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100 things - my top tip

Ever received the wrong sort of drink when you’re out in a restaurant, pub or club? Claire Wright, 44, from Lincoln, certainly did. She was first diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in March 2008, aged 36, and regular exercise has helped her control her condition. 

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Claire checks her drinks.

“I can manage my diabetes well,” she says. “And for the last two years I have had an insulin pump. I always receive good results and feedback from my consultant.”However, managing your diabetes only works when you know exactly what you are eating and drinking – and not all bar staff understand the significance of full-sugar versus diet soft drinks for people with diabetes. 

To help others to tackle this problem, Claire contributed a tip to the new free book, ‘100 things I wish I’d known about diabetes’. Published by Diabetes UK, the book sees people living with diabetes sharing their tips with others who have the condition, their families and friends.

“I had the wrong drink quite a few times,” she says. “If you ask for a diet drink, bar staff often think it isn’t important – that you are just on a diet and you will have whatever gets served. But an hour after having a drink served from a soft drinks pump, I have sometimes found my sugars are in their 20s (my usual range is 5 to 8), and it can only be because I’ve had a drink that isn’t sugar free.

“Sometimes you can taste the difference, but often it is hard to tell – especially if you are using it as a mixer with something else.”She advises avoiding soft drinks from pumps, and instead sticking to unambiguous bottled drinks to know that you get sugar-free drinks. 

She adds: “If it’s on pump I will normally have a bottle of water instead. You don’t always want to explain it when you’re out.”Checking her drinks is one small way that Claire manages her diabetes. She also goes to Weight Watchers to make sure her weight stays in a healthy range, as well as keeping an eye on portion control and going for regular walks.

And combined with a new insulin pump, her careful management ensures that her diabetes is kept in check. “I love my insulin pump so much!” she says. “I talk about diabetes to anyone that will listen and it doesn't stop me doing anything.

I am healthy and happy and try to be positive all the time for myself and my family. My friends all comment on how I don't let diabetes rule my life.

”In Diabetes UK’s new book ‘100 things I wish I’d known about living with diabetes’ people with diabetes share useful tips around every part of life to help others living with the condition.Order your free copy.

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