Skip to main content

My Husband Has Type 1 Diabetes, Here's What That Means For My Family

Posted by Katrina Pilkington on

I’m a Type 3 Wife. That means my husband has Type 1 Diabetes. I am his biggest advocate and support. He’s my inspiration to maintain a healthy and fit lifestyle so that we can be our best for our daughter and lead by example. Throughout our almost 8 years together, I’ve learned a thing or two about being a good partner to someone with Type 1 Diabetes.

Knowledge of Type 1 was paramount along with me understanding signals and signs for low and high blood sugars.

It’s taboo to think that just because someone is diabetic means they have to avoid all sugars. Sugar isn’t the root of all diet evil; it’s the abuse of it in mass amounts that have a huge impact on chronic disease and illness. Type 1 Diabetes isn’t something my husband can control with medication. His pancreas no longer produces the hormone, insulin, which is needed to regulate blood sugar levels in the body. It also secretes digestive enzymes such as amylase, trypsin, proteases, and lipase which help to break down fats, carbohydrates, starches, and proteins. Many times, he is able to monitor and control his blood sugars throughout the day.

A lifestyle that includes regular exercise and balanced eating is a win-win for life with Type 1 Diabetes.

However, there are times when his blood sugar dips low for no rhyme or reason. We could try to pinpoint the time of day, him using energy within a given timeframe or the full moon – there’s not always a reason for a low. When a low strikes, our best bet is to make sure we are prepared and can act diligently to correct the situation.

The rule of thumb is to test one’s blood sugars regularly throughout the day and if the result is on the lower end of favorable (a.k.a. hypoglycemia), a T1D is to take in 15 grams of sugars and then check every 15 minutes before adding another correction. The types of quick sugars used to treat low blood sugars can range from orange juice to honey, fruit to even candy if nothing else is available.

We’ve learned by monitoring my husband’s daily intake and schedule that he happens to dip later in the evening – ironically, on his way home from work which ends up being perfect timing. There are also times where an intense workout or missed meal can result in a low blood sugar. So, to be ahead of the game, we use snacks such as Perfect Bar because of its balanced content of healthy fats, natural sugars, and whole food carbohydrate sources before and/or after an exercise session.

Balanced sources of healthy fats, natural sugars, and whole food carbs help us stay balanced.

What we’ve noticed in our own experience is that carbohydrates and sugars from not-so-natural sources aren’t the most dependable. Many times, they spike my husband’s blood sugar and cause a back and forth effect with his sugars going high to low. Also, standalone sugars, like those from candy, before a workout tend to tank as soon as he’s used up his aerobic capacity within his body. That means that once he’s zapped his cardio threshold for energy, his sugars can dip. Intense exercise such as HIIT training, heavy weight lifting (which can actually increase blood sugar most times), and any interval training uses carbohydrates and fat as energy sources. So, when he has a balanced snack that’s the trifecta of healthy fat/healthy carb/natural sugars, his sugars stay level and he can perform his workout with more desirable results.

Perfect Bar has an effective blend of complex carbohydrates that give natural energy through natural sources. Our bodies were meant to run off of natural energy! And for our family, specifically my husband, the whole food nutrition from Perfect Bar keeps us happy and healthy ensuring we have time and energy to focus on the things that matter – family.