Starving Kid

Hello Everyone..... My name is Amanda and my son , Jake, (8) was diagnosed this past Monday with T1D.... Needless to say I am extremely overwhelmed, confused and my emotions are all over the place. With that said, Jake is a champ.... Not a single complaint and so upbeat about all of this. The one thing that I just can't seem to find a lot of info about is his appetite... I CAN NOT believe how much he wants to eat. I swear he could eat more than a linebacker right now. Is this normal? Will it subside a bit? or is this something that will also be our "new normal"? He has even gone to bed once or twice this week crying that he is so hungry!!!!! Is it possible to even feed him enough right now? Any help would greatly be appreciated.....
Thanks so very much

One thing to keep in mind is that for the past little while his body has had almost no insulin, and therefore he has literally been starving (insulin is what gets energy from food into the cells). I was diagnosed a long time ago (almost 22 years ago, at age 9) so can't remember if I was hungry, but I would think it's fairly normal to be super hungry right after diagnosis since your body is trying to replace a TON of calories it's lost over the preceding few weeks (hence why weight loss is a symptom of diabetes).

Glad you found this site. Another good site to check out, specifically for parents, is - they even have a medical team who can answer questions like this. :)

I'm sorry I can't answer your question as I wasn't diagnosed as a child and have not reared a T1 child either. I've visited another site that targets parents of children with type 1 diabetes. They're very friendly and welcoming. I'm sure you'd get lots of response from that community as well as here. The name of the site is Type1Parents.

The online patient communities are a great adjunct to the time you'll spend with your doctor, nurse practitioner, and diabetes educator. We have a different perspective and values. Good luck. Your son is lucky to have you as a mother!

That is one thing that specifically sticks out in my mind nearly 30 years ago when I was diagnosed just ALWAYS being hungry esp when first diagnosed. Like Jen said his body for sometime literally HAS been starved, and now that he is finally getting insulin back into his system his body is making up for it. Eventually things will settle down some, lol for only puberty to hit.

I was extremely hungry after my diagnosis. It did subside after a while but sometimes it comes back. When I can’t eat carbs I focus on no carb or very low carb foods. I eat eggs and bacon and cheese and turkey and stuff like that. Seems to help a little bit

Welcome, though I’m sorry for your reason for being here. My daughter was diagnosed at 11. As Jen said, your son’s cells have been starving. Now that he’s getting insulin again, the hunger is part of his body recovering. You should stay in close contact with your endo team. In the Cingular weeks you may see a drastic reduction in insulin needs. Were you given a list of “free” foods your son can have without an extra injection? We opted for more protein based snacks & they seemed to keep my daughter more full for a longer time. Peanut butter, nuts & cheese were her favorites. If the hunger persists for more than a couple of weeks, you should inform your endo team so adjustments can be made to his meals.

I Know after i was Diagnosed back in April I was always so Hungry right after DX and that continued untll this last week or so when i got back up to my normal weight, my normal weight is about 160 and was diagnosed at about 115 so i had alot of work to do to get back up.

I'm late onset and was very hungry before my diagnosis, eating and drinking like crazy and losing about 15-20 pounds. After dka when I was started on mdi I felt constantly hungry- I think it is the insulin that makes you feel this way because it's constantly in your system at larger amounts than you may need especially if you're mdi. Type 1 also lose production of amylin which slows digestion when you start to eat, so this can explain feeling hungry all the time after you finish eating. I don't know if this is what is causing your son to be hungry, it could be a combo of different things, including him not having gotten proper nutrition for a while, not having amylin, insulin injected now and him growing and needing to replenish his body from what happened. I use symlin now to help slow digestion, I'm not sure if a child can use this or not, but you can ask his endo about that. There may be other things he can do to help the hunger/suppress it if needed. That is great that he is doing so well!

Hi Amanda,

I would also recommend checking Ketones especially if his bloods are running closer to the low side rather than high side. (I know, a complete reverse of everything you have heard about checking for them.) I was a camper 30 some odd years ago, starving at camp with great bgs, but I was dropping weight. Let him eat. You will be able to work it out with his endo. As the group said, probably just a short term thing anyway being newly diagnosed. Get involved with JDRF as well as they are a great organization.

Hunger is a feeling and it is driven by a number of things:

1. Low or dropping blood sugar. And guess what, Jake had a high blood sugar, perhaps for a while, so he now is seeing a low blood sugar and is hungry.
2. Insulin, oops again, Jake was low on insulin and now has insulin.
3. Amylin, a hormone that modulates digestion and signals satiety, and oops, it is produced along with insulin and Jake has probably lost a lot of Amylin production.
4. Regain, as others have mentioned, you often lose weight before T1 diagnosis, both fat and muscle and in the weeks that follow treatment you finally can regain and your body is hungry to help you.

One thing that can help your son is to give him foods that provide satiety, meals and snacks with lots of protein and fat. Meals that are almost all carbs may cause a cycle of hunger 2-4 hours after the meal. Protein and fat slow digestion and are absorbed over a period of 3-5 hours.

*coming weeks. Love typing on my phone. :stuck_out_tongue:

Be sure to check out the parents’ group here at TuD. Type 1 Parents is another good site, as us

I recall that my daughter tended to eat a lot while she was in the midst of growth spurts. It may be that that sort of normal activity is going on on top of the other diabetes-related activity. It sounds like Jake is rocking it and that's the most important part, that the person with diabetes is engaged and active in taking care of themselves.

Thank you all so much!!!!! I did make up bags of "free" snacks that are both on the counter and in the fridge. He did lose 18 lbs in a fairly short about of time so it does make sense what everyone is saying....

I am so overwhelmed, but confident that if we keep him healthy, then all will be OK in this "new" life....

Again that's so much!!!!