22 Year Old College Student Diagnosed

Hi everyone.  I am a 22 y/o college student going into my senior year this fall.  I was shocked with my sudden diagnoses of Type 1 diabetes this past Wednesday, May 28, 2009.  I have no family history, and am an otherwise healthy and active individual.  So, my diagnosis came as quite a surprise.  I went to the doctor because of my feeling excessively thirsty (and being unable to quench that thirst), and using the bathroom too many times during the middle of the night.

Are there any other folks here who were diagnosed in the midst of college?  I loved going out and having beers with my friends, and eating pizza and burgers on occasion...Is all of this going to change now?

Hi Allen,

I am so glad that you recognized your symptoms, and are now being treated.  I am a Mom of a 2 college students and would recommend  keeping your active lifestyle but just testing and correcting often.  At least 4 times/day but probably more.  I tell my son to take a few seconds to test and correct as often as he checks his cell phone texts.  Ok, not quite that often. 

As long you cover the carbs with insulin you can still have burgers, pizza, etc..  Check out this site for carb numbers on most fast foods if you have a few regular favorites.  http://www.diabetesnet.com/diabetes_food_diet/fast_foods.php

As for the beers, please use moderation!!!  and always eat.  Test before, during and after drinking.  Alcohol can lower your BG at first, then raise it from the carbs.  Creating a bit of a BG roller coaster that can be hard to control.  We have also been told that too much alcohol can busy the liver with detoxifying and not be able to respond with natural glucogon if a low occurs at the same time.  Research this one carefully and educate your friends to not just think you are "tipsy" when you could be low, or leave you alone to sleep it off, or mistake a high BG with ketones for a hangover.  If you have a  few drinks, make sure you have a designated competent buddy around to help you if the lines become blurred between acting funny because of a low/high or alcohol.

Good luck Allen!

~ Therese

Hi Allen:

Therese is right.  You should be able to eat whatever you want, as long as you bolus for it, and correct any errors as quickly as possible.

And as a 41 yr. old T1, who's had T1 since I was 12, I went through the whole college thing.  The 2 times that I woke up in a hospital, were after nights of partying with my friends.  Luckily all my close friends knew what to do, and what symptoms to look for.  So just make sure all your friends (and especially your roommate) are aware of what a episode of low BG looks like (for you), and try to never get so drunk that you can't test your BG and modify it if necessary.  And ALWAYS carry emergency supplies on you.  When I was in school I always made sure I had a pack of fruit flavored life savers in my pocket or backpack.  For some reason the fruit flavored ones affected my BG faster than other flavors.  And they're easy to stash in your bag or pocket.   A juice box or 2 might be handy too, in case your friends need to assist you.  Sometimes, if your BG is really low, you won't be able to chew, and juice will go down much easier.

Good luck!

ps - One thing to keep in mind is that low BGs quite often resemble drunkenness.  At least they do in me.  So always be on the safe side and test often when drinking.

Hi Allen! I was just diagnosed this past december, right in the middle of my sophomore year of college. I have to say for me the whole food thing has not really changed because I always tried to eat healthy before.  but like they said you can still eat pizza and all that you just have to take insulin to cover it. at first they told me not to eat pizza or chinese food because they keep your blood sugars elevated, but as long as you are monitoring your BS to make sure it doesn't go too high you will be alright. I wasn't really a big drinker before being diagnosed, and since then I have only done it once and had a bad experience so now I'm kind of scared to do it again. however I have two good friends that have had diabetes much longer than me and they both drink every weekeend, so you can still do it you just have to watch your BS and keep snacks with you. so really life, for me at least, has not really changed at all...I just have some extra things to add to my daily routine, but it doesn't get in the way. good luck getting used to everything, and if you have any questions feel free to message me!


Hi Allen,

With the tools we have today for managing diabetes you will be able to a productive, happy and healthy life.  I am 56 years old and was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes 39 years ago during my last year of high school.  I completed college and graduate school, and have just retired from a thirty-year career in the music industry.  I messed up more than a few times with pizza and alcohol but never passed out or ended up in the hospital.  Too much fattening foods and alcohol is no good for anyone... diabetic or not.  Sometimes I think becoming a diabetic was a "blessing in disguise" (at least in my case) because it acted as a restriction to consuming too much food, alcohol, etc.

My advise to you is to learn as much as you can about diabetes and management.  Find a good endocrinologist who you can talk to and trust.  Definitely explore the possibility of an insulin pump, give it a chance and decide whether it's right for you.  Bond with other Type 1 diabetics through Juvenation.org as well those inspiring celebrities, like Elliott Yamin, who haven't let diabetes stand in the way of their dreams.

You'll be fine, Allen, and everyday we're getting closer to a cure.  I bet one will come during your lifetime.



I was just diagnosed on February 21st right in the middle of my second year old college. I have a long family history of diabetes so it did not really come as a shock to me. 

I haven't really changed anything that I've eaten. Just measuring out portion sizes and carb counting. I thought it would be harder than it is. Drinking will be a little harder, but as long as your watching your blood sugar and how much you are drinking, you'll be fine. 

If you need any help, we're all here for you!


Hey Allen,

I was also diagnosed in college (freshman year). It was definitely a shock and the only reason I even thought it was diabetes was because of my sister being a Type 1 as well and having it since she was 5...(she's 21 now). But yes, some of that will change. When I was first diagnosed, I thought that I wasn't going to be able to eat or do the things I used to enjoy well...eating and doing, but I've found that living with Diabetes hasnt' hindered any of that as I am still slightly buzzed from an evening out as I write this.

It might be a bit of an adjustment, but you'll pull through it, and given the right amount of time, will know enough about how your body reacts to it to be able to enjoy pizza, burgers, beer, and whatever other good things there are out there.

Send me a message or friend request on here if you want any other questions answered or just want to talk about the diagnosis. Either way, good luck and a bunch of people are on here and willing to help!


I was diagnosed at age 19 in my second year of college.  I also have no family history and at the time I knew nothing about diabetes so I didn't recognize my symptoms.  I just kept getting sicker & sicker.  I was diagnosed at the end of April (1987!) and missed the last couple of weeks of classes and all of my final exams.  It wasn't fun making them all up!


As for beer/food, you will have to be careful but you should still be able to eat and drink.  I recommend testing your BG a lot, and never drink without also eating something.

Hi, I was diagnosed when I was 15 in high school. I know how you feel.

No its not all going to change. I still eat pizza and hamburgers all the time. You just have to know the correct amount of insulin to take. And as far as alcohol goes be careful. It is okay to have one or two with dinner but if you plan on drinking heavily be careful because alcohol will increase your sugars at first and then significantly drop them at night.

Hey Allen, I was just diagnosed in March during my freshman year of college with basically the same situation...no family history, and at the time knew nothing about type 1 diabetes.  I knew i just wasnt feeling right and long story short it turned out to be diabetes.  Nothing really has to change, its just now you have to be more concious of your body, and pay more attention as to how you feel.  Taking the insulin allows you to still eat hamburgers and pizza, and as for the beer, just be extra careful and make sure people around you know about your diabetes.  Good Luck!

Wow. I'm not in college yet, I'll be a hs senior this fall, but I can give you a couple tips.

One is that you should get the CalorieKing carb, fat, and calorie counting book. It's a pocket-size lifesaver for going out to eat, it has carbs listed for a ton of restaurants as well as for general foods. Get it!! http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Calorie-King-Calorie-Fat-Carbohydrate-Counter-2008/Allan-Borushek/e/9781930448162/?itm=2

Another item you should buy is some sort of bag if you don't have one already in which you can put all your D supplies when going out. Nike drawstring bags are great for this. But if you already carry a backpack then you probably can just put your supplies in that.

Also pizza is tricky for a lot of people. It's a lot of trial and error so expect some swings when you eat it, just keep trying till you find out what works for you.

As others have mentioned alcohol brings your bg down a lot. So be reallllly careful with that.

Hang in there, and good luck adjusting! Great that you already are getting on top of it. If you have questions don't hesitate to ask.

I was also diagnosed in University.... Last year in February, right before my 20th birthday.  It gets easier once you figure everything out, the first month or so is definitely the toughest!

Hi Allen!  I'm Alix and I'm 21...I just graduated college this May.  I cannot imagine what you must've experienced being diagnosed with diabetes right before going into Senior year.  I've lived it though, and honestly - once you get the hang of it, nothing really has to change.  I did everything (and I mean everyyything) that your typical college kid does, and I survived just fine!  Even though I wasn't diagnosed during college (I was diagnosed at 7), I can still definitely understand the struggle of trying to balance school, friends, social stuff, etc. with diabetes.  Please let me know if you have any questions or just want to talk - I'm more than happy to!

Hi Allen - Similar to everyone else - you can pretty much eat whatever you want.  I found out about my diabetes when I was 9, however, things started to really change when I was in college.  Over time you'll need adjustments and whatnot.  My time was in college.  This is what I'd suggest for you.  Take a month or two (easier being summer) and really dial in your insulin ratios - watch what you eat, get to know how your body reacts to different foods and keep exercising.  By the time you get back to school,  you will already have a handle on what you need to do.  There will be ups and downs but it will be easier to roll with them once you get your levels in check.  Good luck.


I know exactly how you feel.  I was also first diagnosed in college.  I had just turned 21 and I started to have the same symptoms like the increased thirst and having to pee all the time!  I was also really tired too, but I thought it was just stress from finals.  A few days later, I started to get really sick and then my mom took me to the hospital since I wasn't getting any better and all I remember them saying was that my blood sugar was over 500 and had been for some time.  I had to stay in the hospital for 3 days getting better since my body had started to go into ketoacidosis. 

I am now almost 27 years old and since graduated from college.  I have a beautiful husband and an 8 month old daughter.  I still have some rough days here and there since I had a hard time coming to terms with the diagnosis, but if you stick with it and just take it day by day you will get there.   It just takes time.  Learn all you can about counting carbs, I know it seems like a hassle, but soon you will have it down in no time!!  Good luck with everything. 




I am 21 now and was diagnosed when i was 18 when I was a freshmen at college.  I thought I would have to completly change what i ate because people around me who had no idea what T1 diabetes was told me that my life would be completly different. But honestly after talking to my diabetic educator i still pretty much eat the same things.

All of my A1c's have been under 7 and I go out to bars, have pizza and Chinese food. The main thing that has made it possible for me to eat all of this is I really pay attention to how many carbs i am eating and i don't just guess, which is really easy to do. If I go out I go to the restaurants web site and look up exact carbs which can suck sometimes but its really not that bad.

And whenever i go to a bar i always make sure i am with someone who knows i have T1, and they know what to do if I am high or low.