Brooklyn Keto is so excited to have a prominent Type 1 Diabetic who is also a medical doctor agree to share her insights in this Q and A!
Dr. Hannah Hamlin controls her blood sugars with a Dexcom G6 CGM (continuous glucose monitor) combined with a cyclic ketogenic diet along with many other mindset strategies to live her best life.
Type1KetoMama: Hannah, thanks for being part of this Q and A! I have read your blog and admire your persistence, patience and strength. I see you have a gratitude journal—what a great tool for a Type1 to have. Can you tell us more about this ritual and routine?
DrHannahHamlin: Yes, I’ve been doing a gratitude journal in the morning for many years now. I read a study that writing down a list of gratitudes in the morning can increase overall well-being. The study was statistically significant. What a great way to increase my happiness and enjoyment in this world with less than 5 minutes a day. I usually use this time to prioritize my to do list and write out an affirmation of how I want to show up in my day as well.
Type1KetoMama: Wow, this is such valuable advice that I am inspired to start to increase my overall well-being. Do you practice yoga or meditation? I’ve been getting into yoga and find it helps me gain perspective and slow down and avoid the general struggles that life throws our way but also helps me decrease my worries about blood sugar issues and also helps me prevent T1D burnout.
DrHannahHamlin: Yes, I practiced both. I have enjoyed learning how to meditate and it has helped me have more control over my emotions. I usually do this each morning for 5-10 minutes with my gratitude journal. Yoga is my choice of exercise for mobility. I even taught it for a brief period before starting medical school. I’m convinced it helps me shake off stress and keeps me from having back pain when I sit and study for hours. I also love to do yoga for 10 minutes in the morning and stretch out before I start my day.
Type1KetoMama: That is so cool that you taught yoga. I truly have an utmost respect for yoga instructors because you give us yogis somewhere to start especially with the fast pace lifestyles we all are living.
What diet/lifestyle do you follow to control your blood sugars? I have been doing low-carb for a while and recently have changed to a keto diet. What are your thoughts on all this?
DrHannahHamlin: Awesome, I am a huge fan of experimenting with different nutrition plans to find out what works for you. I’ve been doing low-carb for over five years now. I found that a cyclic ketogenic diet is what works best for me. This means I’m in ketosis most of the time and I choose to eat higher carb meals on occasion. This balance works really well for my blood sugar control, my energy levels, and my social life. I think the most important part of any nutrition plan is food quality, eating enough plants, and aiming for sustainably raised meats. There’s a great book on using a ketogenic diet to optimize Type One diabetes written by Dr. Keith: https://www.amazon.com.au/Ketogenic-Diet-Type-Diabetes-Complications/dp/194372105X
Type1KetoMama: Thanks for sharing; I have heard of this book and now will definitely check it out! Hannah, what is your profession?
DrHannahHamlin: I am a physician. I graduated medical school in May of this year, and started residency to further my training this July. My plans are to become a board-certified Family physician and specialize in functional medicine. I received my Bachelor’s degree in nutritional sciences and I fully intend on incorporating this into my future practice.
Type1KetoMama: Congrats! How exciting! As a Type1 for 26 years, I find that low carb helps me so much. A lot of Type 1s say they can eat anything; sugar and carbs don’t matter as they can bolus for it. What do you think about this? (Side note this was me until a few years ago).
DrHannahHamlin: I think that each person with type 1 diabetes should get to choose exactly what he or she eats. I feel that type one diabetes impacts quality of life and lifestyle in big ways. Each person is best suited to determine what works for him or her at different times in his or her life. I’m super into personal empowerment when it comes to this topic. I love eating low-carb because it feels really good for me but I know not everyone is this way. We have genetic studies that show there are drastic human differences in optimal macronutrient ratios. I do however think that increasing nutrition education is crucial across all ages and disease types.
Type1KetoMama: Love it. I also appreciate (and bet others out there might as well) the fact that we can discuss these ideas with the freedom to accept different views. For instance, I follow a strict keto diet because I like how I feel on it. However, I know many other type 1s who do not and still have excellent blood sugars. Ketogenic eating is still not fully mainstream and there are many naysayers. What a freeing feeling to agree to disagree respectfully!
My next question for you if you don’t mind sharing; do you have a pump/CGM or do you do manual insulin injections?
DrHannahHamlin: Right now I’m doing manual injections from insulin pens and using the Dexcom G6. I’ve used a pump many times before over my 13 years of diabetes. I love both honestly, but I find pens to be a little more reliable for my lifestyle. Having a continuous glucose monitor is a really big part of my blood sugar control. It was a game changer to my diabetes care when I started using one for the first time. I love watching my trends and catching my lows and highs before they happen.
Type1KetoMama: I use the Dexcom G6 as well! Sensor twins LOL! Where do you live? Do you do Walks to Cure Diabetes? I’m doing my first walk since I was much younger this September in NYC!
DrHannahHamlin: I just moved from New Orleans, Louisiana to outside of Austin, Texas to begin my training as a family medicine physician. I have done walks to cure diabetes with JDRF in high school. They are a lot of fun and it is an inspiring and great community. This year I attended the first JDRF Young Adults conference in Dallas, Texas. It was incredibly informative and I recommend it to anyone interested in going. Nicole Johnson, type one diabetic and former Miss America, runs the conference and works really hard at making it very affordable so that college students from all over the country can attend.
Type1KetoMama: I have heard and seen this on Insta: the big conference in Austin, I will definitely look into this event for future years! My last question for you today is if you could give a newly diagnosed type one diabetic one piece of advice what would it be?
DrHannahHamlin: Find type one friends. A diagnosis of type one diabetes can be incredibly overwhelming and intimidating, meeting people who have been through it before can make the process so much more positive. Then, I would recommend learning as much as you can early on. There are so many things I have learned along my journey with type one diabetes that I wish I had learned sooner. Lastly, don’t change the direction of your dreams and know that you can do whatever you want in this life.
Type1KetoMama: Dr. Hannah Hamlin, I cannot thank you enough for agreeing to this Q an A and for sharing such valuable information.