Diabetic & Me

Dylan Smith

Dylan Smith

Hello! Who are you? And tell us a little bit more about your diabetes.

Hey everyone! My name is Dylan Smith. I’m 30 years old and currently living in Denver, Colorado. I have Type 1 diabetes for a total of 9 months.

I did not grow up with my diabetes. However my brother was diagnosed as a type one diabetic in his teens. My endocrinologist believes that I had diabetes for 18 months before being diagnosed and treated. I have been on a plant based diet for a few years and live an extremely active lifestyle here in Colorado. Hiking, running, body weight training and tennis as my main activities.

My family was extremely supportive and like me, SURPRISED. Type 1 diabetes does not discriminate and I thought of myself as immune to such a disease, but it turns out I am just autoimmune, haha.

I am currently working in tech and heading back to school for bio and pre-med.

Dylan Smith

“Although your numbers are important, you aren’t your numbers.”

Your treatment

How do you treat your diabetes, did a lot change over the past years and are you able to manage it well?

I have a PCP and endocrinologist from the Denver Health Network that give me my support. I have my A1C tested every 6 months, which is now at 5.3%!

I currently use a Freestyle Libre CGM and I couldn’t imagine my life with out it. I am so grateful for technology and to be able to share data with my physicians. I am injecting myself with insulin pens and I am using Humalog and Basaglar insulin.

Only positive things changed since I became diabetic. You only have one body, take care of it!

I think I manage my diabetes pretty well, but every day is a journey. I am doing my best to make sure I eat healthy, exercise and get as much sleep as possible!

Dylan Smith

Can you recognize the symptoms of a low/high blood sugar? Do you test often and can you tell a bit more about your experiences with low blood sugar?

Sometimes, I can recognize them. When my sugar is on the low side I become sweaty and disoriented. When they are on the high side I get very anxious.

I try to test my sugar levels when needed. Before and after meals and exercise.

To treat my low blood sugar levels I use grapefruit juice.

Food and diet

How does your diabetes affect your eating and do you find being on a diet restrictive?

For breakfast I eat plant based toast, avocado and everything bagel seasoning. For lunch I like to eat a Greek chickpea salad and for dinner I like to eat an eggplant curry. My favorite food is pizza, always! I never skip meals.

I like to eat snacks! Celery and hummus, cucumbers and air fried chickpeas.

I 100% vary my insulin dose. I love food and want to experience all different types. Plant based ofcourse.

Trying to drink 4 to 6 glasses water a day.

I don’t find being a diet restrictive and when somebody asks me about any food I can or can’t eat I don’t get annoyed. I look at it as an opportunity to educate about type one diabetes.

Do you believe that a plant based diet can improve diabetes? Did you ever experiment with this?

YES YES YES!

Do you have a hard time eating out in a restaurant? And what are you thoughts on making this easier?

Yes, absolutely! Being a new diabetic, it is really difficult sometimes to carb count. I like to go out eating at experience based restaurants.

“It’s not our fault that we have diabetes, I didn’t do this to myself.”

Exercise and work

Does your diabetes restrict you from exercise or your daily job?

When I exercise I do pilates, bodyweight, tennis and minimal lifting.

I work in the technology business and it does not affect my diabetes.

Dylan Smith

Final

Do you have any positive or negative effects because of your diabetes?

The hardest part of being diabetic is not being in control. I am very competitive so I can sometimes be a little hard on myself.

But the best part is becoming part of a really supportive community.

What is the best advice that you can give to non-diabetics, new diagnosed diabetics and diabetics?

It’s not our fault that we have diabetes, I didn’t do this to myself.

You have an incredible community around you. Although your numbers are important, you aren’t your numbers.

Lean on your diabetic family. I have met some fantastic people through social media who are experiencing the same things I am and can relate. I am so lucky to have such a supportive partner and family, but some times only another diabetic can grasp the emotional toll the disease takes on you.

What would you ask the other diabetics?

How do you take care of hypo moments from exercise?

Feel free to answer in the comments below.

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Hey! I'm Ely Fornoville, the founder of Diabetic & Me.

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