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January 21, 2000

Daily Care

Question from England:

Our 12 year old son, who has Type 1 diabetes, was diagnosed approximately 12 weeks ago. He is out of the honeymoon period and we have adjusted his insulin accordingly. After achieving initial near perfect control regarding his blood sugar and diet, we are experiencing problems with both 'lows' and 'highs'. There seems to be no specific consistency with his blood sugar readings. He is extremely sporty at school but is being 'tempted' by his friends who continually offer him sugary drinks and sweets. Although he is very honest and up-front regarding these 'forbidden fruits', we are very anxious and concerned about the long-term damage that 'high' blood sugars can do. Our son has never refused his finger pricks or injections so, are we worrying unduly?


Every parent worries about their children, and when your child has diabetes you just worry more. It’s part of the job of being a parent. If you are looking for near perfect control, you are setting yourselves up to be disappointed forever. No one can do that, unless their whole lives revolve around diabetes to the exclusion of everything else. The honeymoon period, where his body was still making its own insulin is now over, and so everything rests on the insulin you give in shots.

Also, there should never be any forbidden foods for people with diabetes. With the ability to count carbs, the choices you have about foods to eat has expanded tremendously. If your son “needs” something to eat, help him figure out how to account for it in his carbs for that meal or snack. Eating these foods at the time of a scheduled meal or snack instead of in between will be helpful.