How can I help my son with type one diabetes?

Hello Vicky:

There are certainly many here who can assist, without question, however, for a site (sorry Manny) SPECIFICALLY for the parents of children I'd also recommend as well. By definition that is their focus...

It is NOT that he cannot eat various foods in the LONG term, its always a quest of BARTER, and awareness. At one point he could eat the cereal AND the BOX it came in, without problem, NOW he must be aware of the quantity(ies) and FOR THE MOMENT, stick to SINGLE servings rather than gorging, the way he, his friends once might have done.

The reason is he NEEDS to be aware what a single serving consists of. Not 1.5, not two, not five servings of something.... ONE single serving. Once he can do that without much trouble, THEN, he can in time return to a less restricted approach. But until then, he cannot pretend...

The idea is to make an iron clad HABIT, then, then give us more flexibility. The restriction is temporary, in most respects. Some foods he will NOT be able to eat, without paying a serious price for (ie injected units of insulin to prevent the sugar spike), others he can simple barter/trade for as a choice. Such that at the end of the day, when he adds up everything he's eaten, he does not go over a certain number of calories/carbs, eats enough vegetables, proteins, etc..

A C.D.E. dietitian will be helpful getting that squared away. But the "restriction" idea is so he can learn what single servings are about.

There are a whole bunch of things you can substitute and neither he nor anybody else in the family will ever be the wiser. Breads, what's he like? Other foods he REALLY misses? As a general rule, things are going to be rough... he is likely in the honeymoon phase, where for a short-time things are still kinda working, not entirely broken yet.

In time... the honeymoon will be over and the injections, etc. will no longer be kinda "optional", but absolutely required.

So lets start at the beginning, what are your worst problems, biggest fears?

Hi Vicky!

Everyone has given you great, solid advice here. I'm just going to tell you what's worked for me and you can take it or leave it (please remember that much of diabetes is subjective, I can eat dark chocolate with sugar and not have a bad reaction but pasta and pizza will raise my blood sugars so high that I have ketones for days. I know others do not have that same issue.

I was diagnosed with diabetes when I was 9 and have gone through a tumultuous adolescence with diabetes (almost went into a coma that I would not have recovered from at one point). I now have a perfect hemoglobin A1C and deal with more low blood sugar issues than high.

Get him a pump if he doesn't already have one, it won't fix everything but it does make life more manageable.

For breakfast, I've always done well with oatmeal-I like mine with chia seeds (amazing for curbing hunger and regulating blood sugars) and a cup of mixed berries <--I often find that I'm low after this meal. Turkey bacon and toast w/ a bit of peanut butter is also a good option.

Look into liquid Stevia (Whole Foods has a version of it) it is pricey but wonderful for sweetening-->other sugar substitutes contain aspartame which isn't bad for blood sugar but does make you want to eat more and other Stevia options (granular) have carbs, the liquid version does not.

Find a good meal replacement shake. The one I use is 22 carbs and has brought me from a 7.2 A1C to a perfect 6. Plus, it's chocolate flavored so I get to curb my chocolate cravings in a healthy way.

Also, if he's open to it, consider a vegan diet. I know it seems extreme and I've never been vegan until recently while doing a cleanse but as a result I've had to lower my basal rates significantly and don't have to take insulin for meals the majority of the time. For me, I feel too good to go back to eating the way I previously did.

I hope that's helpful. Please feel free to private message me if you want to know more about what I've been doing. Take care!