So as many of you know, I’m 15 years old and a freshman in high school. Lately I’ve been spending more and more time away from home (going to the mall with friends, having sleepovers, etc) and that means I’ve been pretty much independent with managing my T1. And in a few years I’ll go to college and be completely on my own.
But I still text or call my mom whenever I’m eating and she’s not there. I’m not very good at figuring out how much insulin to do… when there’s a carb count I’m fine but a lot of restaurants don’t provide those and without one, I literally have no idea how many units to give myself. I really want to get better at that because I know when I go to college I won’t be able to call my mom every time I eat, but I don’t even know where to begin. It’s getting pretty discouraging.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks
It appears to me as if you are on the right track - a positive attitude and being very proactive with your management skills.
Restaurant foods are the hardest for me and that is oft times a little of the cause for my BG readings to take excursions into the stratosphere. If you are electronically savoy there are some good apps for computers and phones that list carbohydrates; such as CarorieKing which I use from time-to-time - I also have the CalorieKing handbook that lists carbs, calories, fats for many individual homemade foods as well as restaurants and fast-food places.
When you go away to college, as well as at your present high school, the school dietitian should be able to provide you with carb counts for serving size of all foods served. Schedule a meeting - I’ve found that dietitians [and chefs] are more than happy to help. My primary method for carb counting which works much of the time is “the old eye-ball” method where I, in effect, compare a serving size to that which I put on my plate at home.
The app My Fitness Pal has a huge database that you can add to. It’s free unless you go premium. Of course they focus mainly on calories but it includes all nutrition facts. I think an app is the best answer here, most of the work has already been done for you In the age of kale and 30 day diet fads someone will almost always have counted that carb before us lol, and if they haven’t you get to add it into the database to help the next person. I’m glad you are having fun and can be a responsible example for other young type ones.
@bookwormnerd13 hi Abby,
restaurants add fat and sugar to everything. making it the hardest to predict. A simple burger with bread should have been 30-40 grams carbs… by the time I was done I had taken enough insulin to cover over 100 grams of carbs.
When in doubt, I just eat zero carb at restaurants. no sauces, gravies, or dressings, no bread or potato… I am sure you know the deal. When you are with your friends, you may go the same places a lot, for those you can guess and test (the old trial-and-error method)… like others have said - a database of foods and carbs is a great start - like @Dennis I use calorie king, but i use the online database when I am out and need a “starting point”.
so all you are missing really is a carb content starting guess and experience… you’ll get there I promise.
also it is really important to do the +2hour test. Testing before a meal gets you set with your meal bolus and with any correction you want to make. when you test 2 hours after eating it gives you an idea if you are too high, too low or whatever. the basic rule is if you are 130 before a meal, bolus and eat, then when you test at +2 hours if you are 180 you are likely to be OK, if you are 90 you took too much insulin and if you are 220 then you didn’t take enough. (the rule is no more than 50 mg/dl over your starting point when you start at or near your target bg)
Hi Abby, If you don’t have a smart phone, start lobbying for one. There are lots of apps which contain the the carb counts for restaurant foods. The one I use for myself is LoseIt. It’s designed for weight management but its food library is managed by other subscribers so pretty much every national chain is listed there. The one my T1D teen uses is Calorie King. She uses it all the time. (She’s also named Abby and is a freshman.). When you’re at friends’ houses there is nothing wrong with asking to see the packaging and paying attention to how it is being served up. The long term goal is to have a library like Calorie King in your head and visual memories of what a cup, a half-cup, an ounce, etc. of foods look like. And then like the others have stated, check two hours later to see if your estimate was close or not.
Thank you all so much for your help!! I’ll definitely take your advice. It’s great to know I’m not alone in this.
Just a quick note. The 2 hour test doesn’t always work for me. It’s good for letting me know if I took too much insulin but if it’s high and I take more it is often a disaster. It has caused me nasty lows. I don’t correct until 3 or 4 hours after a meal. But everyone is different.
And for you @sneathbupp no one would recommend a “correction” after two hours except in very rare circumstances. Before ANY correction is made, one should always know the active duration period of a particular insulin in one’s body.
For me, “rapid-acting insulin” is no longer rapid-acting in my body because I’ve been using it since it was approved by FDA in April 1996. However I do make note [yes, even with T1D for over 60 years I still write everything down] of all glucose checkpoints and use them whenever I make a correction - consumption of carbohydrate or dose of insulin.
I got diagnosed 18 just after I started my freshman year of college so I totally understand the fears associated with transitioning and being away from family. If a restaurant doesn’t have nutrition facts available I’d say try adjusting your dosage in line with keeping a food log to track patterns with different food groups. Keep in mind that saucier food can raise bloodsugars. Glooko has been a great tool for me to help analyze patterns and how to adjust my insulin. I’d also like to recommend the T1D part 1 and 2 podcast found on jumohealth.com on the products page. Listen to real college students discuss all the things you can expect to navigate as a T1D. Hope this helps!