Celebrate Valentine's Day!

Diabetes does not have to sour your romantic plan

Valentine's Day is coming. According to one legend, Valentine was a priest who lived in Rome during the third century reign of Emperor Claudius II. When Claudius outlawed marriage for soldiers because he believed that single men made better fighters, Valentine performed marriages for young lovers in secret. When this was discovered, Claudius arrested him and sentenced him to be killed. While in prison, Valentine supposedly sent the very first "valentine." He fell in love with his jailor's young daughter and sent her a note, which he signed "From your Valentine," an expression that is still used today. The real story may never be known, but the romance attached to this holiday continues.

Here are some suggested ways to enjoy this romantic day to the fullest:

  • Give sweets. Sugar-free chocolates and candies are available on the Internet and in local stores. If you prefer a calorie- and carbohydrate-free chocolate treat, give your love chocolate-scented candles, hand creams, or a bottle of Serendipitous, a unisex chocolate perfume created by the New York restaurant Serendipity3.
  • Send a Valentine. The traditional Valentine card is still a welcome gift. You can add flowers, balloons, or even a teddy bear. These gifts say that you care. If you really want to be romantic, include a piece of jewelry, lingerie, or pair of heart-covered shorts.
  • Plan a simple date. Don't let your diabetes get in the way of enjoying a romantic day. If you are new to carbohydrate counting or struggle with food portions, schedule a non-food activity. Meet for a walk by the beach. See a movie and go for coffee afterwards. Attend a lecture or sports event together. Spend quality time with your Valentine doing things that don't require frequent blood glucose testing and injections.
  • Have fun. Romance should be enjoyable. If your relationship becomes physical, take care of your diabetes needs then enjoy yourself. If you've gained some weight, wear a flattering new outfit. If you are self-conscious about bruising or marks from injection and insulin pump infusion sites, turn the lights down low, burn some candles, and have a great time.
  • Take precautions. A woman should have her diabetes extremely well-controlled for several months prior to becoming pregnant - it is best for both the mom and the baby. Don't become intimate without taking appropriate precautions to prevent an unplanned pregnancy.
  • Toast your romance. A glass of champagne can be part of your romantic evening. Alcohol lowers blood sugar levels, so be sure to eat something if you imbibe and check your blood often. One to two drinks is considered a safe amount, but know your personal limit; you may tolerate more or less.

"Love is when you realize that he's as sexy as Woody Allen, as smart as Jimmy Connors, as funny as Ralph Nader, as athletic as Henry Kissinger and nothing like Robert Redford - but you'll take him anyway." Judith Viorst

Happy Valentine's Day!

Janis Roszler, RD, CDE, LD/N


NOTE: The information is not intended to be a replacement or substitute for consultation with a qualified medical professional or for professional medical advice related to diabetes or another medical condition. Please contact your physician or medical professional with any questions and concerns about your medical condition.


Last Modified Date: June 20, 2013

All content on dLife.com is created and reviewed in compliance with our editorial policy.

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by Brenda Bell
One of the online diabetes groups I belong to (but don't frequently post to) is geared towards "frum" (Orthodox or "observant") Jewish people with (mostly type 1) diabetes. Most of the chat on the mailing list centers around people needing last-minute supplies before Shabbat or a holiday, where to acquire supplies and get medical help when visiting Israel, and advice on which pump is best for one's type 1 child — in other words, the usual sort of diabetes chatter, but...

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Jamis Roszler
Janis Roszler

Janis Roszler, MSFT, RD, CDE, LD/N is the American Association of Diabetes Educators' 2008-2009 Diabetes Educator of the Year.  She is a certified diabetes educator, marriage and family therapist, and registered dietitian. Her books include Sex and Diabetes (ADA) Diabetes on your OWN Terms (Marlowe & Co) and The Secrets of Living and Loving with Diabetes (Surrey books).

Donna Rice
Donna Rice

Donna Rice MBA,RN,CDE,FAADE is the 2007 Past President of the American Association of Diabetes Educators. She is a registered nurse, diabetes educator and has developed numerous educational programs on sexual health and wellness.  She is the co-author of  Sex and Diabetes (ADA) and Diabetes and Erectile Dysfunction - A Quick ‘n' Easy Handbook For the Diabetes Educator (Bella Vita).  Her newest publication is a children's book, The Magic is Me (Searchlight Press).