I want to preface this post by saying that just because I or someone else choses not to follow a particular diabetic rule doesn’t mean you need to too. You know YOUR diabetes and your body better than anyone.
And as the old saying goes, “You can’t break the rules until you know how to play the game.“
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s dive into the post!
9 Diabetic Rules I Don’t Follow
1. Change Lancet/Needles After Every Use
This is probably the first and most common diabetes rule people break, myself included.
My lancet gets changed once a season (or when it starts to hurt). And when I was on injections I changed my needle about once a week (or when it started to hurt).
2. Use Alcohol Swab with Every Injection and Finger Stick
Unless my hands (or injection site) is dirty, sweaty, or has been exposed to a lot of public things (like gas station handles and grocery carts) I don’t use alcohol swabs.
Insulin pumps are a slightly different story for me. I am definitely more likely to use an alcohol swab on a pod site because it will be there for 3+ days, but if I’ve showered within a few hours and haven’t done much, activity wise, then I will just slap a pod on – no alcohol swab needed.
3. Check Ketones Every Time BG Is Over 250
There are some weeks when I just can’t seem to get anything right, blood sugar wise. On these weeks I’m seeing 250mg/dL on my cgm at least 2-3x day. Do I have ketones? Probably. Can I clear these ketones at home? Yes.
Unless I’m exhibiting signs of DKA or my blood sugar really won’t budge despite throwing tons of insulin at it, I won’t check for ketones.
I’m also very aware of what DKA symptoms are and would gladly check myself into a hospital if I felt like I couldn’t handle the situation at home.
4. Hospital Anytime You Throw Up
When I was newly diagnosed I was given very vague advice that ANYTIME I threw up… ANYTIME… I needed to get myself to a hospital ASAP.
The VERY important piece of information that the nurse forgot to mention was that vomiting with the presence of KETONES is an emergency that requires a hospital visit.
But if I’m throwing up from morning sickness, food poisoning, or a bug, and it’s totally manageable at home, I am not going to a hospital.
5. Don’t Eat If Your BG Is Already High
If my blood sugar is out of range and I’m hungry or it’s meal time… I’m going to eat. I might do a really long pre-bolus, like 45-30min….. and I might eat something that is only about 15g of carbs, but I’m always going to eat.
6. Treat with only 15g Carbs When Low
The amount of carbs I treat with depends greatly on how much insulin I have on board and what I’m doing (physically) at that moment. That could mean I don’t treat at all, but suspend my basal OR it could mean that I’m eating 40g carbs.
7. Eat Sugar Free Foods
I avoid sugar free foods like the plague. I prefer real whole foods, always. Even if that means I need an extra couple of units to cover it.
8. Eat Whatever You Want, Just Bolus for It
I’ve heard this so many times, but I just can’t get behind it. Especially today when there’s access so many healthier options.
Certain foods are real daggers-in-the-coffin for some people. Oatmeal, cereal, pizza, and Chinese food tend to be the most common ones.
For me, it’s the cereal and Chinese food. Do I avoid these foods 100%, no. But I’ve removed them from my typical rotation because I just can’t get them right. And to me, a stubborn high in the 300’s isn’t worth a bowl of Cheerios, no matter how good it tastes.
It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.
9. Don’t Rub Injection Site
This advice is meant to prevent lows. Anytime you increase your circulation (like by rubbing the area), especially in the area of injection, you’ll increase absorption rate. If I’m dealing with a stubborn high, or forgot to pre-bolus, you better believe I’m rubbing that area. Exercising that muscle group (where your injection site is) will have the same effect.
What Diabetic Rules Do You Break?
Let me know in the comments…. What are some diabetic rules you don’t follow? Was there one on my list (or more than one) that you DO follow?