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Author Topic: Do you have a Teenage Son with T1D?  (Read 1716 times)

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Marie Jones

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Do you have a Teenage Son with T1D?
« on: May 31, 2015, 01:54:01 PM »
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  • Hi,
    I'm new to this board.  My son was diagnosed with T1D last July.  During these 10 months, we've worked hard to reduce his A1C from 9.5 to 7.3.   BUT, in order to try to keep him from going over 200, he has to eat very low glycemic and really watch what he eats.  Is that normal?  We don't know any other teens or anyone else with T1D. We have gotten the impression that other teens with T1D are basically eating "normally".  Is that true? 

    For example, the diabetic educator has made comments like, "we want you to eat anything you want".  And the nutritionist used plastic foods including donuts, white flour products, pasta etc when she taught Type 1 class.  We also saw photos of kids at diabetes camp eating potato chips.  We also thought is was strange that none of the doctors or educators mentioned that it might help blood sugar levels to eat low glycemic.  We had to learn about that on our own.  We have always been "health food nuts" anyway, so eating low glycemic is not too hard for us.  We have put time in to research low glycemic grains so that we can be sure that his nutritional requirements are met.

    My son does eat the occasional treat, but then goes high - sometimes many hours.  For him, the occasional treat would be strawberry Yoplait (instead of plain, organic yogurt) or a hamburger with the bun (instead of no bun) or an individual package of potato chips or a cliff bar.   So.....not really super "junky" treats.

    But, if he were to eat high glycemic foods regularly, he would have a much higher A1C.  So, he has to eat low glycemic.  And even then he constantly struggles to stay below 200.  He does have a CGM, and recently started with Omni pod, and we are constantly working with the nurses on dosage, and have switched doctors when our last doctor would not increase the dose, etc. 

    But still his trend has always been that he struggles to stay below 200 despite eating low glycemic and really watching what he eats.  Is that normal for a teenage boy with T1D?  Just wondered!  Thanks so much!

    Offline oddangela

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    Re: Do you have a Teenage Son with T1D?
    « Reply #1 on: May 31, 2015, 03:37:27 PM »
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  • Honestly I don't think it's a realistic goal to keep a teen below 200 at all times.  We have a "good" a1c and my daughter (almost 11) eats normal foods.  She eats everything anyone else does.  She does go above 200, but not for long.  When we're careful with pre-bolusing she doesn't go over about 220 and doesn't stay there long as a rule.  If he's going high for many hours then dosing is wrong.  At 4 hours after a food they should be back in range- no matter how high they went. 
    Angela- Mom to S- 8/9/04 (dx 5/4/11)  G- 6/4/08 and L- 4/3/12 and W- 3/18/15

    Offline andrea

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    Re: Do you have a Teenage Son with T1D?
    « Reply #2 on: May 31, 2015, 03:59:49 PM »
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  • We were taught 'kid first' along with 'everything in moderation'

    As long as my teen (girl) is testing and treating/bolusing/correcting...I'm happy.  Would I prefer that she didn't pig out of m&m's on a sleepover? Sure, but as long as she is doing her part, I don't stress.

    Mom to Annelies, 14 (Dx 18 Mar 08~Pumping MM Oct 08-May 12, Omnipod May 12-Aug 13. tSlim Aug 13+ ~Dexcom Oct 11), Katy, 18 (non-D) and Jory (non-D/US Navy)
    God created wine to keep Army Wives from taking over the world
    My blog

    Offline shannon

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    Re: Do you have a Teenage Son with T1D?
    « Reply #3 on: May 31, 2015, 04:32:40 PM »
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  • I have a  14 yr old son with diabetes. He would go crazy if he were required  to eat low glycemic all the time. If it happens to be the meal we planned, than so be it, he would go along with it. He eats a wide variety of foods, everything from organic to high glycemic yummy goodness. The goal is to teach them how to manage the blood sugars with any kind of food they are consuming. Being able to do that is key in keeping bg levels down. Of course the same amount of insulin is not going to work with different kinds of food. It's all trial and error to figure out how much more or less insulin is needed for certain foods. I know that if my son eats a portart, he goes high, for 3 hours. He requires 2 corrections. In our experimenting, we learned to just add his correction in with his first bolus does. Sometimes we need to temp basal either high or lower for certain foods. It just is what it is. Being able to adjust on the fly for any food circumstance that is presented makes life easier for everyone. At one year in, you may want to start experimenting with doing dose changes yourself instead of relying on the Dr. to do it. Diabetes changes daily to whatever circumstance is going on that day. The goal we have always set for our D life was to raise a boy with diabetes into a man with diabetes that can function in this world without diabetes dictating his life. That meant not limiting his food choices and letting him be (eat) just as normal as his peers and according to our own family guidelines (that will be different for every family.). We do not eat horribly in our house but I am not niave enough to believe that my son will default to low glycemic, organic or low carb choices while out with his friends at the football game. He needs to learn to manage his diabetes in those situations also so that is what we taught him. I think a goal for you guys might be to start fiddling with dose changes yourself so that you can know how to accommodate a variety of foods into his diet and be able to manage the higher numbers that come along with that. Once you know how to adjust on the fly and the tricks of the trade you will get a better understanding of how to keep or effectively bring those numbers down when consuming food other than low glycemic. Now if you both are comfortable with sticking to the diet, so be it. That is a personal and family choice and no one is here to judge you on that. Being a teen though, that will present some difficult situations at times. Good luck! Hope that helped.  :)
    Shannon, mom to Ben 16, Sam 14 and Jamie 4 years old. Sam dx with diabetes @12mo old, pumping with t slim


    Offline jcsamom

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    Re: Do you have a Teenage Son with T1D?
    « Reply #4 on: May 31, 2015, 05:28:59 PM »
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  • My son eats a pretty normal teenage diet. At home, I try to make sure our meals are basically healthy, with lots of veggies and such. But at 18, he is out and about with friends quite a bit. He does go over 200 after meals some, but doesn't usually stay there long. He is almost intuitive about how much insulin to use for different foods, as well as the timing of his injections. He blows me away on a regular basis with his ability to do that. There are foods he has deemed not worth it, but those foods are few. We've worked really hard to be as close to normal as possible. You do what works for him! We're here for support and to answer any questions you have!
    Cassie dx 3/18/16 MDI
    Wife of Jason dx 12/14/12 MDI
    Mom of Seth (19), dx 8/24/12 MDI
    Mom of Josh (22), non-d
    http://kdanotdka.blogspot.com






    Offline mljones

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    Re: Do you have a Teenage Son with T1D?
    « Reply #5 on: May 31, 2015, 06:03:41 PM »
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  • Thanks so much for all the great help!  This is my first interaction with any type of online community for diabetic support.  Or diabetic support at all, for that matter! We've been going it "alone" (except for the medical team).   I am hoping this is going to be helpful to us - helpful to have contact with kind, encouraging people who understand.

    I am relieved to hear that it sounds like other teenagers with T1D are not eating strictly low-carb or low-glycemic.  That gives us hope!  Sounds like maybe my son needs a higher insulin to carb ratio.  (Do you think so?)  I have explained to the medical staff how strictly we are having to eat in order to try to keep the numbers sort-of down, and that even still he still is routinely over 200 or 250 - many times per day.   But they just don't seem to get it.   It is a bit daunting to think my son will have to eat this way the rest of his life.....and still struggle with highs. 

    Technical question - how do you "Give 2 doses for a poptart"? 

    Thanks again for taking time to help!

    Offline Mich*09

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    Re: Do you have a Teenage Son with T1D?
    « Reply #6 on: May 31, 2015, 07:11:39 PM »
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  • I agree with the others.  Your son's diet does not need to be changed to fit diabetes.  The dosing and management needs to change to fit what he is eating.  It takes awhile to learn to do that, and it sounds like your care team is not helpful in teaching you how to do that.

    Many (most?) of our kids here have different carb ratios for different times of the day.  My son needs more insulin for breakfast than he does for dinner.  Snacks late at night need more insulin than snacks in the afternoon....

    Welcome to the forum.  Keep coming back here and asking questions.  We are here to help each other.  :)
    Michelle
    Mom to - Jordan 22, Grant (19 dx 9/17/09 MM Revel 6/1/10), Brett 16

    Offline Mich*09

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    Re: Do you have a Teenage Son with T1D?
    « Reply #7 on: May 31, 2015, 07:15:56 PM »
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  • Just had a thought.  Is he pre-dosing his insulin?  Meaning, giving insulin and waiting 20 minutes or so before eating?  If he does that, it will help tame the bg spike.  It takes the insulin about 20 minutes to begin working, so if he delays eating, the carbs and insulin will hit his system at about the same time helping bg not climb as high with food.
    Michelle
    Mom to - Jordan 22, Grant (19 dx 9/17/09 MM Revel 6/1/10), Brett 16

    Offline shannon

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    Re: Do you have a Teenage Son with T1D?
    « Reply #8 on: May 31, 2015, 07:16:52 PM »
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  • I know through trial and error exactly how much I typically have to correct 2-3 hours after a pop tart. So I just add that into the regular dose. If not, we just correct every 2 hours. How soon after eating are you checking and getting the higher readings? If it is around 3 hours, he may just need an increased bolus insulin amount. If he is high all day, he needs an increase in basal amount. Everyones with diabetes bg goes up after eating, you have to ignore that and just wait for the insulin to kick in and do its thing. Try not to watch the graph so much and just deal with the correction dose time.
    Shannon, mom to Ben 16, Sam 14 and Jamie 4 years old. Sam dx with diabetes @12mo old, pumping with t slim


    Offline jcsamom

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    Re: Do you have a Teenage Son with T1D?
    « Reply #9 on: May 31, 2015, 07:19:31 PM »
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  • It is so very helpful having people that get it.

    There's no real reason for him to struggle with highs like that,  in my opinion. It sounds to me like he isn't getting enough insulin. We took a class about 6 weeks or so after diagnosis that taught us how to calculate ratios and Lantus dose changes. We faxed in numbers and recommended changes for a little while, but they released us from doing that when they felt confident we could do the calculations.
     Our Dr didn't encourage corrections between meals,  but we've learned how to do it (mainly from this group) so he isn't high all the time. Some foods take multiple injections or boluses from a pump. Through careful experimentation,  we're learning how to dose for different foods,  activities,  etc,
    Cassie dx 3/18/16 MDI
    Wife of Jason dx 12/14/12 MDI
    Mom of Seth (19), dx 8/24/12 MDI
    Mom of Josh (22), non-d
    http://kdanotdka.blogspot.com






    Offline HD

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    Re: Do you have a Teenage Son with T1D?
    « Reply #10 on: May 31, 2015, 10:48:14 PM »
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  • My son is 17, diagnosed at 9.  From day 1, our team stressed "kid first,diabetes second".  They also told us they would help us "make diabetes fit into our life, not make our life fit diabetes".  Those phrases gave us hope. 
    Like the others, we try to eat healthy meals, but we also don't deny him anything.  As long as he tests and gives insulin, I'm ok with it.  He's not always correct in his carb counting, and sometimes I know he is but his blood sugar still goes crazy.  We correct and move on.  It's a balancing act that he will have to maintain for the rest of his life.  My job is to give him the tools and encouragement to do that.
    His A1c's are good, and the endo is happy with how we manage.
    Heather
    mum to Campbell (18) dx on 20 July 2007 Pumping with the t:slim & Dexcom, and Tom (14) non-D 



    Offline PattyC

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    Re: Do you have a Teenage Son with T1D?
    « Reply #11 on: June 01, 2015, 09:11:42 AM »
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  • I concur with what everyone else says.  My son is almost 17 and was diagnosed at 7.  Something that might help is to post some numbers on here - bg, carbs, I:C ratio, basal amounts.  We have some great number crunchers who might be able to suggest some changes.  Also, sometimes putting it out there and looking at it yourself will give you that "aha" moment to see where some changes could be made.

    If your son is in the midst of puberty then insulin needs can change daily or even weekly! Insulin needs go way up for some, and my son also takes Metformin to help with insulin resistance.  So don't be afraid to use more insulin if his body needs it.
    Patty, mom to Matthew 18, dx 12/05, pumping with MM Revel 723. (St. Louis, MO area)

    Offline mljones

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    Re: Do you have a Teenage Son with T1D?
    « Reply #12 on: June 01, 2015, 09:58:57 AM »
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  • Thank you so much.  You all have given me a lot to think about.

    And, to answer one question - yes, the high numbers I was referring to were pre-meal (so after the insulin should have worked). 

    It helps to hear your experiences.
     
    I am relieved to hear that other teens with T1D are not having to eat strictly low-glycemic or low-carb in order to manage.

    I guess we will experiment with:
    1.  Adding extra insulin for certain foods (even though our medical staff has not encouraged that, but it sounds like a sensible idea to me)
    2.  Alternately try correcting every 2 hours (does anyone have any tips on that?  Don't want to stack insulin and risk low at night.....but I guess it is hard to stack when using a pump, is that true?)  and
    3.  Try to pre-bolus more 

    Thanks again!

    Offline jcsamom

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    Re: Do you have a Teenage Son with T1D?
    « Reply #13 on: June 01, 2015, 11:19:31 AM »
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  • We've been doing this almost 3 years, so not long compared to most in this group.  There's constantly something to learn!  The CGM is the greatest tool ever.  It has helped us figure out so much. 

    There are some who believe a really strict diet is the best way to deal with t1, but most of us here think a balanced, healthy diet is best!

    Insulin acts for about 4 hours for my son, so we don't correct more often than that, as a general rule.  Sometimes we will if we can tell we totally missed the carb count.  Some foods spike him up then he comes back down within 3 or 4 hours.  It's just one of those trial and error things.

    Like Patty said, if you ever want to post numbers, there are some great number crunchers here that can help you find the places to make changes.
    Cassie dx 3/18/16 MDI
    Wife of Jason dx 12/14/12 MDI
    Mom of Seth (19), dx 8/24/12 MDI
    Mom of Josh (22), non-d
    http://kdanotdka.blogspot.com








     


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