Newly diagnosed T1 son and his anger

My son, Colin, is 15. He was just diagnosed at the very end of Jan 2020. At first, he handled things amazingly. But it didn’t take long for that to all go down hill. We were told at first that it was most likely type 2. Then a few weeks later, we got the bombshell that it was type 1. Things escalated in a down hill fashion after that. He also has adhd, anxiety and anger issues. I’ve talked to him every way I can think of, so has his therapist, his social worker at school, others at his school but the days kept getting worse with his behavior and his anger. I know that he’s angry at having this. And I get it. It sucks. But I don’t know how to reach him. His behavior got so bad that we even put him in an in patient thing at the hospital for kids and while things seemed to get better for that just over a week that he was there (aside from his diabetes care which was AWFUL to say the least and this was a hospital) they are going back to where they were and the stress is so unreal and I’m struggling so much in trying to deal with it. He just acts like he doesn’t care and I don’t know what to do. My worry, stress is so bad not to mention the neglect of my other kids since all this happened as I’ve been so focused on him and his management. Just feel like I’m failing all around as a mom at the moment. We are in Seymour CT and just wondered if there was anyone out there who could help or maybe had kids in his age group who’ve dealt with this and could get together. Idk. Thanks for listening. It’s been hard to feel so alone in this.

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Hi Tara @dolphinlove and welcome to the TypeOneNation Forum! I do hope someone near you sees this and contacts you.

I don’t know where Seymour is located, but following is a link to JDRF Chapters that popped up when I entered Seymour on the jdrf.org page. It may be good if you called someone listed on this link. I know in my area, Florida, we have some very active JDRF Youth Group meetings.

https://www.jdrf.org/chapters/

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Hi Tara, I’m so sorry to hear of the struggles you are all facing. T1D is such a tough diagnosis, especially with a 15 year old. He’s already had a taste of independence and wants to be like everyone else, plus there’s all the hormone/puberty stuff going on. My son was dx this past summer, 4 days before his 15th bday. Similar to your son, the first month or so seemed fine. Then he developed ongoing stomach issues that caused him to miss school, sports, social stuff, etc. After months of doctors visits, bloodwork, eliminating different foods and an endoscopy/colonoscopy, it turned out to be psychologically driven. Anti-anxiety medication and a therapist he connected with (who also had a chronic health condition and “got it”) made a huge difference. Not saying it’s easy now, but it has gotten much better. Getting there was a challenge, and my husband and I also felt (and still often feel) that we have failed in some way. I’m not sure how much I have to offer in the way of advice, but I’m happy to lend a supportive ear. Just send me a PM…

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Hi Tara, and welcome to this forum. I am sorry to hear about how things are going right now as well as prior to the dx. Hearing about your son’s adhd, anxiety and other issues…this may not be just T1D but also some allergy and vitamin/mineral deficiencies that may be related to T1D. Certain things come to mind: 1) wheat sensitivity or celiac, which can cause serious gut dysfunction along with adhd and anxiety symptoms you described. 2) zinc and other mineral/vitamin deficiencies, caused by or related to some food allergies.

Children today are much more likely to have wheat sensitivities and/or celiac. And T1D is highly associated with both celiac and wheat sensitivity. Dr. Alessio Fasano (Harvard) is a great source to view on YouTube regarding this. So are Dr. William Davis (wheatbelly) and Dr. David Perlmutter (grainbrain). 2) Zinc deficiency and copper excess: unusual anger in children can often point to zinc deficiency and high copper status. Gut dysbiosis (imbalance of gut bacteria) and/or wheat sensitivity/celiac can lead to such imbalances due to malabsorption in the gut. Resolving these deficiencies has proven helpful in resolving anger. Please look into Dr. William Walsh, PhD on YouTube, who has worked with many children and adults with zinc/copper imbalances leading to anger. When there is a clear zinc deficiency (tested by lab), resolving the deficiency often eliminates anger/anxiety completely. The story is very encouraging. 3) Other vitamin and mineral imbalances are possible with T1D, so getting him checked for these may help get his body and mind back on track.

Consider starting with tests for celiac - specifically for gliadan and transglutaminase - as well as tests for zinc and copper, vitamin B6 and B12, and RBC magnesium. The ratio of copper to zinc, according to some experts (like Dr Bredesen of UCLA), should be close to 1:1. See where he stands on these, as he may be out of range. Try to get your son tested for celiac before you try eliminating wheat from his diet, because the lab tests require recent wheat exposure…assuming he doesn’t already avoid wheat.

As a T1D, I remember having issues with wheat before diagnosis. I wish I had stopped wheat then, but we knew so little about celiac and wheat sensitivity back then (34 years ago). Now there is more concern about an association between autoimmunity (all forms) and wheat consumption. Elmination of allergens like wheat can sometimes stop the troubling symptoms in the gut, body and brain, and can make it easier to control blood sugars.

Sometimes the body’s discomfort can affect and overwhelm the mind…so it can be worth exploring this while also helping him with counseling for this diagnosis. I had some counseling sessions myself after diagnosis and whenever I struggled. It helps - and it can be good for you and the whole family too. You and Colin will be doing much better soon!

All the best -

Sandra

Hey Sara,

First of all Welcome!
Sound like your getting the Sh/& end of the stick. I know that it sucks right now for you. But something to think about. As bad as you’ve got it, your son has it just as bad. If not a little bit worse. He is going thru a lot right now. Does not excuse the behaviors he’s displaying!

Being T1D is not ever easy. Because of his age, diagnosis, peer pressure and host of other things he’s kinda loosing it right now.
This part is hard, he knows what he’s doing and that he’s wrong, but in some ways he’s getting away with it. You know him better than anyone, even him right now! Sometimes you have to just sit him down and talk to him. Not like a Mom, but like a friend or someone who cares. Be factual and honest. Present your side of the issues. Then ask for his side. Now you gotta be friend, Mom, person who cares all at one time. He’s listening. Hospital proved that. Might help if Dads there too. Again you know him best. He’s on an emotional, hormonal rollercoaster right now. It may help if he understands that your with him, but certain rules gotta be maintained. Like testing, injections, diet, behaviors etc.
it may help him to understand that life goes on, but he can’t keep on being a little … cause all he going to do is drive away anyone and everyone who’s not family. And that family can be driven away too! He has siblings, You, Husband that all care and are hurting too! Unfortunately he’s gotta grow up overnight. Like it or not it’s now life. He can go on acting out or buckle down and cope.
Now he also has to know your there for him if he needs you. Just ask and your there to help with advise, shoulder etc.
It’s gonna be tough no matter what you do or don’t do. However it may help if he knows that there are consequences to his actions that can be long lasting. Those consequences may not just be physically damaging, but interpersonally damaging as well.
Sometimes just being frank and honest with him, treating him like an adult, that he’s so desperately trying to be, yet, he’s still that little boy, needs to hear.

Hope something I’ve said helps. I know that for me, it helped me to hear it. I was much much older when I heard it, but it still helped to gain a perspective that I hadn’t thought of or even realized. Agin you know him better than anyone. But this might be a different approach than how you usually deal with him. It may hit home.
Charlie

Hi Tara,
i was in your sons exact same shoes, just about 2 years ago. i wouldn’t want to say it gets easier as he gets older and as he’s had it longer. but for me at least it was honestly a long phase i went through. i know it will be hard for you to do but you just got to let him work it out internally with himself. he’s got to come to a place where he can just accept these things and sadly there’s nothing he can do to change this circumstance. it took me years to come to this acknowledgement . i felt the more my parents and adults pushed me and bugged me to do whats i was supposed to do, it just made it worse for me. i would recommend giving him his space but also keeping an eye out for him making sure he doses and what not. this anger and confusion and resentment isn’t a short term fix. and even if he talks to someone about it, its not going to change a whole lot until he’s found it in himself. type 1 doesn’t define you and he shouldn’t give up on his dreams just because he has something in his life he didn’t want. Aside from that i was also dealing with emotional issues and angry outbursts. those 2 things diabetes and emotional issues is a lot. and it takes a lot of hard work and acceptance to overcome those 2 things together. diabetes still gets to me and it probably always will. it’s important to remind him that it’s okay if he’s mad and hates it, but it’s also important to not let him sit in it too long.
i hope something i said helps or gives you any ideas about what you can do.

Best,
Sarah