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Child very hungry crying always wants food
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Child very hungry crying always wants food


First timer here...  My 4 year old daughter diagnosed in May with diabetes type 1 is always starving.  Even though she eats as much at dinner as her older sisters. She is very moody and getting more physical during here upset times.  I guess we are just confused as to whether she needs more food.

Any advice would help.

Also any advice on quick low carb/ no carb snacks besides peanut butter, sugar free jello or cheese?

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Hello jaiden,

I am very glad you posted here:)  I am a volunteer, but not a medical professional.  The input that I give you is solely based on my own personal experience with my son who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes almost 7 yrs. ago at the age of 3.  

I am guessing that your daughter is on a similar schedule to what my son used to be on. (insulin schedule) A long lasting insulin such as NPH and then either regular or humalog that is given based on a sliding scale depending on what her BG is.  Am I correct?  When my son was on this type of schedule, he could eat:
bedtime snack

He was to eat a certain amt. of carbs per meal and per snack and at ANY time OTHER than these times, he only ate carbs if low.

(I will get back to the food in a minute...I promise!)

What you described sounds like high blood sugar....the extreme hunger and moodiness, however, as you may know, High & Low can have some similar symptoms.  When she complains of being hungry during times other than her scheduled eating times, do you test her?  If not, maybe you should and if she has very high BG, make a note of it, so you can make her Endocrinologist aware if you see a pattern.

My son is now on the pump, but this is what I used to do....
If he was hungry at any other time than snack or meal, he would test and if he was above 300, our doc always wanted us to give .5 of humalog.  (he still would have to eat a "free food" - no carb during this time)  Now, every Dr. has different instructions, so, obviously, you have to ask yours.  

Foods to eat without carbs or very little:

- hotdog without bun  (my son liked the cheese hotdogs - believe me, he ate many hotdogs.  He would be high and I would say, "Want a hotdog?"  I can still hear the, dreadful, "Okay...because he was so hungry he was settling for it.

- hamburger without bun

- eggs (Many a late night, I was making scrambled eggs because my son was high:)

- celery has VERY low carbs

- string cheese (I know you mentioned cheese and you want quick snacks, so forgive me about the hamburger)

**Note, do keep in mind that somtimes somthing will say "sugar free or no sugar added ans still have carbs.

My son could have approx. 60 grams per meal and 30 per snack.

Now that he is on the pump, he can eat when he wants and more carbs at one time.  This is what he really likes about the pump.

I am unsure what else I can tell you.  Your posting hit very close to home.  

Please post anytime.
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Hi Jaiden,

I'm glad you've come here looking for help, because this is a great place to get it.  I have had type 1 since I was 10, and I am 20 now.  I'm not a doctor, yet :P, so, please check my, and everyone else's, advice with your daughter's endo.  

This hunger can be a sign of low or high bg, which is difficult to tell which it is unless you test her.  Have you done the after meal testings?  If not, I do recommend doing it.  Check your daughter's bg 30 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours and 4 hours after a meal, to see if there are any spikes or sudden drops.  Since I'm on the pump now, I cannot remember the exact hours, etc., but I'm sure someone will correct me if I am wrong.  You should bring these numbers to her endo, who can ajust her dosage accordingly.  

Also, I have noticed that if I have a high-carb low-protein meal, within an hour or so, I am hungry again (especially if it is something, like say, Chicken McNuggets, French Fries and a Diet Coke, which I love!).  I would make sure that your daughter is getting enough protein to help maintain that sensation of fullness for longer, and it will also reduce the spikes.  

Some things that have helped me during the times when I was high and hungry...

- water (This one is very important, because being high can also dehydrate your daughter^^)

- carrots (It's something to munch/crunch on, these have a little bit of an affect on bg, though)

- cheese (you can cut them up into small pieces, and I like to have them with an apple cut up really small too, which slows down how quick it is eaten, but does have some carbs when the apple is added)

- light fruit drinks (Minute Maid has amazing fruit juices that have 1-5 grams of carbohydrates in them, and they are delicious)

- sugar-free hard candies (I know these aren't always carbohydrate-free, but sometimes they do the trick)

Anyway, I hope this helps you.  If you have anymore questions, I'm sure I can, or someone else can help you out, just post :)

Thanks for your help.  It's nice to have some support out there.  If you have any suggestions for low or no carb snacks, we could use all the advice we can get.  I have a call in to our  endocrinologist, so hopefully we'll get some help.
You've gotten great advice & suggestions already.  On the low/ no carb snacks topic, many kids like frozen desserts 'n' ice pops and there are plenty out there now with very few carbs.

Talk with your endo about target *ranges* of bgs for your daughter.  Most pediatric endos are more concerned about avoiding serious lows than tolerating some highs.

Long term, do whatever your family can do to minimize any reward/ punishment connotation of food.  Teen girls in general can develop self-defeating & destructive attitudes about food and I believe that some of those approaches were unwittingly cultivated during childhood.  The "opportunity" for cultivating inappropriate food attitudes is even greater with us diabetics.

As your daughter becomes more adjusted to diabetes and how she is feeling physically, and as she become better able to verbalize those feelings, she'll be in a great position to participate in food choices.  Our kids also reflect the emotion they feel and experience in the family -- so a grumpy diabetic kid may be reflecting family stress and discomfort, anxiety over bgs, etc.  If she has some favorite foods, work with her and her endo to figure out HOW (not IF) to incorporate these foods into her meal plan.  For example, perhaps on Tuesdays she can have ice cream if that's something she loves.  And maybe Fridays are an "free spin" day where she can pick any of her favorite foods.  Portion control is essential as is covering the carbos with insulin.  Beyond that, you'd be eliminating a common problems managing diabetes -- relentless yearning for "forbidden" foods.  Eliminate the "forbidden" and the yearning wanes, too.

I'm a big fan of engaging -- even munchkins -- in trouble-shooting either with conversations and/or "art play."  Art play would involve, for example, working with your child to draw pictures of how ___ feels or give her a scenario and as her to draw a picture of it and then encourage her to tell the story in the picture.  The scenario could be a child with diabetes ...  Her stories will be poignant and revealing and will give you lots to work with as her fears & uncertainties & anger & frustration are allowed to be expressed.

Good luck sorting things out.
What about avocados? They are very low in carbohydrates, and are rich in fiber and in a wide range of vitamins and minerals.

I'm not a diabetic, so check this idea out with others who are more familiar with nutritional requirements for people with diabetes.
Dear Jaiden,
Diabetes is tough enough without having it involve young children. i have had diabetes over 30 years now but the son of friends of my wife and i who live around the corner is just 6 years old with diabetes for two years. But you have been given proper advice by the people before me. The first is crucial for diabetes patients: check blood sugar. Some say they can tell by just how they feel but this is a rare if not at all condition. Because the body it self monitors continuously we have to monitor using blood glucase meters. Even though this may seem a cruel way to gain information, the slight hurt is nothing compared to the complications it can prevent. When i was first diabetic they only had urine testing, which only told you your blood sugar was high enough to spill into your urine, which for most was about 180, much higher than they try for now. They told me then i wouldn't live to be 50 but because of the improvements in diabetes care i proved them wrong.
Please, though when your child is displaying hunger and unusual actions as it may help explain the problem. The types of activities presented could well be either low or high blood sugar readings and if you keep track of these for the endo then he/she can help you do thing to resolve the problem. And she may set you up to see a dietician to set you up with a plan that helps in resolving the acting out. i say she for an endo just because everyone i've ever had has been a female.
But not only is the testing important but also keeping a record of it. Keeping records of 'bad' reading is necessary also. When i was hospitalized for my first diagnosed diabetes and i was in a room on the ward where a nurse was teaching me to do urine tests, my physician was right behind me. He said Bret write down the test result no matter what it is good or bad because we can't fix a problem if we don't know about it. Good luck and remember i'm not a physician just another person dealing with diabetes as best i can. Happy Holidays, as well, bret
Thanks for all your help..

I'll try the Avocados - we actually have a tree...but its hard to get a 4 year old to eat stuff like that.

I remember being a 10 year old with diabetes and struggling with hunger pains, etc. It was awful as I had to eat a very restrictive diet to survive.  Something like 1800 ADA diet.

One think I know is that being on a restrictive diet lead me to be very rebellious as a teenager. I know they say the tighter control the better but sometimes this causes problems later on like it did for me.

I am not a big component of the calorie diabetic ADA diets any more as when I went on the insulin pump 6 years ago they taught me about carb counting and how to figure out how much insulin to take when every I eat foods I consumed. It was great. This involves either taking multiple injects daily or going on a pump but for me it was well worth it as today I eat what I want, when I want, etc and my A1C runs a reasonable 6.7.
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