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December 7, 1999

Meal Planning, Food and Diet, Weight and Weight Loss

Question from Raleigh, North Carolina, USA:

I am a female and almost 13. About 8 months ago, I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Since then, I have put on a considerable amount of weight. When I was diagnosed I weighed 78 pounds and now I weigh 105. I am concerned if I need to change my diet. Presently I eat whenever and whatever I want. My endocrinologist hasn't given me an assigned diet. I am also have consistent high blood sugar. I would like to know what I can do to maintain or even bring down my weight and what kind of diet I need to stick to.

Answer:

I cannot evaluate your caloric level with the information provided, but I would highly recommend that you find a dietitian who is familiar with teens who have diabetes to help you devise a meal plan that suits your lifestyle and will promote proper growth and development. Many factors affect blood sugars — insulin dose, whatever insulin you are probably still producing, activity, growth, food and stress to name a few. Food and insulin should be balanced as well as you possibly can to give you a good start on maintaining good glucose control. Your weight gain can be very normal, depending on how much you lost before you were diagnosed and what your growth has been since.

I hope this helps and wish you good luck in finding a dietitian to help you.

JM