Growing and Grazing

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

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