Tracy Sanders shares with us her journey from her T1D diagnosis to a healthy, fit lifestyle fueled by a low-carb diet.

The Support
We live in the age of social media where the ability to connect with people from all over the world is astounding. It’s a tool that cannot be ignored. I decided to start on Instagram account (@type1tracy) documenting my journey with type one, to share my ideas, to inspire and be inspired. The community is remarkable and large. There is every kind of diabetic online, all with different approaches to their diabetes management. The common thread is that we are all learning and experiencing the ups and downs of T1D.

Worse Advice Received
I went to a dietician to hopefully receive some help with food quantities and advice on portions. She could only recommend a high carbohydrate, lean protein, fat-free diet and was appalled when I said I would appreciate a less carbohydrate intensive regime. She was completely judgemental and harsh and dismissive. There this woman sat, with her working pancreas and dietetic qualification, and told me how I should be eating bucket loads of carbohydrate because that’s what top organisations are recommending. It is a diet that may work for some but it angered me as it was very easy for her to prescribe such a diet without personally experiencing and knowing the rollercoaster blood glucose levels, labour intensive regime of injections and calculations I would have to do. The most disheartening part was that she would not take a moment to hear my story, or learn how reducing my carbohydrate had given me tremendous freedom with T1D and had lifted a good part of the burden of blood glucose control off my shoulders. I left there with an unhelpful piece of paper, describing the cereals and bread I should eat.

 

KEY POINTS:
1. Remain eager to learn about diabetes and your body
2. Keep an open mind to information
3. Know that you have the power to not only control your diabetes but flourish with it
4. Believe in yourself
5. Be kind to yourself and forgive yourself when you mess up
6. Get connected, search tags on Instagram such as #typeone, #diabetes, #t1dlookslikeme, and enter a world of support, motivation, empathy and understanding

Tracy Sanders is a final year medical student graduating as a Doctor in December 2017. She was diagnosed with Type One Diabetes at the age of 20, and has spent the last 3 years exploring, learning and sharing the possibilities that lie after a life-altering diagnosis. Follow her journey on Instagram via Type1Tracy