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Autism, strong family history of T2D and morbid obesity

Discussion in 'Ask A Question' started by MrsGruffy, Apr 11, 2019.

  1. MrsGruffy

    MrsGruffy Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hello everyone - long time, no post.
    First a success story of sorts. My 25 year old daughter was diagnosed with PCOS at 14 after a 2kg cyst was removed from her ovary. She has always been overweight, but as she moved into her 20s, her weight really began to sky rocket and she was 130 kg when I finally convinced her to see the doctor and get some tests done. She'd been in denial about her PCOS for years, not wanting to even talk about it. However when I was diagnosed with T2D and after he dad was diagnosed several years ago, I was able to have 'the talk' with her and she was receptive. We went to the GP together, who agreed to testing her insulin levels along with her glucose and hba1c, and sure enough, her insulin levels were through the roof, although she BGL and hba1c were fine. She has been suffereing with some of the awful side effects for PCOS for years. She has to shave her face every day, has very abnormal body hair growth and a dirty "tide mark" around her neck which made her very self conscious and lacking in self esteem and confidence. She's been doing LCHF and taking metformin and spiranolactone now for 6 months or so and she's lost 30 kg even with some slip ups and a few down times where she's just need to take a break. The facial and body hair are not as big a problem as they were and the "tide mark" around her neck is very nearly gone. So proud of her.

    So moving on to my 27 year old son who's recently moved in with me. He has autism, is extremely difficult to feed and to reason with about food, and he weighs more than 160 kg, having lived with his Dad for several years, where take away food was frequently 3 times a day. His diet is nearly 100% bread and potatoes and until recently, junk food. Our attempt with LCHF lasted less than 24 hours, as he became very emotional and resistant even though I made the most delicious LCHF meals I could think of for him. I quickly realised that perhaps the best thing to do is to keep him away from junk food and try to moderately change things in his diet that he will accept and then gradually try to change more elements, one at a time. We've managed to reduce 4 litres of coke no sugar to 1 litre per day along with 2 espresso coffees with cream and sweetener. 2 family blocks of chocolate down to 2 small individual bars per week. Virtually no bought junk food from shops, but I've had to compromise with a few products like pizza pockets a couple of times a week. He does not enjoy meat overall, and it's hard to get him to eat anything seriously meaty, and nothing with fat attached. He is really making an effort to try most things I offer him, but most of them are rejected after a bite or two.

    So does anyone have any experience/advice to help me help him? It does not seem that he's losing any weight so far, and I'm terribly worried about him. He doesn't move without getting breathless and he is a T2D in waiting... although his numbers so far are ok in terms of pathology results. We have engaged with some new services. He has a mentor now for university (he studies 1 unit per semester), is undergoing an OT assessment which seems to be very very useful so far (already diagnosed low muscle tone/dyspraxia - something that has never been picked up before and explains a lot of issues with his fine motor skills like hand writing). We also have a mental health social worker with experience in Autism working with him each fortnight which is also looking very positive (he still wants to go after the third visit!). He is very prone to depression, does not react well to any medication (he has very strange unexpected reactions to everything we've ever tried) and has extreme social anxiety.

    Initially he seriously seemed to be detoxing from junk food. He was really struggling, highly stressed and tearful, but I stuck to my guns and refused to take him to get take away. I've also highlighted the fact that he saved $400 in the first 2 weeks of cutting back on coke and junk food - although money does not feature very highly in his priorities in life. He now says that he's noticed a decrease in his appetite, which is about the only step in a positive direction relating to food so far. I know I have to take it slowly, but my goals are to overhaul his diet, even though strict LCHF or keto might not be an option for him, and get him moving. We're looking at getting a treadmill, because he's expressed an interest in using one, but finding one which will cope with his weight is quite a challenge, and I want to rent one before I buy one, because it's a BIG expense if it ends up sitting in the corner after a few days. He is virtually housebound and trips outside the house make him very anxious. I think if he could lose some weight, then his anxiety about being out of the house might decrease, because I know at least some of it stems from feeling very self conscious about being out. Even going to a cafe is difficult, because often the chairs have sides and he doesn't fit in them.

    Please don't advise to play it tough - it just doesn't work and it would see him heading back to his Dad's and taking up the same poor diet again and social isolation that was part of his life there.

    Thanks in advance for any insights!
  2. xfieldok

    xfieldok Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    You certainly have your hands full. I can't really help with your main issues but I have a suggestion. Does your son like things like Bounty bars? I am in the UK, they are chocolate covered coconut bars. There are loads of recipes on line just Google anything he may fancy, just put Keto in front of it.

    To give him treats that he enjoys might take the edge off dietry restrictions.

    I buy Gouda cheese cut into slices. I snip them into tiny triangles. Put into a low oven for an hour. Then either, leave them for another 15 or 20 minutes or turn up the heat for 5-7 minutes. It is all oven dependant. Use baking parchment for non stick retrieval!
  3. Mike D

    Mike D Type 2 · Expert

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    No advice from me. At 27 and at that weight, he needs to remove the excess kilos ... just a question of how he's inspired to do it
    • Agree Agree x 1
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