INSPIRE Third Edition: June 2020 - Page 6

06

LIVING WITH DIABETES

BY Mathew Lewis-Carter

I'm Mathew Lewis-Carter, a presenter based in London! I'm a type one diabetic and am currently doing my MSc in psychology and neuroscience of mental health at Kings College London. I use my social media channels to discuss what it's like living with an auto-immune disease and also the stigma attached to mental health- but in a way that is approachable!

You can find me on Instagram @mathewlcarter

Tell us a little bit about you and when you were diagnosed with diabetes and what diabetes you have?

People often ask "do you have the good or the bad type of diabetes?" to look at me you probably wouldn't know that I have diabetes. I keep myself active not just because it helps keep my blood glucose levels under control but for the clarity it brings to my mental health. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 13 years old, my mother noticed I was drinking more than usual and had lost a great deal of weight. Knowing the 4 T's of type 1 diabetes can save someones life- symptoms to look out for are Thinner, Toilet, Tired and Thirsty!

How has it impacted your life?

I would be lying if I said it didn't take a bit of getting used to. I inject 5-6 times a day and constantly have to monitor my blood glucose levels. However, I've never let it stop me doing anything! I always say that you control the condition it doesn't control you! having that mindset has always worked pretty well for me!

What has been your biggest challenge that you’ve overcome?

Each day is different with diabetes. Some mornings you wake up and your glucose levels are spot on and other days they can be all over the place. I've done lots of work with Diabetes UK who are an incredible charity and help so many who live with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. In 2018, we cycled from London to Paris in 24 hours! It's never stopped me doing anything physically. The biggest test is the mind games "what happens if I forget my insulin?" or "what if I go low in public?" you never stop thinking about it but it gets easier after time!

"The biggest test is the mind games "what happens if I forget my insulin?"