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6 tips for college students with diabetes (and parents, too!)

No matter how mature, how ready, how many times they've been to camp, college is often the first time a teenager is truly on their own. And even for the most self-sufficient, this can come with a few surprises. (In fact, college student Logan noted that managing everything herself was her biggest challenge.)

What can you do to make things as simple as possible? Here are a few ideas.

1. Have a heart-to-heart with your roommate

Let them know what low blood glucose looks like on you, how to inject glucagon if needed and that those hard candies aren't for just any late-night craving. Then you can move on to more entertaining topics.

2. Beware the allure of the dining hall

Diabetes or not, it's pretty common to add pounds at college.1 Midnight pizzas and all-you-can-eat dining halls can make things tough enough, not to mention the extra carbs needed to counteract lows.2 What's more, if you're not so great at remembering to bolus, your control can be easily thrown off. We're not suggesting that you shouldn't enjoy your newfound freedom—just maybe not at every meal.

3. Watch the alcohol

Some people will go absolutely crazy the minute they're away from their parents. But as you may already know, with diabetes, it's complicated. Alcohol can increase your risk of a low for up to 24 hours after drinking.3 If you do drink, go easy and make sure you've eaten and start out in a safe range.

4. Put testing supplies on auto-pilot

If you use the Accu-Chek® Guide meter, you can sign up for home (or dorm) delivery for your supplies.4 (Need the meter? You can get that free, too.) You choose the strip quantity and timing, and pay the same low price every time. Find out more about the Accu-Chek Guide SimplePay program.5,6,7

5. Partner with the CDN

There are more than 20 College Diabetes Network chapters at universities across the U.S., and their site is filled with helpful tips for navigating life on campus, knowing your rights and more. Take advantage of this tremendous resource online or in person!

6. Appreciate the texts

You cannot imagine how hard your first year away will be on others in your family, especially if they've been involved your diabetes management up until now. Even if you don't think you need the help, remember that every question and helpful hint truly means "I love you."

Interested in more management tips?

Explore ideas to help you live better with diabetes on

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