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Lvkjdsts

Is it really ok for him to eat whatever he wants?

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Lvkjdsts

My daughters boyfriend has type 1 diabetes. I am very worried because he does not restrict his diet at all. They make deserts and go out to eat all the time. He is in the bathroom every hour urinating. She said that he told her he can eat whatever he wants as long as it is in proportion. Like I said they are junk food junkies. He's 21 and was diagnosed at age 17. I try to tell my daughter she needs to encourage healthier eating, but she day after day does not. She thinks because he monitors his blood sugar and has an insulin pump he is ok. Should I be worried?

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Cormac_Doyle

If he is monitoring his BGs and keeping those numbers within a good range, then YES - he can continue to eat whatever works for him.

 

Now, terms like "monitoring" and "good range" can be variable ... he should be testing at least 4 times a day, and depending on what he's been eating, upwards on 10 times a day.

Also - the numbers he is seeing, and how he corrects for them with the pump are also important ...

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Kit

The frequent urinating would concern me.  That could be an indication that his numbers go a lot higher than they should be.  Unless you actually see jis numbers, however, there's no way to know for sure.  Its possible he could be fine.

 

I do have to say that just because someone monitors their blood sugar, doesn't mean they have decent control.  I can test myself 20 times a day, eat whatever I like, and monitor away while my numbers soar.  :)

 

Either way, however, he is not your child and he is also an adult.  You can't make him do anything.  You are a good person to show concern however.  :)

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nickm

NO

"monitoring his BGs and keeping those numbers within a good range"  will prevent short term complications, but is not sufficient for good long term health. More diabetics die of vascular disease than high or low sugars. Diabetics need to eat in a way that is associated with good long term vascular health.

www.t1diabetesafter55.blogspot.com.au

 

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Orlando

If he is just 21 then the very best way of getting the message across to him would be via learning a little about "erectile dysfunction". That should provide more than enough motivation. 

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JohnSchroeder

All depends on what his A1Cs are.  A few notes though:

 

  • Your idea of healthy eating AND his idea of healthy eating are both subjective.  Either one or both could be off. 
  • Healthy eating is not quite the same as eating to keep blood sugars inline
  • Related... you sure can eat whatever you want if you take the insulin to compensate.  That is not the same as healthy though.

Personally college years were probably my worst years control wise.  Just so many changes and differing schedules.  So maybe his numbers are running high.  Not great, but not really a signal of long term habits either.

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jwags

Without knowing hos medical history , it is hard to say. If he is using his pump to deliver the right amount of insulin for those carbs then it is OK. I think we all prefer healthier eating but young people do like their fast food. the big danger in eating higher carb diets is you have to use more insulin which may mean you could go too low. Type 1's want to avoid hypos if possible.

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Cora

On the one hand, no one (absolutely no one) can eat whatever they want and get away with it in the long term. That said, there is no "type 1 diabetic diet". And what and how your SIL and daughter eat, is pretty much up to them. How good his control is, is also up to him. But especially with an insulin pump, if he puts in the work, he can get good control. But since each person is different, there's no point in being the diet police. Personally, I would just tell him you love him and let him know that if he ever needs anything, you will be there for them.

 

And as a previous poster said, it's really great that you care and worry. The sad truth is that no one can take care of a person with diabetes properly except themselves.

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ant hill

Ths Disease is all about balance!!! Balance of three things. Insulin Food and Exercise.

 

I would think that he has more to learn about this Ballence!!! He is thirsty because he is High of Blood Glucose inside of him. The other thing about eating whatever as he can But with some more insulin a then he will become fatter. At his age, Image is everything to him!!! I am talking about his weight as he may be eating too much for his insulin to catch up.

 

If he keeps up this way of thinking, Then he will run into Complications in later life!!! The Eyes go first apparently.

We have a war with Carbohydeats!! and the idea to go Low Carb and get his Blood Glucose to a target of 108/6 MDGL / MMOL/L

 

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TommyC1

Unfortunately the only person who can tell how he is doing is him.

And the only person who can make him do better is him. Umm and his Dr.

 

If you really care about him and want to help, you might ask him if he has read "Think Like a Pancreas" by Gary Sheiner or "Using Insulin" by John Walsh.

Those are good nuts and bolts explanations for how to match your insulin to your diet and to yourself. If he hasn't read them, either would be a great gift.

 

But you can't make him read them.

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Rdani87

Honestly, the answer to your question is no.  He CANNOT eat whatever he wants. 

 

I had to learn this the hard way.  I struggled with my numbers for 18 years before I realized my eating habits had to change if I wanted to see improvements in my numbers.  My blood sugars were constantly in the 200s, 300s, 400s, and even 500s for all those years and my a1cs were always over 10.  It wasn't until this year that I realized I had to stop eating all those sugary, carb-filled foods if I wanted to see consistently normal blood sugars that would allow me to get pregnant.  There's just no way to have normal blood sugars and eat whatever you want.  The insulin can't keep up with the carbs, no matter how you bolus or pre-bolus.  It's impossible. 

 

Simply put, diabetics CANNOT tolerate carbohydrates.  Spikes in blood sugar from carbs cause more complications than your doctor will tell you.  At 140 mg/dl, nerve damage takes place but they urge their patients to keep higher blood sugars and higher insulin doses because they're scared of being sued if a diabetic dies from a low blood sugar! 

The best way to minimize your complications later and maximize your life expectancy is to cut the carbs!  The fewer carbs you eat, the less insulin you need, the fewer highs and lows you will have, and the easier it is to keep your blood sugars where they should be (70-100).  83 is considered normal blood sugar.  The rule of small numbers is the best way to go about eating...small numbers of carbs = small insulin doses = less room for high spikes and low valleys.  

 

Many diabetics follow a low carb diet that consists of no more than 30 carbs a day.  They eat lots of healthy fats, meats, and vegetables and maintain a1cs in the 4s and 5s.  This is what he needs to do if he wants to live a long healthy life.  I recommend Dr. Richard K. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution if he wants to read the info for himself.  Dr. B has been a type 1 diabetic for over 70 years and he put the low carb diet into action for many diabetics.  He's saved my life.        

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Lvkjdsts

Thank you all for responding. I just shared with my daughter. She will try to encourage healthy eating now. She really needed to see this.

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Kalisiin

And as a previous poster said, it's really great that you care and worry. The sad truth is that no one can take care of a person with diabetes properly except themselves.

This is true...however, the people who LIVE WITH the diabetic...can either support or sabotage those efforts.

 

It sounds to me as if the OP's boyfriend...is living in a family environment that does everything it can to SABOTAGE any efforts at good diabetes control...and probably not maliciously...but the effect is the same.

 

When I was first diagnosed, my mom...who lives with me...would hide candy bars in her sock drawer, and only eat them in her room, or when I was not home.  She STILL asks me all the time if she can have something in front of me (and it now drives me nuts when she asks, because it no longer bothers me the way it did when I was adjusting to my new WOE)

 

She even says she feels bad about eating ANYTHING in front of me on my fasting days...and I tell her it is okay, SHE is not fasting, she does not have to...and my body is used to it, so it does not bother me.

 

Fact is, my mother has created an environment that is SUPPORTIVE of good diabetes control (sometimes to her own limitation, which is not necessary) but she likes the weight loss she is experiencing.  The OP in this case, has a boyfriend whose family is not creating such an environment.

 

Oh, and just so everyone understands - I am 44 and my mom and I live together by choice, not because I live at home...in fact, mom lives in MY home.  And I wouldn't have it any other way.  We are very tight.  But I sure wish she would not constantly worry about my feelings...as long as she is not exaggerating enjoyment of some forbidden thing right in my face (and she wouldn't) then there is no problem.  If she wants to eat something right in front of me that I cannot have, it no longer bothers me.

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Kalisiin

Simply put, diabetics CANNOT tolerate carbohydrates.  Spikes in blood sugar from carbs cause more complications than your doctor will tell you.  At 140 mg/dl, nerve damage takes place but they urge their patients to keep higher blood sugars and higher insulin doses because they're scared of being sued if a diabetic dies from a low blood sugar! 

Indeed.  I have noticed this behavior in my doctors, and in my dietician.

 

They would rather me be SKY-HIGH...than to "risk" a hypo (the lowest reading I ever got on my meter was 69) and I got this on a fasting day, towards the end of my fast, and I felt fine when I had the 69.  My dietician was telling me not to exercise unless my BG was at least 100...and if I followed THAT advice, I would hardly ever exercise!  I finally ended up buying a tube of glucose tabs...and carry them with me on my walks on fasting days, just to keep her quiet.

 

I suppose it is better to have them and not need them (I never have) than to need them and not have them.

 

But I sure do recognize the very thing you are talking about.

 

As many of you know, I work in a support role in the medical field (biller and coder) and I know that a LOT of what doctors do...is aimed more at lawsuit avoidance than at actually what is best for our health.  And it has to be that way in our litigious society.

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SweetAndBendy

It's not really what you eat, but how you handle it by taking the right amount of insulin to cover for it. Some prefer a low carb approach, some don't- I don't... My diabetes control is pretty good though. I eat whatever I want pretty much, just in moderation and I've learned how to cover for it with insulin so that my glucose stays within good levels most of the time. 

 

The frequent bathroom visits sounds like he may be running high a lot though, possibly from eating too much junk food but I'm guessing the biggest factor may be not knowing how to eat that junk food in a way that works for his diabetes too. It can be done, but yeah, in moderation. It's not good for anyone to eat junk food all the time, but every once in a while isn't that bad. 

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