I bought a book; Raising Teens with Type 1 Diabetes. I haven’t cracked the spine yet but I have an inkling that it won’t be long.

Beth’s growing fast and blossoming into a beautiful little pre-teen. I swear if I turn my back for too long she’s grown another cm! In addition to this she’s certainly developing what I like to call a healthy strong personality, others have referred to it as sulky, moody madam! The point is that it’s inevitable and what goes around comes around (I too was a sulky, moody madam!) The trouble is that the growth hormone is a bit tricky for diabetic in the fact that it interferes with insulin making it less effective. Add to this the Dawn Phenomenon and you’ve got fun and games!

Dawn Phenomenon? Sounds exotic, exciting! We all do it, in laymen terms it the boost of energy our body receives each dawn to prepare our bodies for waking from our slumber and giving us the energy to roll out of our beds so we can go hunt and gathering for the day.

Type 1 Diabetes - dawn phenomenon

In a Type 1 Diabetic, the body cannot regulate for this ‘unexpected’ burst of energy and therefore without the right medication in place they will wake up with high blood sugars.

Bethany’s Dawn Phenomenon happens around 3-4am and on a normal day it can raise her blood sugar levels by 3-4mmol. How do I know all this? … We’ll get to that bit in a minute! Whilst Beth’s body goes through a growth spurt her Dawn Phenomenon appears to mutate from a Phenomenon to an Explosion!

For the last few days Beth has been waking with blood sugars of 14-19mmol, for those of you not in the know, she should ideally be anywhere between 4.5-7.5mmol EEK! Because Bethany is on the Omnipod, which delivers a calculated droplet of insulin every 10mins, we can try to amend the amount according to what her body decides to do. This is by no means fool proof because no sooner do we alter this background insulin (or basal) does Beth’s body decide she’s done with growing for a while and we soon see her blood sugars crashing in the morning.

Every night, before I go to bed I test Bethany one last time for the day to make sure her blood sugars are fine. Recently she’s been 10-12mmol at around 11-12pm so I see if the handset suggests a little bit of insulin to bring her levels down within the preferred reading level (this is called a correction). Most times it does so I point, click and go!

Last night Beth was 11.8mmol, this morning she was 17.6mmol! So, back to the point I made before when I stated that I knew what effect Beth’s Dawn Phenomenon had, it’s down to nighttime testing, some parents feel it necessary to do this every night, and this I am in awe of, I however choose not to do a 3am test every night. Tonight I will be setting my alarm for midnight and 3am to calculate the increase in Beth’s blood sugars so that I can recalculate her basal …. I can guarantee in the next few days, Beth’s growth spurt will cease, it’s called Sods Law!

You may find these ueful to read as well in relation to Type 1 Diabetes;

Type 1 Diabetes and us: diagnosis story

The Ripple Effect: a family touched by multiple health and mental issues

A day in the life of our Type 1 Diabetic Child with Coeliac Disease!

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