form of sugar on hand throughout the day (depending on how long you will be away from home) and if you somehow run out of sugar as the day goes by, RESTOCK! Stop what you are doing and go buy some juice or candy right away, because you don’t know when your next low may hit and if you are not prepared and find yourself standing in a long line to pay for some sugar when you are low, it won’t be a fun time and that will add to your panic. Like mentioned above, ALWAYS be prepared!

To sum up, going to Disneyland is supposed to be a fun time for you, so to take out the stress and ensure that you will have a great day, try and follow these tips during your next adventure!  

Live well,

 

Dave

Inside the Patient Entrepreneur’s Mind with Sigurjón Lýðsson

Sigurjon Lydsson

Having a chronic-illness can be challenging, and running your own business can be hard. No matter where you fit on the spectrum, we could all use a little motivation.  Our #InsidethePatientEntrepreneursMind blog series gives you insight and life hacks on how to stay motivated from some of the most innovative patient entrepreneurs in the world.

Sigurjón Lýðsson is the CEO and Co-Founder of Medilync, a medical platform which builds cloud-based medical solutions where big data, IoT, and engagement are key to alleviating the burden of diabetes.

Sigurjón sat down with Lyfebulb to tell us how his father’s medical diagnosis with T1D, cancer and his short term memory lost motivated him to look for a solution that would help his family and medical provider manage the care of his father.

What motivated you to create a business addressing a disease you know so well?
My father has had Type I diabetes for apporx 40 years now. When growing up we usually didn’t notice that he had T1D, he never complained about it. Captain on a shipping vessel with 8-10 souls he was told he couldn’t do it. He never gave in. In later years he started to show symptoms of memory loss. We, his sons, would joke about that and so did he. But when he was diagnosed with cancer and it had spread to his brain, we got ever so more worried. At that time he had forgot if he’d measured his glucose or even if he injected or not. So when we were told his tumor would affect his memory I started looking for a solution for my dad. I could not find it! I still can’t as I am still trying to get it funded. I know I have the solution, but I fear it will be too late for my dad. If I can help anyone else live a better, safer life then I will be happy.

What are some of the hurdles you perceive exist for people with your disease?
Diabetes is one of the toughest disease out there. But information flow in general is what is the biggest hurdle today. Information from patients to clinicians is too cumbersome and usually only verbal from the patient to clinicians. We have a solution that has changed that.

Who are some of your role models in your space?
Not necessary in my field but Juan Mata Garcia is my latest role model. Kind person to those who need it, gives 1% of his Manchester United income to others. Bill Gates is another one I admire. Using his wealth to find a cure for polio for example, is just amazing.

What is your goal beyond creating a successful business?
Help people live better and safer lives.

What does Lyfebulb mean to you? How can we support you better? What are some of the biggest gaps today for a “young” entrepreneur?
Funding a company doing a hardware for diabetes is really difficult so anything in that area would definitely help.

How do you stay healthy and motivated to deliver?
As I am 75% likely, due to genes, to get Type II diabetes I do take care of my nutrition and I do cross-fit 5 times a week. That gives me the energy I need to get ahead of the curb.

How has mentorship made a difference in your professional and personal life?
Mentorships are key to new companies to a difficult market.

How can we draw more attention to user-driven innovation?
Solely by involving the users more.

How do you maintain work/life balance?
I would always be lying if I’d say that I can control it, but I do my best.

If you had three wishes, what would they be?
I could create a legacy which saves lives 2) My family be safe from harm 3) Peace on earth ☺.

What is your favorite song that gets you motivated?
My own song Unity 😉


#InsidethePatientEntrepreneursMind is a weekly blog series that highlights members of Lyfebulb’s Patient-Entrepreneur Circle. The Entrepreneur Circle is an educational and inspirational platform for all people living with, or affected by chronic disease. Existing entrepreneurs will be available to educate new dreamers through the website and through live events. To read more or to apply to join the Enrepreneur Circle click here.

Lyfestories: Jon Tijerina– Outsmarting His Diabetes

3 years ago, my persistent nerdiness brought me from Texas out to sunny California to study at Stanford School of Medicine. I was surprised to find incredible research and developments not only at the medical school, but in the overwhelmingly supportive and innovative diabetic community!

After years of feeling like I had to go it alone, in and out of diabetic burn-out and meal-time anxiety, I finally found the encouragement and positivity I needed to refresh my mindset and management.

Diabetes has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. I’ve seen the full gamut of treatments, from my grandmother explaining that her “medicines” came from cows, to my father’s diagnosis and all the finger-pricking, pill-swallowing, and (eventual) groan-inducing injections that followed. There had to be a better way.

13 years ago, I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes after a family trip to Guatemala (which I mostly spoiled with my constant trips to the bathroom and incessant napping). Thinking I had to resign myself to pinching together the little fat I had to inject the rest of my life, I was all-in when offered the chance for an insulin pump and CGM in college.

The technologies weren’t exactly a silver bullet (big shout out to CGM alarms for sleep loss), but they instantly made running collegiate track and maintaining my glucose during times of stress (i.e. college finals) more manageable.

I never expected that 5 years after going on a pump system, I would be “jailbreaking” my own insulin pump to receive instructions from an incredible (but NOT FDA-approved) app called Loop. But here we are!

After a lot of research, a lot of discussion with my endocrinologist, and a lotttt of CGM sharing with my mom (mistake), girlfriend and basically anyone who would be ok with getting annoying alarms for me, I decided to download this software that allows an algorithm on your phone to send temp basals to your insulin pump…. all by itself… every 5 minutes!

The Loop system takes your CGM readings, insulin-on-board, and carbohydrates-eaten into account when making its calculations and can even predict when you’ve miscalculated your carb intake and make an automatic correction! This functions similarly to the FDA-approved Medtronic 670G hybrid closed-loop system (the only FDA-approved closed-loop to date) that has recently become available, although it allows you to choose which CGM you prefer and is highly configurable. Again, Loop is NOT FDA-approved (see below for disclaimer).

3 weeks after beginning my journey with this closed-loop system, I have to reiterate nothing is a silver bullet for diabetes management. The system requires some computer and programming competency, and like any computer program can have malfunctions. Electronics and connectivity come with their own troubleshooting, but I couldn’t be happier with how this system has drastically reduced my mental workload (and the sleep!).

After a lifetime being surrounded by diabetes management, I feel incredibly lucky to be riding the next wave in treatment. A huge and profound thank you to the diabetes community for coming together around issues in our treatment, and solving the problems we know need to be addressed now!

*The opinions expressed in this blog do not reflect professional treatment recommendations, the opinions of Stanford University, Stanford School of Medicine, or Stanford Hospital and Clinics. Any changes to diabetes management regimes should be discussed with the patient’s endocrinologist or primary care doctor. Any persons adopting a non-FDA-approved system of treatment do so at their own risk and should proceed with appropriate caution.

Jonathan Tijerina is a 3rd year medical student and research coordinator at Stanford School of Medicine. He teaches the med school course, Diabetes 101 for Healthcare Providers, and started the Bay Area Running Group for diabetic teens learning to manage their glucose on long running ventures. IG: Jonathan_David_Tijerina

 

Real Talk with Dave: You Don’t Know What It’s Like To Feel So Low

 

            Each day, we are each given a choice as Diabetics. A choice to take the best care of our health or the choice to be laid back and not as careful. Diabetes is hard work and sometimes, we go through a burnout phase where we may be care free of our Diabetes and not put as much focus on it as usual. However, each day, whether we work hard at our T1D or not, we each face lows, highs, sick moments, and feelings that are indescribable. The main focus I’d like to discuss is primarily on lows.

Lows are the absolute worst feeling a Diabetic can get. Low in terms of blood sugar, energy, focus, strength, and mental capacity. Lows take so much out of us. They make us feel like we’re dying in a sense, and yes that sounds a bit dramatic, but that is the honest description that a Diabetic will say it feels like, just ask any person with Type 1 Diabetes. I often say that lows “hurt” and that could mean a variety of things. My body, my muscles, my bones, my mind, or even my emotions. Lows have a way of playing with the person who it decides to attack.

As a Diabetic of 9 years, I have learned several different ways to cope with and manage lows in all sorts of settings, as each low is unique and different, yet all have some similar symptoms. Throughout the years, I have tried to explain to people who don’t have Diabetes what it’s really like to have a low blood sugar. Though many people just don’t understand, some do try and empathize with me and see how horrible they can be. As much of a description I may give, I always mention though that a non-Diabetic will truly never know what it feels like to have a low, as much as I try and describe it. The pain, the fear, and the shock it has on the person is something I wish nobody had to face.

Some lows are better than others. Low blood sugars in the 60mg/dL-70mg/dL range are not so bad, but anything below 50mg/dL, that’s where things can get scary. Severe lows contain symptoms such as shakiness, sweating, fast heart beat, fear, panic, nausea, lethargy, etc., just to name a few, but, as mentioned, each low is different and each Diabetic can feel their own unique symptoms. I think most of us know the cause of a low blood sugar, but for those who don’t know, intense exercise, too much insulin, and not enough consumption of carbohydrates/sugars are the main ways low blood sugars come to be.

The reason I am writing about lows are to mainly spread awareness on this issue. I can remember countless times in which I simply avoided doing certain activities or sat in fear during a certain situation (such as classes, work, travel, etc.) as I was constantly worrying about going low. High blood sugars are different in the sense in which you may feel very sick still, but you have a larger and somewhat safer timeframe to treat the blood sugar before it gets too serious. Yes, I have had Diabetes for 9 years, but I almost feel as though I will never fully get over my constant fear of lows. Lots of people have shared over time that they are very afraid to go to bed each night as they are worried they’ll go low and not be able to wake up from that low and that is exactly why I am writing on this specific topic, to share what us Diabetics truly go through on a daily basis.

Diabetics are fearless and I think it’s safe to say that we put up with so much and have gone through so much over the years of being Diabetic. We face so many scary and life altering challenges every moment of every day, most of which goes unnoticed, that is why we must continue to spread awareness, seek support from as many people as possible, and create a safe environment in which if emergencies do arise, we will at least feel as though we are in good hands.

Diabetes is tough, but we are strong. Diabetes is scary, but we are brave. Diabetes is a big deal, but we are so much bigger than this disease.

Live well,

Dave

 

LYFESTORY: Lauren Plunkett, Type 1 Diabetic RDN, CDE, & Fitness Instructor

I’m a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE), fitness instructor, public speaker, and proudly live my life as a healthy person with Type 1 Diabetes for more than 24 years. Like many of you, my story began with the realization that I needed to change my eating habits and exercise routine. I also needed to wholeheartedly embrace the fact that I have type 1 diabetes, but most of all I simply wanted to live better.

 

I could define myself in many ways based on my experiences, but most of all I am determined, strong-willed, and not a quitter. So, I raised the bar on myself and found a way. Now, my role is to pay it forward and share my knowledge.

 

My professional goal is to support people with T1D of all ages with nutrition education specific to their individual needs with regular exercise. Nothing makes me more excited than to work with athletes with T1D! I am very driven to provide education that I would have found valuable when I was a teenager. My philosophy is evidence-based through sports nutrition research but also from many years of personal trial and error while becoming more physically fit.  

 

One thing I have learned is that people with T1D are all at different stages of glucose management. Some may be thriving with what seems like effortless blood glucose control, while others struggle with the basics. Keeping track of test strips, dosages, and technology, can be so overwhelming! I believe in meeting a person where they are in the learning process because it’s so easy to cave under the pressure of perfect nutrition and an impressive A1c.

 

T1D management is a partnership within all the other aspects of what makes us who we are. Hemoglobin A1c does not define us. We are individuals first. Individuals with unique nutritional needs, interests, and fitness goals.

 

When I present education I often say that I did not become a nutrition expert the very moment I was diagnosed with T1D. It takes a massive amount of effort and will-power to master diabetes and I had my own struggles for years before finding my method of success. And that’s when lifelong health maintenance begins. This is one reason why I see myself in every person I meet with T1D and I am such a fan of anyone putting in the work.  

Social Media :www.lpnutritionconsulting.com

Instagram: @vegetitian

Real Talk with Dave: My Thoughts on T1D this Past Year

A lot has happened within the last year in the Diabetic community and we are getting so close to finding a cure. I am filled with hope each and everyday as I go about my own individual duties in the Diabetic community, as so many people are doing good each day in changing the way we manage our Diabetes and spread awareness. So many are dedicating their own lives to encouraging, supporting, and helping other fellow Type 1’s one way or another.

That very aspect fills my heart with happiness as I love seeing kindness in the Diabetic community.

Within the last year, I have seen more and more faces joining the online aspect of the Diabetic community. Lots of great opportunities have come from that and have been changing Diabetes management in such a positive aspect!

As part of my contribution to the Diabetic community, my main focus is on making Diabetes look “cool” in a sense by providing fun and creative content on my Instagram account, @type1livabetic, for others to enjoy.

I try and engage others by asking Diabetes related questions, post a photo about a relatable issue or struggle in Diabetes management, etc. By doing so, I have come across so many new accounts/followers who are wanting (and striving!) to make a change and a positive impact, even if that means they post a photo everyday. And hey, that is more than enough! Just by making that effort to spread awareness through a photo is more than enough.

Along with that, a lot has changed in the Diabetic world. As it is 2017, so many new advances in technology for Diabetic care has become a reality to so many that a cure seems only a mile away! Nowadays, many use Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGMs), Apple Watches with Dexcom integration, Insulin Pumps, and the list goes on!

These devices haven’t always been around, which makes them pretty special and as some may like to call them, “life savers”.

I totally agree! Just by seeing that now we can view our blood sugars on our phones or watches tells us that things are only getting better. Pretty soon, there will be a medical breakthrough which will allow Diabetics to practically ditch their daily duties as a Diabetic while a very advanced, new device does all the work, and boy oh boy, what a relief that will be! Then, the only thing that will be in the works will be the real cure that will end T1D once and for all, literally!

Community has been a big deal to me lately. I have noticed that though we have family members and friends who are in constant support and are willing to help us in any way possible, if a non-Diabetic doesn’t truly know what a low or high may feel like or what it’s like to have needles become a new normal to their body every moment of every day, then they really don’t know what T1D feels like. That is why I depend so heavily on the Diabetic community for my actual Diabetic support. I seek support and understanding from those who are dealing with the exact same thing as me.

That is so comforting to know that messaging, calling, or visiting with another Diabetic for support is just a click away!

I couldn’t be more grateful for the community and all the amazing organizations that don’t leave us hanging by providing events, support groups, and other amazing activities that help connect and bring us Diabetics together, as well as stick together!

So to sum up, lots of great things have happened within the last year for us Diabetics. As we wrap up this year and start a new one, I can’t help but remain hopeful for a better tomorrow where we can finally put T1D behind us!

Live well,

Dave

Real Talk With Dave: Achieving Your Goals With Diabetes

It has been said over and over again, but you can do what ever you set your mind to! Since the day you were diagnosed, you probably were told by friends, family, and other loved ones that you can still lead a normal life and do what ever you want with Type 1 Diabetes. When I was first diagnosed, I felt like I was at the bottom of a huge boulder that I had to overcome and climb at some point or another just to get to the top. But I was so unsure as to how I could get to the top, all while lugging a heavy weight on my shoulder, my Diabetes. Well, it just so happens that 9 years later (going on 10) I have definitely discovered that it is possible to get to the top and accomplish all the goals I have set for myself. That goes for you as well. Set your goals and dreams, because you are going to achieve them at some point or another, Diabetes or not.

Over the course of my Diabetic journey I have seen so many others who face T1D grow and accomplish so much. Every day there is someone new in the Diabetic community that is going above and beyond in doing what they love, and not slowing down one bit because of their Diabetes. Sure we all get our bad days where Diabetes seems so impossible to beat, but remember, it’s the good days in which we are to make the best out of them and live our purpose. So many people have gone on to do great things- becoming musical artists, doctors, actors, the list goes on- but what makes it so special is that they were able to get to those points in life, all while going through T1D. Was it difficult? Yeah, I’m sure it was. Many non-Diabetics may not realize how difficult it must have been, given their Diabetes, but for those who are aware and know how much Diabetes tends to take out of a person, I’m sure we all applaud them for doing so.

 

The thought of never being able to do many things anymore when first diagnosed is a common thought most people think of while lying in their hospital bed on day 1 of their diagnosis. Little do they know that life is just about to get a whole lot better. More opportunities come from Diabetes. More knowledge, responsibility, and (my favorite) empathy. Knowing the true struggle someone may be facing and being able to relate to the person is one of the coolest things you can have as instantly, you get that person and are able to help each other out. Diabetes also provides friendships, social connections, and a community to be a part of and belong to. Guess you could say we’re some pretty cool people, am I right?!

I do the things that I want to do, because the thought of having to say no to doing an exciting activity because of Diabetes does not sit well with me.

When I want to go out on an adventure, I do stop for a second and think how I will deal with my Diabetes in that event. However, I do the things that I want to do, because the thought of having to say no to doing an exciting activity because of Diabetes does not sit well with me. I don’t ever want Diabetes to determine how much fun I have or what I set out to do in life, socially, academically, etc. All the activities I have done in my Diabetic life, I have done them. Some were more difficult than others, but either way, it was a learning experience in which I was able to gain a whole lot. For me personally, seeing a Diabetic do something so awesome, such as running a marathon, playing a sport for a famous team, or killing the game everyday in a really cool job is so inspiring to see and we all have to keep beating the odds and proving the stereotypes wrong.

So I leave you with this, do what you love and do what you want, because you only get this one life to live, so make the best of it! If you want to be a pro surfer, do it. If you want to be a doctor, do it! If you even want to be the next CEO for one of the biggest companies on earth, DO IT! And show everyone how you did just that at the same time you were managing your Diabetes. Prove those stereotypes wrong and show them who’s boss!

 

Live well,

Dave

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