I remember you:) How are you???
Okay, I have to let you know that I am not a medical professional, but a mother of a child living with type 1. My boy was diagnosed at the age of 3 and he is now 10. He started on the insulin pump this past August 2004.
I will do my best to answer your questions. Please keep in mind that others will be commenting, as well, so you can obtain more info.
1) The only info. I found on searching for A1C home testing devices is:
(Honestly, I never even thought to find out if they have "at home" devices for the A1C test - I just take my son to his doc every 3 months, they ***** his finger and we find out in 10 minutes.) Others might be able to comment on whether this device is accurate and worth buying. Either way you know you will have to be seen by your Endocrinologist.
2)Homeopathic treatment may have crossed my mind for a brief moment, however, I do not know much about it and know that my son WILL need insulin until there is another way, such as a Cure. I know you did not ask about homeopathic treatment in lieu of insulin, but I am just adding my thoughts. I am certain that another volunteer will comment on this because we have many volunteers who are knowledgeable as far as the body, the medical side, etc.
3)Ah! Now we come to the junk food:) Well, having a 10 yr. old who has more freedom now as to what he eats and how many carbs at one time since he went on the pump makes things a bit more flexible. I would still never give him regular soda, but if he wants a small amt. of chips, or a few cookies, I do not deprive him...we just count carbs. I am lucky that my boy is not a big junk food eater. Handsome, you were the man who exercises regularly, if my memory serves me correctly. I think if now and then you have a craving and want a piece of cake or a few cookies, you should not deprvie yourself, just monitor how much. I have read tips such as freezing strawberries and eating a few for a snack to help satisfy a sweet tooth. Suppposively if they are frozen, they take longer to eat. (I think I read that last night on a body building website:) LOL I also read that sometimes if you wait 10 minutes, that craving will go away.
Here are the tips I have rad that you might apply when trying to stay away or limit junk food:
- Outwait your food cravings. They generally last no longer then 10 minutes.
- Distract yourself with a nonfood related activity, such as exercising, reading, pursuing a favorite hobby, listening to music, writing letters, surfing the internet (like you are now) or soaking in a hot bath.
- Make a list of 25 things to do rather then eat, and keep it handy for times when you feel tempted to eat (when you shouldn't).
- Freeze strawberries and other berries. They take longer to eat and provide a candy-like treat.
I do think if you are celebrating your birthday or someone else's birthday or special occasion you should have a piece of cake and give yourself insulin accordingly. Also, popcorn has very little carbohydrates, so you can eat more of it. (When I can, I measure everything for my son because when his BG is high, I always have a sense of guilt. although I know it can be out of my control.) I would not give him the bag of chips, but I would put some in a bowl.
Handsome, I hope you are still doing well and I hope I helped, if even a little.
On another board, I have read that the home a1c tests are not very "stable" in that small handling errors result in bad or unusable results. Some folks reported that their home tests were similar to their physician's tests that occurred a few days later/earlier. Many, however, reported widely varying results that they attributed to slight mistakes in doing the test at home. If someone gave me a FREE kit, I'd be inclined to try it around the time of a real test. I would not recommend that anyone use the home tests instead of the reliable lab test, however.
As you know, Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune illness and no amount of "meds" whether homeopathic or pharmaceutical is going to squeeze usable amounts of insulin out of our damaged islet cells. And while I'm not a physician, I am highly skeptical of any claims to "cure" our diabetes with herbs. Best to chat with a nutritionist/CDE/ or an endo who has both "traditional western medical training" and also has an understanding of the place for supplements and herbs in a healthy life. My sister is a physician with plenty of medical training, and she insists that most herbs & supplements just result in our having expensive urine. Be very cautious about any such items that are fat soluable since we could ingest toxic levels.
Finally, how to avoid junk? Some of these suggestions may sound trivial but in combination they might help. First, don't store any of that stuff in your home. If you resist temptation in the store(s), then you're not forced to resist temptation every waking moment at home. Allow yourself treats, count them in your meal plan and savor them as treats. For me, the key is to never feel "deprived" and to not create "cravings" for long periods of time. I have been lucky in that a small piece of really good chocolate satisfies my occasional need, and it doesn't cause a spiral of overeating. I'm convinced that avoiding the binge is rooted in emotional health and acceptance of our disease. Finally, be very very kind to yourself ... that often means nurturing your self the way you would nurture a dear friend or loved one. Often we forget to do that.
You've asked soem great questions & I hope you hear from lots of others, too.
I just wanted to give you a little information on that at-home test. I just saw an ad in our newspaper a couple of weeks ago for it, which stated that it could give you your readings in 8 minutes. This was at Walgreen's pharmacy (not sure if you have these wherever you live), and if I remember correctly they ran about $29.99 a test. For me, my labs cost $10, so this wouldn't even be worth it for me, especially considering the previous posting that said it isn't always accurate. But, I think for someone who cannot afford the labs (I used to have a different insurance and I do know how very expensive everything in general is), this may be an option. I think when I researched the tester, you do need a prescription for it, so you would still need to see your doc. Anyway, I hope this is helpful!