Exercise is Not T1Diabetic Control

This is not an attack but an observation and I think more type ones would agree with it than not. It just happens most do not want to say it. The parents of type one diabetics can be a most truly terrifying breed. Type one diabetes is deadly but has no time limit. Most type ones will be killed by something related to diabetes and pretending we won’t be is very last decade. The good thing is chances are we will be near the age of most people when it does finally get us. I’m stating the unpopular but stat proven facts. I hope by the time I am old and wrinkled I will be proved wrong and I can comment on my own blog with a big HAHAHA.

Right. Back to where I was. The thing that can make parents dangerous these days is the internet. It is the one thing that many think will set diabetics free and help them communicate and on the one hand it can. On the other it allows the sharing of odd ideas, or old ideas, or more importantly dangerous ideas. Now, when I was diagnosed I was the diabetic child of a diabetic parent, with a diabetic aunt and a diabetic uncle. My mum was confident enough to play within the rules but try to give me a more ‘normal life’ but back then diabetes was a different world. Back then you fed your insulin. A doctor sat and calculated your height and weight and decided what ‘long acting’ insulin you could take, allowed you two meals of ‘carbs’ where you took insulin and two ‘carb’ meals where you had no insulin. You ate the number of potatoes to match your insulin. You had half a portion of macaroni. You had most of a packet of crisps. You FED YOUR INSULIN. You did not live. You existed.

Over time new insulins appeared and new ideas and in this day and age a type one diabetic should be capable of taking long acting insulin and no carbs or sugars. In theory that means a diabetic takes lantus at 11pm and proceeds to eat tuna, plain chicken, lettuce and cheese for twenty four hours and does not need any more insulin while their blood sugar remains the same. In practice it is a little harder than that. Most people now split that long acting insulin into multiple injections but as it stands, the goal of a type one doctor is to have a patient who could survive only on their background insulin and no carbs while remaining in target range. This is clearly a bad idea in the long run as the body needs those things but still, it the goal.

However more and more I see stories of kids having snacks with ‘no insulin’ and it appears as a good thing. To a diabetic from the 90s it must be horrific as it is for me. That is feeding your insulin. The opposite is clearly that you do not eat carbs and go hypo. AKA brain damage. AKa the insulin regime is not working. Yet if a diabetic of many years, or even a parent that has been a parent a while points that out we are told we are attacking people. But we have seen the carnage those regimes do. It is all ok until your child wants something at 2pm and not 3pm, you know?

Next point? Exercise to treat high blood sugars. I don’t know which Doctors are putting this forward as an idea but they should probably be struck off because that is SO dangerous. Maybe parents are just coming up with it but you cannot do that. You cannot. If a diabetic has a blood sugar in double figures they need to take insulin to bring it down. That is what the body would do if not diabetic. The body releases glucose to exercise. You don’t burn it. A diabetic above 10mmol who exercises runs the risk of their blood sugar rising not falling! They may raise a couple and feel ill. They may skyrocket into ketoacidosis and spend the next few hours fighting their way out of it with the insulin the exercise was meant to avoid. You cannot deny a child insulin by replacing it with exercise. That is neither normal nor healthy. If you want a child to be ‘normal’ letting their body let you know what insulin it needs is the norm. Exercise is not a way to control type one diabetes. Ever.

Exercise because that is healthy for anyone who can. Do not use it as a control. You cannot guarantee a diabetic can exercise can every time they run a little high and you cannot guarantee that you will get a positive outcome every time. Making a diabetic exercise to control their organ failure certainly does not make them feel normal. It will make them feel weird. No healthy kid in their class is running laps due to their chronic illness. Run because you lowered their insulin or gave them a drink of juice and they are running with their classmates who are running cause it is PE time. THAT is normal. THAT is the closest we can get to.

And relying on a child to always want to do your workout regime to control their diabetes? Accident waiting to happen. I say that as the rebel. I say that as the one who came back. I say that who has seen the most professional of professionals over the years due to complications outside of my control. You cannot micromanage a child through their whole live. One day they will not want to exercise or they will turn around and say it makes them feel sick. That moment should not be plan B. That moment should have been dealt with years ago by exercise not being plan A.