1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Get the Diabetes Forum App for your phone - available on iOS and Android.
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Guest, we'd love to know what you think about the forum! Take the Diabetes Forum Survey 2019 »
    Dismiss Notice
  4. Diabetes Forum should not be used in an emergency and does not replace your healthcare professional relationship. Posts can be seen by the public.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community »

Need a advice on Type 1 for a kid - low carbs diet

Discussion in 'Type 1 and low carb' started by OlgaJ, Nov 17, 2016.

  1. OlgaJ

    OlgaJ Type 1 · Newbie

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    23
    Hello to everyone. I am looking for advice/help, please.

    My son has just been diagnosed with Diabetes type 1. He is 5 years old and is active enough. He was on a high-carb diet with lots of insulin at hospital. When we back at home, I put him on a low-carb diet and decreased insulin doses from 13units/ per day to 4units. Later I noticed that his sugar levels were within limits, for example, in the morning - 4 - 6mmol, 2 hours after breakfast - 5 - 7mmol, just before lunch 3.2 - 6 mmol, after lunch - 4.4 - 6 mmol, so on my risk but with a great care I cut insulin doses down and did injections only when it was necessary (high carb food or extra snacks).
    My son eats up to 8 times a day, including snack times up to 5 times a day and is absolutely happy about this. Please, could someone advice me if I do right thing as diabetes team pushes me on high-carb food, including fast food, with ''a right'' dose of insulin. Also, maybe you know someone wh proctices a low carbs diet I could speak with or any legal articles I could use against them, please.
    Thank you
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Winner Winner x 1
  2. robert72

    robert72 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,884
    Likes Received:
    3,620
    Trophy Points:
    178
    Hi @OlgaJ and welcome to the forum. I will tag @CathP who may be able to give advice.
     
  3. himtoo

    himtoo Type 1 · Well-Known Member
    Retired Moderator

    Messages:
    4,660
    Likes Received:
    5,393
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Hi @OlgaJ
    welcome to the forum :)-- and sorry you have to join us with your son diagnosed.:(
    it is a stressful time for the whole family.

    It is a really difficult question to answer -- with a recent diagnosis your son may be experiencing a "honeymoon" period which means his insulin requirements could be a lot less and also erratic.

    you are doing the right thing with a lot of testing.

    as for his doctors and their advice on diet and levels of insulin -- we are all individuals and as time goes on your son's needs may or may not increase -- his diet will be provided by you , so you have an input into his insulin needs.

    try not to totally dismiss your doctors -- just be aware that all of us D's are people and individual -- I am sure your doctors are keen for your son to be the best he can be but ultimately in his young age now you are his main provider and carer.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. azure

    azure Type 1 · Expert

    Messages:
    9,806
    Likes Received:
    7,422
    Trophy Points:
    178
    Hi @OlgaJ :)

    Sorry to hear about your son's diagnosis. It's best you speak to your son's consultant before changing his diet, so you can get advice specific to him and make sure his diet is balanced.

    Hopefully they'd also be able to,recommend appropriate amounts of carbs, protein and fat :)

    No one can tell you whether you're doing the right thing. We all want the best for our children :) All you can do is research (studies NOT Facebook, biased websites or blogs), speak to your son's team, and settle on a level of carbs that suits him.

    It's hard with such a young child. There are other parents here so keep checking back. Most don't log in every day.

    It sounds like you've made a very confident start :)

    Edited to add you may also want to look at information about pumps. I have three children, none of whom have Type 1 (fingers crossed) but if they did, a pump would be top of my list. I personally would choose a level of carbs that was moderate rather than very low or very high. Most early problems with high blood sugars after carb meals are due to the insulin timing needing adjustment rather than the fault of the carbs, as long as they're not excessive. I had this problem myself early after diagnosis - spiking to 13+. I now eat the same meal and only spike to a max of 6.5.

    I believe @mcpound has a child on a pump if you're interested.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. CathP

    CathP Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    189
    Likes Received:
    136
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Hi Olga,

    So sorry your son was recently diagnosed, it's a nasty shock isn't it? My daughter was diagnosed this time last year, age 4. We managed about a month following the recommended high carb diet, but decided it didn't work for her, so have been low carb almost a year. We've gone low carb as a family, so her twin sister and little brother follow the same diet. I can't say if you're doing the right thing...we've agonised ourselves over whether it's the right thing, but I can say a year on this diet and she's growing well, full of life and we had clinic today with an hba1c of 5.6%. The dietician and consultant don't support us, but they no longer fight us, I think a change of thinking is on its way in regards to low carb. Check out typeonegrit, that's the open page, and TYPEONEGRIT is the closed page. Loads of parents of t1 kids successfully low carbing as well as adults and lots of support.

    Best wishes.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. OlgaJ

    OlgaJ Type 1 · Newbie

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    23
    Thank you everyone for replies and support. I have been living with diabetes for 20 years, that is why feel a bit more confident with my son. Diabetes nurses don't try to find the best way of diabetes treatment for my son and just following their ow rules without taking into account his lifestyle. Meanwhile, I choose a balanced diet with a bit less carbs. For example, for dinner he can have 1 steam meatball with a carrot and cabbage, 30 g potatoes, cucumber and cottage cheese with no insulin, so before bed time his sugar level is 6.5 mmol and in the morning 3.4. They say I have to give him as much high carbs food as he wants with a right dose of insulin. Cheeseburger or Ice cream is a great food and I shouldn't restrict him. This is confusing me as even healthy child is not allowed to eat everything and at any time when they want. My understanding, they suggest no control/ restricts on food or meal times if you make insulin, if sugar level is low before lunch, for example, I need to give him sweets or juice, to give insulin dose and then to feed, without taking into account his activities at school straight after. Maybe I am really don't undersatand something, but would like to get advice from someone, who knows how to manage my situation.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. AlexandraMarnie89

    AlexandraMarnie89 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    38
    Trophy Points:
    58
    Personally I would say don't do low carb. If you read up on dawn phenomenon you will find that in order for us to wake up in a morning our blood sugars rise. If your son is waking at 3.4 that is technically hypo and his levels will have been lower than that before he woke up, meaning that his brain will have been starved of the carbohydrates that are necessary for normal brain function. Low carb does work in the short term but in the long term can be dangerous and impair brain function. Our brain requires mainly glucose in order to run and our muscles need adequate carbohydrates in order to convert fats etc into useable energy. You may also find that whilst his blood sugars seem to be running ok, he may be ketotic due to the lack of carbohydrates. I'm not in any way saying to feed him cheeseburgers and ice cream etc but really we all need to be eating things like last, rice, pulses etc. They're not this big enemy that a lot of people make them out to be and as long as his diet is balanced and in general healthy then you should be able to managed it by matching his insulin and carbs. There used to be a course called DAFNE (dose adjustment for normal eating) ran at hospitals which is incredibly helpful - it may be worth asking about it - I think the name has changed but they will still run similar. But please please,and I'm saying this as a SN as well as a type 1 diabetic, be very careful of low carbing for all of you, not just your son and be very wary of those morning BMs! There is no reason why as a type 1 diabetic we can't eat a normal, healthy diet
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. Jaylee

    Jaylee Type 1 · Expert
    Retired Moderator

    Messages:
    9,750
    Likes Received:
    9,050
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Hi @OlgaJ ,

    Severe roller coastering of balancing high levels of insulin to counteracting carbs can be just as dangerous to the brain.
    High levels of sugar in the blood overwhelm & damage receptors that ere meant to protect the organ at considerably lower levels.. That's not to mention the other organs in the body regarding the highs.. It's got to be a juggling act balancing someone else's diabetes whether T1 yourself or not..
    I'm not going to rattle off any more. However I will tag in @tim2000s who will give an unbiased take on the whole thing..
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. CathP

    CathP Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    189
    Likes Received:
    136
    Trophy Points:
    83
    The brain and muscles work very well using ketones as fuel as well as glucose.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Like Like x 1
  10. azure

    azure Type 1 · Expert

    Messages:
    9,806
    Likes Received:
    7,422
    Trophy Points:
    178
    I recommend the book Think Like A Pancreas if you're looking for more information. It's very popular here and excellent.

    It sounds like your son's team are trying to reassure you by saying he can eat as many carbs as he wants. but you're quite right that these foods shouldn't be eaten every day, and that he needs a healthy diet. You must find what works for him - in all ways.

    You should also bear in mind that he's probably going through the 'honeymoon period' where his body can still make small amounts of insulin of its own, so this will be affecting things. If he lost weight before diagnosis, it could be the hospital were trying to help him put that weight back on. My first 'diet' from the hospital was higher carb than I eat now, but I then gradually adjusted if back to a moderate level of carbs (adjusting my insulin too, of course).

    In my opinion, it's false to,say that Type 1s can just go out and eat a huge feast of carbs. However, it's equally false to,say that Type 1s can only exist on tiny amounts of carbs. Find the level of carbs that suits your son (my guess is that that will be a moderate level) and do look into a pump if you're interested. You'll find that will help if he's an active child, and will also help you control his basal insulin and his meal time insulin doses more precisely.

    I also urge you to speak to his team. This forum does not recommend a very low carb diet for children without the advice and support of an appropriate paediatric team. He doesn't have to eat high carb, but you should bear in mind he needs appropriate nutrition for growth. Please don't be swayed by Facebook or blogs or wonder stories on the internet. Your son needs the right diet for him and any extreme diet is very unlikely to provide that - no matter how loud the hype.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. tim2000s

    tim2000s Type 1 · Expert
    Retired Moderator

    Messages:
    8,924
    Likes Received:
    11,804
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Hi @OlgaJ - you may want to take a look at the Type 1 Grit group on Facebook, as @CathP has mentioned. I can't really comment on low carb for kids, but as long as your child is growing as expected and you are seeing no signs of issues, then how you approach diet is entirely up to you.

    Whilst I differ in my point of view generally to @AlexandraMarnie89 , she is completely correct in that your son waking up at 3.4 is way too low. There is a push to define 3.5mmol/l as the "Hypo" point, and below this you are starting to get into a realm that means as he gets older, he may struggle to recognise hypos. I think you need to blood test overnight to see what is happening and adjust insulin accordingly. But, just to reiterate, he really shouldn't be waking at 3.4mmol/l.

    I wrote this page about low carb and type 1, which seeks to dispel a few myths, however, I'd also add that the majority of the evidence that I used was based around adults. One of the key things to be aware of is whether your son is getting the appropriate levels of important vitamins (which tend to be prevalent in many more carb intense foods) and what types of exercise they do, as some, regardless of control of glucose levels, require a glucose based metabolism rather than a lipid based one.

    Suffice to say that it's all quite complex when it comes down to managing this with kids, and I'm not sure there is a single HCP who would recommend anything other than a healthy diet. What you determine to be healthy is where the variation comes in.
     
  12. Battleaxe1981

    Battleaxe1981 · Member

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    23
    Hi. I read this because I'm worried my 8 year old type 1 is having too much carbs and was interested to hear what was said. I do worry that a normal morning and before lunch reading for your little one is in the lower 3's? I thought anything below 4 was a hypo. To begin with I thought better to run a little high. But that has risks long term. It's such a juggle! Wish u the best of luck xxx
     
  13. azure

    azure Type 1 · Expert

    Messages:
    9,806
    Likes Received:
    7,422
    Trophy Points:
    178
    Welcome @Battleaxe1981 :)

    How many carbs is your son having? If he's eating a normal amount for his age (minus an excess of sweet things) and his blood sugar is ok, then I wouldn't worry.

    Moderation in all things is wise - especially where children are concerned :)
     
  14. Battleaxe1981

    Battleaxe1981 · Member

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    23
    Thank you x

    It varies from day to day but usually fruit n yoghurt, toast, cereal bar type stuff for breakfast.
    Sandwich, wrap, roll for lunch with fruit yoghurt vegetable bits.
    Dinner spaghetti bolognese. Chili n rice. Chicken mash n veg. Type thing.
    Occasional bag of crisps or few sweets. Maybe once a week. (Unless he's with his dad then he eats **** all day it seems )
    I read so much about low carb diets I can't decide if it's a good idea or not. We are carb counting and I'm very precise! Is the low carb diet aimed more at those with fixed doses or type 2s?

    I honestly had no idea how complicated type 1 was until he got diagnosed!

    Thanks for any advice
     
  15. Resurgam

    Resurgam Type 2 (in remission!) · Expert

    Messages:
    6,701
    Likes Received:
    4,300
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Actually the brain uses ketones as an energy source more readily than it uses glucose - according to a Harvard professor, Dr. George Cahill. This is of course not the dangerous high blood glucose ketoacidosis state, but the result of eating a low carb diet. A moderate level of dietary fat is required to maintain ketosis, as that secures the production of the fat mobilising substances discovered by the researchers Chalmers, Kekwick and Pawan back in the 1960s. Sufficient protein is needed to protect the lean body mass, which can be lost when on a fast or a low calorie diet, and it also reduces appetite so that there is less snacking which is such a feature of high carb diets. I have absolutely no experience of treating diabetes in children, but I found that my own children would far rather eat the diet I provided, which was less carb laden, particularly with regard to sugars than what was fed to many of their contemporaries. Even as toddlers they would drop sugary sweets and point to the fruit in the grocer's window, as they preferred grapes and apples as a treat.
    Theoretically the less insulin is used to lower blood glucose levels the better, so the lower the input of carbs to be broken down into glucose and requiring the injection of insulin the better. If a diabetic can use the breakdown of fat both dietary and that created by insulin then they are using a biological system which is not broken and which can be controlled by their own metabolism rather than relying on the testing and injecting done at one particular moment.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  16. azure

    azure Type 1 · Expert

    Messages:
    9,806
    Likes Received:
    7,422
    Trophy Points:
    178
    That sounds a perfectly normal diet :)

    Most Type 1s here eat moderate amounts of carbs and please be assured that you're not doing anything wrong diet-wise for your son :) Moderate carbs and an eye to portions should allow you to keep good control of his diabetes.

    There is no need for extremes in diet to control Type 1 :) You will find a level of carbs that work for your son, and, of course, that may vary as he grows.

    If you haven't already looked into insulin pumps, that might be something you could look into. You could also get the excellent book Think Like A Pancreas for a general idea of Type 1 control :)
     
  17. Battleaxe1981

    Battleaxe1981 · Member

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    23
    Ah thank you so much!
    I'm going into town today so I'll pick it up. I saw another one recommended the other day. Think I'll get both!

    I spoke to my Lil Man about the pump but it sounds like more of a canula. since his admission to hospital when he was diagnosed and had a canula put in in a bit of a hurry he is dead set against it! I'll try again in a couple of months lol

    Thanks for your help xxxx
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. catapillar

    catapillar Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,395
    Likes Received:
    2,897
    Trophy Points:
    198
    @Battleaxe1981 have a little look on YouTube for how insulin pumps look/work and how they are inserted. I hate being cannulated in the arm like they do in hospital. My insulin pump is nothing like that at all. It's a totally different thing - an insulin pump just requires a sub-cutaneous cannula so it's not fussy where it goes and it's not restrictive in the same was as an IV cannula. If a bit of investigation peaks your sons interest I'm sure your diabetic clinic would arrange for a good look at available pumps and maybe even meeting with people using them to help determine whether it's something you want to go for.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  19. Battleaxe1981

    Battleaxe1981 · Member

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    23
    That's a great idea thank you. I'll do that! they do sound great!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. endocrinegremlin

    endocrinegremlin Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    433
    Likes Received:
    285
    Trophy Points:
    103
    Those numbers, especially so soon after diagnosis, suggest your kid is swinging between 'ok' and hypos. Some diabetes can go that low and be ok but I would think as the diabetes settles those numbers will make them feel ill. All a person can do is offer their personal thoughts and as you see they will clash. If I go low carb I feel weak and shaky. Non diabetics eat carbs and sweets and are ok at the end of their day. They take on caffeine to work shifts. They take on sugar on their breaks. We can't be that different but must all find the personal balance.
     
  • Meet the Community

    Find support, connect with others, ask questions and share your experiences with people with diabetes, their carers and family.

    Did you know: 7 out of 10 people improve their understanding of diabetes within 6 months of being a Diabetes Forum member. Get the Diabetes Forum App and stay connected on iOS and Android

    Grab the app!
  • Tweet with us

  • Like us on Facebook