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How did I end up here? – a brief history of my diabetes

As a first post, I shall open with a bit of background on myself.

I’m Benedict, the Editor of Diabetes.co.uk. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes aged 11. I felt I had quite an easy time through school as my twice daily injections meant I didn’t have to inject at school and was therefore rarely viewed as ‘the diabetic’. I confess to lying about my numbers to my doctors, to my family and to myself but I felt no guilt in doing so. By the time I went to University, my sugar levels were far from great but I didn’t view them as a problem at the time.

Doctors not too concerned
My sugar level control had been poor for a whole number of years but even my doctors didn’t see it as too much of a problem, despite my HbA1c numbers hovering above 9%. Possibly it’s because my sugar level control wasn’t any worse than the average teenager or Uni age adult.

It wasn’t until half way through my tenure of working at charity Diabetes UK that I woke up and realised quite how bad my control was, and perhaps more to the point that other people were able to manage their diabetes far better than I was.

The turning point in my diabetes control
This change of view point for me came thanks to the Diabetes.co.uk Diabetes Forum. Here were people who, to me at the time, seemed a little obsessed with striving to control their blood sugar. However, I can’t deny that there’s a certain competitive streak in me and this must have struck a chord because I started to feel embarassed that my numbers were so comparatively poor. In addition, the diabetes was starting, for the first time since diagnosis, to have a greater impact on my life.

Inspired by the Diabetes.co.uk forum members, I decided to seriously record my numbers for the first time in over a decade. After that I moved on to reducing my carbohydrate intake.

Blood sugar numbers improving
My numbers improved remarkably. Routinely testing more often and generally caring a lot more than I used to certainly helped matters too. A change in diet seemed to push me into a new state of discipline. This then became something of a fortuitous cycle as my improved numbers and discipline increased my ability to concentrate and make sensible decisions.

Almost two years down the line and my sugar levels are a whole lot better than they used to be. If there’s any conclusion to be drawn here, it’s probably to find what works for you and then stick to it for as long as it takes to becomes a really solid platform to build on. ')}

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