In college there is no one to push you to test your blood sugars or get exercise except yourself. In order to have a successful university experience, it is important to balance meals, physical activity, rest and studying. Seeing a doctor is an important first step. Here are some suggestions you may find helpful:
1. Supplies and Support
2. Class Schedule
Contact Accessibility Resources & Service if you need to make changes in your class schedule in order to accommodate the management of your diabetes. Discuss your class schedule needs, such as changing course times or days to allow for reasonable lunch breaks.
3. Eat Nutritious Food
For nutrition facts for campus food choices, see Carolina Dining Services. For special nutrition needs, ask to speak with the dietitian in Rams Head Dining Hall - (919) 962-2352. For a review of carbohydrate counting, try this website or ask your diabetes educator or nutritionist. You may want to keep a small refrigerator in your room to keep food items available. Some suggestions for healthy cafeteria foods are:
4. Campus Health Services
Campus Health Services offers many services for students with diabetes. Visit early in the semester for a good start.
5. Physical Activity
Check blood sugar before exercising. Learn how much carbohydrate you need to balance exercise (usually 25-30 grams for every 30 minutes of exercise). Tell your exercise partner to give you sugar if you become confused. For heavier exercise than usual, discuss a reduction in your insulin with your physician. For help in developing an exercise plan, check out all that is available through Campus Recreation and visit the Student Recreation Center's Functional Movement and Fitness Center for their FREE drop-in fitness services.
For young adults, taking care of your sexual and reproductive health is important. Resources include Student Wellness, Campus Health Services Primary Care Clinics, and Women's* Health. Screening and treatment of sexually transmitted infections, Pap tests, and contraception are all available. Contraception and planning ahead are especially important for young women with diabetes who could become pregnant, since normal blood sugar control before pregnancy prevents birth defects.
Falling asleep and missing a meal? Sleeping too late to get all your diabetes care done before that 8:00 am class?
8. Serious hypoglycemia
Give your roommate and close friends instructions for emergencies. Instruct them to call 911 if you pass out. It is helpful for them to know how to inject glucagon in case of passing out due to severe low blood sugar. The staff at Campus Health Pharmacy (919) 966-6554, Student Stores Pharmacy (919) 966-8166, or Campus Health Nursing Services (919) 966-2281 can help teach your roommate or friend when and how to inject glucagon.
If you choose to drink alcohol, remember it may cause a serious low blood sugar even hours later. It takes an hour per drink for the hypoglycemia risk to clear. Plan to monitor and eat during and after drinking alcohol. Carry sugar with you as you go home. Set an alarm every 2 hours to recheck your blood sugar overnight.
10. Ask for help! If you're feeling overwhelmed, anxious, stressed, or alone.
Image October 21 2007 day 9 - You can run, but you can't hide by sriram balam, Flickr Creative Commons