We talked to one of our customers, Petr, who has both type I. diabetes and coeliac and asked him what life with these diseases is like and how cricket flour fits into his diet. What does he like to eat or breakfast? How does he fuel his sports activities? Read on.
Hi Petr, when did you get diagnosed with type I. diabetes?
I was diagnosed at 42, I have a subtype of T1D called LADA. The typical T1D is usually diagnosed at a much younger age so it was a big shock to me. At first, I thought I might not have very long to live. My wife was also pregnant at the time, a month away from giving birth so, the first couple of days at a district hospital were the hardest. By chance, I got in touch with an experienced internist-diabetologist who helped me a lot with managing my diabetes. He offered a modern treatment based on CGM, continuous glucose monitoring, which uses biosensors to detect my glucose levels in real time. I’m really grateful for that I cannot imagine managing my diabetes without this type of technology.
Was the coeliac disease diagnosed at the same time?
I was diagnosed with coeliac a year before T1D but coeliac is a tricky thing to diagnose. It was manifesting at least 10 years before the actual diagnosis.
How has life changed for you since then?
I can say that coeliac changed my life much more than diabetes because I am very sensitive to any gluten contamination. I cannot eat out like other people. My only chance are certified restaurants or gluten-free friendly ones with staff that really understands what contamination means.
How do you manage your diet then?
The biggest thing is I have to plan all of my meals. I have to be sure they won’t contain any gluten and I need to have a good idea about the glycaemic index and load. That’s why I cook for myself and bring my own lunch to work.
So, what does your breakfast look like?
If I want to have my favourite morning porridge which has both high glycaemic index and load, I have to be very careful. I need to apply bolus insulin, wait 30 minutes, eat half the porridge slowly, wait another 30 minutes, and then eat the remaining half. As you can see this is not very practical for everyday use. In contrast, if I have 4 eggs, vegetables, and a slice of bread I can eat just 10 minutes after injecting insulin. Careful planning and constant measuring of my blood sugar is what allows me to maintain a similar glycaemic response as a healthy person.
Do you do any sports?
I love running, swimming and cycling. Before my diagnosis I used to do a lot of long distance running and cycling, dozens of kilometres each week.
Is it different now after you’ve been diagnosed?
Just like with food, sports require a lot of planning. Physical activity increases insulin sensitivity which can lead to hypoglycaemia in people who use long lasting basal insulin like me. That’s why I need to make sure I’m appropriately fed for the activity ahead. I’m on a constant quest to find the optimal time and quantity for my fuel. For example, I usually eat a banana 15 minutes before a 30-minute run. That’s because I know my blood sugar will peak after 45 minutes from eating it and also my blood sugar starts falling after 15 minutes of running. This way I minimize blood sugar fluctuations as much as possible.
That’s some impressive planning! So, why did you choose our cricket-flour bars?
First, they are gluten free, that’s a must for me. But in general, I like to experiment with my diet and try new things, and also, I am fan of eating insects.
How do they impact your blood sugar control? Is there a difference between protein and energy bars in this regard?
It depends on the situation. I use energy bars before or during a physical activity. When I need a quick snack while working at the office without needing to apply any insulin, I go for protein bars.
Would you recommend our bars to someone suffering from the same disease combo as you?
We are glad to hear that. If people want to learn more about how you manage your diabetes and coeliac, they should visit your blog. Thank you for taking the time to talk to us. We are happy to see people with your health burden giving insects a try and making it work!