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Dafne course.. should l go?

Discussion in 'Type 1 Diabetes' started by claridge, Jul 21, 2009.

  1. claridge

    claridge · Well-Known Member

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    Hi all,

    I am a type 1 Diabetic (diagnosed in Feb 09) and l got straight into low carbing and try to exercise nearly every day. With these methods l have decreased my Insulin to only taking my 24 hour Insulin at 5 units and no novorapid due to my low carb diet.
    I have received a letter asking me when l would like to go on the DAFNE course- should l definitely go as lm low carb anyway?

    Thanks, Jo
     
  2. AliB

    AliB Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Personally, it seems to me that you already have it covered! If you are managing your Diabetes and keeping your sugars pretty much within normal range I can't see the point.

    If at some point you intend going back to higher carbs then you may well benefit from it and I suppose it may be useful for carb assessment purposes.

    As I am type 2 I hadn't come across it so I went in and had a look at the Website. All that hype from the Diabetic 'powers that be on 'losing weight and keeping your blood sugar stable' and the flipping Website has a picture of a jaffa cake and the words 'Eat what you like - like what you eat'! Oh yes, it's perfectly acceptable to stuff yourself stupid with all sorts of 'dead' junk and rubbish and avoid anything nutritionally beneficial.............
     
  3. phoenix

    phoenix Type 1 · Expert

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    I'm sorry but I'm answering here since it seems very silly to post the answer in another forum.
    Claridge,
    You are lucky to be offered a course, many people who want to go on one don't have one in their area.I have never heard a bad report of a DAFNE course or a person who has regretted going on it. It is not designed to promote any sort of diet. Indeed it has been condemned for not promoting 'healthy' eating. You have chosen to use a low carb diet, for now. You have low insulin needs but at the moment (0nly 4 months after diagnosis) you are probably still well within your honeymoon period so you have some pancreatic function remaining.
    Unfortunately it is most probable that eventually, your insulin needs will increase. People who have no or very little beta cell function still need to bolus (albeit in small amounts) even for a very low carb meals. I assume that you are not cutting out fruit and veg completely so you will be eating some carbs. Its worth learning to count these accurately and how to bolus accurately for them. Most people need to bolus even for a no carb meal since protein will convert to glucose. Learning to use insulin to mimick (albeit inadequately) your pancreas must be a useful skill.
    Even if you think that you have adopted a lifetime diet It is just as well to learn how to adjust your dose for all eventualities. Even type 2 people who low carb tend to relaxe their diets for holidays like Christmas, its difficult not to, but a slight change in your carb intake at such times could result in soaring blood glucose levels. The info on the Dafne course will help you adjust.You can decide where to draw the line , some Christmas and party foods are very high carb. I don't eat low carb, nor do I eat Christmas pudding :) ).
    You will also learn what to do with your insulin if you are sick and cannot take in solid food, how to adjust your insulin for exercise etc.
    I'm not sure of your age ( I think you're female) but the tools you acquire will be extremely useful if you ever become pregnant.Very low carb dieting is not normally advocated in pregnancy and breastfeeding. If you ever want to use a pump a Dafne or other carb counting course is a prerequisite.
    Finally and for this I'll probably be hung drawn and quartered. You may learn that a type I that does a reasonable amount of exercise can control their BGL without needing to take vast quantiites of insulin and yet be able to eat a diet that includes a reasonable quantity of 'good quality' carbs.
    The other really important aspect of a course like this is also getting to meet other people with type 1 .It is really good to be able to share experiences face to face.
    Having written this I have one caveat, I don't know how long the waiting list is in your area, or if you only have one opportunity to accept. If possible it might be better to go on the course when your 'honeymooon' has finished so that you can work out more realistic carb ratios.
     
  4. sugarless sue

    sugarless sue · Master

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    Now moved to Type one forum.
     
  5. Celtic.Piskie

    Celtic.Piskie · Well-Known Member

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    Yes.

    It has helped me an enormous amount.
    For instance, if you ever do feel like a pizza, you will know how you can deal with it.
    Also it helps with illness, nausea, infections etc.
    Ali, it's not about 'useless'. I see nothing useless and dead junk about my diet, i simply eat more carbs than some others.
    I do not 'stuff' myself. I have a healthy diet, organic fruit and veg, and meat comes from a local farm.
    So please stop assuming that just because I eat carbs, i am some sort of junk food feaster.

    Knowledge is never a bad thing. If you are happy, and healthy the way you are, good. If in the future you, or your diet change, then at least you will know.

    Knowing is never a bad thing.

    Good luck :)
     
  6. jopar

    jopar · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Jo

    As phoenix says you are still early stages of being a diabetic, so there is still a lot to learn and propable changes ahead...

    I've actually been on the DAFNE course and it goes a lot further than just teaching carb counting, it covers many aspects of diabetes, dealing with hypos', sick day rules, how to work out correct bolus injections, carb ratio's, how to handle excercise etc... What blood tests, you should be having, what they mean... How to build a diary that gives good information about your control, that you can work from when problems solving etc...

    As to carb counting side of it, yes they do use 'healthy eating' as there template but they do understand that diabetics all have different tastes and diets... There aim, isn't to tell you that you've got to eat or XXX amount of carbs, You choose what carbs you want to eat and the quanities, they give you the information on how to work-out the insulin needs to match this choice...

    The ethos of DAFNE is to give us back our choice of what we want to eat, and when we want to eat it... So if you chose to low carb or high carb, you will have the information you require to follow this choice...

    There is plenty of time to ask questions, about anything you don't understand, want to know about the different aspects of diabetes... and you build a repore with the diabetic team that you can't build within via the appointments system.
     
  7. chocoholic

    chocoholic · Well-Known Member

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    I'd definitely go, given the option. Sadly, in my area, they don't run DAFNE courses but I'm always open to gleaning a bit more info. from others and I've never actually spoken to another Type 1 either, only on this forum.
     
  8. LittleSue

    LittleSue Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    You don't have to eat junk, just because you're allowed to - choice is the whole point of DAFNE. I suspect most DAFNE users eat fewer carbs most days, knowing they can have the occasional treat with no guilt. Life's so much better without all those 'thou shalt snack' rules. It's clearer to see when something needs changing. I reckon you're less likely to get criticised by HCPs for low carb if you've done DAFNE. If you run into problems, DSNs/doctors realise you know what you're doing and listen properly, instead of dismissing you as non-compliant or a liar.

    Despite my best efforts I'd been called 'non-compliant' and given wrong info for 30 years until DAFNE got things under control for the first time. Get yourself a head start!
     
  9. the_anticarb

    the_anticarb · Well-Known Member

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    just a word of warning - I went on DAFNE and they had selected the meals for us (apart from the last day when everyone brings food to share)

    Day one = jacket potato and baked beans. Yogurt (of the muller light variety) for dessert. LOADS of carbs! So whilst Dafne is ok, I didn't find it either useless or particularly useful, you may want to either bring your own food or be prepared for a carb-fest

    Good luck!
     
  10. curlyheadfreak

    curlyheadfreak · Member

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    I found DAFNE really good, although I ate significantly less carbs than the rest of the group and was encouraged to eat more starchy carbs I was not forced to and I learnt a lot of very useful information. I would definitely go if you've got the chance.
     
  11. claridge

    claridge · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks everyone. Im definitely sticking to the low carb diet and am not tempted to have sugar/carby foods as it makes me feel so much better (even in the non diabetic sense!) and improves my eczema. My blood sugar is now between 4 and 7 all the time and l have not had a hypo for a long while now. Im exercising everyday and my heart rate has improved dramatically- down to 55-60 after 10 minutes running at 10.0 speed with an incline of 5! I am reallly really hoping that l can stay in the honeymoon period for as long as possible- fingers crossed!!! I have even massively dropped my drinking! ;0)
    Thank you all for you advice.
    Jo
     
  12. claridge

    claridge · Well-Known Member

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    One more question- those that have been on DAFNE were you able to take it as sick leave or did you have to take it as holiday? Im not sure what work is obliged to do in this case? Thanks, Jo
     
  13. Celtic.Piskie

    Celtic.Piskie · Well-Known Member

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    It depends on your boss and your doctor.

    Your boss doesn't have to give it to you, but some might.
    It's not a legal requirement.
    Try and see if your doc will write something that it's a medical necessity etc.

    Good luck :)
     
  14. curlyheadfreak

    curlyheadfreak · Member

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    I got the hospital to write a letter to my company describing how employees who had been on DAFNE have been proven to have less time off work sick/for appointments!!! It worked and I got the week off :D And I have to say my company is EXTREMELY strict with absence/sick leave...
     
  15. issigonis59

    issigonis59 Type 1 · Member

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    Hi Jo,

    I have done our areas version of DAFNE and found it extremely useful, not just in terms of information, but being able to meet other Type 1's and talk about all our experiences. We are still all in touch quite regularly by email and facebook.

    My employer was really supportive of me doing the course, recognised the long term benefits and allowed me time off to do the course (1 day a week for 4 weeks).

    In terms of lunch each week, we had a buffet the first week which was provided, salads, cold meats etc. We then went out to the pub the following times, to give us choice and practice carb counting, weighing and portion sizes etc.

    Even though you seem to have your diet and control sorted, its worth going along, as you might learn other stuff and build a better relationship with your Diabetes team, I certainly did and I've been Type 1 for 12 years.

    Cheers

    Rachel :wink:
     
  16. LittleSue

    LittleSue Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    My course was a solid week, I know some places do it 1 day each week for 5 weeks. I had to tuse ake annual leave, but only because I worked through an agency and needed a sick note from the doctor even for 3 days off, no self-certifying. SSP wouldn't kick in till day 3 either. Even at the time I thought it was worth using my leave (though I had to plan carefully to ensure I'd earned enough leave). Seeing the effect it's had I'd have done it without pay!

    If normally employed I'd argue that time off for DAFNE is like having a pre-planned surgery and convalesence (in the case of an intensive week), or a series of outpatient appointments or investigations (if you do 1 day per week). You know when you'll be off and for how long, so work can be planned accordingly - whereas if you just catch every bug going due to poor control there's no warning.

    I'm amazed some courses imposed certain meals. We went to the hospital canteen together and chose what we wanted... putting what we'd learned into practice from the start.
     
  17. yipster29

    yipster29 · Well-Known Member

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    Go for it Jo for all the very sensible points made here about illness / pregnancy etc which is still very new and not been come across by us yet... then tell me everything they say as no DAFNE down my neck of the woods! :D
     
  18. dipsticky

    dipsticky · Well-Known Member

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    Hey Jo. Like yapster says, go for it. What have you got to lose babe

    D.
     
  19. the_anticarb

    the_anticarb · Well-Known Member

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    Guys as an HR professional I feel qualified to answer the question re sick leave. If your doc can say it is an essential treatment, not elective, then they are obliged to give you the time off for it (disability discrimination act). However they are not obliged to pay for the time off, in which case you may want to take it as holiday instead. Most places I've worked in will pay for time off for medical treatment though.
     
  20. Stunning

    Stunning · Member

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    I really wish i could get on the DAFNE course. I keep getting fobbed off by doctors, hospitals, dieticians when all i would like is to be given a place.

    I have had Type 1 for nearly 30 years now, and the DAFNE course (as I have heard so very many good reports about it) would assist me no end and i am sure it would also aid my ongoing depression.

    If you get the chance to get on DAFNE, please go to it if you can.

    DS
     
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