Blog Entries With Tag: children


Posted: Oct 13, 2011

UPDATE:  Here's a recent  link that might help you understand this condition that affects Type 1 diabetics - https://www.verywell.com/the-gluten-free-diabetes-diet-562996 - but please feel free to carry on reading below - and pass on this information to anyone you think might find it useful!

FatCatAnna June 2, 2017

* * * * *

Lately I’ve been noticing that quite a few diabetics I meet (mainly young ones) have been diagnosed with celiac (or coeliac) disease.  What is it?  It’s a condition that damages the lining of the small intestine and prevents it from absorbing parts of food that are important for staying healthy. The damage is due to a reaction to eating gluten, which is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and possibly oats.  Really the way I understand it, it’s very much like diabetes, where it is all revolving around our immune system.  For more indepth info – you can check out The Canadian Celiac Disease website http://www.celiac.ca/index.php

Some of the symptoms are:

- Abdominal pain, bloating, gas, or indigestion
- Constipation
- Decreased appetite (though it can be increased or remain same)
- Diarrhoea, either constant or off and on
- Lactose intolerance (common when the person is diagnosed, usually goes away after treatment)
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stools that float, are foul smelling, bloody, or “fatty”
- Unexplained weight loss (although people can be overweight or of
- normal weight)

 

A video from JDRFUK explains how T1* and celiac are very closely related and if you take the time to watch it – you will learn quite abit (it’s 17 minutes in length).  In the UK I found out from a Mum whose diabetic daughter has coeliac disease, that a  simple blood screening test is done most of the time for children when they are diagnosed with diabetes (though according to the video link above – it’s still abit of a controversy as to whether it should be done for EVERY newly diagnosed diabetic patient).  I am not sure if the same applies in the United States – but my understanding from a few teens I met up with in July said that it is done all the time.   I know that here in my province of Quebec (Canada) – according to Marco Bianchi from the Montreal Children’s Hospital that “we only screen for celiac if there is a presence of clinical evidence”.  It is perhaps different in other provinces of Canada and the world. So would love to hear from anyone that has more knowledge then I do.

From what I’ve been hearing through the grapevine, the way that wheat is now grown is perhaps the problem that is causing the increase in celiac diagnosis.  It is no longer “pure” – due to what is added in the growth stage of the wheat, and then when made into a product that is sold on our grocery shelves – is further compromised.

I heard from one person that says that since making their own bread at home, using a sour dough recipe, that they do not have any problems associated with celiac.  Now, I’m not sure if perhaps they are using wheat that is grown from old stock seeds (this is now being done – as it appears that old seeds that have not been “modified” seem to not cause any problems … yet).

I know that some of the Canadian magazines I subscribe to seem to be posting more gluten free recipes this year (Chatelaine is one such as this gluten-free pizza dough recipe).  I have also come across some restaurants in my travels that offer gluten free meals – but it is still a big worry for those that have celiac disease – where you can’t be exactly sure if the food you are eating has come in contact with any gluten product like you would with preparing your own food at home.  Perhaps more chain restaurants will show on their menu a product that is gluten free, besides just catering to those who are watching their carb intake, etc.

*Also, from the research I did for this blog, apparently people who are not diabetic but have celiac disease are prone to becoming diabetic (Type 1 or 2),  or have thyroid disease, and other health problems.  Often lactose intolerance is present as well – but often disappears once a gluten-free diet is followed (results take about 2-3 months for improvement).

Additional website you might want to check out - explaining how Celiac disease affects children / adults can be found here . Remember, these sites are valuable for information that you can bring to your own health care provider - do not always rely on the sources that you read online!

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Posted: Jun 23, 2011

Wow! It's amazing going over stuff that I forgot I still had.  Because of having moved around - I only had so much room that I could keep of childhood memories.  Those memories are all stuffed into a box that normally you would buy paper for your office printer. It contains the first 20 years of my life that I was able to save before my parents could put it in the trash (they aren't professional pack rats like me)!

I have only started looking at few items, but I was curious to see what my diary that I had at the age of 11 contained.  I thought that there might be more mentioned about my diabetes, but there is very little in there, except for a few scribbles about my 2nd year at Camp Banting when I was 11 near the end of the small notebook (6" length x 4" width).  I was amazed to see that I actually was missing my parents (don't think they were) and the fact that we weren't allowed to make calls home (I can't see that happening today at a camp grounds).  I mentioned about having to have my diet changed four times, probably due to my being more active is the only reason for that.  Oh and my loving the orange cookies we got once in awhile for snacks (we had more the year before at camp I wrote).  There was one mention of a fellow cabin mate having a bad hypo and all of us running to get 4 camp counsellors at 2:00 a.m. to help her (obviously none of us 11 year olds had Life Savers or orange juice in our cabin - nowadays I think we would have those with us).  Near the end I wrote, I was getting bored of camp, and never wanting to go back again (but I later corrected that entry in red - that it wasn't so bad ).   

What surprised me even more - was that not only had I been to diabetic camp that year for 2 weeks - but a month prior - a 2 week ocean holiday with my family in Maine (which I loved so much according to my scribbles).  I didn't realise that I had two holidays in one summer that year - boy oh boy - was I spoiled - since CDA camp was not cheap in those days to attend.

So, below is a picture of me that I found wedged in my diary - standing outside a little place we always would stop off at on our 8 hour road trip from Ottawa to Higgins Beach, Maine.  The Farmer's Daughter Gift Barn on Route 2 in St. Johnsbury, VT - chock full of great stuff to amaze your friends with - and always a place to stretch your legs abit.



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Posted: Jun 13, 2011

Last week, to my surprise, George Simmons aka Ninjabetic tweeted a link for a Type 2 diabetic camp for kids in the United States.  Just his statement alone floored me.  I mean a Type 2 diabetic camp for kids?  Except this one is not just aimed at Type 2 diabetic kids, but also families/kids at risk.



I went to a diabetic camp (
Camp Banting) as a child (which I loved) – but that was for Type 1 diabetics aged 8-15 years of age.  I searched the Canadian Diabetes Association website for Type 2 diabetic camps – but only was able to find Type 1 – period.  As a few other members of the D-OC got into the conversation (limited to 140 letters in Tweet – so you’ve got to be concise) – we started to share thoughts.  As George pointed out – “I think the stigma about having type 2 would have to be that much worse being a kid. Adults are mean, kids can be cruel”.  His words struck a nerve there – since I had been made fun of at school for the way I spoke (English accent which I lost very quickly) as well as other little quirks that made me stand out differently from Canadian kids.  Diabetes was never an issue thank goodness – but still – George had it right with kids being cruel. 

I really must be out of the loop!  I know that Type 2 diabetes is on the increase on our big blue marble – but I like many people – associated it with older folks. When I was diagnosed as a youngster, I was in the diabetic ward at the hospital – and the only child on the whole floor – everyone else was … old (like me now ).    So, curiosity got the better of this cat and I went to the library the next day – and came across Diabetes for Canadians for Dummies – and there it was standing point blank at me on page 231 – Your Child Has Type 2 Diabetes!  Because of the epidemic of obesity – children here in Canada (and elsewhere as it points out) is much higher than it used to be (or higher in some communities).  Once again, I learned something about diabetes that I wasn’t aware of!

Another great link that came out of the Tweet conversation was one that Virtue B. posted that she’d seen at her endocrinologist’s office in Toronto on a recent visit.  It’s called KidsType2Diabetes.  It’s a really impressive site here in Canada with tips on healthy eating and getting active along with some great links and personally not just for kids - for the whole family!  Get active - get involved!!

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Posted: May 9, 2011

I’m one of many folks that are taking part in the 2nd Annual D-Blog Week that Karen Graffeo at Bitter Sweet is so kindly hosting on her website this week.  If you haven’t heard of it – check it out - see what we’re all doing – and perhaps get involved – come on don’t be shy!

The topic today is about  “ admiring our differences “ – and at first I was stumped by this topic (I never did well with assignments at school) and then I realised that I had written something similar a few weeks ago (Dear Parents of Diabetic Children) without even knowing that I’d be writing a similar story again this week.  My mind was aflame with ideas of who I admired the most out of the many diabetics that I have met over the years since I discovered the D-OC.  There are so many, but I think what has struck me the most over the year is the parents of diabetic children that I had come to admire the most .  Why?  Well, my parents (mainly my Mum – as my Dad was working) that did the best that they could with what information was available when I was diagnosed with diabetes in the 60’s.  They were pretty well in the dark with no online groups for them to join up to like we have today, so they did the best they could that was provided by CDA/ADA and the hospital that took care of my diabetes in Ottawa.   Personally, I think they did pretty well even when they tried to hide away the sweets from me in the top cupboard (I took my shoes off before getting on the counter tops to retrieve those goodies – me who is afraid of heights – the call of the “unforbidden” won over my fear).

Nowadays, parents of diabetic children have so many tools at their disposal – so I sometimes think it is more scary for the parents seeing their children’s blood sugars (BG) going up and down like a roller coaster ride and the fear that because of that horrible things will befall them (loss of eyesight, kidney, etc).  I wonder if sometimes having too much information isn’t a good thing.  I mean, my parents didn’t have all those tools, but in the end, I’ve turned out okay.  Yes, maybe I’m abit of a screw ball with my fantasy of wearing a cape/mask – but it works for me.

So, to all you D-parents out there – and you know who you are – I raise a toast to you in your everyday challenge to ensure your little one(s) are living the most out of their life.  If you love them and let them be who they are without stifling them, they will turn out fine.   I still wonder if my Dad was happy with my spending the CSB’s  he’d saved for my “further education” on a motorcycle instead – I know I was pleased as a little kitten <lol> – and I’m still alive despite a few miscalculations on a sharp turn in the road at “x” amount of speed!

 

 

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Posted: May 4, 2011

I’ve been joining up to more Facebook pages that are aimed at parents with diabetic children and I have had to hold my true comments back due to not wanting to upset the parents.  Well, I’ve decided to roll the dice and bare it all.  I have written about this subject in the past as well as in various forums within the D-OC (diabetic online community) as I was diagnosed just as I entered Grade 1 – so bear with me if I repeat myself (remember – I’m now ½ a century old ).

What has lead me today to write this post is seeing a parent say they are battling a horrible disease.  It hit me like a brick in the face reading that.  I wrote on my Facebook page that parents with that children are likes sponges and to be careful with what they said or thought.  I was once one young like your own son/daughter – and could sometimes hear the whispers (I have Super Power hearing – remember I wear a cape ) of my parents behind closed doors as they tried to fathom what they were up against –if they were bad things – luckily I had shoved those words into the deep recesses of my brain.  Back in the 60’s when I was diagnosed, we had much less knowledge about diabetes in young children (sometimes I think it was hit or miss), we were only 1% of the population compared to the now almost 10%.  I was a cute novelty in the hospital I went to in Ottawa, where mainly Type 2’s were being taken care of.  I darn well took advantage of that as well – I knew where the bread was buttered.

Other than that diabetes was just something that was part of my life and I didn’t really think much about it.  Injections then were just once a day.  Testing of urine a few times a day (I can’t really recall – it just was something I did – just like tying up your shoe laces – wait – now kids use Velcro).  I was a kid just like any other kid.  I wanted to explore, play with my friends!  Luckily my parents pretty well let me do anything I wanted to do.  I was I guess what you would call a wanderer – a parent’s worst nightmare.  I was always off exploring in the woods, going on organized bicycle trips in the summer time with the youth camp that was at the park across my street.  I was just plain active.  Do I remember much about having hypos, etc.?  Nope, all I knew I was a kid having fun, playing with my friends.

I think my parents giving me this independence probably is what made me stronger with coping with life with diabetes.  They did not make a big thing out of it.  Perhaps now-a-days due to all the medical advancements – parents perhaps know too much – and it worries them with trying to keep their child’s A1C at that “perfect” number along with blood sugar readings.  I don’t really recall too many hypo episodes – when they did – it was jelly bean time – yippee!!!  I really don't remember many bad episodes (well - one of my Mum chasing around the house when I had a hypo and my vivid imagination thought she was a giant chasing after me and she's only 5' 2" (1.6 metres).

Of course, in my teen years, life became abit more difficult with peer pressure, etc.  I mean, what parent doesn’t experience problems with their teenager, diabetic or not?  Our hormones are way out of control – we want to be adults NOW – we don’t want to do what our parents tell us to do.  With diabetes, it’s abit more complicated, but I managed alright and was holding down 2 part time jobs along with school.  Again, maybe due to my parents letting me take control of my diabetes much earlier than many parents do today helped?  Was it a good thing?  I don’t know.  I’m to blame I know for going into DKA and coma at the age of 14.  Again, this memory is vague, probably not a pleasant experience for me to remember (or for my parents as well plus as my Mum says - it's too long ago to remember for her).  I survived though; it was a learning lesson, and luckily no devastating results except for what they say a few brain cells lost for earlier memories and my knotted hair got cut short (I was always ahead of time with fashion ).

So, the point of my writing this to all you parents out there.  Please be careful with what you think/say around your children.  After almost ½ a century of being a diabetic – I can attest that I think having diabetes for most of my life has made me a much better person and hopefully the same will apply to your children with having a positive attitude to the ups/downs of what diabetes can bring.  There are also so many great discoveries being made in the 21st century that astound me sometimes, that it makes me excited to keep on living/mentoring/educating about diabetes and I want to be able to try new products and make my life which I already consider is really good, even better!!!   




Picture taken in 1968 when my Nan came for a visit us in Canada
(she thought I was a terribly spoiled child and bought my Mum
a paddle to keep me in place)

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