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From Pana, Illinois, USA:

Our five year old daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes on December 27, 2005. After spending three days and nights in the hospital to get her blood sugar levels down, they released her. Her appetite was great for the first couple of weeks after returning home and she gained back the four to five pounds she had lost prior to being diagnosed.

For the last two to three weeks, her appetite has been poor and meal times have been a frustrating struggle to get 45 to 60 grams of carbohydrates in her. The dietitian just told us to try different foods and looked at our daughter and told her she needs to eat. We've tried all kinds of foods, but nothing seems to work. Our daughter says she isn't hungry. Her blood sugar levels haven't been extremely high or low. She just doesn't want to eat unless it's some form of "treat" such as crackers, cookies, or ice cream. She even passes on peanut butter and jelly.


Your situation happens quite frequently after a child is diagnosed with diabetes. Once insulin is started, pre diagnosis weight loss ceases and appetite tends to decrease, due to the fact that insulin is doing its job. I would speak with your health care team and/or the dietitian and suggest a decrease in carbohydrates at meals and/or snacks. There is nothing worse than forcing a child to eat just to cover the insulin she has injected. Sometimes, insulin can be decreased as well as decreasing carbohydrate intake to a level that is satisfactory to the child's appetite as well as maintaining optimal blood sugar control. Meal plans tend to change quite frequently at this age due to growth.


Additional comments from Dr. Marco Songini:

I wouldn't worry too much about your daughter's current diet provided her blood sugar levels are stable around good values and her A1c and body weight are fine. Trying to change her habits might even contribute to predisposing her to some future form of eating disorders that are common among adolescent diabetic girls.


[Editor's comment: As a young girl, our daughter often wouldn't eat well. Our team's psychologist advised us to set up a chart onto which we would affix stickers each time our daughter was cooperative. After so many stickers, we would get a small toy for her, such as a coloring book. After a few months, her attitude changed and we no longer needed the stickers. BH]

Original posting 12 Feb 2006
Posted to Meal Planning, Food and Diet


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:10:06
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