Managing Type I Diabetes in College: Do’s and Don’t’s

Type 1 diabetes is a disease that is characterized by the body’s inability to produce insulin. Patients are usually diagnosed with this disease early on in life, after exhibiting common symptoms, including frequent urination, weight loss, and abnormally frequent hunger and thirst.

While many young adults learn to effectively cope with their diabetes, the transition to college can make managing this disease more difficult. Many young adults are living away from home for the first time, leaving them to deal with their disease, without the help and support of their parents. Fortunately, when following a few simple tips, patients with type 1 diabetes can seamlessly make the transition to college life, without sacrificing their health.

Effectively Manage Type I Diabetes in College

While adjusting to college life can be difficult at first, it is important to maintain your daily routine as much as possible. If you have learned to manage your disease through regular exercise, healthy dietary choices, and insulin replacement therapy, then it is important to remain committed to your management plan.

The first thing that diabetic college students should do is to schedule a time to exercise that fits into their class schedule. Before classes begin, find where the school gym or recreational center is located in relation to your classes and determine a time slot that you can commit to exercise. Treating your exercise routine as an important part of your schedule, rather than an optional activity, will help you continue your fitness routine.

It is also important for students to maintain a healthy diet. While college cafeterias are often filled with pizza, ice cream, and other junk foods, most cafeterias also offer healthy options. For tips to help you choose what cafeteria foods to enjoy, browse the American Diabetes Association’s suggestions on dietary choices.

Things to Avoid While Managing Type I Diabetes

When many young adults think of college, they think of parties without parental supervision. While it may be difficult for young adults to avoid alcohol at college parties, it is important for students with type 1 diabetes to understand the effect that alcohol can have on their health. Alcohol can have a serious affect on a diabetic’s blood sugar and must be consumed responsibly, while keeping up with insulin replacement therapy and paying close attention to how you feel. For information on how to safely consume alcohol with type 1 diabetes, visit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International’s list of suggestions.

The transition to college life is difficult for every student. While having type 1 diabetes may make this transition a bit more difficult, students can successfully enjoy their college experience when making the effort to take care of themselves, and their bodies.

Louise Baker ranks online programs for Zen College Life. She most recently wrote about getting an online criminal justice degree.

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