Is anything simple in life with type 1 diabetes? The results to our most popular Question of the Day in June seem like a stark reminder that managing T1D is complicated. Sleep can never just be sleep. Traveling can never be simply a vacation. And just juggling the demands of an ordinary day can be thwarted by blood sugar fluctuations. 

Here’s a look at our most popular Questions of the Day in June.  

When your sleep is disrupted because of T1D, what are the most common causes?

Getting a good night’s rest is pretty critical for so many parts of life, but T1D has an awfully obnoxious way of interrupting sleep. The more tech we get, the more beeps, alarms, and malfunctions we face. This tech keeps us safer while we sleep but that safety comes at a cost. 

Even more frustrating might be the false alarms from a compression low (when your body weight is on your sensor and it falsely reports low blood sugar) or battery alarms. Doesn’t this tech know you’re sleeping? A few community members mentioned the belated alerts about high blood sugars that occurred previously in the night while the current blood sugar level was in range — now that’s just rude! 

Here are a few insightful comments from community members: 

  • “I get a notice of high glucose levels that occurred several hours ago! WHY?” 
  • “I wake up naturally by the physical effects of low blood sugars. The odd thing is that if I am dreaming, I will often have the same effects within my dream. Like, I will be on a plane to some exotic location and start searching for snacks! Does this happen to anyone else?” 
  • “My most frequent and favorite (LOL) alarm at night is the one that tells me I had a high two hours ago! Duh!” 
  • “Yes, I appreciate device improvements, but some are just plain annoying and make a difficult journey worse, not better. And the main complaint is unnecessary alerts the user cannot adjust.” 
  • “When I started using Dexcom 6 about a year ago, I was frequently annoyed with false low alarms disrupting sleep. Through comments on this site, I learned about compression lows. I learned not to place the CGM too far to the left or to the right of my navel. Each new sensor gets moved just an inch or so. Problem solved.”  

If you were to go on a 7-day trip away from home, which of the following supplies would you bring, in addition to what you would normally use in seven days?

Traveling with T1D can definitely induce a bit of anxiety. We can’t just anticipate one or two potential problems — we have to anticipate at least a half dozen things that could go wrong.  

If you’re someone who packs light and hopes for the best, comments from the community highlighted one very important thing to keep in mind: once you’ve experienced one unexpected vial of insulin breaking or insulin pump malfunction, you definitely start packing backups. 

How much space do you have in your suitcase? You’re gonna need it.  

Here are a few insightful comments from community members:  

  • “I was in Boston in 2013 when we were all confined to our hotels while they searched for the marathon bomber. I also remember 9/11 when planes were grounded. I never assume I can easily restock supplies and always take at least double the amount I’ll need of everything including my backup pump. Fingers crossed that I never need it. I hope I could be one of the ones who share lifesaving stuff with anyone who gets caught without it.” 
  • “Glucose tabs and snacks.” 
  • “I take twice as many pods and CGM supplies as I know I will need. It is a pain to carry all that junk but it’s necessary. We never know when a pod or sensor will fail. I also take syringes just in case my pump fails, which it never has in the almost three decades I have used one. I also carry a Baqsimi emergency glucagon just in case I have a severe low. I carry more insulin than I know I will need since I broke a bottle once when overseas and almost ran out on another foreign trip.” 
  • “Ughhh, the extra CGM sensor is the worst. It takes up an unnecessarily large amount of space.”

How much do you think your blood glucose levels impact your overall mood? 

As if it isn’t hard enough to get through the day without getting a little frustrated, feeling anxiety over looming deadlines or juggling parenting duties, or all the other normal life events that can feel like a lot — let’s add blood sugar fluctuations to the mix! 

Most people in the community agree: blood sugar levels affect our mood. 

But which came first: the impact on your mood from the physical side-effects of the low or high blood sugar — or the frustration/stress/anxiety of simply knowing your blood sugar is low or high? 

If our non-diabetic friends and colleagues knew just how much we’re quietly juggling during a low or high blood sugar while trying to accomplish everyday (or big) tasks, they’d definitely give us a few high-fives. 

Here are a few insightful comments from community members: 

  • “I would have said very much or moderately for lows, for sure. They affect me with actual physical changes. Feeling floaty/tipsy, tingles in my hands, and have a tendency to snap more easily if someone asks me a question that I take the wrong way. Highs (which themselves should be quantified — for me, from a physical standpoint, I’d consider anything over 200 mg/dL a high). These don’t affect me physically, so I might have said not at all. But those occasional steady highs of 160 mg/dL that won’t go down — especially if I’m not eating anything to cause them — will make me anxious and grumpy.” 
  • “I was having a persistent high the other day and thought with frustration how I’d been doing this for 27 years and still sometimes suck at it. With T1D, practice does not make perfect. It’s endless guessing and troubleshooting.” 
  • “I said ‘a little bit’, but that’s my opinion. My husband might have had a different answer. 🤣” 
  • “Lows have a definite impact. After 68 years of playing this game, I now need to rely on what the CGM tells me because I can’t tell anymore. If something I’ve read/heard brings tears, I’ve learned that I should check my BG. Highs, on the other hand, are very frustrating. If possible, an injection by syringe usually brings me into range faster than the pump.” 

Thank you to every member of the T1D Exchange Online Community for sharing your experiences. Your words inspire others who come to this community looking for advice and the reminder that they’re not alone. 

If you are not already a member of the T1D Exchange Online Community, join today