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Re: [IP] Fw: Weight gain
- Subject: Re: [IP] Fw: Weight gain
- From: Ruth Elowitz <email @ redacted>
- Date: Thu, 08 Oct 1998 00:20:39 -0700
Your message really caught my attention! I bet Janine could also speak to
this. Forgive me for the input.
I was diagnosed at 11 and put on a pump at 15 (almost 18years ago).
In the meantime, I spent much of the summer with my 10, 12, and 13 year old
nieces and I taught 7th and
8th grade a few years ago from 7 Am - 4:30 PM for 14 months, with only 3 weeks
off. In other words,
I spent a lot of time with 12 year old girls.
A few thoughts:
Estimates vary enormously about pre teens and eating disorders. It is clear
that diabetic girls have even more
of this problem (however big it may be) than non diabetic girls.
It is also true that 11-13 girls and boys all eat erratically and the health ed
I had to teach and the developmental
psychology I had to study say that that is normal and healthy (mostly).
We live in a society obsessed about girls weight and eating. On top of that
diabetes care requires you and her to
be obsessed about eating. It is very hard to survive that.
As a 12 year old I discovered I could loose weight by running high and avert
all the criticism I got everytime I got my
bgs down and gained some weight. While it kept me thin, it was not healthy.
It also took years to learn to deal with food
> > Lauren and I are battling about the weight gain issue. Lauren has always
> > been a carb craver. Since the pump, she loves that she can eat a piece
> > candy and cover it right then. Her carbs were restricted before the pump
> > and now she is over reacting cause she can cover carbs when and where she
> > eats them. She is growing fast and she does not have a weight prob now,
> > but I think her eating habits will eventually need to change if she
> > want to gain more weight.
While your concern is understandable, there is also a long term habit problem
that kicks in when you have to count this stuff endlessly.Chances are good that
if Lauren learns to eat a reasonably well balanced diet and (over time) to eat
when she is actually hungry and
not eat when she is not hungry and to control her bgs, her weight will settle
out to match her body type. Whatever weight that is will be
hundreds of times healthier than if she is more or less thinner and spends
years battling bad eating habits and poor control.
> Worry this is so long... I seem congenitally unable to be terse. I wrote
> > this back to the mail list because I would love to hear what others say
> > about carbs/insulin and about a 12 year olds eating habits and how to
> > influence them.
My experience with 12 year olds is the worst way to influence them is by
monitoring. You might try asking her how she feels aboutthe issue, seeing if
you can establish some guidelines for reasonable eating habits and then once in
a while comment on her wise decisions.
You'll find that for every time you notice a good decision, her behavior will
improve! If you comment too often on poor decisions, they
will mostly just go underground. When I taught school I was amazed by the
things parents were sure they knew about their 12 year olds.
12 year old life (even among those very close to their parents) is often quite
remote from the adult world and despite the fact they often
seemed to spill the beans, the amount of info that was kept quiet was
astounding. Come to think of it, I did that too.
My 10 year old niece lived with us for 6 weeks this summer. She has high
cholesterol (no diabetes), so we were trying to be a good
influence. She is also a somewhat hyperactive kid! My husband noticed her
sneaking candy at camp and as soon as he confronted her about
it, it became a huge issue and I kept finding hidden evidence of more snuck
food. When the three of us sat down together and talked about
changing the situation, we were able to let her generate very reasonable
guidelines (one candy every 2-3 days, no desert on days she'd had cookies
for lunch, one soda a day, etc) and we got to stop being policemen. It was
also fun to hear her tell a friend who came over to dinner that we all
cooked together and worked as a team at making healthy decisions (my eyes
popped out a bit at that one, luckily they weren't looking at me!).
She even quizzed her friend on her eating habits. LOL
For a diabetic 12 year old, a few extra pounds will even out when she eats
reasonably and controls her bgs. They will hurt far less than poor control
If you put the emphasis on making good bg decisions and give her options you
may be surprised to find her making smart decisions and that ocassional junk
food or carb bouts will go away. As to low vs. high carbs...there is not much
evidence that supports the low carb diet being healthier if you can match the
insulin to the diet. On the old shot regimes, carbs were nearly impossible to
match, so by eating high protein, some fat diets and generalizing long term
insulin doses, overall control tended to be much better (no where near as good
as a pump or even MDI but good for those days -- i.e. between 80-250 most of
the time) with fewer swings. Better control always improves heart disease
risks and outcomes. Is it still better? Only if you can significantly improve
11-13 years olds in general tend to need higher carb and protein diets than
adults anyway (less fat thought).
By the way, in my ballet days (9-14), all protein diets were a sure way to
loose weight because they basically caused ketoacidosis (not in diabetics, in
regular girls). There were 5 or 10 other fad diets that worked along these
lines -- the hardboiled egg diet, the grapefruit diet (I never understood how
this one worked)... They did cause us to loose weight! They also caused many
health problems including very early heart disease (3 of the girls I danced
with died of heart attacks before the age of 24, none of them were diabetic).
Sorry for the length! It would be nice to think there might be one less kid
who has to spend years learning how to uncontrol the eating disorders of
diabetes diets though.
Insulin-Pumpers website http://www.bizsystems.com/Diabetes/