About 10 years ago I started my diabetic journey taking pills to control my blood sugar. Taking those pills only lasted a few months before my doctor determined that I was not producing enough insulin in my pancreas. I then switched to injections and went on insulin. My doctor, who was simply a primary care doctor that I saw before going to the Joslin Clinic in Boston, told me I could eat whatever I wanted, I just needed to count the carbs and take enough insulin to cover it.
In my opinion, A big difference between a type 1 and type 2 diabetic can probably be found in the diet. Those with type 2 diabetes typically need to control their blood sugar with diet, medication and exercise. A type 1 diabetic doesn’t need to be as strict because they can just take more insulin. Even now, I typically eat whatever I want with the exception of pop tarts, candy and very rich desserts. So, you won’t see me picking up a huge bushel of cotton candy. However, I eat pasta, pizza, some ice cream, french toast, burgers, fries, etc. without too much consideration for my non-functioning pancreas.
I can eat basically whatever I want because the insulin lets me. Do you think a person with type 2 diabetes would eat a whole medium pizza or that delicious dessert from the Capital Grille? I doubt it. Yet I can because I simply jack up my insulin to deliver the units to cover the carbs. Is this smart? No.
My point here is that taking insulin can give a type 1 diabetic a false sense of comfort and the feeling of normalcy (minus the injections or pump). Eating a huge brownie covered in chocolate drizzle accompanied by a heaping scoop of ice cream along with 20 units of insulin is a bad strategy to enjoy that sense of normalcy. I believe that a person with type 1 diabetes should follow a diet that a serious person with type 2 diabetes would. Taking more insulin to eat whatever you want is dangerous for so many reasons. I would bet that many people with type 1 diabetes take eating whatever they want to the extreme. I know this is something I need to work harder on. Being a diabetic is so much more than just counting carbs and taking insulin. There’s a whole psychological aspect that isn’t discussed too much in the diabetic community or by the endocrinologists.
Want better blood sugar control and A1c results, cut back on the insulin, cut out the junk food and start exercising. I’m not saying to eat lettuce for every meal, I’m just saying to seriously consider the amount of insulin you’re taking in to cover the carb intake. Insulin should be a tool for a healthy life and not a free pass to eat whatever we want. [stepping down off the soapbox]