Daigan’s Story: Believing in & Battling for Better Blood Sugar Control
Daigan’s story describes some of the ups and downs of managing type 1 diabetes. It can throw us many curve balls, and it is difficult to know what to do with some of them. We tip our hats to Daigan and his parents for their persistence in the face of adversity. We are inspired by this family’s commitment to the importance (both long term and short term) of having well-controlled blood sugars by eating healthier foods and living a healthier lifestyle. Daigan’s improving C-peptide results and his lower insulin requirements, even in the face of a full array of antibodies, is motivating to us. We trust it will be for you too!
Our son, Daigan was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D) on April 21st, 2010 when he was 6.5 years old. Our whole family was shocked, as we have no known family history of diabetes.
His symptomatology started around mid-March when Daigan was complaining of extreme thirst and frequent urination at least 4-5 times a night. When we went to the pediatrician in April for another issue, I mentioned the thirst and frequent urination. The pediatrician tested his blood sugar, and it was over 300! We were told he has T1D and we needed to go to the children’s diabetic clinic at the hospital immediately.
At the hospital they tested his blood sugar with long needles all through the day and night for three miserable days. They checked his thyroid and tested for celiac disease and pancreatitis. Everything was normal except for his blood sugar levels. Daigan was immediately put on insulin. We were told that we were lucky that he was only sick for about a month prior to arriving at the hospital, and that his hemoglobin A1C was only 9.
The next morning at the hospital, we attended a parent training course on how to check blood sugar and administer insulin. What a horrible experience. There was another boy, around 15-16 years of age with his mother who was also recently diagnosed. He looked very thin and not well. He was eating potato chips during the training session. He was told that he can eat whatever he wants as long as he counts his carbs and takes insulin (consistent with ADA advice). At the follow up session, a registered dietician with diabetes training, also repeated the same message – give him whatever he wants and just count the carbs and take insulin.
When we arrived at home, Daigan was a basket case. It took us 1.5 hours just to be able to give him a shot of insulin. He was scared and crying all the time (as were his parents). We were told that we should count carbs at every meal and then give him a shot of Humalog fast acting insulin. At night we would additionally have to give him a shot of Lantus long acting insulin. For about three months he was getting 3-4 shots of insulin a day. On a vacation, he became lethargic and could barely walk. His blood sugar was low so we gave him pasta to bring it up. Then, the blood sugar became too high, so we had to give him more insulin to bring it down.
I was depressed and crying every day. However, I was not going to give up on finding a better solution. It did not make sense to me to feed Daigan excessive carbs, knowing that his body could not metabolize them well. Each day I did excessive research on the internet, trying to delineate potentially dangerous recommendations for treating T1D, from those that seemed plausible (even if not formally proven to be beneficial in clinical trials). One day I came across Gabriel and Nathan’s story. I read about their incredible mother Sally and how she was not willing to give up and she put them on a special diet that helped both boys alleviate dependence on insulin. I immediately emailed Sally and we set a phone conversation. She was very encouraging and warm. She explained about the food and supplement plan she had developed.
I placed Daigan on a diabetic diet with similarities to Sally’s plan, in July of 2010 and within a week he no longer required insulin injections. His A1C decreased to 5.2 in September 2010 and to 4.9 in December 2010. We were very happy with Daigan’s progress. At one point, we received the bizarre advice from a diabetologist to give him more carbohydrate-rich foods so that we could continue to give him insulin, so that we would not give him a false sense of hope that he would not need insulin in the future.
Our challenges started in February 2011, when he got sick (high fever) and his fasting blood sugar hovered around 120 in the morning. Ironically, Daigan got sick while attending Sally and Dan’s informative seminar in Phoenix (it was great to meet their family and other attendees). His A1C climbed to 5.7 in April 2011 (difficult to know if sickness was implicated in this rise as diabetes is a progressive and sometime unpredictable disease to manage). Daigan got a stomach virus in May 2011 and his blood sugar started climbing. In September 2011 his A1C rose to 7.3 and by October 2011 it was 7.7. I spoke with Sally who provided a whole list of new helpful suggestions. We tried to lower his carb load, but the blood sugar would still rise in the evening and be too high in the morning. We were facing another problem in that Daigan is a very picky eater (although to his credit, he had adapted to eating new and healthy foods that were not a part of his pre-diabetic pizza- and pasta-rich diet). He stared losing weight following the implementation of these new dietary modifications, and we had no choice but to return Daigan to the previous dietary plan, and start giving him one shot of Lantus in the evening. We also tested him for the four major antibodies. We had to fight with our endocrinologist to have these antibody tests performed. She said “why do you need to know this information; it will not change the treatment regimen”. Our insurance company covered the costs of having these tests performed, but I suppose her logic was that we are nevertheless wasting time and money. Daigan tested positive for GAD65, ICA512 and AI2 in the summer of 2011. We will retest for antibodies again in a few years. Currently, his blood sugar is becoming more stable and there are days when he does not need any insulin.
We are grateful that his pancreas still makes insulin and the combination of a low carbohydrate and low glycemic diet with nightly insulin keeps him healthy, active and growing, without observable hypo- and hyperglycemic bouts. His fasting C-peptide values were 0.5 ng/mL in August 2010 and 0.8 ng/mL in August 2011. We are planning to retest him for C-peptide in Spring of 2012. We believe that with his high titers of auto-antibodies, Daigan’s condition would have been worse without the implementation of a special diet, and his C-peptide levels lower. We are hoping that one day Daigan will go back to not requiring any insulin injections. Thank you Sally and Dan for always being available to give us advice and emotional support as we manage this very serious metabolic disease. *
(* results may vary)
We’d like to see you have success. Contact us today to schedule a consult. Or purchase our video workshop course and get on the road today toward better health, and to #ControlBloodSugarNaturally. People who have followed our natural, healthy lifestyle solutions have:
- Decreased their HbA1c percentage
- Reduced or eliminated insulin requirements,
- Reversed symptoms and complications
- Improved insulin sensitivity
- Improved fasting and post-prandial blood glucose levels
- Increased c-peptide secretion and insulin production
- Decreased or eliminated insulin antibodies
- Normalized their weight
With our #FrameworkOfHOPE, we help you establish a lifestyle foundation that may stop or reverse disease progression and complications naturally, and reduce #InsulinDemand and other medication requirements. Get off the roller coaster of high and low blood sugars, and get on the rolling plains of normal, control.