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Overcoming the One in
Type One Diabetes

Diabetes No Longer
Controls My Life

Managing Diabetes This Festival Season

By Vanessa Haydock, The Diabetic Health Coach

Disclaimer: The information provided is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. Please consult your healthcare professional about your diabetes management. Individual symptoms, situations and circumstances may vary.

Approved on 06/06/2022

The festival season is upon us with summer around the corner. But for those of us living with insulin-dependent diabetes, there is so much more to think about when it comes to attending festivals than simply taking a small bag with our phone and purse.

We have to think about our insulin, hypo treatments, medical ID, needles, the amount of energy we will expend from jumping up and down etc. and that’s not the half of it.

For some of us, we may also feel a little anxious and it may be daunting when it comes to potentially having a hypo in a large crowd. BUT…. take it from me, this should not stop us having the best time at a festival.

I recently turned the big 30, and to celebrate, I flew over to Miami and attended one of the biggest dance festivals in the world… Ultra-Miami! It is safe to say that it was one of the best weekends of my life and my diabetes did not once get in the way of me having an amazing time.



It’s all in the planning

Of course, there was a lot of forward-thinking and preparation I had to do in order to manage my diabetes. Before the festival, I made sure I was organised and wrote a list of what I needed, and I purchased a large bumbag so that I could definitely fit everything in that I needed. This included:

·         Insulin (including spare pens)

·         Hypo treatments (slow and fast-acting)

·         Needles

·         My FreeStyle Libre reader

·         Medical ID

·         Doctor’s note to say I use insulin just in case I needed it at security (which I did!)

 Once I made sure I had all the above, I was good to go.

Think about the heat

As I was in Miami, the weather was also very hot, meaning I had to make sure I had something to keep my insulin cool in my bumbag, so I purchased a Frio cool pouch* which worked wonders!

Not only that, I was also conscious of the impact of the heat on my glucose levels, as I usually tend to drop low in the hot weather. I am not going to lie, I was a little nervous at first in case my glucose levels did drop, but I then reminded myself that as long as I had my hypo treatments, medical ID and of course my FreeStyle Libre 2 system, I was good to go! Luckily my glucose levels stayed very level, even with all of the dancing and jumping around!

Diabetes tech support

The one thing that helped me so much to keep on top of my glucose levels was the FreeStyle Libre 2 sensor and the FreeStyle LibreLink app. As I had my iWatch on, I made sure I could get alarm notifications on my watch1,2, which made it so much easier as a prompt when I didn’t have my phone in my hand!

Looking back to when I used to go to festivals in the past before having access to the FreeStyle Libre sensor, I had to check my glucose levels using a typical blood glucose meter, which was a nightmare to use in big crowds, which led me to not checking my glucose levels as much and resulting in me running a lot higher. Having the FreeStyle Libre 2 system however, made it so much easier to keep a close eye on my glucose levels!

Smart food choices

Of course, food at festivals is not always the healthiest (or the cheapest), but I tend to still opt for chicken-based, high protein dishes, such as chicken strips or chicken kebabs.

I did take my own cereal bars in to keep my glucose levels stable if they were on the way down. To be honest, with the amount of movement, I didn’t really spike too drastically post food at the festival, especially with getting so many steps in the day.

Lack of sleep

As we know, lack of sleep can also have an impact on our glucose levels, so I did find that my glucose levels ran slightly higher the day after, so this is always something to bear in mind!

Overall, I had an amazing time and didn’t let my diabetes stop me from letting my hair down! The one thing that helped so much was having visual access to what my glucose levels were doingφ, thanks to the FreeStyle Libre 2 system. If you’re going to a festival this summer, you might want to think about using a glucose monitoring sensor so you too can keep a close eye on glucose levels more easily.

The tips above don’t only apply to festivals, but any situation where we are away from home this summer, whether it’s a day out with our friends or family, or even a holiday abroad. Preparation with diabetes is key to help us stay on track when in new environments.

Vanessa Haydock lives with Type 1 diabetes and is a FreeStyle Libre Ambassador. If you’d like more tips from Vanessa, find her on Instagram @diabetic_health_coach_ or check out her website.

Overcoming the One in
Type One Diabetes

Diabetes No Longer
Controls My Life

References and Disclaimers

* Other brands are available.

 The FreeStyle LibreLink app is only compatible with certain mobile devices and operating systems. Please check the website for more information about device compatibility before using the app. Use of FreeStyle LibreLink requires registration with LibreView.

 Finger pricks are required if glucose readings and alarms do not match symptoms or expectations.

Φ For a complete glycaemic picture, scan once every 8 hours.

1.     To receive alarms from the FreeStyle LibreLink app on your smartwatch, alarms must be turned ON, your phone and smartwatch must be connected, and your devices configured to deliver notifications.

2.     Smartwatch notification mirroring on the FreeStyle LibreLink app has only been tested with certain smartwatches and operating systems. Please check the website for more information about smartwatch compatibility.