Living with diabetes blog

To tell or not to tell: Diabetes and dating

By Nancy Klobassa Davidson, R.N. and Peggy Moreland, R.N. October 10, 2009

Going out for a first date and wondering if you should tell him or her if you have diabetes? The American Diabetes Association offers some things to consider when trying to decide whether or not to tell:

  • Dining: It might be easier to stick with your meal plan if your date knows about your diabetes.
  • Hypoglycemia: What happens if you get low while on a date?
  • Testing your blood glucose and giving self injections: Consider that you may need to test your blood sugar or give yourself an injection while you are out.
  • Activity: If your date involves physical activity, such as sports, swimming, rollerblading, that would require more frequent blood glucose testing and a greater chance of getting a low.

When you decide to let your date know that you have diabetes, the explanation can be short and sweet. With a little planning ahead of time, you can concentrate on having fun!

Here are a few tips to boost your confidence:

  • Plan ahead — Don't go too long without a meal or snack. Test your blood sugar prior to going out. Carry emergency snacks or blood glucose tablets in your purse or pocket.
  • Injection — If you need to give yourself an injection prior to eating, an insulin pen is discreet and easy to use.
  • Oral care — Blood glucose levels of 250 mg/dl or higher (13.9 mmol/L) are often accompanied by a fruity breath odor. Normalize blood glucose levels and have good oral hygiene. Brush and floss your teeth regularly and see your dentist twice a year.
  • Limit alcohol — Alcohol can rapidly decrease your blood sugar level, putting you at great risk for hypoglycemia especially if you are on insulin. Test your blood glucose to help you decide if you should drink. If you do choose to have alcohol, limit the amount and have it with food. Drink only when your blood glucose is under control. Check with your healthcare provider to see if it is OK to combine alcohol with your diabetes medications. Alcohol, physical activity, and insulin all lower your blood sugar. The combination can be hazardous to your health.
  • Medical I.D. — Always a good idea.

So, to tell or not to tell? Please share your experiences, good or bad.

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Oct. 10, 2009