12 yr old night time sneaks!

So my son was diagnosed in September 2019. He is not on a pump only finger sticks and pen. This past week I woke up at 2am to check his bs and it was over 500 not one night but two nights in one week :worried: as a mom I need advice on how to handle these things as I am upset sad mad all in one !

I took away his Xbox but after I felt bad like oh my am I over reacting over a NUMBER. :worried:

The advise I need is how do I deal with explaining the Importantance of not eating snacks at night or milk or juice with out flipping out he’s 7 th grade usually was very good at understanding his t1d

Do any parents deal with these incidents with their child?

Hi Christina @Jojojazz89I can understand your frustration, and I can also understand your 12 / 13 year old son’s “need” for a snack. I’m not a parent of a child or grandchild with diabetes, thankfully, but I myself with seven decades living with diabetes very safely will snack late evenings; the milk or juice only is included in snacks when I am “trending low” - I really hate being awakened by night-time hypoglycemia.

Discipline appears to be ineffective in this particular situation for you, so why not try “education”? At your son’s age, he is quite capable of understanding the basic formula about balancing food and activity with insulin - he knows well by now that the required insulin is not being produced by his body, so he needs to inject. Help him implant in his head that FOOD = INJECTION, and see that he follows this rule - unless he is already “low” or involved in certain activities.

Have him write down the carbohydrate counts for snacks he likes and would take in the evening. Also write down specific Insulin:Carbohydrate ratios for times of day and even to make things more simple, keep a chard handy with customary snacks and insulin required for his glucose level - yes, require him to do a finger-stick - OUCH factor. By 7th grade he HAS the arithmetic skills to do these calculations in his head.

Please try to avoid making eating a crime - from my experience, greatest character talent developed the required starvation-diets for managing diabetes in the 1940’s, 1950’s, 1960’s was the ability to lie and cheat when eating.


My son is also not on a pump. Diagnosed in Sept '12 at 13, he’s a 20 year old man now. Have been there too. It’s very worrying I know. I don’t know if this helps, back when my son was a similar age and hungry all the time and wanting snacks, I put a list of options he could have on the kitchen cupboard door. 2 lists, one list of very low carb snacks which he didn’t need to inject for and one list of higher carb snacks that he would need to inject for. The former list was very appealing and longer! I think it helped some of the time.
I have now learnt (I didn’t for a long time) to not react like i used to over a NUMBER as you put it too. It is just a NUMBER. It’s a journey for your son, and you…and me and my son. Its full of ups and downs and in my opinion with continue to be so. Be kind to yourself. Best of wishes :slight_smile:


Oh yes- either this or something else. My son has been in grief/denial/anger most of the time since diagnosis 1.5 years ago. He is 13 now. Sometimes that looks like grasping for control. Other times it’s just wanting to be “normal” and denial behavior. I am often stuck between my heart breaking for him having to go through this (so not wanting to upset him further with discipline) and being so frustrated that he won’t partner and behave like an “adult”. Sigh.
I agree with the idea of having an approved, non-carb, non-dose snack list. If there are things he can do on his own without having to inject that gives him a little bit of control (jerky, cheese, HB eggs are ideas). Also, you might want to consider getting an adjusted carb ratio dosing for nighttime. We found that with certain foods or at certain times of the day his body reacts differently so for example we might have to dose at 1:10 for one food item and 1:20 for another or later in the day. Also- this was huge – there were times where it seemed like his body wasn’t even responding to insulin at night. We found out from his endocrinologist that insulin competes with growth hormone. Growth hormone peaks at night while they sleep! Unfortunately it doesn’t happen every night so you don’t know for sure but there are going to be times where he’s going to spike high at night, even without eating. So that also could be a factor and it may not all be about the snacks. I also agree with the idea of reminding him that food is not the enemy, it just requires insulin and a shot. So they have to decide if what they want to eat is “shot worthy”. That’s what brought my son to want more non-carb snacks. Focus on what he CAN do and what he CAN control. And try to build him up by telling him he’s gaining independence with these good decisions. Mine doesn’t accept the idea that “ We are thankful and blessed to even have insulin“ and tends to go negative still but I still say it and realize he is just still grieving. So sorry, mama friend. I’ve been there! It will get better- and worse- but you can do this! God made you his mom for a reason!


Thank you for your response reading this as tears roll down my face because I’m not alone !! Thank you so much for advice and sharing


Thank you for your response I appreciate it as I see I am not alone :slightly_smiling_face:


morseyami It is great to offer a list of healthful liked foods. Seeing what is allowed is far more effective than looking at or imagining a list of forbidden items.

When I was diagnosed, 1969, A blood test in December offered results the following June. The June test results were learned the following December. I hope those newly diagnosed realize what a great system finger-tip or Continuous Glucose Monitors are for their diabetic control.

As a fourth grader my mother explained to me that I would have to live my whole life with diabetes, not her. She stepped back and let me learn all I could from the doctors of my generation. It was my condition that I had to learn how to manage. This promoted my getting an education as a dietitian in order to understand exactly how food affects everything in my life. Mom is gone and I am still living with my diabetes.

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I dealt with that with my granddaughter. She was diagnosed at 9 and for the next 2 years she was sneaking food. I try not to have sweets in the house. Mostly carbs under 4 She’s 13 now and I think has finally understood the danger of sneaking foods and not covering with insulin. It’s important they know they can eat what they want, but make sure to take the insulin. If they’re on a pump and CGM, it makes it more convenient.

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I’m just saying that I relate to your kid , Im usaully the hungriest during the night time hours which is really bad . So I try to eat low carb snacks if I do sneak but as long as I take insulin I should be fine . But I also have the Medtronic 670g pump which constantly gives me a drip of insulin to correct my sugars when it goes above my target even after I take insulin and it still ends up being high . So I would recommend this pump . My mom used to get on me when I was younger about sneaking food and she would yell at me but as I got older she just told me as long as I take insulin and set a alarm to wake up and check to make sure I’m still good then she didn’t care .


I am so very sorry you are dealing with these difficulties. There are many things that can contribute to high blood glucose levels - eating high glycemic foods, being dehydrated, insufficient exercise, being ill with something else (even a common cold could result in higher glucose levels). If you believe he is eating high glycemic foods, is it possible to just remove them from the house? Strangely (though this is obvious from a scientific perspective) in my experience, I am never hungry when my glucose levels are low (which is when I need to eat) but often hungry when my glucose levels go up (which is when I should be just exercising and not eating). Sadly, one must fight a constant battle with one’s own body to effectively control diabetes and it is not easy. It is not easy for either of you, but, like anything else, it requires discipline to effectively control diabetes. When I was younger, I became very active in martial arts and that helped tremendously as it helped keep me healthy and in good shape and also helped with discipline. Would it be practicable for him to become involved (remotely now given COVID-19) with a martial arts or similar sport?

Wandering about the carb snack equals shot we are in year two and our 14 year old hords food at night and in am wakes very high. He only takes a night time insuline. We have not been taught that he can give shots anytime for carb food how does this work? I think this would help us out. Im new so not sure if im aloud to ask if not plz forgive me.

Hello @Mum of course you’re allowed to ask. Welcome to TypeOneNation. We are a non professional group and we have type 1 diabetes or are caring for someone with type 1 diabetes. You will need to ask you child’s doctor what options are available to you.

With type 1, there is a special insulin that lasts all day and a different formulation that works with meals. Not knowing why your doctor has ordered a night time insulin, or which kind it is, we would all be afraid to offer advice about meal time insulin. Please talk to the doctor. Good luck :four_leaf_clover:

Hi @Mum and welcome to the forum. As @joe - a very wise and experienced forum member said, call your endo end let them know what’s going on. Your endo needs to determine the type/s of insulin and doses your son needs and when, and you’ll be doing some record keeping and observation to see how he responds. That’s a collective “you” - both you and your son - and it depends on honesty so the right doses can be determined. I suggest you set up some additional training to help you both understand how everything works together. I also recommend the book Think Like a Pancreas by Gary Scheiner. He has the unique perspective of working in the field of diabetes and managing his own, so he has first hand experience. And whiie it’s educational, I found it to be a fun read!
Don’t be afraid to ask questions - it’s important for both you and your son to understand so you can make adjustments on your own - that comes with time, practice and experience.

Definitely welcome! And if you want to share a little more about your situation, we might be able to help, even if it IS only as fellow travelers. Can you talk with your son’s endocrinologist and write us back with what you learn?

Hi again @Mum . My thoughts come in bits and pieces so I’m adding on a couple here. I’m wondering why your son hordes snacks at night and a few thoughts come to mind:

  1. he’s afraid of going low while he’s asleep, so eats to avoid it.
  2. it’s a good time to get some of his favorite treats;
    2a. sneaking is probably easier at night - depending on the time he’s less likely to get caught because everyone else is asleep;
  3. he’s a teenage boy with a healthy appetite;

I’ve had diabetes so long, I was finishing or just or of college when ordinary BG meters cane out - CGMS followed a while later. Thankfully “feeling funny” woke me up and I would have a snack. Now we have CGMS and they can alert him and you to his numbers. If you haven’t looked into them I encourage you to - it’s great peace of mind whether or not you use pump - you can get a handheld receiver or link it to a smart phone.
When I was young the thought was that sugar was forbidden if you had diabetes - there was a very restrictive “diabetic diet” with “exchange points” and little or no freedom. Now that we know about carbs and how rapid acting formulations of insulin can cover them, we can enjoy most of our favorite foods - no need to sneak around any more.