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Thread: I think my 12 year old may be diabetic... page

  1. #1
    jodeyh's Avatar
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    I think my 12 year old may be diabetic...

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    I'm kind of freaking out. Back in July of '12, I asked the pediatrician to do some blood work for my son. It wasn't fasting:

    Total Chol: 216
    Trigs: 189
    LDL: 123
    HDL: 55
    VLDL: 38

    TSH: 2.045 (I don't have the lab report, so I don't know the normal ranges)
    Free T4: 1.15

    A1C: 6.2
    Glucose: 131

    My son also has severe ADHD and is medicated. The reason I mention that is because all of the sudden, he has become very impulsive again, and I started wondering yesterday if it could be food or season related. I'm not one to medicate easily, so I'm also not one to raise dosages simply because he's acting nuts for a couple weeks.

    I tested his blood glucose last night and it was 171. I did a double take. We did (what was supposed to be) a fasting glucose this morning (I found out later he'd eaten a kiwi at 5:40am) and it was 143. I took it again a couple hours after he had 2 eggs (and some cheez-its given to him at the OT...not me!) and it was 169.

    He's 12, skinny and muscular. No outward signs that I would have noticed for diabetes.

    I'm trying not to completely lose my mind and do something knee jerk with his diet. He wanted to go for a walk (I homeschool him), so we walked about a mile. Then he was hungry so I made him a coconut milk smoothie (the full fat coco milk from a can) with blueberries and strawberries, coconut oil and a few drops of stevia and some celery with almond butter.

    We are having his blood work repeated in the next few days (assuming the pediatrician agrees to my requests - lipid panel, A1C, Vit D, c peptide, c reactive protein, thyroid (T3, T4, TSH)) and I've made an appointment with a pediatric endocrine specialist. First appt was July!

    I don't know enough about the nutrition of growing children to know how many carbs a day he should be eating. I will be attempting to get more good fats into him, like the coconut smoothies, etc. His biggest carb thing that he eats is fruit (not berries): apples, bananas and pears. I'm talking like 5 or 6 pieces of fruit a day. I told him he could now have 2-3 pieces a day. Does that sound reasonable?

    Talk me off the ledge....

  2. #2
    2ndChance's Avatar
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    More veggies, less fruit. Make him salads topped with olive oil, avocado, and a sprinkle of salt--so good! (this from a kid who totally shunned veggies up til age 19, if I'd've had a salad like this back then I think I might've changed my tune!) Stir fried broccoli or asparagus with garlic...

    Fruit sugar is natural sugar, but it's still sugar, and too much of it will mess with one's insulin response but your son is young, he's eating real food which is more than I can say for most American kids, and if his health isn't perfect he has time to bounce back. The important thing is not to instill in him some kind of complex about food, or lead him to sneak fruit behind your back by demanding he cut down... The best way to go about this I think is to introduce him to other foods he might like better than fruit rather than saying fruit must be limited.

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    eKatherine's Avatar
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    Why do you keep having lipid panels done?

    You should let your doctor manage this or refer you to a specialist.

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    If he's eating plenty of fats and protein, I don't think the fruit should be a problem. I don't think you should have him cut down, just make sure he's getting enough food in general. It's not a problem for kids to snack, especially if they are thin and still growing.

    And I think you should bring this up with a doctor. He does not necessarily need medication, but if you can find a doctor with a holistic focus, they might have some thoughts on how to help him via diet. Does he eat grains?
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    jodeyh's Avatar
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    I don't "keep" having lipid panels done; this is the second one in his entire life. I don't believe that 1 test diagnoses a problem, thus having a second (doctor recommended from the last time he was tested) panel of all the tests done will give us a better picture of what's going on.

    I have an appt for him with a pediatric endo in July, which was the first appt available. If the second tests come back elevated, I will have the pediatrician call the endo and see if they can move the appt up.

    Trust me, I'm not trying to diagnose my kid by myself. As much as I don't like the pediatricians in my area, they do serve their purpose. But I do feel like there are things I can do as a parent to perhaps mitigate whatever IS going on...and keeping an eye on his blood glucose through finger pricks is one way I can help. Reducing the amount of sugars he's eating is another. I just don't want to damage him by restricting too much...he's still growing.

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    jodeyh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by namelesswonder View Post
    If he's eating plenty of fats and protein, I don't think the fruit should be a problem. I don't think you should have him cut down, just make sure he's getting enough food in general. It's not a problem for kids to snack, especially if they are thin and still growing.

    And I think you should bring this up with a doctor. He does not necessarily need medication, but if you can find a doctor with a holistic focus, they might have some thoughts on how to help him via diet. Does he eat grains?
    We don't eat grains at the house; if they go out for dinner, my husband and the kids are allowed to eat whatever they want. That, however, at least for this child, will no longer be happening. And he's fine with that. Luckily, he's my one who will eat whatever I put in front of him and love it; my other one is constantly asking me why we can't eat wheat (it tastes so good Mommy!).

    I'm going to put an emphasis, maybe not out loud as often as I say it in my head, on good fats and protein instead of fruits. He eats all day long, and I think it's because he eats fruit instead of fat for the most part (except for what I put in front of him, which is meat and veggies).

    I did call the pediatrician, and have made an appt with a pediatric endo. I believe in using specialists for specific issues, not general docs. The ped will do the blood work, then I will have them send the results to the endo.

    I will look for a doc with holistic focus...that's a good idea.

    Thanks!

  7. #7
    2ndChance's Avatar
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    Just be careful... or one day your kid will rebel and eat loads of junk food and tell people how his crazy health-obsessed mom wouldn't stop finger pricking him (I'm not trying to be mean, that's just reality)... I ate much, much worse than your kid is eating for 18 years of my life--if there was diabetes to be had I'm sure I had it--but my parents never tried to restrict my eating and I think that's why I am where I am now, I was allowed to "ride out" my junk food cravings until I decided for myself that my health mattered to me. I understand your worry but I think you need to relax. "Diabetes" is just a word--don't let some doctor start pumping your 12 y.o. with insulin, just focus on setting a good example for your kids and let them find their own way... in the long run that will ensure the healthiest results for them more than you restricting them from eating wheat, which will probably only make them want to eat it to spite you once the teenage years hit... You don't want to turn your kid into a hypochondriac! IMO the culprit here might be the ADHD "medication"...I am very skeptical of things like that, but only you really understand your own situation, but it might be worth looking into alternative remedies, for all you know some side effect of the ADHD meds is high blood glucose and you're telling your kid not to eat fruit for no reason...

    Maybe get him an instrument? Music has helped me improve my attention span a lot, and given me an outlet for my energy..

  8. #8
    magicmerl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jodeyh View Post
    Talk me off the ledge....
    Why is he on ADHD meds?

    I'm pretty sure that my brother would have been diagnosed as ADHD if he'd been a kid today, but he never had the meds and is fine today.

    I'm also pretty sure that he's not a diabetic either from what you have posted (a tiny voice inside me suggests that the ADHD meds might be causing some of the 'symptoms' of other conditions). What other symptoms of metabolic syndrome is he exhibiting?
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    diene's Avatar
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    Does he work out or play sports? Physical activity helps reduce ADHD symptoms as well. Incidentally, it also helps with diabetes.

    And I agree with the rebellion thing. I, too, don't believe in overly restrictive parenting styles. My mom was like that (not about food, but she would never let me go out with friends) so I ran away from home when I was in the 7th grade. Yup. 7th grade. Then when I got older, I just ignored her and would stay out all night and not even bother calling her. Had she been more reasonable, I probably wouldn't have felt compelled to take such drastic measures.

  10. #10
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    Yeah your going to have to get some testing done. You really do have to determine if this is type 1, type 2, or prediabetic tendancies and work with it accordingly.

    Unfortunately I disagree with "diabetes is just a word"....particularly in the case of type 1 instances. Its one medical diagnosis that is quite legit. It is not just a set of symptoms that we slap a word on like so many other disorders.

    So focus on the blood sugar issue and get the proper testing done. Post again when you get those results. I wish you and your son the best.

    And to everyone... I don't know if ADHD meds monkey with blood sugar, but that is something to look into. BUT, you can develop type 1 diabetes as an adolescent and these individuals are frequently quite skinny and do not fit the criteria for "metabolic syndrome" which is a completely different animal. Doesn't necessarily mean that I think OP's son has this issue, but he does need some testing....
    Last edited by Neckhammer; 04-18-2013 at 05:21 PM.

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