February 22, 2023

Managing Diabetes While in College

 Are you wondering how to manage diabetes as a new college student? If so, keep reading for valuable diabetes/college advice. You’ll find US MED’s complete guide to living with diabetes in college right here. 


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Starting college can be a significant life change for anyone – including college students with diabetes. Of course, living with this condition can introduce additional challenges to college life. Because of that, it’s crucial to ensure you have reliable diabetes management strategies before moving into your new dorm or apartment. 

 Are you wondering how to manage diabetes as a new college student? If so, keep reading for valuable diabetes/college advice. You’ll find US MED’s complete guide to living with diabetes in college right here. 

How do college students manage diabetes? 

On the most basic level, college students manage diabetes like anyone else. They still need to check their blood sugar levels, take prescribed medications, get regular physical activity, and follow a diabetes-friendly diet. 

Still, college life comes with some unique difficulties (and opportunities) for people managing diabetes. In this article, we’ll look closely at some of these factors and how college students can handle them. 

Preparing before college 

Creating a plan 

When it comes to tackling any challenge (including attending college with diabetes), planning ahead is essential. In the months ahead of your first college semester, you should: 

  • Talk to your healthcare team about creating or changing your diabetes management plan, as well as getting a doctor’s note. 
  • Study the Americans with Disabilities Act to familiarize yourself with your rights. 
  • Register with your school’s disabilities or auxiliary services office. 
  • Learn about the peer support options available for people with diabetes on campus. 
  • Get a wallet card or medical alert jewelry if you don’t already have them. 
  • Set up your medical ID on your phone’s health app. 

Preparing supplies & tools  

While taking the steps above, you should also find a reliable diabetes supply company to help you maintain a stockpile of the diabetes supplies you need. Depending on your situation, these supplies might include: 

Taking care of yourself while at college 

How to tell new friends  

Opening up to new people can be nerve-wracking, but it’s an essential part of living your best life at college. When you have diabetes, it’s imperative to let your roommates, friends, and teachers know about this condition.  

By telling people you trust about your diabetes diagnosis, they’ll understand how crucial it is for you to get help if you find yourself dealing with blood sugar problems. On top of that, being open about diabetes can help other people with this disease feel more welcome at college. 

Being cautious on campus  

The first few months at a new college can be an exciting time. However, that doesn’t mean you can let diabetes management fall by the wayside. Make a point of sticking to your meal plandiabetes diet, getting sufficient physical activity, and sticking to a relatively normal sleep schedule. 

These everyday tasks can be easy to forget in a new environment. Still, making diabetes control a priority will help make every other aspect of your life more manageable. 

Drinking  

It’s no secret that for many students, the college experience includes parties – and alcohol. That said, diabetes can throw a wrench into drinking at any age. The reason: alcohol consumption can cause low blood sugar in people with diabetes. alcoholic beverages (including wine, beer, and liquor) come with carbohydrates. 

Making matters worse, adjusting insulin doses to deal with the effects of alcohol can be challenging. That’s because your blood sugar will start going back down as soon as your liver processes the carbohydrates in your drink of choice. If you choose to drink on campus, do so in moderation and be aware of your blood glucose trends, depending on your drink of choice.

T1D1 diabetes app developed by a teenager

Things to look out for 

Do universities have accommodations for students with diabetes? 

Yes! According to the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act, college campuses must provide reasonable type 1 diabetes college accommodations for students dealing with this disease. Along with that, it’s wise to familiarize yourself with: 

Support systems on campus  

While the exact support systems available at college vary from one school to the next, you can reasonably expect your campus to have some health service. Furthermore, you may be able to take advantage of student counseling to help deal with mental health conditions like depression and diabetes distress. 

College Diabetes Network  

Your college may offer a chapter of the College Diabetes Network, a nationwide non-profit organization built to help college students with diabetes thrive. Even if it doesn’t, you might be able to find another peer support group on campus. 

How US MED can offer support 

Whether you’ve been managing diabetes for years now or you’ve just been diagnosed with this disease, taking care of this condition can be much more challenging when you throw the stresses of college into the mix. But by following the advice listed in this article, you’ll be well on your way to leading a successful college life while knowing how to manage diabetes. 

Along with the tips shared above, it’s wise to ensure you have consistent access to whatever diabetes supplies you need. That means choosing a diabetes supply company that can send you supplies wherever you are. US MED boasts free priority shipping and a 100-percent satisfaction guarantee, making us the clear choice for college students across America. Get started by exploring our full catalog today! 

Frequently asked questions 

What accommodations are available for students with diabetes? 

The precise accommodations available to you as a college student with diabetes will vary based on where you attend college. However, college campuses in America must offer reasonable accommodations for students with diabetes. For example, this could include rescheduling a test if you have a serious hypoglycemia reaction before or during your test time. 

How do students with diabetes take care of themselves at school? 

Students with diabetes can keep this disease under control by following the same diabetes control methods they do at home. That includes doing regular blood glucose tests, eating a nutritious diet, getting a good amount of exercise, and taking any medications they have been prescribed. 

Is diabetes considered a disability in college? 

Diabetes is listed as a disability under the Rehabilitation Act, as well as the Americans with Disabilities Act. As such, colleges are required to provide accommodations within reason for students dealing with this disease. 

Shirley DeLeon Certified Diabetes Care & Education Specialist

Medical Review by Shirley DeLeon, Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist

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