Puberty in T1D Girls

Does anyone have any experience in dealing with puberty in their T1D daughter? With a growth spurt of 4 inches and 20 lbs within the last five months, mood swings, excessive hunger, and hormones my DD’s numbers have been wildly swinging. We have been adjusting numbers in her pump but haven’t been able to get her under tight control. Does anyone have any advice, especially with getting an eleven year old to eat healthier?

Hi- I have a 12 year old with same issues. Over past year, mood swings and gain of 20 lbs. I am finding candy wrappers in her bedroom and she eats a lot of unhealthy high carb foods when she is away from home. She gets mad and shuts down if I mention it. I would love some advice on how to steer her toward better decisions.

We have the same issues of sneaking food, but she has at least gotten better about Bolusing for it. It’s a fine line because we tell everyone T1D’s can eat whatever they want, they just need insulin for it. That isn’t leading to a healthy lifestyle though. Yes they can eat whatever they want like everyone else but they can be unhealthy and gain weight like everyone else too.

Hi, I’m 25 a type 1 and have been since I was nine. I went through puberty about 3 years after being diagnosed. I would say that was one of the hardest times as far as controlling my diabetes goes. I wanted to give some advice from the other side that might help you with your daughters.
I would say to just know that puberty is difficult even without other things going on such a diabetes. Add the stress of diabetes to the mix and it can create some hard times on your daughter and on you. I think the biggest thing for me was the feeling that I could be independent; that’s what any girl of that age wants anyways. For me, my mom empowered me to be in control of my diabetes. It was my choice. She was there to help, but by the time I was in my early teens, I was handling a lot by myself, with her checking in of course. This gave me ownership; it wasn’t my mom or dad telling me what to do. I had a choice to make. Another thing that helped me was not feeling like I was limited to what foods I could or could not eat. In general, teenage girls don’t eat that healthy. I wouldn’t expect your daughter with type one to be any different. She just needs to know that if she eats like that, then she needs to know how to count those carbs. I remember, and sometimes still do this, that I would compare everything to ice cream (or insert favorite food). Let’s say that I thought about wanting a slushie from sonic, I would see that the carbs for a medium slushie is 40g (totally making this up). I would think to myself: Ok, is there something I would rather have for 40g of sugar? Sometimes no and I would get the slushie, other times I decide to eat a pretty large bowl of ice cream for the same amount of carbs. I was in control of my decisions. I was free to drink the slushie or not.
Also, I would ask if your daughters have an insulin pump. For me, it was a lifesaver! It made a world of difference.
As far as eating healthy goes, if you as a family are mostly healthy, then your daughter is probably going to eat pretty healthy. She will obviously still hit up McDonalds every now and then but that’s ok.
Another thought is to have your daughter find a physical activity she likes to do. For a while, I played 3 sports. It kept me active and health. It can be whatever she enjoys.

Hopefully this is helpful! It’s a rough time in life and it will get better!

Hi! I am 14 and I have experienced crazy blood sugar issues since I was 12 1/2. Part of it is from puberty and here are a couple of things we have done. After a lot of trial and error, we figured out I needed DOUBLE basal in the days leading up to my cycle. Obviously I am not recommending that you do that immediately, but don’t be surprised if it takes way more insulin to stay in range. I also needed frequent blood sugar checks or I had to keep a close eye on my Dexcom. As soon as I saw a rise that wasn’t related to meals, I did a correction. The other reason my numbers were off was because when I was first diagnosed, the doctors told my mom and dad that I could eat anything I wanted, as long as I took insulin for it. Well, I soon found out that not all foods respond to insulin the same way and when I would eat cereal, for example, my blood sugar would go through the roof. It would take several corrections to get back in range. So yes, I COULD eat cereal, but I felt terrible afterward because I was on a rollercoaster ride with my numbers. The past six months I finally decided that I was going to eat healthier and try to get my A1C down. It was an 8 last year. Last month it was down to a 6. My parents didn’t want me to eat cereal and they didn’t want me to eat other things that were difficult to navigate, but they let me because we were adjusting to a new normal and they didn’t want to deprive me. I had to come to the decision to eat healthier and I honestly do feel so much better without having my numbers all over the place. I do have treats from time to time, but they are occasionally now, not every day. And I do eat candy for lows so there’s that. I’d say try to encourage your daughter to make healthy choices, but for me, I had to decide in my mind that I was ready. My parents couldn’t do that for me. Good luck!

It is good to read your post kjdrapp! I have a daughter who is dealing with this same issue. I appreciate your advice. We will make sure she wears her CGM and gives additional insulin leading up to the days of her cycle. I know she needs to eat healthy too. Hearing it from you means more to her since you have been through it!

@kjdrapp Thank you!!! This information is so helpful. Every month for about a week her bg is impossible to control. We wondered if it was puberty but since she hasn’t started her periods the correlation was not clear.