Student Advice Column: Dating & Diabetes

Contributor
CDN Student Advice Columnists Brandon and Abbey

"So, I met this guy in my economics class. He is cute and has dusty blonde hair. One time he asked me to study with him for our midterm exam and I think we had a lot of chemistry! I am picking up signs that he is into me and I am into him. The only thing is, he told me he has diabetes and I don't know what that means. So I googled diabetes and found CDN and I want to know... what does that mean for me?

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Brandon:

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There is a long, confusing, scientific definition of what diabetes is, but essentially for a normal person without diabetes their pancreas delivers a hormone called insulin that allows sugar in the bloodstream to be transported into individual cells to be used as energy. When a person has diabetes their pancreas no longer delivers insulin, so the sugar remains in the bloodstream and their body must consume other things such as fat for energy. Diabetics must use manual injections (shots), or insulin pumps to get insulin into subcutaneous tissue for proper usage. The biggest thing for you when you are with this guy is watching out for symptoms of high blood sugars (hyperglycemia), and low blood sugars (hypoglycemia). Every individual with diabetes can have different symptoms that indicate high and low blood sugars, and for the most part can recognize and treat them on their own, but it is always good to have other people around that are aware of your case, and I think it is best that you know it is okay to ask someone questions about stuff like that. My guess is, if he was willing to make it known to you that he has diabetes, then he probably takes good care of himself, and he would be willing to answer any specific questions you have for him.

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Abbey:

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Thankfully, Google pointed you to the right place!! The good news is diabetes won’t affect his cute dusty blonde hair, or the fact that you both seem to be interested in each other! Brandon did a great job of explaining type one diabetes. However, I think you should also start to ask questions. As someone with type one, I appreciate when people ask questions and seem interested. If you and this boy start to become more than friends, you will want him to be open and feel comfortable sharing what he sees fit!! Diabetes will become a part of your relationship with him, but it won’t be the main focus. The more you become interested and comfortable, see what he is willing to share. Learning about his diabetes can be fun and also another layer to the relationship. You can take the basic information, but learn what diabetes means in his life, because it is different for all of us!

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Editor's note: for more information on diabetes & dating, check out our YouTube playlist on this topic!