Here I am again looking for guidance. My 12 (almost 13) year old son was diagnosed last March. He at one moment will not want to eat, and suddenly he acts like he is starving. I understand that he is growing, and with puberty, the food need will increase. He will say he wants a snack, and eat a 40 carb snack (against my better judgement but I’m letting him make decisions) Suddenly he wants dinner, and then seconds, followed by another 40 carb snack. Dose, then dose, then dose again. I watch the numbers on my phone and cross my fingers it doesn’t either bottom out, or skyrocket to 400. I try to keep all kinds of healthy snacks, zero carb snacks, and variety of things. He seems to choose everything all at once. He is very aware of how being consistent is the key. I sometimes think he will push and push to see if I have a reaction. I’m trying to guide him to do what is recommended, but I also am trying to let him make his own decisions. The constant highs and lows really emotionally take a toll. For the most part I consider myself lucky because he does look at the number and count carbs for the insulin doses. He also watches the highs and will correct if it needs it. However the amount of carbs he chooses seem ridiculous at times. I almost think it’s a control thing. I’ve read that my job is to prepare him to be able to care of himself. It’s not that I have a problem with the daily amount of carbs. If he would just have 4-6 small meals throughout the day, I feel it would sustain healthy numbers. Its the up and down that drives me crazy!!

Hello Katie,

If it helps in any way, I have a 11 year old who does exactly the same. Although his meals some times will go up to 100 carbs…(phyly stake with fires with firebds in the week ends at the mall for example) . I think the same as you, that at least he counts the carbs and bolus every time as well as he corrects himself. What helps me not to drive him crazy? 1Ac…his has been 7.5 which I consider really good for a teenager. And he is a teenager, so I try to let him be one. He will make mistakes, that’s for sure (who didn’t ???) I am just there to try to make sure he will learn form them and give him all the help he needs. For what you are saying, you are doing the same! Just hang in there and trust him. I hope this helps.

@katie6407 Hi karen,

just thinking out loud, a low blood sugar can make you ravenously hungry. There have been many occasions where I’ve eaten the entire refrigerator after a mild low.

a 13 year old boy can need up to ~3000 calories a day (approx). carbohydrate is the biological equivalent of fuel. he may need a lot of fuel to make new cells. I once made pancakes for my nephew (not diabetic) when he was about 15, I made pancakes for 2-1/2 hours and he ate every single one of them. That “meal” had to be 400 grams carbs I was amazed.

adding protein will help him by flattening out the high sugar spike of a carb only meal and it will help him feel full longer. The protein will give him the right fuel to make muscle.

Try getting an appointment with a nutritionist with diabetes experience and figure out a good plan for him… the more he participates the better it’ll work. good luck.

I don’t have any experience with diabetes at that age yet, but I have 13 and 17 year old sons so I know both testing boundaries and endless appetites.
If he is making his own choices and keeping up with counting his carbs and insulin, I would just stay the course. I would imagine at some point some natural consequences would kick in- he doesn’t feel great if he eats a certain way. I think an appointment with a nutritionist is a great idea. Maybe it could just be the two of them or let him lead as much as possible.
(I am trying to imagine letting my 13 year old make his own choices if he had diabetes and it’s really difficult even to imagine. The giant bowls of cereal alone. Yikes.)
It is our job to teach them how to manage it themselves, I think I will be in exactly your shoes in about 10 years. Good luck.

Definitely have him speak with a nutritionist. You may also find some YouTube videos on managing. Watching my 6’4” 200lb son (prior to diabetes), excellent shape and loved to eat have to learn a new diet, he keeps carbs intake low. He weighs mid-180’s now and has a very disciplined workout routine that’s critical to the equation—-weight lifting and light cardio. He’s trained himself to live on less. Very tough in the beginning. Diagnosed as 20 year old college sophomore and habits were hard to break. Lots of trial and error. Has taken about 4 years to dial it in and you never are there. Variables will change, so there is always constant adjustment. Lot of tears and powering through it. Give them some space to figure out but stay plugged in and educate so you can dialogue together.