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Life of a Type 1 Diabetic Told Through TikTok’s

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Millersville chapter.

If you didn’t know,November is National Diabetes Month!This entire month is dedicated to raising awareness and support for the diabetes community. I have been a type 1 diabetic since the age of five, so I have been living with diabetes for about 17 years now.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) definesdiabetesas “a chronic (long-lasting) health condition that affects how your body turns food into energy” (2022). The number of individuals being diagnosed with diabetes is rising each year with currently over 37 million US adults living with it. The CDC states that in the last 20 years, the number of adults diagnosed with diabetes has more than doubled. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.

For a quick overview, there arethree main types of diabetes:type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes.Type 1 diabetesoccurs when your pancreas stops producing insulin, which is a hormone that turns lets the blood sugar from food into your body’s cells for use as energy. Type 1 diabetics have to take insulin on a daily basis either through injections or an insulin pump.

Type 2 diabetesis more common with 90-95% of people living with diabetes having this type. This occurs when your body doesn’t use insulin well (builds up a resistance) and can’t keep blood sugar at normal levels. These individuals can maintain their health through injections/medications, regular blood sugar checks, exercise, and a healthy diet. 

Finally,gestational diabetesdevelops in pregnant women who have never had diabetes. This can increase the risk of the baby having health problems. This type of diabetes typically goes away after the baby is born, however, it can increase a woman’s risk for type 2 diabetes later in life.

For this article, I want to focus on type 1 diabetes since it is the kind I live with and am very passionate about! Since I am a Gen-Zer, it would only make sense for me to take you through thelife of a type 1 diabetic as told through funny TikTok’s.So, let’s dive in!

Diabetes is Not Always Pretty… In Fact, It Can Be Very Chaotic

In this TikTok, you can see diabetes can come at you from all angles… a sneak attack, if you will. You’ll be going about your day, and all of a sudden, your insulin pump beeps at you reminding you to change your site. Then, as you are changing your site, your blood sugar can go low. You start to feel shaky and weak, so mid-site change, you have to chug a juice box. You get the idea haha!

We Try to Make Our Diabetes Gear ~Cute~


Nice 💚👍(First time trying these actually! They were gifted to me by @Skin Grip !! I’ll let you know how they go! 💜) #t1d #typeone #dexcomg6

♬ original sound – ryko

Let’s be real… wearing an insulin pump and continuous glucose monitor (CGM) is not always the most glamorous thing. It can be fun to buy cute patches for the different seasons and holidays to dress our gear up! We always try to make the best of our situation, and then when we wear our devices with confidence, it brings up more opportunities to have those conversations with people. 

Relationships With Diabetes Can Be Complicated… But They Don’t Have To Be

In the past, I was always afraid to share about my diabetes with my romantic interest or partner. It can be hard to be vulnerable because there are many false preconceptions about living with type 1 diabetes and what causes it. Usually, I am met with kindness and eagerness to learn more about it. This is honestly the best way to respond because it shows your loved one you truly care about them and want to support them in the best way possible. If a boy brings me a juice when my blood sugar is low, he instantly gains a point in my eyes. It’s the little things.

We Have To Break Down False Perceptions

This TikTok makes me laugh because she says, “Only sexy people can get it” at the end! On a more serious note, being a type 1 diabetic means you have to be ready to break down false stereotypes and perceptions of this disease. Most individuals have experience or knowledge of an older relative living with type 2 diabetes which can be very different. Sometimes people say, “Did you eat too much sugar as a kid?” or, “Doesn’t cinnamon cure it?” These are all false assumptions, so when I face these, I try to be kind and use it as a learning moment. I try to be open about my experiences and educate someone on what type 1 diabetes is.

It’s All About the Carb Counting!

This makes me think of the Meghan Trainor song “All About That Bass.” In reality, as a T1D, it’s all about that carb counting! Since my body doesn’t produce insulin to break down my food into energy, I have to perform the job of my pancreas manually. With each food or drink I consume, I must calculate the number of carbohydrates to put into my insulin pump to cover it. There is a lot more that can go into it as well, such as when a food is a complex carbohydrate or contains high volumes of fat. All of these factors influence how the food reacts within my body and my blood glucose levels. This is a necessary skill to have as a type 1!

I hope you found this article informative yet funny at the same time! I won’t lie; diabetes can be very draining and exhausting some days, but the key is to take care of yourself mentally and physically. It is okay to have hard days as long as you keep moving forward and leaning into your support system when needed!

Happy Diabetes Month!!




Bryant, M. [@cutenchronic]. (2022, March 22). Let me educate you xoxo. #type1diabetes #cutenchronic #type1 #t1d #fyp [Video]. TikTok. https://www.tiktok.com/@cutenchronic/video/7077935706932366597?_r=1&_t=8XAPdZtfzg2&is_from_webapp=v1&item_id=7077935706932366597.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022, July 7). What is diabetes? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved November 7, 2022, from https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/diabetes.html.

Clutzychick. [@clutzychick]. (2022, October 26). doing an omnipod change while my blood sugar is low 🧃🧃. #t1d #typeonediabetes#diabetes #omnipod #omnipoddash #lowbloodsugar #fyp [Video]. TikTok. https://www.tiktok.com/@clutzychick/video/7159006714820398342?_r=1&_t=8XANkEZWtzP&is_from_webapp=v1&item_id=7159006714820398342

Darby, A. N. [@abbey.n.darby]. (2022, October 30). #type1diabetes #carbcounting #type1diabetic #t1d [Video]. TikTok. https://www.tiktok.com/@abbey.n.darby/video/7160359426824883502?_r=1&_t=8XAPxgqxpCE&is_from_webapp=v1&item_id=7160359426824883502.

Efford, T. [@taylorefford]. (2022, March 5). Nice 💚👍(First time trying these actually! They were gifted to me by @Skin Grip !! I’ll let you know how they go! 💜). #t1d #typeone #dexcomg6 [Video]. TikTok. https://www.tiktok.com/@taylorefford/video/7071638854129700102?_r=1&_t=8XAP8yRAPl4&is_from_webapp=v1&item_id=7071638854129700102.

Hsieh, A. [@type1amy]. (2022, September 25). #type1diabetes [Video]. TikTok. https://www.tiktok.com/@type1amy/video/7147484004806135086?_r=1&_t=8XAPEhtTogE&is_from_webapp=v1&item_id=7147484004806135086.

Rachel Ritchey

Millersville '22

Rachel Ritchey is a senior public relations major at Millersville University. Rachel is the President of the Millersville University Her Campus Chapter. She is also the PR Chair of the All Campus Musical Organization and a member of Navigators. She is passionate about type 1 diabetes awareness, women empowerment, social media management, music, mental health, and self-care. ♡