Ask the Diabetes Educator Archive

Q:

I am the mother of a 13yr old little girl who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes May 5, 1999. I am having a few difficulties not only with her taking care of herself the way she should, but my new husband of seven months doesn't seem to understand all the symptoms and possible side affects of the debilitating disease. My daughter has starvation hunger often...could you please explain what this is and why it happens to her so that he might be more understanding?

A:

The first suggestion I have is for you, as a family, seek out a diabetes support group if one is in your area. In family dynamics, a third party is often needed to help with understanding. "Starvation" can occur when blood sugars are too high; a sign that not enough is being taken into the cells to provide proper nourishment. This, coupled with the dynamics of a growing teenage body entering puberty, can increase the hunger pains, signaling a need for increased caloric needs. The support of a nutritionist would be most helpful for objectively addressing metabolic needs.

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