Carbs affect blood sugar. They break down into glucose, so keeping track of them helps us adjust insulin and regulate blood sugars. Proteins break down into amino acids. Fats are broken down into fatty acids.
I've done carb counting for about 20 years (it first came out as a treatment option in the early 90's) and in my experience proteins have little to no effect on my blood sugar. The only effect from fat is that it sometimes delays the glucose hitting my blood stream.
You're smart to avoid the "sugar free" candy. It usually has the same number of carbs as the real stuff, so better just to have regular candy and enjoy it.
By the way, I was diagnosed at 4 and am 39 now. Have a non-diabetic son, great husband and busy job. No diabetes complications.
T1 since 1977 Minimed pump since 2002
Thanks for the info. I was wondering when they started with counting carbs. Everything effects my sons sugar levels. Only counting carbs would be so much easier with meals and snacks. We're in the process of looking for a pediatric endocrinologist. He goes to children's hospital now and we've about had it with them. One too many mistakes they made. Plus we feel like just a number there.
Which state do yo live in? Maybe you could get a recommendation for a new doctor.
There are so many variables that can affect blood sugar? Are you using a pump or shots now?
We live in Pennsylvania. I have one in mind and need to call. We don't have many that are not within children's hospital. I had a recommendation from our pediatrician, but the doctor is in her 60's and we would like to get 10-15 years out of one since our son is only 4.
Your absolutely right about so many things affecting blood sugar. Food is just a part of it.
We do shots. I'm not fond of the pump and when he gets older he can make the decision if he wants it or not. He's great at getting shots so why get the pump? Just my opinion. He's very active at times and I don't need anything else to worry about lol.
I do have a question about the pump. What all do you enter into it? Carbs only? Or do you add the fat and protein too?
I've never heard of counting anything but carbs. I've only been carb counting for a couple years (was on fixed doses most of my 18years of T1) and I would probably kill myself if they made me count more than just carbs...I have enough trouble with the math and judgement that goes with counting carbs haha
DX November 1994; age 6.
I'd go with the endo who's been recommended. Any time with a knowledgable diabetes expert is priceless. And once the doctor retires she's likely to turn her patients over to another good doctor with a similar treatment philosophy.
If shots are working for you then stay with them.
The downside of shots is that they cause highs and lows because long acting insulin like Lantus gives just one steady rate of base insulin. Our bodies actually require different amounts at different times of day. A pump let's you program in what you actually need and can be fine tuned for every hour of the day. Pumps also let you correct more easily (I would never correct a blood sugar of 140 if I had to take another shot, but I easily do it with a pump). You can dose in .025 units too, so you can be really exact.
The downside of pumps are the expense; I couldn't afford it without insurance. And for children or petite people it's hard to find enough spots for the infusion sites that are moved every 3 days.
With a pump you enter in (or use a glucose meter that will automatilly update your pump on) current blood sugar level and the number of carbs eaten (protein and fat aren't necessary since they don't have a direct effect on blood sugar). Then the pump calculates the dose needed. And with a pump you can easily skip a meal. I've fasted for 24 hours with great blood sugars.
I did shots for 25 years but had an A1c of 8 with frequent lows, so much so that I developed hypoglycemia unawareness. I've used a pump for the last decade and even with a laid back attitude of diabetes management have a 6.5 A1c with few lows. My hypo unawareness has reversed.
We're all different and there are trade offs with both shots and pumps. Work with a good doctor and you can decide what works best for your son and your family. If you decide to make a change at some point, you always can.
First, I just want to say thank you so much for taking the time to help me out. I appreciate it very much.
We just made an appointment with a new endo. The appointment isn't until August and I'm waiting patiently to hear what she has to say. Second opinions are always good when you have a condition like this. I have never been so confused on what to do for my son since he was diagnosed. My brain is constantly thinking about all this.
I had a conversation with our friend the other night and was asking him how it was when he got diagnosed. It was 40 years ago. He took one shot a day and there were no blood testing at that time. Only urine testing. Blood testing started when he was 11 and he was one of the first teneople to get the pump when he was 12. Let's just say that he didn't pump very long. Pumps have come a long way lol. I never knew any of this and talking to him about diabetes is very interesting as like talking to some of you. Trying to process all this info makes my head hurt.
My newest concern is, to pump or not to pump? I'm afraid my son will end up not feeling his lows eventually. I was totally against the pump and now I'm not too sure. I talk to some people and they all say you have to do what works for you and him. Which is absolutely true. I'm just anxious and nervous for his new appointment. Wish it wasn't so far away.
Thanks again for all your input.
Most people don't develop low unawareness until they've had diabetes 20 years or more, so it's not something you have to worry about now.
I wouldn't be concerned with the pump at this point. You're learning about carb counting and adjusting insulin. That's plenty to start with. If you decide to try a pump for your son in the future, then a strong knowledge of carbs and insulin will make the transition much easier.
Try not to be too stressed. You already have a good understanding of the basics of managing diabetes. Perfection isn't possible with diabetes, you just learn to treat the highs and lows and go on. Over time you'll learn more and your son will be fine in the meantime.