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Question:

From Summerville, South Carolina, USA:

My 14 year old son was just diagnosed with type 1 diabetes a little over a week ago, and I am trying to find some very basic information since we are very new at this. I have a lot of books, pamphlets, and papers, but I would like to have something very simple to post so that we can all understand how insulin and food works within the body so that he can correctly balance. Can you help me or lead me in the correct direction?

Answer:

It is not clear from your question just how much professional support is available to you at this rather critical time although I assume that you have access to a dietitian from the mention of carbohydrate counting. However, if you and your son have been left rather on your own, I am afraid to say that there is no simple poster that will provide what you might call a 'Beginners Guide to Insulin Dose and Carbohydrate Counting', but there is a lot you can do to make it easier.

First of all to facilitate the measurement of dietary carbohydrate you could begin by downloading CalorieKing.com Food Database 1.6 Palm OS Version onto a Palm Pilot or failing that use Complete Guide to Carb Counting by Hope Warshaw and Karmeen Kulkarni. Then, with the help of your son's physicians if you are planning to, or have already started to move to a flexible insulin regimen that involves a bedtime dose of the no-peak 24 hour Lantus (insulin glargine) with after meal doses of the very short acting Humalog or Novolog insulin.

Please forgive this rather sketchy substitute for an education program that usually takes many hours.

DOB

[Editor's comment: Managing type 1 diabetes, especially in an adolescent can be very challenging. A lot of the information you are seeking can be found by searching this website. If you are not feeling comfortable with things, you need some additional support. It seems to me that you need to set up an appointment with a diabetes education program (specifically geared for children and adolescents). Make sure that you write down all your questions and bring them with you.

It's only through trial and error that you'll learn what works best for your son. Every person is different, so there is no magic formula that fits everybody. It might be very helpful for you to visit our Chat Rooms, and interact with other parents who "have been there".

Hang in there. Things will get easier! SS]

DTQ-20020326220740
Original posting 16 Apr 2002
Posted to Daily Care

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:34
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