Wednesday, July 23, 2008

WFMW: Links for Low Carb Recipes for Type-1 Diabetes

Works for me Wednesday is hosted by Shannon over at Rocks in my Dryer! Head on over for other valuable tips!

At the bottom of this post are a couple links I would like to share with you ... it is for all the moms, grandmas, sisters, aunts, or friends that have children with Type-1 Diabetes (Juvenile Diabetes) and are suddenly faced with having to change the way they cook. (link at bottom)

But first... It is very difficult to post something about Juvenile Diabetes and NOT make it a long post. There is so much to say on the subject. The most important point I'd like to make is ... be aware of your child and their everyday behaviors. Be aware of this silent but deadly disease. Know the symptoms. Sadly, one misconception is that children outgrow diabetes. They DO NOT. They are dependent on insulin the rest of their lives, and the only way out is by finding a cure! And friends, that totally stinks.

When you have a child in your family that is struck with Juvenile Diabetes (JD), your whole world is suddenly turned upside down, and the way you think about food changes -- immediately. And when you're the MOM (or Dad) of a child with JD, you suddenly become ferociously protective, and want to take harm (carbs) out of your child's life... really, all moms (and dads) feel like that, but when your child can't yet make wise decisions for themselves because of their young age, I think the Mom (or Dad) in you tends to take over more aggressively.

In my case, my sister's second oldest (out of 4) was diagnosed with JD almost 5 years ago. She was only 5 years old. It was a frightening moment. Time stood completely still for my dear sister as she stood beside her daughter battling for her life while she lay in the hospital in a diabetic coma. She was told to prepare for her daughters death. Words NO parent should have to hear coming out of a doctor's mouth.

My nice had Ketoacidosis, a condition directly related to Type-1 Diabetics (they are insulin dependent) who are not getting enough insulin. The Ketones (acids in your blood) build, and in essence, poison your body. This condition can be triggered any time the Ketones in your body are thrown off balance -- with a minor cold, the flu, an infection...

Here is a brief explanation about Type-1 Diabetes in my nieces words:

"When you have diabetes, your immune system attacks the pancreas and you are no longer able to make insulin. Insulin is the hormone that allows your body to convert the food you eat into energy. Without insulin, your blood sugar gets very high. These high blood sugars are what cause damage to your body. My blood sugar was so high that my blood had become so acidic [with Ketones] that it was as a toxin to my body. I was falling into a diabetic coma and the doctor told my parents to prepare for my death."
You can read a letter Lexi wrote about her condition and her personal struggle with Juvenile Diabetes HERE. It is very informative.

In any case, parents who have a child that has JD are more careful about restricting carbs and sugars (face it: a carb is a carb is a carb, whether it is sugar or pasta or rice or bread) in the child's life. In my niece's case, as well as all other children that have it becomes difficult to "fit in normally" because she tests her blood (finger pricks) up to 12 times a day, and takes insulin 10 times a day. Even in the middle of the night.

Life changes dramatically. You are no longer a normal child living a normal life. When the children in a class party are enjoying a cup cake or a monster cookie, you can't. When the kids are sharing a can of sprite, you can't. When the kids are having a pizza party, you can't. Actually, you can, you just have to calculate the amount of insulin you will need before enjoying yourself. The other kids don't. Your child is suddenly thrown into an unfair world of "pick and choose" against their own will -- they literally have to weigh out the consequences of eating everyday foods we take for granted, and calculate insulin levels regularly.

I had to do this for a very brief 5 months while I was pregnant with gestational diabetes, and I can tell you, it was awful. Imagine having to do it day in and day out ... for the rest of your life!

And now that I know it runs in the family (we're not sure which side -- my sister's or her husband's), that's good enough for me to change the way my own son eats -- we're not taking any chances.

Yes, I do feed my child foods made with Splenda, NutraSweet, and other artificial sweeteners. Yes, he is allowed to drink diet drinks. Yes, I try to give my son healthy snacks. Yes, I do substitute Splenda for sugar when baking. No. I don't want to start a debate about how healthy it is or isn't for me to give my son those items with artificial sweeteners. I simply want to cut out carbs that are with in my control, and sugar is one of them.

Here is a website that I found very helpful in finding recipes that are lower in Carbs, if not Carb free. They offer ways to substitute or eliminate carbs from many recipes that we eat regularly, and the end product really does taste good! Also, they have a store that sells substitutes.

If you have a child with JD, or know of a family that is affected by this disease, I hope this link will serve as a good resource for you!

Low Carb Recipes (click on the pictures towards the middle/bottom to take you into a list of recipes)

Low Carb Products (Unusual substitutes you may not find in a regular grocery store can be found here)

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation offers support and valuable information.

I keep begging my sister to start a blog to help other parents and offer support and tips... but with 4 kids that range from 5 to 11... free time is hard to find! Maybe my niece will start one?!?

Remember: Children do NOT outgrow diabetes.
The only way out is a cure!


Heart of Wisdom said...

This is a wonderful and informative post. Thanks for sharing.

Teresa said...

This is great. My husband was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was three, and let me tell you, treatment has come a long way. They didn't have blood glucose meters back then. They knew he was having a low blood sugar when he started hallucinating (sp?) and they knew he was having a high blood sugar when he started passing ketones in his urine.

Feel blessed with all of the medical advancements that have been made, and also feel blessed that your little relative came down with this disease so early. She won't remember what it was like to live without diabetes.

My husband, who is one of four, has one sister and one brother who were also diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes when they were 10 and 12. Those two siblings hated their diabetes and rebelled against the strict diet and constant monitoring they had to go through. They remember what it was like before they had diabetes.

Good luck with all of the maintenance and treatment, and I applaud your healthy diet!

Janelle said...

My mom's husband is in his late 50's and has type 1 diabetes. He definitely did not outgrow it. Thanks for the links!

adrianna said...

Has your sister's family considered an insulin pump for your niece? She is old enough to learn to use it, and it gives much more flexibility in managing JD. (I was diagnosed with Type 1 at age 29 - 38 years ago). I've had my pump four + years and wish I'd made the switch much earlier.
Yes, the pump and supplies are expensve, as are glucose meters and test strips, but some insurance plans cover much of the cost. It is much better to prevent complications than to treat them, and some insurance companies are wising up to that fact.
The doctor - especially a diabetes specialist/endocrinologist - can supply more information. I would suggest they seriously consider pump therapy; perhaps extended family or church could help with the expense.
You may e-mail me if you'd like more information.

Anonymous said...

That is a wonderful post, very informative!

I am type 2 I will certainly check out your receipes, thanks.

Susan said...

My mother was a type 1 diabetic, and I have type 2, so this post was very important for me. I'm looking forward to looking through the links. It's true, treatment is so much better now than when my mother was diagnosed as an 8-year-old in 1952. It's a horrible disease, but so much more manageable now than then. I wish your niece a long, successful, healthy life!

Breanne Vasquez said...

I am so sorry to here about your niece - how hard that must be. Makes me think of how slack I have gotten about what my daughter eats. I need to monitor it a lot more. Thanks for sharing.