College...Stress...Highs... How do you deal with diabetic worrying?

So, I am about 3 weeks into my second year of college and even though I was diagnosed over spring break last school year I feel like this year has brought on new and numerous diabetic concerns.

First, I don’t know what it is, but over the summer and into the very start of this school year my BG’s were good and in range (for the most part). Now I am always going high, (above 300) and I haven’t changed my eating habits, or my insulin or anything! I count my carbs, but when dinnertime rolls around I’m always really high, and no matter how much insulin I give myself to bring it down, ill be high until bedtime.

Also, I feel like I am always worrying about my diabetes. Last year, it was in the back of my mind, but it was all very new and confusing, and being a diabetic didn’t really matter to me until it came time to eat meals. However this year, I’m scared of going low often, and can feel myself going high a lot and it makes me frustrated. I don’t know how to tell my friends about what I’m going through, because most people just don’t get it. I live in the dorms, and I am having a really hard time readjusting to college life. Many of my friends here party often (my school is kind of a “party school”), and I no longer want to continue to be the partier I was before diabetes (I don’t want to go real low and or have health problems). I guess all that on top of not having a major yet, wanting to transfer to another school and feeling really alone has really gotten to me. I thought that the diagnoses was rough, but now that it has really started to set in that I am going to have diabetes for life, and am going to have to deal with highs from stress, and stress from highs, and lows, and constant blood glucose checking, and injections…

I don’t want to go back to when I was first diagnosed, and I know I can’t go back to a time before I had diabetes, I just want to feel comfortable and secure with my diabetes, which means not having to worry or stress too much about it. How do other people deal with the stress and worrying that goes along with being a diabetic? 


What was your activity like last year and over the summer compared to now? Plus seeing as how you are still under the newly diagnosed window did your endo ever talk to you about honeymooning? There is a chance that you could just be getting to the end of the honeymoon, which means you would have to adjust your insulin doses. This might be something to either talk to your endo. about at the next appointment if it is soon or if it is not soon call and voice your concerns. Just have the logs to show him or some numbers.

When I went off to college I worred about my diabetes all the time, more fears of going low than high. However, that will pass as you get used to things at school and become more comfortable. I would suggest if nothing else reminding a few friends and your roommate at least about you being a diabetic. If you do party and drink and pass out due to a low blood sugar and your friends just think you keeled over due to excess alcohol it could be bad. It is always better to be prepared.

As for stress it will go away as you become more comfortable. I am sure once you balance out your high's and such you will feel less stressed and better able to cope. It is the small things that annoy us, that start to slowly erode our confidece. Once you get past the high issue, you will be in a better state to proceed with all the other stresses you may be feeling.

(i went through a learning process with drinking and drug use as a teenage/young adult, and now i'm at a comfortable stage where i can drink to get drunk or just have a few drinks, without worrying too much about my numbers. It'll get to that point sooner or later. Doesn't mean you have to go back to the party animal you were before, but you don't have to give up that stuff completely. now you just have to learn to be more aware of your body and your health than before. now you have to be smart about it, instead of just going out and getting drunk without a second thought.)

i've always been pretty good with change, but i know for a lot of people it's a trigger for stress. that stress will make your levels go high, and stressing more about it isn't going to help. when you start to feel yourself getting stressed, you need to go sit somewhere and relax. maybe look up some simple mediating you can do between classes to relax from the stress of your new workload on TOP of your new daily routine of medication.

it gets easier over time as you get used to what you can and can't do, and what you can trust yourself to do in certain situations. It's only been a year, so it's still new and you aren't expected to suddenly be able to handle all of this. you're going to have to accept that sometimes you're going to get frustrated and sometimes you're going to get stressed out..and you just have to find something that helps YOU unwind from that and calm down. personally, i just curse and keep going. some people go see someone to talk about it, other people isolate themselves and listen to music. whatever helps you unwind is the only thing that's gonna help you get through this. we all have a way we can escape it for a little while...but we all stress and worry about it at some point or another. you wouldn't be taking good care of yourself if you didn't.

Hello Matt, I am Milán, diabetic of 46 years. I take 3 types of insulin twice a day and one to two types  on the last shot of the day.  I also take one type (Humalog) several other times a day if I need to, only.  Stress can raise your blood sugar without any reason to you. Being unhappy or stressed out can make you have high BG for no apparent reason. So, I always go rollerblading when this occurs. Exercise is the BEST WAY TO RELEASE STRESS & LOWER YOUR BLOOD SUGAR. I rollerblade but any heavy cardo will do as long as it gets your blood pumping and your sweat pouring.

Swimming, running, fast walking,  skipping, jumping, Jump rope,  digging, chopping wood, sweeping, moving heavy things, anything to work you out.

As for diet, I have learned that using High Fiber, Complex carbs with a low glycemic index number are the best and only carbs to use. along with Low fat, lean meats such as Chicken, turkey breast, Fish. NO BEEF. Lots and lots of Vegetables, especially SPINACH, Brocoli, Brussel Sprouts, Purple cabage, Cauliflour, Cooked Tomatoes, Onions, & peppers like Bells and Hot peppers.  Fruits and very low fat or fat free Dairy and Canola or olive oils for cooking. Using very little oil at all times.

Look for Whole Grains in their loose form at health food stores that have bens that you shoulvel out the grains from a ben or a box. Grains like Oat Graots, Rye Graots, Wheat Groats, Buckwheat, Quinao, Millet, Real Brown Rice, made by Lundberg farms, not that fake brown rice they sell at major stores. REal Brown rice looks like very dark seeds. And it will grow if you plant them. Look up Lundberg on google. Use ' I can't believe it taste like butter SPRAY'  and put it in your fat free dairy products to give them a butter fat flavor which makes fat-free dairy taste like normal fat dairy. It also works on all your foods that need butter flavor but not the calories. YOu may be getting too many clories from things you put on your foods, or you may be eating more than you imagine. It is important to measure all you eat, down to the very last detail. No joke, it is important as the little things add up to raise your blood sugar. MEASURE, MEASURE MEASURE. Use fruit juice to raise your BG if it goes low. Buy 100% fruit juice that contains NO ADDED SUGAR.   If your not using Humalog, ask your doctor if you can. It is very quick acting most of the time. I know we are not supposed to do this, but when I am high, and I take my Humalog, I only take 1 - 2 units and I put it directly into my blood stream in my arm.  This speeds up the reduction of sugar much more rapidly. But, I never take more than 2 units in this manner as it is very DANGERIOUS so be WARNED.  If you try this test it with only one unit each time until you learn how your body feels and reacts  to it. It can knock you on your butt in no time flat. Always carry Fruit juice.

Hope this gives you some ideas to try. Let me know, thanks  Milán

Hi Matt,

I am sorry to hear about the trouble you have been having. I think it is great  that you can recognize that you are stressing more this year, and I agree with the other posters who have said that this too will cause your sugar to rise. It also sounds like you have some stress issues with non D stuff, transferring, majors etc. which doesn't help with getting the control you want. Taking care of all your school issues (the transfer, major, living situation) may take some time but when these things are more stable/ comfortable for you your sugars will probably come down. In the immediate future though try talking to your doc about maybe changing your evening or meal doses.

I know it can feel like you are alone. I felt the same way in college. I went to a large school and never met another T1. Even though these feelings can come on strong and feel very convincing, you are not alone. You can always find some one here at Juvenation who has been through something similar, and if you feel you need to talk to a counselor/ therapist many college campus offer these services for free or low cost.

I hope that things get better for you soon. Take care.


Your story seems similar to mine. I'm in my 3rd year of college and was diagnosed in February of last year.

I have also noticed some spikes in my blood sugar. Stress is my number one cause. Not only does school make me anxious but my boyfriend and I have a tough time seeing each other around our school stuff and so that makes my anxiety worse.

I lived in the dorms last year and felt completely alone even though my boyfriend and family were only about 20-30 minutes away. I just felt that there was no one there for me and that nobody understood what I was going through. One thing that may not be an option for you, if your house is too far away from your school, but worked for me was to see my family more often. I went home every weekend last semester which made me feel a little better about my diabetes. But, now that I am commuting I feel 100% better about my diabetes because I get to be around my father who understands what I'm going through.

I'm guessing that you are on injections? Which was a really hard thing for me too. Over the summer I got my pump which has been amazing because I always got nervous about doing injections on campus.

Maybe if you can try and find anyone else on campus that is diabetic as well. I'm sure there has to be at least one! Having a friend or family member around that goes through it is the biggest help you could ever get!

Good luck! I hope this helped.

Matt, I'm sorry to hear about your stressful time. College schedules are so irregular, including when and what you'll eat at each meal, that I'm sure that's a stress on your sugars. I remember eating breakfast at 9 am some mornings in college, and at 1 pm on others, (:  It sounds like things are hitting you that this D-thing is forever (although we're all waiting for a cure!!). Hopefully you can take it day by day with your sugars, as well as with plans to transfer, etc.  Maybe small, manageable goals each day or week will help? Good luck and hang in there!

Thank you all for the helpful advice.

My sugars have been better, and I feel like I have been counting carbs more strictly and accurately, and overall things have been better.

so, its all good :)

And the weekend has just begun for me, so yay for no school... till Monday.



Matt I would be willing to bet what your experiencing (in terms of poor control) is due to the 'honeymoon phase' ending (your pancreases remaining insulin producing cells are probably worn out). It will take some time to get control back but you can do it, you just have to try and be consistent as possible (.e.g eating same carbs & protein at each meal) and take good notes on your blood sugars so you can show your endo. Also, in my experience stress very infrequently causes highs. It's easy to attribute highs to stress when you can't think of another reason why you would be high. I would suggest reading 'Pumping Insulin' by John Walsh, it will tell you a lot of good information. 


I didn't have a good experience my first 5 years in college (had 7 total). I didn't take care of my diabetes and chose to treat it by attempting to drink away my problems. Therefore, I won't attempt to give you any advice or tell you how to treat it or what might be best for you during your college years. I obviously am no good in that department.

I will just tell you to remember that diabetes treatment is an imperfect science, so don't feel like your blood sugars and CHO counting need to be on track 100% of the time. I work at a diabetes clinic and we tell our patients if your blood sugars are in range 50% of the time you are doing the same as the average diabetic. Try not to get too worked up about unexplained highs and lows--stuff happens and you can't always control them.

Good luck! I miss college already, and I've only been out a few months! Enjoy it while you can :o)

[quote user="C"]

I will just tell you to remember that diabetes treatment is an imperfect science, so don't feel like your blood sugars and CHO counting need to be on track 100% of the time. I work at a diabetes clinic and we tell our patients if your blood sugars are in range 50% of the time you are doing the same as the average diabetic. Try not to get too worked up about unexplained highs and lows--stuff happens and you can't always control them.


Love this advice C! Will you fax it to my endo? lol.

You are not alone. I just started a new job a few months ago which greatly increased my stress level and my blood sugar. I dunno what you are using in terms of insulin, but maybe you need to increase your basal insulin to deal with the increase in blood sugar the stress of college is cause and then if you need to go back down on it later you can. Then if your sugars are in a little better range maybe you will feel better. Also in terms of going out with friends, you shouldnt cut that off entirely. You need something to do for fun and stress release. You just have to know your limits. When I was in college I went out almost every weekend, you just have to make sure an test ur blood sugar and learn how doing different things effect you. I'm not encouraging you to go crazy, but as long as you are able to test and keep control of urself it is important to continue ur life the way it was before diagnosis, you just have to add in testing and taking insulin. Also, its important to find someone you can talk to about whats bothering you. I hope that is helpful. Feel free to send me a message anytime if you wanna chat :)

if your endo doesn't realize that sarah, they're being too hard on you. let them know that :o)