News and Updates
May 02, 2016
We Are Diabetes National Provider Network: Karen Tenreiro Psy.D serving New York, NY!
For the past 17 years, Dr. Karen Tenreiro has worked with individuals who come to her feeling stuck and scared, or angry and misunderstood, as well as with other professionals interested in the mind-body connection. In 2000, she started her dissertation focusing on a personal interest of hers: eating disorders and type 1 diabetics. The following year, she interned at an inpatient eating disorder unit in a Philadelphia hospital. Since then, she’s immersed herself in this specialty.
Since 2002, she has had experience working with diabetics who struggle with all types of eating disorders. Because food digestion is at the heart of this medical diagnosis, body and food issues can easily arise. Karen’s unique understanding of the treatment and physical experiences of diabetes help her communicate with doctors and diabetes educators, as well as nutritionists.
Recently, she has taken an interest in talking to parents and educators about eating disorder prevention. Rather than focusing on food and weight, Karen feels that prevention starts with understanding children's development and the formation of their core sense of self. Eating disorders are simply a way that people attempt to cope with uncomfortable feelings when they know of no other way to do so. She is currently designing an informative and dynamic talk, centered around what parents and educators can do to assist their children and students.
Karen works on a sliding scale and is an out-of-network provider.
March 30, 2016
The following article was written by ConnecT1D Board Member Cassidy Kintner MS, LMFTA, MDFT. Cassidy shares her personal experience and excitement about the upcoming ConnecT1D Retreat this summer!
"I was going to a dinner party the other night and I was not looking forward to it. There was traffic on the way over which is by no means my favorite, but that aside, I had been looking forward to this particular evening all week. The people my partner and I were meeting up with were his childhood friends, and I enjoyed spending time with them. This sudden attitude shift can be an indicator that my diabetes (or T1D) is doing something funky, so when we arrived at their home, I checked my blood sugar. It was 476. (For those of you who are not familiar with T1D, a common target range for blood sugar is between 80-180). After a quick bolus (which is a way to administer insulin to cover blood sugar and/or food intake), my very supportive and patient partner asked if he could do anything to help. I shook my head. I needed a few minutes to collect myself, and I told him to go ahead inside.
I sat there, tears in my eyes, and felt the frustration and grief wash over me. The fact that I was going to have to go into a party and eat dinner wasn't helping. For many people with diabetes, we struggle with the necessity to vigilantly monitor what we eat and consume or not consume regardless of whether or not we are hungry. This internal struggle can breed an obsessive and critical relationship with food. There is this feeling of separation due to a distrust of our own bodies. In that moment, I was hungry but wanted to wait until my blood sugar came down, which seemed totally unfair.
So I asked myself what I really needed. The answer was simple but its effect was profound—I needed understanding. It’s easy for me to isolate in those moments when my diabetes messes with my mood, and as loving as my partner is, Ididn’t feel like explaining what I was going through. I got out my phone and pulled up a group text I’d started with two of my dearest friends who also happen to have diabetes. I said what I was feeling (an intense, seemingly irrational and almost crippling sense of irritation), how much I hated having diabetes in that moment, and do you know what? They got right in there with me. No one was trying to pull me out of my frustration—they simply sat it in with me, and it felt amazing. They responded with the perfect mix of commiseration, compassion, humor and unity, as only a fellow T1D can do. Five minutes later I got out of the car and went inside feeling more peaceful, less alone, and dare I say it, ready for a good time. My blood sugar was still high, but I felt grounded in the connection I had made with people who truly understood my struggle and said “we’re in this together”. Chronic illness can be incredibly difficult—both physically and emotionally, and sometimes we need someone to help us remember and strengthen who we are apart from our disease.
And even though I have my diabesties to turn to at times like this, I can always use a few more friends with T1D to lean on and be leaned on. That is why I am looking forward to ConnecT1D Retreat for adults and teens with T1D in Seattle June 25-26. ConnecT1D Retreat is open to our spouses/partners too with special gathering time just for them. Parents of teen/young adults with T1D and high school nurses have Saturday evening sessions.
Each time I attend an event like ConnecT1D Retreat where I am surrounded by people with T1D who understand me, I feel empowered to tackle whatever life and T1D has in store for me. And, best yet, I know I'll leave the retreat with 1 or 2 new diabuddies who will have my back long after the retreat is over."
ConnecT1D Retreat is a 1-2 day program for adults and teens with type 1 diabetes. It takes place in downtown Seattle on Saturday June 25 with an overnight option and day 2 for adults near Bainbridge Island on Sunday, June 26. ConnecT1D Retreat is not a fitness retreat, or a nutrition or insulin technology retreat. The purpose is to introduce attendees to a community that understands their unique challenges; it's about inspiring others and being inspired by people with T1D. For more information or to register, please visit connect1d.org.
March 29, 2016
Bolus and Barbells!
There’s an amazing new event for T1Ds in the works! Bolus and Barbells is about bringing together like minded individuals that share a common love of strength sports while dealing with diabetes. The first Bolus and Barbells event will take place on June 11th, 2016, in Leander, Texas. This new event series was started by Rodney Miller, a type 1 diabetic for over 28 years. Rodney is currently an admin for the Type 1 Diabetic Athletes Facebook group and competes in powerlifting and strongman competitions. Recently Rodney has started using strongman demonstrations as a way to portray type 1 diabetics in a positive light. We're big fans of this T1D Superman! Since beginning his journey to bring awareness to type 1 diabetes Rodney has been featured on KMID Channel 2 news deadlifting a car to raise money and awareness, and has spoken at HealthSouth Regional Hospital. He was part of the film Type 1 Day 1, has been featured on Beyond Type 1, and provided an educational booth at several local ADA events including a strongman demonstration at the 2015 ADA Step Out Walk in Midland, Texas. Rodney has been a guest on the Diabetes Power Show, and provides coaching and nutrition programs for non diabetics and diabetics alike.
For more information on Bolus and Barbells visit www.bolusandbarbells.com
March 20, 2016
We Have A New Addition To Our Treatment Affiliate Program!
We Are Diabetes is thrilled to announce that we have partnered with Center for Change as our newest Treatment Affiliate!
Center for Change is committed to helping type one diabetic women and adolescent girls break free and fully recover from their eating disorders. This wonderful facility is fully capable in the treatment of ED-DMT1 and have years of experience with the type one diabetic population.
Center for Change believes that each patient deserves an opportunity to have a “fresh start” with the treatment of their diabetes. Safety, acceptance of their diabetes diagnosis, and independence are core principles that are addressed and monitored throughout their treatment stay. The care team for a T1D patient includes regular visits with an Endocrinologist, CDE, Psychiatrist, and Dietitian. All of the Center for Change staff is educated, trained and qualified to aid in the complete care and treatment of each individual patient who is suffering with the dual diagnosis of type one diabetes and an eating disorder.
February 27, 2016
I Choose Recovery Because....
Founder and Executive Director Asha Brown shares her thoughts about recovery for National Eating Disorder Awareness Week:
I choose recovery because my husband trusts me again.
I choose recovery because when I talk with a friend I can actually pay attention now to what they’re sharing with me, versus pretend that I’m listening while I mentally calculate carbs, calories and how much time I need to spend working out to “make up” for whatever I ate that day.
I choose recovery because If I can't find a way to love myself the way that I am and accept the body I was born in, then how can I ever expect others to love and accept me?
I choose recovery because I want to continue to experience authentic emotions and feelings outside of the emotions and feelings that surrounded my disordered relationship with food and my diabetes.
I choose recovery because my eating disorder never delivered what it promised. Instead of the promised “perfect life” and “perfect weight” that I spent a decade pursuing, I was broken, listless, unreliable and didn't really care if I lived or died.
I choose recovery because I know that bad days are unavoidable; whether I let go of the eating disorder or not. Life happens. There will be situations and sad things that I can't foresee or prevent because that’s part of life. Having a debilitating addiction to deal with on top of life’s inevitable curve-balls just makes these situations even more difficult to handle.
I choose recovery because I truly believe that I have a greater meaning on this planet beyond gaining and losing the same 20 pounds.
If you are currently struggling with your diabetes and an eating disorder please reach out to us for support. It’s time to start living that life you always imagined living.
February 22, 2016
National Eating Disorder Awareness Week!
This week is National Eating Disorder Awareness week and we're proud to partner again with NEDA during this important week! We encourage everyone to help us spread awareness by visiting the NEDAwareness website and checking out all the amazing resources they're created just for you!
We Are Diabetes offers one-on-one mentorship, friendship and support to any T1D who is struggling with an eating disorder, diabetes burnout, depression or anxiety related to managing their diabetes. If you are interested in receiving support from our team, please take a moment to fill out the Client Self- Assessment form found here. If you are a concerned parent, spouse, friend or family member interested in learning more about how our support services could help your loved one, please fill out our Client Assessment form for Parents, Spouses, Family and Friends.
January 18, 2016
We Can All Be Diabetes Dominators!
What is a “Diabetes Dominator?” If you ask BSN, CPT and PWD (Person With Diabetes) Daniele Hargenrader she’ll give you the best answer ever: “Diabetes Dominator is a state of mind: Instead of diabetes being perceived as a weakness or a curse, diabetes can actually be a great source of strength if we choose to let it.”
Daniele Hargenrader, AKA the Diabetes Dominator, is a nutritionist, diabetes and health coach, and certified personal trainer. She has been living with type 1 diabetes for almost 25 years. Daniele founded Diabetes Dominator in 2009 with the intention of serving those who are looking for a path to turn a perceived adversity into an advantage through the Diabetes Dominator system and the Six Pillars of Total Health. Daniele’s new best selling book outlines a system on how to do exactly that through our personal powers of choice, self-love, and community. “Diabetes can be a catalyst for improving our lives, paying closer attention to what matters most in life, and for being of service to others. I didn’t always feel this way, and that’s why I wrote this book.” We highly recommend this book for any and every person living with T1D, and if you're a PWD who needs a little extra support or a "diabetes tune up" contact Daniele today!
January 05, 2016
We Are Diabetes Treatment Affiliate Program 2016
We’ve been waiting for months to share our Treatment Affiliate Sponsors for 2016! Check out our new page where our Sponsors are proudly promoted and take a moment to read about what makes these amazing facilities three of our top choices for ED-DMT1 treatment!
January 01, 2016
A Special Thank You!
We wanted to take a moment to share our immense gratitude to friend and fellow Diabetes Advocate Mike Durbin for his incredibly kind gift of talent and time to create this beautiful work of art for our newly updated resources page. Mike shares his unique experiences in living with Type 2 diabetes and congestive heart failure at mydiabeticheart.com. We encourage everyone to check it out!
December 01, 2015
Supporting Someone You Love Who is Struggling with ED-DMT1
Thoughts from We Are Diabetes Executive Director Asha Brown:
Having an all consuming addiction like an eating disorder means that you don't have to worry about all of the hundreds of things one must think about on a daily basis when living with T1D; your focus is solely on your eating disorder. This provides a false sense of comfort and security to a person who normally has to adjust, adapt, change and re-evaluate on a constant basis every single day. When a person with T1D who is actively struggling with an eating disorder is finally at the point where they can see the physical and emotional destruction that their eating disorder has created, and know that they need help, many stay silent due to the fear of how their families and healthcare team might respond.
The guilt and shame that these individuals feel is overwhelming. It was that very shame, and fear of my family's reactions that kept me silent for ten years. I knew what I was doing was dangerous, but I did it anyway. I could imagine my endo yelling at me and listing off all the complications I had given myself and admonishing me for being vain. I felt like the worst person in the world and I didn't want to hear other people confirming that.
Providers and families need the education and the resources to properly channel their concerns (and we can help to provide those resources). They should not be directing those strong emotions towards the person who is struggling. The individuals who silently struggle with ED-DMT1 needs to know that when they are ready to share the truth about what they have been battling, they will be met with kindness, compassion and empathy.
If an individual with ED-DMT1 is asking for help they already realize that the thing that they have been relying on for a sense of control and order is ruining their life. They KNOW the consequences of their actions and they don't need to hear it again. What they need is for their loved ones and their providers to listen; without judgement, and without a horrified look on their face.
We Are Diabetes offers a number of resources for our clients who need help finding support from their families and friends. We have a section dedicated to providing clear information as to how to communicate with a person who is struggling with ED-DMT1. We offer scripts to our clients who are finding it difficult to communicate with their families, friends and healthcare team. We also spend a lot of time working one on one, not only with the individual who is struggling, but also with their families. An eating disorder affects the entire family and we’ve observed that when the entire family educates themselves on how to support their loved one who is struggling, the potential for a strong recovery is much higher.