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CategoriesBlog post,  Type 1

Pump Tips for Spring Activities

It’s spring!  As the weather gets warmer, an increase in activity or insulin sensitivity might affect your blood sugar management.  Here are some insulin pump tips:

  • Don’t forget to double check that you have changed the time on your devices for Daylight Savings!
  • Make adjustments to your pump settings or insulin doses if you are more active or if your insulin is working better in the warmer weather.  Not sure how to do this?  Ask your CDE or attend an LMC Diabetes Education specialty workshop.
  • Consider your infusion set site and tubing:
    • Consider the type of activity – swinging motions from baseball, golf, or tennis could dislodge an infusion set on the stomach
    • Keep in mind if you are using your arms or legs for your infusion sets, your insulin may be absorbed much more quickly after those areas of the body are exercised
    • Ensure that tubing isn’t exposure or placed in a way that it might  snag. You may have to secure the site with additional tape.
    • Ensure your infusion site can stick properly, as sweating from activity can loosen the attachment. Try skin-tac or IV 3000 adhesive tape prep to help with this.
  • Monitor your blood sugar levels more often to look for patterns.
  • Ask for help if you are looking to start a new activity program to make sure it is safe for you.
  • Reach out to your health care provider if needed – they are always there to support you.
  • Make sure you have the right equipment!
CategoriesBlog post,  Type 1

Managing Intimacy with Type 1 Diabetes

Diabetes can be troublesome on a good day and can get in the way… especially during moments that are more intimate. There is no doubt that date night with diabetes can get a little tricky. Keeping the “magic” alive with Type 1 comes down to preparation and communication.  

Diabetes can be affected by sex and sex can be affected by diabetes.  Talk with your partner about how you manage your diabetes, what kind of tools and technology you use, where you wear them, what causes a low blood sugar, how to recognize signs of a low blood sugar and what needs to be done to treat it.

Before intimate moments happen it’s important to prepare yourself and your partner so that you both know what to expect and look out for. With a little bit of planning ahead, you can avoid the stress and worry about how diabetes may dampen the mood. 

Dealing with Devices

If you wear an insulin pump, map out your plan in advance to limit “technical difficulties”.  If you wear a tubed pump, will you suspend insulin delivery and disconnect from your pump? Or will you find a spot to tuck your pump away that won’t cause it to get tangled up during intimate moments? You don’t have to disconnect, but you may feel more free without anything attached to you in the moment. If you think you might forget to reconnect after, consider trying longer tubing when you order your next box of infusion sites or set an alarm on your phone to remind you to reconnect.

There’s always a chance you might have a site or sensor pop off during your intimate moments. If you experience a lot of friction and sweat, consider using over-the-counter adhesive products like SkinTac or SkinPrep wipes to give your sites a little extra stick. If you are worried about insulin pump or CGM device beeping ruining the mood, play some background music to drown out the alerts and alarms or set your alerts and alarms to vibrate. Chances are you will still hear them, but they won’t be as distracting for your partner with your favourite music enhancing the mood.  Stay calm, keep extra supplies nearby and replace the site when the time is right.

Remember that having sex usually increases your movement and raises your heart rate, which can increase your chance of having a low blood sugar. Get creative about how to manage blood sugars during sex and always keep low treatment supplies, water and snacks within an arm’s reach so you can react to changes in your blood sugar quickly and conveniently.

Having light-hearted conversations with your partner about these hiccups after the fact can be helpful, too, so they know you weren’t hurt and everything is okay. A little pillow talk while you cuddle afterwards can help any mishaps from being a problem in the future.

How Type 1 Diabetes Can Impact Your Experience

FOR THE LADIES:

Sexual dysfunction can affect 35-70% of women managing diabetes. High blood sugars can cause an increase in urinary tract infections, vaginal dryness and discomfort during sex, a lack of sex drive or difficulty reaching sexual climax. Nerve damage over time can also reduce sexual response. Weight-gain, anxiety and depression can also contribute to a decreased sex drive. Some tips to help make things more enjoyable include: using lubricants, practicing daily Kegel exercises to strengthen the muscles and improve sensitivity, and/or trying couples therapy to help you communicate your needs.

Another factor to consider for women is pregnancy.  Preparing for pregnancy with diabetes is very important to both mom and baby. Be sure to speak to your doctor about pregnancy planning well in advance if you are thinking of having a baby.

FOR THE MEN:

The ability to have or keep an erection affects approximately 35-45% of men with diabetes. Higher blood sugars can lead to nerve and small blood vessel damage that impacts blood flow to the penis over time. This can lead to erectile dysfunction and may cause problems with ejaculation.  Prescribed medications can be effective.  Approximately 70-80% of men who take prescribed medications find them helpful.

Hormones are also affected in men managing Type 1. Lower testosterone levels, specifically, tend to cause a drop in libido. There are medications, injections, gels and specialized equipment available to help you through these challenges. Speak to your doctor or diabetes educator for more information.

What Can Your Partner Do for You?

It’s important for both people in the relationship to understand that when you are intimate with someone living with Type 1, there may be challenges and unique situations. Communicate your needs and help your partner understand more about how you manage your diabetes.  

Many aspects of Type 1 and blood sugar management are trial and error. It’s natural for you or your partner to be curious, concerned, anxious, excited or everything at once. Different approaches may need to be tried to discover what works best for your positive intimate moments.

It’s important that your partner does not take any of it personally and understands how diabetes and sex fit together.  Encourage your partner to learn more about Type 1 and ask questions about things they don’t understand. When the partner of someone living with Type 1 has a better understanding of the day-to-day needs and challenges of diabetes and how best to offer patience, support and space to handle health issues, this will lead to a more enjoyable experience overall.

References:

Diabetes Canada: https://www.diabetes.ca/managing-my-diabetes/stories/sex—diabetes%E2%80%94what-you-need-to-know

Diabetes UK: https://www.diabetes.org.uk/guide-to-diabetes/life-with-diabetes/sex-and-diabetes#:~:text=High%20blood%20sugar%20levels%20can,some%20feeling%20to%20your%20genitals.

American Diabetes Association (PubMed): https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2671088/

Beyond Type 1: https://beyondtype1.org/sex-drugs-diabetes/ 

CategoriesBlog post,  Newsletter,  Type 1,  Type 2

Healthy Eating Tips and Recipes

Healthy Salad Tips for Winter

Salads are a great idea because they require minimal prep, no cooking and are easy to fit into a busy schedule!  Get the most out of your salads by following these tips:

  1. Aim to include both dark green and orange veggies such as kale, broccoli, bell peppers and carrots. These coloured veggies have important nutrients such as vitamin A and folate.
  2. Keep it fresh and cost effective by using seasonal vegetables.
  3. When you do cook, make extra vegetables for leftovers which can be added for variety in a future salad. Roasted cauliflower in your salad is delicious!
  4. Dressing choices matter! Vinegar and oil-based dressings generally contain less fat than creamy dressings.  As an alternative, mix flavoured hummus with a small amount of water to your desired consistency and give that a try!
  5. Watch the extras! Bacon bits, cheese, croutons, dried fruit and nuts can add up to a lot of extra calories and fat. Use a lighter hand with these additions.
  6. If your salad is the main meal, make sure it’s balanced! Ensure there is a whole grain such as quinoa and a source of protein such as legumes, boiled egg, tuna or chicken.
  7. Have fun and be creative! Explore salad recipes in cookbooks or online to get inspired.  The combinations are endless. Experiment with some raw and some cooked veggies or add fruit such as fresh berries.

Here are some salads to try from the Diabetes Canada recipe collection:

Enjoy!

CategoriesBlog post,  Newsletter,  Type 1,  Type 2

Getting Back on Track in the New Year

Welcome to 2023!  The holiday season can be exciting and fun, but also stressful and challenging for managing diabetes.

Many people find this time of year a lot more stressful than the rest of the year.  Stress can be caused by timelines at work, coordinating visits with family and friends, family dynamics, health concerns, finances or just being out of your regular, daily routine.  Feeling stressed can cause blood sugars to rise and can make managing your diabetes challenging.  

Here are some helpful tips to help you get back on track and kick off a happy, healthy New Year when it comes to dealing with stress, feeling down, out of a routine or feeling tired. Learning and trying out different ways to cope with and reduce stress is important to overall health and wellness. If you feel overwhelmed, here are some ideas you may want to explore and try:

  • Breathing slowly and deeply. Breathe in for a count of four seconds, hold your breath for 4 seconds, breathe out for a count of four seconds, wait four seconds before your next breath and repeat until you start feeling better. Focus on your breath!
  • Try distracting yourself or changing your environment by going for a walk, listening to some music, or watching a funny TV show.
  • If you’re feeling pressure to catch up on your to-do list or get started with your new year’s resolutions, remind yourself that it’s perfectly OK to let some things go. Working slow and steady to make new habits for the long-term is always better than setting goals that aren’t realistic and harder to achieve. Try making a schedule of when you can work on your to-do list and resolutions!
  • Try planning ahead and writing things down. Plan your meals for the week in advance, make your grocery list based on your meal plan, map out your schedule, ask for help to get things done, and remember that it’s OK to say ‘no’ every now and then!

Holidays aren’t always holly and jolly for everyone. For some people, holidays seem to worsen feelings of depression. Maybe you’ve lost a loved one, are struggling financially, or feel lonely. When diabetes management gets harder and blood sugars go higher, it may cause you to feel depressed. It’s okay to not always feel okay, but it’s important to know what to do when you feel down.  Here are some ideas that may help:

  • Try talking to a trusted family member, friend, or healthcare provider
  •  Do something nice for yourself each day — go for a walk, read a book, get together with a friend, take a yoga class.
  • Create a routine for yourself, which includes getting up at the same time each day, eating regular meals, checking your blood sugars, exercising, and getting to bed at a decent hour.
  • Volunteering is a great way to help others and help you feel good about yourself at the same time.
  • Take advantage of online support forums.
  • If you’re really struggling, seek help through a crisis support line (Immediate Crisis Support: Text WELLNESS to 741741). There are also more resources for you or those you care about at wellnesstogether.ca

Enjoying (too many) holiday treats, experiencing unusual eating and sleeping schedules, having a few more alcoholic drinks than usual, and being less active can quickly throw off your diabetes management. During these times, the blood sugar roller-coaster can make you feel tired, grumpy and less likely to take care of yourself.  It’s important to get yourself back on track with no guilt!  Some tips to get you started again:

  • Make it a priority to start eating healthy – fill up on vegetables and pass on (or along) some of the holiday treats leftover in your house!
  • Find time to get up and stay active.
  • Check your blood sugars more often or back to the routine you had pre-holiday.
  • Take your diabetes medicine(s) as prescribed.

Celebrations at any time of year can be exhausting. Feeling tired is your body’s way of telling you to slow down and pay attention to taking care of yourself. It is easier said than done… and constant fatigue can lower your immune defenses and make you more susceptible to becoming ill.  Here are tips to get back on track:

  • Don’t skip meals and do limit the amount of foods that are higher in sugars, fats or those that are processed.
  • Build up your activity level. Guidelines for adults suggest at least 150 minutes of activity per week.
  • Make a point to go to bed at a certain time each night, or plan for a short nap during the day to catch up on lost sleep.
  • Find a relaxing activity.  Consider an online or in-person yoga class, treat yourself to a massage, or just set aside some quiet time for yourself.

Give the last gift of the season to yourself!   Whether you are best motivated to improve your diabetes management habits by setting New Year resolutions, or setting a one or two SMART goals (Specific-Measurable-Achievable-Relevant-Timely), or approaching things as they arise – please proceed in a way to set yourself up for success and a healthier future!  

Do something today that your future self will thank you for!

The Diabetes Depot and LMC Teams wish you a happy and healthy 2023!

CategoriesBlog post,  Newsletter,  Type 1,  Type 2

New in 2023!  Diabetes Depot Monthly T1D Education Workshops & Ask-the-Expert Sessions

Sign up for the first workshop T1D Tools & Technology that will cover where we’re at and what exciting new diabetes tech is coming. We are excited to focus on Foot Care in February with a Foot Care workshop, to help make foot care part of your daily routine. More workshops are coming soon! Be sure to bookmark this page, so you can easily find and join our workshops

We’re also kicking off the Ask the Expert Series with Kristen, a Certified Diabetes Educator.   This is an excellent opportunity to ask questions about T1D tools, devices, and technology. Our fabulous expert is full of knowledge and tips to help you self-manage your diabetes with confidence.

February’s ask the expert session will include an LMC Chiropodist, a foot care expert. Find out all the ins and outs of taking care of your feet to avoid complications!


January 19th at 7:30pm ETT1D Tools & Technology – Where We’re At and What’s Coming Next Join this workshop for updates on the exciting new diabetes tech coming – pens, pumps, sites, sensors, apps, and more!
January 26th at 7:30pm ETAsk the Expert Session – T1D Tools & Technology 30-minute Q&A with a live expert who will be available to answer general questions about this month’s workshop topic
February 9th at 7:30pm ETPut Your Best Foot Forward – How to Take Care of Your Feet Join this workshop
February 23rd at 7:30pm ETAsk the Expert Session – Foot Care Specialist 30-minute Q&A with an LMC Chiropodist

Be sure to bookmark this page, so you can easily find and join our Diabetes Depot workshops

Did you know?  Diabetes Depot was founded in 2004 by one of Canada’s first CDE pharmacists and a fellow T1D pumper.  In 2019, LMC Pharmacy acquired the business, where we continue the mission to offer supplies, savings and support for people living with diabetes, their family and caregivers!  As an affiliate of LMC Diabetes & Endocrinology Clinics, we are pleased to share the expertise of the LMC Certified Pump Trainers and Certified Diabetes Educator Pharmacists, Dietitians and Nurses with the Diabetes Depot community.

Bonus Education Access to LMC DEP Specialty Workshops!

To learn more to help you get back on track in the New Year, checkout the specialty workshops offered by LMC Diabetes Education. These include:

  • Eating on a budget – January 9th at 7:30pm ET
  • ABCDEES of Diabetes – January 17th at 10:30am ET
  • Cooking with Lara – January 25th at 3:00pm ET
  • Lets Get Fit  – January 25th at 7:30pm ET
  • Fad Diets – January 30th at 1:00pm ET

February is Heart Month, a time to bring attention to the importance of cardiovascular health, and what you can to reduce you risk of cardiovascular disease. Join us for one of our Healthy Heart workshops provided by LMC Diabetes Education.

  • February 8th at 2:00pm ET
  • February 14th at 10:30am ET
  • February 22nd at 2:00pm ET

FYI – About the LMC Diabetes Education Program…..

The LMC Diabetes Education Program is committed to providing quality comprehensive diabetes self-management education and support to those living with diabetes. We want to help you with your diabetes management from developing more skills and confidence, to Making Healthy Easier while living with diabetes.

As an affiliate of LMC Pharmacy, the operators of Diabetes Depot, we are pleased to share our expertise, resources and support with the Diabetes Depot community.

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