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April 11, 2011

Meal Planning, Food and Diet, Weight and Weight Loss

Question from Colorado, USA:

My 15-year-old daughter was diagnosed with type I in November 2007. For diabetes management, she uses Lantus and NovoLog. Over the past one and a half to two years, she has experienced a steady increase in weight. At first, she was growing in height to offset the weight gain, but as her height has stabilized, her weight has not. She is a competitive dancer and has danced for 11 years. She exercises five or six days/week. I have always been very aware of nutrition and following a good diet so, from the start, she has been on a healthy balanced diet. When she was experiencing this continuous weight gain, we went to our diabetes clinic to get their suggestions. My daughter kept a food journal for a month and met with the dietitian at the clinic to see if there were some suggestions that she would have. The dietitian told us that she could not ask her to follow a better diet plan than she does. That just made this all the more frustrating! My daughter has since gone gluten free and is limiting grains to approximately one serving per day. She has cut back on dairy intake (we use almond and coconut milks for tea, smoothies) and she eats lean meats, fresh produce, etc. Nothing seems to stop the weight gain that she continues to see. Do you have any suggestions? I searched the questions posed and there was an emphasis on the balance between insulin management, healthy eating and exercise, all of which my daughter does already.

Answer:

Thre does not seem to be an obvious answer re: excess food intake, from what you have presented especially with all the excellent exercise going on. I would assume that thyroid and adrenal hormone testing has been done several times and is normal; if not, sometimes this can cause excess weight gain without other explanation. Excess insulin also can cause this, so I would urge you to go back to the diabetes team and do some detective work and problem solving with the diabetologist especially.

SB