If you have been diagnosed with CF-related diabetes, this will likely affect your day-to-day living as you will need to be aware of the foods that you eat, monitor your sugars, and take insulin to help manage your blood sugars. Read more about why people with CF can develop CFRD by checking out our endocrine pancreatic function section.
We believe that aggressive and early replacement of insulin can improve lung function, increase muscle mass, stop weight loss, and help people with CF related diabetes to live longer, healthier lives. Once a year you will be tested for diabetes with a screening blood test (HbA1C) or an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT).
As most people know, the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) is a regular part of your yearly tests. To have an OGTT you must be fasting. This means nothing to eat or drink other than water for 12 hours before the test. The test takes 2 hours. Your blood sugar is measured and then you are asked to drink a sugar-drink. Your blood sugar is then tested again 2 hours after the drink. Two hours is the normal amount of time the body should take to absorb the sugar into your cells from your bloodstream. In a healthy body, insulin is released from the pancreas in response to the high sugar load, which triggers the absorption of sugar out of the blood and into the cells.
A high level of sugar in the blood tells us that the cells in the body have not absorbed enough of the sugar and there is impaired glucose tolerance, or diabetes. It is best to have the test done at a time when you are not sick, since illness can affect your body’s ability to efficiently use insulin. If you are booked for an OGTT and are unwell, please call the clinic ahead of time so the test can be re-scheduled. Also, if you have symptoms of diabetes, are pregnant, or are on oral steroids (prednisone) we may do the test more often because these situations place you at higher risk for developing diabetes.
Within this section, you will learn the various ways that you can monitor your sugars, what is an optimal blood sugar range, how to carbohydrate count, the impact of CFRD on nutrition, pregnancy, and post-transplant among other things.