I am the mother of an 8 year old girl that was diagnosed with type 1 in July. I have come to this board after trying to find better information on nutrition and diabetes. I loved reading your story Ken and it gives me a lot of hope because what keeps me awake at night is worrying about the long term complications of type 1 diabetes that my daughter could experience. Our doctors have been wonderful with supporting us and providing care, but most of our management seems to rely on insulin and not as much on diet changes. Perhaps because they work with so many diabetic children and diet changes are the hardest to get people to do.
My main concern are the highs that we experience after meals, especially breakfast (over 300) on a daily basis. My daughter is very sensitive to insulin and it seems like we are on a roller coaster of ups and downs. I'm starting to think insulin is only part of the picture and that we, as a family, are overrelying on insulin care and not looking enough at our diet and activity routines. I liked, Ken, in your story how you said the doctor in the emergency room said that you have to take charge of your health. This whole diabetes process has made me feel so helpless as a parent. There seem to be so many things out of our control, such as insulin calculations. But if I can start taking charge with a healthy diet maybe we will see less peaks and valleys with her BG. When she was diagnosed she had an A1C of 12. Three months later in September it was at 9.1 and this past visit it was at 8.1. We are headed in the right direction but I'm not happy with her A1C. We started on a dexcom three weeks ago and that's when I realized how poor her diabetes management really is. She is consistently going above 300 after meals and sits in the 200's at night. Our doctors are working with us to change her insulin but I think we need to cut out things like ice cream at dinner every night. I know even typing this that sounds obvious but changing diet is not so easy, especially with a child. Things like school parties and what other kids have for snacks really affect her. She already feels different because of her diabetes and wants to eat the junk everyone else is eating.
We also have a lot of fear around her lows and so the school nurse has recommended things like skittles for lows. My husband and I love mejdool dates so I really like seeing what natural ideas there are for combating sugar lows that don't depend on candy with artificial dyes.
I have downloaded your early log and am going to start using it. Hopefully that will help with starting to see trends on how foods affect her blood sugar. I added a column on post meals highs so I can compare the spikes with what she eats. Instead of the "finger prick location" label I put "insulin shot" location as she uses the dexcom but she does have problems sometimes remembering to rotate her insulin shot sites.
I'm gong to clean out all the white flour breads, white pastas and ice cream. Do you have a list of foods you use to combat hypoglycemia that could sit in a school nurse's office or in my daughter's little backpack that she carries everywhere? Any healthy dessert ideas for a kid that loves dessert?
As far as the fat content goes, my understanding is that children need healthy fats for brain and body growth and development. Perhaps the fat recommendations are different for adults vs children. Does the forum have any information for that? Any books or articles you all recommend will be helpful.
Thank you again and you've given me a lot of hope and concrete things I can do to keep my daughter healthy.