My eight-year-old daughter was diagnosed in March, 2011 with Type 1. When she was diagnosed she was put on four insulin shots per day. After returning from vacation in June I decided the family needed to eat healthier. I quickly realized that this did wonders for my daughters BG levels. I was tired of hearing the diabetic experts tell me, "feed her anything she wants and offset it with insulin" so I took her to a nutritionist. We started following a low glycemic diet and since then she hasn't had any insulin, none.
I'm looking for others that have experienced this. How long did it last? I feel my daughter is safer and overall healthier and I want to extend this "honeymoon" period as long as possible. I don't want to get my hopes up but I don't know what to expect.
Her last A1c was 5.6.
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If I can't make fun of myself, then I can't really take myself seriously.
You said: "A low glycemic diet will help initially, then you could move towards a low carb diet. I think those will limit blood sugar surges. That is the only treatment that I am aware of that you can have any confidence working."
But this is not true, and in fact the ONLY treatment that anyone can have any confidence working, is treatment with insulin. Low-carb or no-carb will eventually have the same limitations as low glycemic diet and neither will work once honeymoon starts ending.
Everyone with Type 1 diabetes, from 8 weeks to 80 years old should ALWAYS scrutinized their carb intake. And glycemic index always matters a lot, no matter what insulin you take.
For some of us, our goal as Type 1's is to eat like the "normals" even it means taking an absurd amount of artificial insulin just to do so. For others, the goal is better blood sugars by any means, even if it means restricting carbohydrates.
I believe we have to get kids to accept their diabetes with healthy attitudes toward restricted diet. Parents have a tremendous amount of influence regarding how a T1 feels about his/ her condition. In other words, don't feel sorry for your kids, it won't help them. True happiness is accepting your children for who they are, not how much cake they can or cannot have.
I hope people here haven't deterred you from realizing what a great community of people we are. I am a camp clinician and I too have type 1 diabetes, going on 21 years! I don't discredit your experience as when diabetes is caught early, the needs of the patient are greatly decreased. I had a child who was diagnosed 10 days before camp began and I was her clinician so I know what I'm talking about here. Her TDD, total daily dose, was less than my bolus to correct a high blood sugar. When you combine the activity level of a 8(?) year old along with a low glycemic diet, it is totally possible not to require insulin. There were days at camp that I didn't give her any fast acting (covering carbs) and only 2 units of Lantus. Please, as people here have so graciously suggested, think that this is the norm.
There are endos that suggest that by starting insulin early, that you'll extend the honeymoon phase, but it's not known for sure. I believe this is the case in most instances, but not always. One thing that you can have drawn at the endo's office is called a C-peptide. It measures the amount of insulin your daughter is producing, this way, you can know for sure!
Anyways, I hope you have a great day!
Correction to my statement above....
Please, as people here have so graciously suggested, don't think that this is the norm.
Earlier in the thread some posters referred to LADA , I've seen mention of LADY (latent autoimmune diabetes in the young) and (LADC) latent autoimmune diabetes in children. It seems to be uncommon, there .are only 3 papers (all case studies ) that I could find on pubmed. Quickly scanning them the prolonged 'honeymoon' doesn't seem to be as long as in adults ,
This case study in diabetes care describes two eight year olds who had extended honeymoon periods, one for nine months the other for twelve months.
This may have been mentioned already as this thread is getting very long and I have only skimmed through it. My suggestion to prolong your daughter's honeymoon period is to stay as physically active as possible. An active and a physically fit body is much more sensitive to insulin and therefore requires less insulin to maintain regular BG levels. At the moment your daughter still has partial insulin production, however it will decline with time and then she will start needing more and more insulin as time goes by, by keeping here insulin requirements low from exercise you will extend the time that here own body can supply the necesary amount of insulin to maintain good BG levels. I can say from experience that when I was exercising a lot during the honeymoon period, my body was able to keep its own control a lot easier than when I was not very active.
Also I too went through a period that I did not need any insulin, for me this only lasted a few days, but I had a few months where I only needed 5-10 units in a day.
Shana, I do think it's possible that your daughter is honeymooning & maybe the initial insulin usage gave her pancreas a little "relief" from the strain it had been under & then it picked up again. My daughter is 15, diagnosed Nov 2010 & she uses very little insulin. She is still honeymooning, she is a participant in a clinical trial to preserve beta cell function, & she is very physically active. We have changed our diets, but we don't really limit carbs, just trying to eat a healthy diet. So I think all of these things have helped her. When she was on MDI, she only needed about 10 units of Lantus each night, with no Novolog during the day. She started the pump in August & her basal rate is about 7 units per day. Some days she doesn't have to bolus for meals. She is definitely still producing some of her own insulin. It has been mentioned to me that she might want to use a little more insulin than she actually does, just to take the pressure off her pancreas & possible stretch the life of those beta cells that are working. So in her case, she has not been through a period of absolutely no insulin since diagnosis (she went into DKA & was hospitalized) but she has been using very small amounts. As for the clinical trials, the one my daughter is in enrolls newly-diagnosed patients--within the first 3 months, so we had to make that decision fast. I think most of the beta-cell preserving drug trials work this way because they're trying to jump in on the honeymoon period & extend it. But you should check clinicaltrials.gov or the trials link on JDRF to see if there is something that might work for you. This trial has been a very positive experience for us, even if the results don't last, mostly because we've seen a doctor very regularly (weekly, then monthly) since diagnosis, instead of every 3 months. Hope all this might help you somehow.
Please also read Dr. Bernstein's book. He says that if diabetes can be caught early enough, the honey moon period can be extended for a long time (or even indefinitely) by completely normalising blood sugars (through low carb diet and appropriate addition of meds / insulin). He discusses that his diet is also safe for children.
In his latest Q&A ebook he said his son had high blood sugars during a flu. He immediately put him on a low carb diet and with regular intensive exercise, which he then continued long term. The son never developed diabetes (though obviously he would have the predisposition).
It will be wonderful if you can extend this honeymoon period for a very long time.....
Sounds like you are very knowledgable and supportive mother.
Bernstein also talks about the use of insulin for children, including very low doses (sometimes need to be diluted) to maintain the normal blood sugars and avoid swinging all over the place.
Children also have a right to a long happy life. Stuffing a diabetic child full of carbs is not good. Just like adults, children can get energy on a low carb diet.
LaurenB11, you've mentioned this several times now and I'm not sure why you assume my daughter isn't getting those things. When I refer to "Diet" I simply mean the food that one eats. She eats fruits, veggies, meat, snacks, treats, nuts, fat, etc, etc. She's gluten intolerant so we avoid that and we don't eat a lot of dairy but she drinks almond milk and coconut milk. I bake her double chocolate chip cookies, bread, cupcakes, muffins and a ton of other things, I just make sure they are low glycemic (almond flour, agave nectar, etc). And they are delicious. I know because the neighborhood kids devour them too!!
What she doesn't eat a lot of are highly processed foods, candy that is pure sugar, happy meals, fast food, etc. She does get some of these things on occasion but we do avoid them because they are just not good for us. I don't know what you consider a "normal 8-year-old diet" but my daughter gets plenty of food, plenty of carbs, plenty of treats. She's active and happy. I'm just lucky that right now her pancreas is still functioning fairly well. Avoiding big spikes in sugar is simply helping her body, just as it would with any body. And yes, she eats all these things w/o needing "additional" insulin, her body is currently producing enough.
I get what you are saying that she's only 8 and should be able to be a kid. But even before she was diagnosed there were restrictions on what she could eat and those restrictions were the same as what I listed above.
I'm glad your daughter is not on a restrictive diet. Lauren wan't talking about the diet you feed your child - she was talking about the Bernstein book, which is a VERY restrictive diet. Bernstein allows a maximum of 30 grams of carb per day, and fixed amounts of protein with every meal, and prohibits all fruits, some vegetables, most dairy, most nuts, etc.