My 13 year old grandson has just developed Type 1 diabetes. In the hospital a nurse told him he would not be able to use chewing gum (even sugar-free gum) any more as this might interfere with his digestive process. I can find nothing to substantiate this on the internet and another diabetes advisor had never heard of this. Does anyone know if this is correct or not, as at the moment it is the thing he is most gutted about, having taken everything else in his stride.
Sugar free gum has maltose, and aspartame..(I know i didn't spell it write) and a whole wack of other artificail sweeteners and i have heard(and experienced it) that they are very bad for controling your blood sugars...
Gum is not effective for diabetes CONTROL, but I assure you, he can chew gum. Sugar free gum will have minimal effect on his blood sugar. However, if you chew a lot of that stuff, it will make you kind of ill whether you're diabetic or not. Aspartame and sorbitol do have a laxative effect when taken in large quantities, and I have also found it can cause headaches. But there is no reason why he shouldn't be able to have sugar free gum. Heck, there's a good chance he could even have regular gum.
What I don't understand is why there are so many nurses/educators/writers who feel so compelled to convince children that their lives are over when they get diabetes. Why would this ignorant nurse say such a strange, mean-spirited thing to a child? This kind of stuff matters a lot when you're a little boy or girl. When I was a kid with diabetes, people would give me these doom and gloom books with titles like "When Dreams Shatter" that were aimed at convincing me my life with diabetes could never be normal. Or my teachers would tell everyone (incorrectly) not to let me have sugar EVER or a doctor would tell me that I have to wake up EVERY NIGHT in the middle of the night FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE to test my blood sugar. Well, now I'm an adult with extremely tight control who has a completely normal life, complete with gum, sugar when I want some, and a good night's sleep -- albeit with a whole bunch of shots a day.
You can tell your grandson that he need not listen to what EVERYONE tells him. Get him a subscription to Diabetes Forecast -- I devoured it in my youth and learned so much. Tell him that before he knows it, diabetes will be totally normal to him and he should take pride in learning so much about how to take care of himself. He'll find that EVERYONE thinks the rumors they've heard are true and everyone has plenty of misinformation they're more than willing to spread. He has to arm himself against it, and he should be extremely vigilant when it comes to finding a GOOD doctor, and he must develop good instincts for that search. What do you call a person who graduated last in his or her med school? Give up? Doctor.
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