Thursday, 21 October 2010

The curse of pizza!


Nothing horrible about that you may think, they look and smell so good, the melted cheese mmmmm. Yep thats what we thought, most children love pizza, all four of mine do.
However, what it does to a diabetics blood glucose levels is another story altogether. It is the food of the devil, a monster in our mist, it is the thing that nightmares are made of. It will have us parents pacing the floorboards all night scratching our heads, and wondering why once again we let them eat it.

The simple answer to this question is that we don't want to say NO to our children again. We are always saying 'you can't eat that', 'its full of sugar', 'I've not carb counted that, so no' it goes on and on. Our heart breaks at the fact that our children can not be carefree about their food, can't  have a bag  of crisps just because they fancy them. So when they look at us with their sad eyes, and ask for the pizza, we give in and say yes.

Then the fun begins.....

High fat foods such as pizza can cause a delay in the absorption of the carbohydrates for 2-3 hours after eating and can elevate the blood sugar for up to 8 hours.

So..... what does that mean? Simply put it means that because the body is working at digesting the fat first it doesn't work on the carbs. Meanwhile, the insulin is starting to work on the carbs that aren't there yet which in turn results in a hypo! This hypo needs to be treated, so extra carbs are given. This raises the blood sugars levels (obviously! Thats why we give it), the blood sugars continue to rise as the body is now begining to absorb the carbs from the pizza, however by now the insulin levels have peaked and are now on their way down, so there is not enough to work on the carbs, and this results in the high levels for up to eight hours!

So there you go, that is why I think that pizza is the food of the devil! Even though I know  all of the above is going to happen, I also know that when a certain young man requests pizza for his dinner he will have it, and enjoy every mouthful

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

The tale of a cunning diabetic five year old

Once upon a time there was a little boy called Samuel. He was 5 years old and lived with his mummy, daddy, and three sisters. Sadly, Samuel was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in March 2009, however, he amazed everyone around him with his maturity, and ability to not let diabetes get in the way.
Well, Samuel went back to school in Septemebr this year, where he started in year 1. He had a lovely new teacher, who although was slightly nervous, was confident that diabetes would not cause a problem in his classroom. It didn't, well not for the first two weeks anyway. It was on the third week that things began to go wrong.
Samuels mummy got a phonecall at work, from a concerned mid day at the school 'Samuels sugar level was 31!!!!!! What should they do?' She also explained that Samuel had suffered two hypos earlier in the day. 'Well that explains it' thought mummy, Samuel has rebounded, not to worry, check for ketones and he will be fine. Mummy was then very stresed at work. she couldn't concentrate, so she phoned the diabetic nurses. They assured mummy that it was just one of those things, and it just happens sometimes. Mummy relaxed a little bit.
The next day, mummy was off work, once again she got a call at lunchtime to say that Samuels sugar was 30.5!!!!! An hour later it was so high that the machine couldn't cope!!!!!Again, he had had two hypos earlier in the day. Mummy phoned the nurses again, who e mailed the consultant to ask for advice. They suggested to cut back on the morning doses, and maybe this would stop the hypos, which in turn would stop the highs.
Mummy was tired, and completely stressed. The teacher looked physically drained, and the head said that Samuel looked poorly.
This carried on for the rest of the school week. School were doing a fantastic job, mummy and daddy were stressed and worried, and so were the rest of the family.

The next week, on the Monday, mummy went to the drs, as she felt she couldn't cope. The dr signed mummy off work for two weeks, and gave her a prescription for some tablets. Samuels sugars, again, were really bad and the nurses and the consultant were thinking about admitting him to hospital, but had one last thing to try.
The next day, mummy went into school to look at the blood glucose machines. She wanted to check that the numbers in the book, were the same as the numbers stored on the machine. You see Samuel, although only 5, was a very clever young man. He had tried to catch his mummy and daddy out, by scrolling back on his machine to find a hypo number. He did this so that he could have a juice and two biscuits, as this was the way that his hypos were treated. Daddy thought that maybe this was what he was doing at school, although mummy didn't think that this was possible.
So mummy looked at Samuels machine and checked the readings against the book, and her heart sank. None of the hypo readings were on the machine. She asked the teacher if Samuel was watched when testing his blood, and did the machine have a strip in it when shown. The teacher replied that most of the time he was watched, but not always, and sometimes the strip wasn't there as Samuel had already put it in the sharps bin. Mummy explained to the teacher what had really been going on.
Mummy was now a complete wreck, she sat in the office in shock!!!!!!!! She couldn't believe what her darling litle boy had been doing!! The lovely lady in the office went and got Samuel from his classroom so mummy could ask Samuel if he had infact been fooling everyone.
Mummy sat down and asked Samuel if he had been scrolling back his machine, and with a tear in his eye he replied 'yes'. Mummy, broke down, she was relieved that there was nothing wrong, but cross because what he was doing was so dangerous!!!!

His teacher now watches Samuel like a hawk, but feels slightly wiser for the experience!
Mummy still cant believe how cunning, and infact clever her little boy is.
Samuel......... well, he did it just because he wanted a juice and a biscuit!!!!!

Diabetes is a horrible illness, and our young children just don't understand how serious, and dangerous it is. We never told Samuel about the bad things that can happen in the future, as we though it was important for him to just be a 5 year old and not to worry.
What this last week has shown me is that diabetic children, sometimes can be cunning, and sneaky, just to get what other children take for granted, but in doing so take great risks with their health.