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Healthy Diet

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by KelliTwins, Nov 27, 2010.

  1. KelliTwins

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    I haven't posted on here in quite a while, but had a question that I was hoping you guys could help me with! My son Greg is now 6, and is has been pumping for approximately two years with the Animas Ping.
    Greg was recently diagnosed as having a mood disorder, and because of this diagnosis, is taking quite a cocktail of medications. We recently introduced a stimulant into his cocktail, which completely threw his system into an upheaval. The mood disorder that we thought we had a handle on was once again completely out of control. In speaking to my mother, who is a psychiatric nurse, and my grandfather, who is a type 1 diabetic himself, they both suggested that Greg's diet could be contributing to his illness and making the situation worse. They have *advised* me to eliminate all sugar from his diet. Now, maybe I'm mistaken, but the endo has always told us to allow Greg to eat what he wants (which I take to mean as any non diabetic child should eat), and we treat it with insulin. Am I incorrect in thinking this way?
    Here is what Greg eats on a normal day: (/=or)
    Breakfast: oatmeal/bowl of cereal/omlet with water to drink
    Snack: grapes/apple/banana/granola bar
    Lunch: cheese sandwich with mustard on wheat bread, Capri Sun Roaring Waters Drink (8 carbs), grapes/apple, possibly Goldfish
    Snack: sliced cheese/piece of fruit/granola bar/Nutra Grain bar
    Dinner: meat, side dish, vegetables, fruit, water to drink
    Snack: some form of protein...apples and peanut butter, etc.

    I didn't think his diet was unhealthy at all. I don't ban anything from his diet. On Halloween, he was able to eat a few pieces of candy. On Thanksgiving, he had a piece of pie. We treat everything he eats with insulin. Am I missing something?
    I'd appreciate any input!

    Thanks!

    Kelli
     
  2. sammysmom

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    In terms of diabetes, he can essentially eat like anyone else and adjust with insulin. In terms of mood disorder food MAY have an effect on some of the symptoms. I believe your mother was most likely talking in terms of the mood disorder and was probably not bashing the way you treat his diabetes. The diet he is eating seems fine to me. Why not discuss it with his psychiatrist and try to find the happy medium between the two.
     
  3. hdm42

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    I agree with Shannon. In terms of D, his diet looks fine.
    I'd talk to the psychiatrist and any other doc that's helping you with the mood disorder and ask if there are any food links that they know of.
     
  4. Corinne Masur

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    The idea that sugar can contribute to or actually cause ADHD and/or mood disorders in children is a controversial one with MANY people on each side of the issue. Perhaps you want to research this for yourself and draw you own conclusions.
     
  5. TheFormerLantusFiend

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    Most of us with type 1 diabetes have a food or three that sends our blood sugars into tailspins even though it leaves other people unscathed.

    If one of those foods has a really wonky effect on Greg (I've heard oatmeal does that?) or if he's spiking to 400 after his meals, then yeah, maybe something needs adjusting.

    But the way you judge a diabetic's diet is in two ways:
    1. Is it an overall healthy diet for people in general? (sounds like yes)
    2. Is it negatively affecting his blood sugar after multiple attempts at insulin adjustment? (which may not even be preventable, depending).

    It sounds to me like Greg has a stable and healthy diet that is unlikely to be improved upon, but I don't think any of us can tell you that for certain. Certainly your relatives cannot tell you that either.
     
  6. C6H12O6

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    The issue is likely related to adding the stimulant to his treatment rather than diet. Stimulants should be used with caution in bipolar disorder as they could cause or exacerbate symptoms of mania. Whereas, stimulants are not contraindicated in depressive disorders and have actually be found to be effective in alleviating symptoms of depression

    The reason I mentioned both scenarios is you did not specify the nature of the mood disorder.
     
  7. Heather(CA)

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    I agree with everyone else, as far as D goes your doing great. I wouldn't change a thing. There are things we eat that can affect mood though, red food coloring for example... You might want him tested for food tolerances.
     
  8. deafmack

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    The diet looks fine. I think the only way you will know is if you start keeping a food diary. Also maybe listing his medications and see if there is any interactions with other medications that he might be taking or interactions with foods he might be eating. Other than that I don't see anything. Again the other thing is he could be going through a growth spurt and that could be causing the changes due to hormonal changes to allow for the growth spurt.
     
  9. Mody_Jess_Pony

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    I have a mood disorder, and ADD, and it supposedly believed that if you are put on a carb free sugar free diet that it will help improve symptoms. To be honest IMHO his diet is fine, to me it's all in adjusting the cocktail of meds in till it gets just right, I'm on a stimulant and a serotonin upper right now, both have to spaced a part so they don't fight each other, and I had to work to find a medication that did work. The diet thing honestly having tried every single thing in the book doesn't really do anything spectacular IMHO that is......
    Also how long has he been on the stimulant because it takes a while for the body to adjust and everything is OUT of whack for awhile, especially with ADD meds, they effect behavoir/make over emotional/aren't fun to start on, and should always be started at lower doses, and worked up to full dosages. You can PM if you have any questions.
    Also if you are on serotonin uppers with a stimulant they work against each other.
     
  10. C6H12O6

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    Where did you read that ? I was under the impression they should work synergistically.
     
  11. StillMamamia

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    Yes, this is a good idea.

    It must be so frustrating trying to balance it all.:( I wish you best of luck.

    His D "diet" seems totally fine, IMO.
     
  12. Lisa P.

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    There is a book called "Little Sugar Addicts" that posits that for some people there is a link between depression and the way the body uses the sugar. Here's her take:

    Depression (biochemical) occurs when the brain does not have enough seratonin, which is a neurotransmitter that helps your nervous system communicate.

    Depression (and mood disorders) are usually treated by giving a seratonin reuptake inhibitor. It's a drug that stops the body from absorbing back seratonin, so that when your body produces seratonin instead of absorbing it all back much of it stays available, so you have more seratonin floating around.

    She believes that in some folks diets with refined carbs lead not to a decrease but an increase in seratonin. Your body likes to stay in balance, when there is too much seratonin it will use dopamine (I think?) to take some out. She thinks that in a lot of folks with depression, what's happening is not that they have too little seratonin, but that they are creating too much and their body is overreacting and pulling it out, leaving them with too little in the end. If these folks are given anti-depressants, it gives them more seratonin at first but when the body sees that extra it goes into overdrive again and pulls it out again. In the end, you can either keep upping the dosage of antidepressant, or you can change your diet to help your body make more sense.

    She has a system that includes a diet with plenty of carbs -- but they are all brown and green. NO WHITE CARBS at all. No white sugar, no high fructose corn syrup, no white flour, no white rice, no artificial sweeteners.

    I mention this because my nondiabetic oldest daughter seems to follow this pattern, as do I.

    So this is not about diabetes. When your endo says your diabetic kid can eat "what anyone else can eat" that's kind of an unhelpful statement, since there is no "everyone else". Some kids can't eat peanuts. Some adults can't eat spicy foods. Some can't eat high fat because of heart disease. Every body, even the bodies of diabetics, is different.

    I know many kids that would eat the diet you describe and be happy, healthy, robust, kick-butt kids. My oldest (nondiabetic) daughter? If she ate that diet, she'd be in tears every day. She would have a hard time coping with any stressful peer situation. She'd have difficulty sleeping. And she wouldn't, by the end of the week, be eating the meat and the veggies because all she'd want to eat is the fast carbs.

    I have no idea if your son has the same inclination, but I think it's worth talking to your pediatrician about.
     
  13. Lisa P.

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    To clarify -- absolutely a healthy diet.
    For my child, here's what she couldn't take:
    Oatmeal if it were fast cooking and particularly if flavored at all
    Breakfast cereal, hands down
    granola bar
    Capri Sun
    Bread would have to be 100% whole wheat and not have HFCS
    goldfish
    granola bar
    grapes are not our fruit of choice, and fruit once or twice a day

    Now, we do not follow the diet we "should". She was on it strictly for about a year and it helped her feel better, then we slacked off gradually. But she still feels it when she eats these things, and it affects her other food choices and cravings. But she has learned better how to cope with those feelings and having them modified somewhat means they are a little gremlin she has to beat down instead of a raging monster she can't understand or control.

    It was really hard for us because, as you see, most of what she couldn't eat from the list is what people generally think of as very healthy food, so at school, etc. I'd say she can't eat, for example, a granola bar and folks would look at me like I had two heads. But if she at the granola bar, she'd be crying on the playground.

    Just our experience, if that helps.
     
  14. Mody_Jess_Pony

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    Concerta and apparently Celexa work against each other at least thats what the psych lady told me, I could be wrong though, she could be wrong.....still I was told it's best to space meds, antidepressants/serotonin uppers at night/mood meds and stimulant in the morning.....
     
  15. twodoor2

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    In terms of D for my daughter, and this does not apply to your child, I cannot give my child cheese and I also have to avoid other foods like eggs, peanut butter, which cause a delayed fat/protein spike. Therefore, the cheese sandwich, omlet, peanut butter are something we cannot give (at least in normal size quanitites). That's not to say this diet above isn't healthy or doesn't work for you, but in terms of the old adage, "you can eat what you want, just treat with insulin" doesn't apply to my daughter. If the above diet works for you, that is fine, I just wanted to give my perspective. The diet above does seem very healthy and fine to me for any other child (aside from my own).
     
  16. KelliTwins

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    Thank you all for your wonderful advice and input! I greatly appreciate it! I think our frustration comes from all of the unwarranted advice from our families, who have really no clue when it comes to Type 1 diabetes in children. They have been telling me that they *hate* seeing us let him eat what he wants and then treat it with insulin. In their opinion, he should be on a very strict, sugar free diet...no snacks, no special treats, etc. He should never have candy, never have dessert, etc. In their opinion, he has to learn very strict eating habits to carry him through the rest of his life. When I try to explain that he does have very healthy eating habits, they look at me as if I am crazy. It makes me start to doubt myself!
    Right now, we are calling his disorder a mood disorder because there really is no definitive diagnosis for a child so young. I think the diagnosis is definitely leaning towards bipolar disorder, which is what we are treating him for. Right now, he is taking Intuniv (ADHD), Lamictol (mood stabilizer), Abilify (antipsychotic often used in conjunction with a mood stabilizer), Strattera (another ADHD), and Melatonin (for sleep). I absolutely agree that adding the stimulant was what set him off into another *manic* episode, as is that case for many children with bipolar disorder. When we saw the horrible side effects from the stimulant, we stopped it immediately, but, unfortunately, once a manic episode has started, you really have no other choice than to work through it and wait it out. Although Greg is seeing a psychiatrist who is prescribing his medications, I'm not comfortable with the amount of medications that he is taking, as it seems like we are constantly adding to them and never taking any away. We are currently waiting for an appointment with the psychiatrists at our local children's hospital. I feel like they see only children every day, and will be able to shed more light on this murky situation.
    My family also believes that, because he does still have sugar in his diet, it is somehow contributing to him having bipolar disorder. If we put him on a stict, sugar free diet, it will somehow alleviate all of the symptoms that we are seeing. I've tried to explain the science behind mood disorders, but they don't seem to get that. In their minds, their way of thinking is right, and we are the ones who have no idea what we are doing.
    As a mother, it's hard enough to see your child struggling. It's hard to watch your child sob and say, "I'm just so sorry, Mom!" after one of his rages. But to be told by your family members that you are somehow causing this just makes it worse!
    Thanks again for all of your understanding and support!

    Kelli
     
  17. Corinne Masur

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    It sounds like some of your family members have ideas about the "correct diet" for a child with Type 1 diabetes that are not based on current knowledge or are based on confusion between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Perhaps for Christmas you might want to give some "gifts" to these family members such as copies of "Think Like a Pancreas" or "The Diabetes Book" (Pink Panther) or a book specifically about diet and Type 1.....
     
  18. misscaitp

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    First and foremost I want to offer you support, being a teen with a variant of bipolar disorder, I can only imagine what my mom goes through. I would say your doing a wonderful job advocating for your son, just a my mom does for me, and that's what counts.

    I personally think that the diet is fine. I know of some people that use CAM (complementary and alternative medicine), which included diet changes, to treat but that only works for some people.

    I hope everything gets better and that you have all the strength to cope with the mania.

    BTW... if you are not on www.bpkids.org I totally recommend it, it has a lot of great resources and they match parents to a support group, mom my loves to have that extra support.
     
  19. C6H12O6

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    Sorry to hear about your struggles, I hope things get better for your family soon.

    Has anyone mentioned the possibility of trying lithium or epival ?
     

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