Type 1 Diabetes and Growth Spurts

Growing children seem to eat parents out of house and home.  There is never enough food for them!  For example, my type 1 13-year-old is eating me out of house and home!  And the result is a three-inch growth spurt about every three months.  The problem (beyond the obvious sugar control!) is that he wants to eat all day long.  Waiting until the next meal might as well be giving him a “death sentence”.  The recommendations we received was to eat every two hours.  He is able to have an entire meal every two hours.  I thought what a great compromise!  But he still wants to graze all day long like a cow in pasture!  So I try to help him eat good food and sometimes fun foods to encourage eating well.

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So why is it a big deal for him to eat constantly?  It has to do with insulin, whether via shot or pump.  Eating more often requires insulin.  Each time he takes insulin he is stacking it on the last dose and essentially giving himself mega doses of insulin, setting himself up for a low.  Rapid insulin like Novolog or Humalog have about a 3-4 hour active time in the body. The insulin works quickly but does not leave the body quickly.  It basically means we can expect many and frequent lows.  Eating every two hours helps with this but does not necessarily eliminate stacking of insulin.  But for us it works.

Growing and grazing.  Eat, beef up and grow taller.  Type 1’s can navigate this easily without negative consequences.  Go forth and chow down!

Portrait of a boy holding fruits

Growing and Grazing


The Barbara Davis Center for Diabetes

The Barbara Davis Center in Denver, Colorado has been a center for all people with diabetes to receive care. The center began as a way to help underprivileged children with type 1 diabetes to receive care and supplies. Over the years the center has developed and written several books and added programs like classes for grandparents, for families of persons with diabetes.

One popular book that you may be familiar with is Understanding Diabetes by H. Peter Chase, otherwise known as the Pink Panther book.imagesThis one of the books in the Bag of Hope that many children with type 1 diabetes receive when they are newly diagnosed. What a great book it is!  The Pink Panther book is an essential reference to understanding all things diabetes.

The Barbara Davis Center mission statement is:

Our mission is to provide state-of the-art care to children and adults with type 1 diabetes and to teach our patients how to prevent or delay complications. Our research is devoted to finding prevention, cure, and most effective treatment of diabetes and associated disorders.

Recently the center has combined with the University of Colorado Health Science Center.  They still provide easy access for care and the variety of programs the center originally created.  The Barbara Davis Center is still acting as a funding raising entity. You can find out more at:  Barbara Davis Center.