Diabetes Q and A

By Janis Roszler, MSFT, RD, CDE, LD/N

Q Sometimes, when I order a sugar-free beverage at a restaurant, the waiter brings me a normal, sugared drink. Some diet drinks taste a lot like their regular, non-diet version. How can I tell? What would Harry Potter do?

A Does Harry Potter become a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) in the final book? Until he does, here are a few “muggle” (non-magic) suggestions that may help:56359033

  • Ask for a twist of lemon or lime in your drink. That will make your order unique and will force the waiter to pay a bit more attention to your beverage when he or she prepares it.
  • Bring along visual urine glucose testing strips. These are the ones that change colors if sugar is present in urine. Place a few droplets onto the strip and watch for any change. If the strip remains negative when compared to the chart on the bottle, your beverage is sugar-free.
  • When you place your order, ask for the can or bottle. This is also a great trick to use on an airplane.

Q Can birth control pills affect my blood sugar level?

A There are several different types of birth control pills. Some vary the amounts of hormones that they release in the body and cause more of a roller coaster ride. Others contain the same amount of estrogen and progesterone every day of the month, which will help keep blood sugar swings to a minimum. Speak with your doctor to see which choice is best for you.

Q I’m tired of having everyone think of me as a “diabetic.” I do lots of different things and have lots of hobbies, but no one cares about that. As soon as the word “diabetic” enters the conversation, everyone immediately focuses on that part of my life. I hate it. What can I do?

A You have some control over the information that people have about you. Try the following:

  • Don’t tell everyone that you have diabetes. Only share it with those who you feel really need to know.
  • If you are positive and relaxed about your diabetes, others will be too. Your personal attitude sets the tone.
  • You are a person with diabetes, not a “diabetic.” I never use the term. People with cancer aren’t “cancerics.” Folks with Crohn’s disease are not “Crohnics.” You are not a disease – you are an interesting person who happens to have diabetes. Don’t let it be your entire identity.

*This article originally appeared in 2007
**please consult with your healthcare provider before making any changes to your diabetes regimen.

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