About Me

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I'm a glass-half-full type of girl. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, grave's disease and celiac disease in 2010 and life-altering allergies in 2013. I believe having a positive attitude is the only way to live with dis-ease. I also believe that life doesn't have to be PERFECT for it to be WONDERFUL. Dis-ease is expensive, so I live a frugal yet healthy lifestyle. This is just my blog; my day-to-day story.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Food Anxiety.

Do you experience food anxiety related to having celiac disease or diabetes? Read below; I'm looking for some advice.

For those of you who have diabetes, the numbers on the insulin pump above will make sense to you. I haven't eaten much today, as demonstrated by today's insulin totals. I had one grapefruit today, half at breakfast time and the other half at lunch, which totaled 1.55 units of Novolog. The remaining total was comprised of my basal insulin, which by the end of the day will total 5.4 units. For some reason, my basal needs have always been very low since my type 1 diabetes diagnosis in 2010. But my insulin to carb ratio is currently 1/10 in the morning and 1/15 in the afternoon and evening. It used to be 1/32 all day, but obviously what remaining beta cells I had leftover after diagnosis are slowly dying. Sad face. Oh well, I knew they would die eventually. I've been lucky to have held on to them as long as I have (3 years after diagnosis). I was told that they usually die within 6 months of diagnosis. And I must still have a few left, if my basal rates are that low. Unfortunately there is no way to preserve the remaining beta cells. My immune system is eventualy gonna get 'em all.

The other reason for not eating much lately is out of food anxiety. I've developed a real anxiety as it relates to food (mainly thanks to celiac disease but definitely diabetes as well). I get so stressed out about how food will affect me that I simply lose my appetite altogether. Add on regular life stress, and that is just a bad mix equating to no appetite.

Over the past few months I have been sticking to the Paleo diet, which has done WONDERS for my blood sugar stability and A1c and my weight loss goals. My A1c on 2/18/13 was 6.0 ... a much-wanted improvement from previous A1c's. It's difficult sometimes because I miss carbs, I LOVE carbs, especially the bad ones like bread, pasta, pizza. But it's no fun when I see the blood sugar spiral out of control as a result of eating those things, the bathroom scale go up and my pants not fit anymore, or the occasional gluten-ing I get from eating those foods out of the house. In the end, it turns out to be a very temporary gratification, with longer-term consequences to my overall health and appearance. Sorta takes the fun out of food.

It's all part of my food anxiety, and I'm not sure how to get a handle on it. I don't like that food has become a source of stress and panic for me and no longer is a source of enterainment and enjoyment. Is there a way to still enjoy food????

I was at a gathering over the weekend that involved food (what gathering doesn't?) and I was completely stressed out. Because I couldn't eat what they were serving (celiac disease). They were eating wheat spaghetti with sauce, whole wheat cracker/cheese appetizers, and a regular cake for dessert. Nope, not one thing I am able to eat. It's hard to sit around and watch everyone around you eat and enjoy and bond over food...while you can't. I brought baked chicken and cauliflower and no dessert. Not exactly "fun" birthday party food, but part of my Paleo diet. I could have elected to bring my own gluten free spaghetti and sauce, but then my blood sugar would spike for the rest of the night into the overnight hours and I pay for it for 8+ hours. It guarantees me I will be waking up a few times throughout the night to correct high blood sugars. No thanks, I'll stick to my chicken and cauliflower.

I guess the question I have for you is do you have any sort of food anxiety? Whether you have celiac disease or type 1 diabetes, does food ever stress you out? Do you avoid certain foods? Does your anxiety only happen in certain situations? How to handle it? I could use a few tips.


  1. I don't have any real useful tips, but wanted to say that I totally have food anxiety. Although I go off the other end of the spectrum - when I get stressed about it, I'll binge, BG's be damned.

    Diabetes is fertile ground for a messed up relationship with food.

    There's surely some balance out there, but it's escaped me so far.

  2. I kinda feel I have the opposite. I don't have enough anxiety about getting into some fried fast food when I get the urge.

    I couldn't imagine having to deal with both celiac & diabetes. I hope it gets easier for you to deal with. I'm sure it will.

  3. I wish I had some advice for you too. But, I do understand where you're coming from. Since being diagnosed a year ago, my eating habits have changed alot mainly because its easier to avoid certain foods (pasta, heavy breads, certain sauces) than try and deal with the what will happen to my BG's after. I used to love eating out too and now not so much. If I can't get the nutrition info on something, I won't eat it, or eat at that restaurant. Diabetes has definitely taken the fun out of food, and I'm not sure there is a way to get it back.

  4. While I don't have Diabetes, I have totally had food anxiety on multiple occasions due to Celiac Diease. A few things that have helped me: Planning ahead for meals. I make weekly menus and try to spice them up a bit to keep it interesting. I also do most of my food prep for the week on Sunday, so there is no excuse not to make an easy meal at home. Secondly, when I'm going to a gathering that I know will have lots of fun things that I know I can't partake in, I allow myself a mini shopping spree. Either before or after the event, I allow myself 20 - 50 dollars, depending on the budget to spend on something that will be a treat for me. This is typically a new workout tank from Lululemon or a pretty soap from Anthropologie. They're not always expensive, but they are always NOT FOOD RELATED! I think getting our brains to stop seeing food as treats will help us in the long run with feeling like we're being left out.

    Hope this helps!

    1. Marlow, this is GREAT advice! I love the idea of a non-food treat; maybe go buy myself a cute new bracelet so I can stare at that all night instead of staring at the cake I can't eat. Love it!! Definitely going to incorporate that!!

  5. I, too, have food anxieties. I am Type 1, diagnosed almost five years ago in my early 30s, which turned my life upside down. I do not have celiac disease, but, I am gluten-intolerant and follow a gluten and mostly dairy-free diet. Lately I've started reacting to other things as well like tapioca, which is of course is almost all gluten-free products! I'm angry! I also suffer terribly from acid reflux and so naturally, every time I'm going to take of bite of something my stomach clenches up wondering A) is this going to hurt me; and B) what will it do to my blood sugars! The emotional impact is impossible to explain to someone without either condition. So glad I can vent to people who understand!!!! Sometimes I wish I could just gorge myself for a night to escape but I will pay dearly the next day!