From Brooklyn, New York, USA:
My 10 year old niece has type 1 diabetes and, even though my sister sits with her to explain the consequences of eating candy, she stills eats it at school or anywhere she has a chance! My sister finds the candy wrappings in her book bag and jacket. When confronted, my niece denies it.
Recently, my sister found insulin and syringes in her daughter's jacket. She suspects that, lately, what she is doing, is eating candy and injecting herself so that when is time for lunch, which my sister takes to her every day, her blood sugar is "normal." My sister is terrified of giving her an overdose of insulin.
What can my desperate sister do in regards to this problem? She has taken her to be evaluated by the school counselor and the counselor suggested that my sister should talk to her, but talking is not helping. Is there any special counseling out there that could help my niece and sister? How about home schooling?
Candy is not forbidden any longer among individuals with type 1 diabetes. In fact, no food is forbidden. Now that we have rapid acting insulins, individuals are educated about carbohydrate counting. As long as people with diabetes count their carbohydrates and know how many units of insulin they need to take to cover the carbohydrates, then they can eat what everyone else eats.
My recommendation is that you help your sister and niece find a pediatric diabetes program with a multidisciplinary team that has a dietitian as a member of the team. The conflict around food must be so frustrating for everyone, but it does not need to occur. Once they receive the appropriate education and learn about healthy eating and carbohydrate counting, these arguments will probably no longer occur.
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:10:00
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