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Old 07-24-2014, 07:05 PM   #1
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Hi! This is my first post on the forum. I've been reading and low-carbing a while. I would love some input!

My youngest daughter is 12 1/2. I had gestational diabetes with both my children. She was born a tad early with an allergy to milk protein. We had to put her on Neocate for a year. She got really big really quickly on that stuff. Every since then she's always had a big belly. Always overweight.

Now she is 5' 8" and 170 lbs. She has thickened, darkened skin on the back of her neck and to a lesser degree her panty line. Her fasting insulin level was 22. Her fasting glucose was 95.

We saw the doctor 3 weeks ago and he gave us the results of her blood workup. He said that the bad numbers would go down if she would lose 20 pounds. We have tried and tried and tried. I told him so. He said to add 30 minutes of jogging a day and come back in a month. OK. I bought her a Fitbit to encourage activity. She's doing 10 to 12 thousand steps a day- a couple thousand are her running. We are counting carbs- she is under 20 every day. She is down 5 pounds. That might sound like a lot, but she is working so hard for that 5 pounds.

I'm worried about that insulin number. Should I find a specialist? What would you do? I don't want to wait until she has diabetes.

Thanks for your help
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Old 07-24-2014, 11:16 PM   #2
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Her fasting insulin is high. I just has mine tested and the "range" goes up to 24, but my doctor said it really shouldn't be over 5 or 6. She will have a hard time losing weight with insulin that high because anything she eats will get swept up into fat cells and she will get hungry again.

My doctor prescribed Metformin for the insulin resistance even though my blood sugar is fine. I have only been on it a few days so I don't really have any results yet. Low carb helps and losing weight helps, but it is kind of a catch 22- you need to lose weight to lower your insulin, but you can't lose weight with high insulin.
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Old 07-25-2014, 05:58 AM   #3
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I had read about Metformin but wondered if it worked well for children with high insulin but "normal" glucose. We go back next Thursday to the family doctor. If he won't give more answers I'm thinking about finding a pediatric endocrinologist. Would they even deal with high insulin but normal glucose?
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Old 07-25-2014, 07:30 AM   #4
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I'm sorry I don't know about how this works with kids. I do know that the way Met works on blood sugar is to make the cells more receptive to insulin so that normalizes blood sugar. You don't need to produce as much if a normal amount is able to do the job. So it is really an insulin medication.

Are her periods normal? You might look into PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome). If she has that, I would be wary of a doctor wanting to put her on birth control to normalize her periods because that doesn't get to the root of the issue- the insulin. I really don't have any experience with PCOS though.

*Everything* I have read (it is rare to see so much consensus) says low carb is the way to go for people with IR, so you are doing the right thing there.
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Old 07-25-2014, 07:33 AM   #5
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You know, when I was researching Metformin I did come across some studies done on kids. Maybe read those and bring them to her doctor's attention. It is a very old medication and is considered quite safe.

I also read a lot about terrible side effects that almost made me not take it, but I have had no issues with it at all. I take the extended release form.
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Old 07-25-2014, 07:40 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jbeemer2 View Post
I had read about Metformin but wondered if it worked well for children with high insulin but "normal" glucose. We go back next Thursday to the family doctor. If he won't give more answers I'm thinking about finding a pediatric endocrinologist. Would they even deal with high insulin but normal glucose?
I would find a good pediatric enodocrinologist right a way. It can take weeks to be seen, cause of their specialty, don't wait. I had this with my son who has Crohns and it took for ever to get seen by a pediatric gastro dr. You have to be their health advocate because general pediatrics does not have the background to diagnose everything properly. Good luck!

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Old 07-25-2014, 08:38 AM   #7
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Thank you for your replies! Gina, she does have painful heavy periods for a 12 year old. I had read up on PCOS, but didn't want to jump to conclusions. She's had the darkened skin since she was 4 years old. Not a single doctor ever asked about it.

Ashley2hawaii, you are so right about being an advocate for our children! For ourselves too! I looked it up, and there are 3 or 4 pediatric endocrinologists in our area. That seems like a lot! I guess lots and lots of children are having problems! That's so sad.

If anyone thinks of something else I could be doing, let me know! Thanks so much!
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Old 08-04-2014, 06:29 PM   #8
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Well, DD had her appointment with the family doctor this afternoon. This doctor ran a terrific panel of blood work on her. It is through Health Diagnostic Laboratories. With this panel of bloodwork comes a phone consultation. I called and set up a phone appointment with the nurse. Long long story short- the staff physician recommended that DD go on Metformin until her insulin level and extra weight could be lost/brought under control. DD lost 5 pounds in 5 weeks eating 1500 calories/ under 20 carbs/ walking a min of 10k steps a day. We've spent the last 5 weeks doing nothing but working on weight loss. It's so tough for a 12 year old!
Anyway, the doctor wouldn't even consider Metformin even after the lab recommended it. I left so discouraged. I've decided to get a "second opinion". Our insurance doesn't require a referral to a specialist, so tomorrow I'm going to make an appointment with a pediatric endocrinologist.

My next question is-how do I choose a pediatric endocrinologist? There are probably 5 in town. Thanks!
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Old 08-07-2014, 08:58 AM   #9
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The endocrinologist won't see her because our family physician doesn't recommend it. I'm trying to find someone to help. I'm trying to get in with a pediatrician now. Who knew it would be so hard?
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Old 08-07-2014, 10:25 AM   #10
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I say get her a bunch of low carb snacks. Beef Jerky, cheese (real not sliced cheese stuff),
Pumpkin and sunflower seeds in shell makes a good thing to munch on for hours, sliced deli meats, baby bell cheese-kids love, string cheese.
Make some roll-ups with sliced meats and a little cream cheese and slice them into rounds and put on a plate in refrigerator so she can go to it when she needs.
For breakfast, start her off with eggs, bacon and 0carb sausage. Ditch any milk and juice for now.
Don't buy chips or crackers.
Cook meats and low-glycemic vegetables and no potatoes, rice, bread. If she gets full on the low-carb stuff, she won't even notice.
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Old 08-08-2014, 08:30 PM   #11
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It is great your daughter is so committed to being healthier. My son is overweight and has signs of insulin resistance (fasting insulin blood test not out of range yet though), and he is willing to eat lowish carb but nothing like your daughter is doing. To be honest, I would recommend you focus on what she is eating for now and not worry about the calories or the exercise. Exercise can actually make it more difficult for obese people to lose weight. Make sure she is eating enough healthy fats. Please keep in mind the weight is a *symptom* of what is going on, not a cause. I would definitely encourage you to have her seen by a ped endocrinologist. Mentioning that you are concerned she might have PCOS could get you an appointment by a ped endocrinologist even if they don't consider the insulin resistance itself an issue at this point (keep in mind many cases of PCOS have insulin resistance at the root, though there is more to it than that). Does she have any other symptoms of PCOS besides the heavy periods and the insulin resistance? For example excessive hair growth on her face, neck, chest, buttocks? Skin tags? Different people present PCOS in different ways, so you might want to look up the signs and symptoms and figure out which ones she has. The acanthosis nigricans (darkening of skin) is a sign of both PCOS and insulin resistance. They will certainly do more tests to make a diagnosis, however, and give you various treatment options if she does have PCOS. I always refused the spironolactone, and stuck with birth control pills and later metformin to manage my symptoms. But really eating low carb, high fat, has truly caused a reversal of many of my PCOS symptoms, I wish someone had helped me figure it all out when I was a teen until waiting until I was over 40. Kudos to you to being such a great support for her.
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Old 08-11-2014, 06:11 PM   #12
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Thank you for all your responses! I'm headed in the direction that you all suggested- eating right, etc. I finally got a break! I didn't take no for an answer, and took her to a pediatrician. FINALLY! He listened to all my concerns and addressed every single one. I left there feeling so blessed! He didn't like the numbers in her bloodwork, and he knew what the dark patches on her neck were! We are in the process of setting her up with a pediatric endo. They will have to contact me after they have reviewed her file. Yay! Thanks again for all the great ideas, and if you think of anymore, let me know!
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