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Mental health and diabetes.
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cyndy49 posted:
Hi! I am new to the community and am hoping someone can give me some insight and possibly hope. My son has type 1 and was diagnosed 5 years ago. He has an impossible task of trying to keep it under control. He spent 4 days in the hospital last week for ketoacidosis and the hospital couldn't even keep it under control. He has an insulin pump and does what he's suppose to do but to no avail. He spikes up to anywhere from 400 to 600 constantly. His last a1c was 11.3. He seems to have lost all ability to live a reasonable life. He lies constantly for no reason. He doesn't seem to have the ability to see what is going to happen tomorrow in relation to what he does today. He says and does things that just doesn't make sense to common reasoning. Has anyone else ever experienced this type of problem and do you think it could be caused from the constant spikes of high levels. I am wondering if it has caused damage to his brain. Thanks ahead for any input.
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davedsel responded:
Hello.

We are not doctors nor are we allowed to provide any type of diagnosis or medical advice. Anything anyone posts here would be speculation and do your son no good. Your son needs to see his doctor for evaluation.
Click on my username or avatar picture to read my story.

Blessings,

-Dave
 
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anon123567 responded:
how old is he?
having been a teenager with type 1, i can tell you that its a hard thing to do. it seems like we don't have control of anything and people are telling us what to eat, what not to eat, so when we're out we eat what we want.
Now when I was a teen, there were no glucose meters or insulin pumps. its to his advantage to be on a pump, he can eat all the things other kids are eating and bolus for it.
i can tell you all the nagging in the world wont help, he has to want to take control of this thing. Diabetes is just another teenage rebellion, something to defy our parents .
 
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brunosbud responded:
Great questions. Here's a study that may be of some small help. Good luck with your son.

http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/6/2/180.full.pdf
 
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nutrijoy responded:
Good article brunosbud and sheds light on the mental fog that many diabetics suffer from when BG levels are elevated too high for extended periods of time. Cyndy, eating of all the things that the other kids are eating and then attempting to bolus for it rarely works. Large doses of virtually identical amounts of insulin do not always take effect nor work consistently (up to a 30% variance). In other words, your son is not necessarily doing what he is "supposed to do." Using an insulin pump to inject higher doses of insulin to counteract potentially toxic amounts of the wrong kinds of food and beverages is not a solution; it only makes the problem more complex and much more difficult to control accurately.

Your son as well as you (and other family members) need to get a more thorough education about this potentially insidious disease. Then provide him with support, understanding and compassion (nagging is not the proper avenue). The most difficult thing will be essential dietary modifications. Just because he is on insulin does not mean that he can eat everything that the other kids are eating. One of the first things that must be eliminated from his diet are carbonated beverages (both sugared and diet sodas) and fruit juices. This is one of the most difficult things for many teens to comply with. Virtually everyone already knows that the consumption of sugar in any appreciable amount is contraindicated with diabetes except when treating hypo episodes (or in relatively small amounts in very moderate portion sizes of desserts).

Most everyone also knows that starches will convert to glucose (sugar) in the body. Yet far too many diabetics will still consume bread, pasta, rice, french fries, bakery products, pizza, etc. without a second thought. Your son needs to view starches as "piles of sugar." A fairly good treatment of this topic can be found online (free) in these two chapters from Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution book:
Chap. 9: The Basic Food Groups, or Much of What You've Been Taught About Diet is Probably Wrong and Chap. 10: Diet Guidelines: Basic Treatment for All Diabetics .

The book's Chapter 7, The Laws of Small Numbers , will also provide a more thorough explanation of the use of insulin and why large bolus doses do not have a reliable effect on lowering blood glucose consistently. Although you didn't state your son's age, I assume that he is still a minor. If that's the case, any brain "damage" he might have suffered is usually completely reversible as his brain is still growing and the rate of cellular reproduction/replacement still far exceeds the rate of cell death. There's a lot to learn and there's no time like now to dive in with both feet. The time and effort invested will pay back huge dividends in the years to come. Best of luck in this endeavor.
 
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Anon_320 responded:
Cyndy, your son really needs to be seen by a doctor. Please don't assume that the behavior you describe is related to his diabetes. It may be, but it may also be some form of mental illness or there could be something else going on.


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