From Vineland, Ontario, Canada:
My 13 year old stepdaughter has type 1 diabetes. We have recently found out that she has been lying about her readings. Her levels have been up in the 20s mmol/L [360 mg/dl and higher] quite a bit. We now monitor her more closely. Apparently, her mother has told us that her blood is saturated with sugar and this is why her readings are so high. We have her every other weekend and are finding that we can get her down to around 8 or 9 mmol/L [144 or 162 mg/dl], but then she seems to bounce up to at supper time for no apparent reason.
We try to keep her active but, unfortunately, she is very lazy. She says the dietician told her that walking isn't going to make a difference in her levels. Is this true? Also, if there is so much sugar in her blood, shouldn't we be making sure that she eats carbohydrates that don't contain any sugar or at least very little? Maybe I'm confused, but I thought that if we fed her only carbohydrates with no sugar, her body would start to get rid of the sugar that's already there. Also, what is a quick way to get her blood sugar levels down without injecting her? I'd like to teach her how to control her own body without abusing the insulin.
A scroll through some of the previous Ask the Diabetes Team questions on our web site will convince you quickly that your problems are extremely common. Unfortunately, there are no quick fixes. Your stepdaughter still needs regular carbohydrates and it is not a good idea to try to control blood glucose results by restricting food, although it is obviously sensible to restrict refined carbohydrates. Walking, like all exercise, is essentially good for helping insulin to be more effective. No single element, insulin, food, or exercise, can control diabetes. It is the correct combination of these as part of a healthy lifestyle that works. The good news is that most teenagers go through a phase like your stepdaughter and most get things sorted out.
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