Kaitlyn has been having stomach-aches pretty consistently for a few weeks. She’s usually not one to complain or make excuses to stay home, so I’m trying to take her complaints seriously. Her stomach pains don’t seem to be connected to high or low blood sugar levels, and she doesn’t have any constipation or diarrhea. I’ve checked in with her endocrinologist, and she’s up to date with her bloodwork, and her last celiac test was negative. I’ve been asking my online diabetes group for any ideas, but we can’t seem to put our finger on it yet. I’m starting to wonder whether it’s related to her type 1 diabetes or something totally separate. We visited her pediatrician recently, and he recommended Kaitlyn try to go off dairy for a little while to see if that helps.

We’ve dealt with type 1 diabetes for a long time now, but having food restrictions is a new ballgame for us. So far, nobody in my family has ever had allergies or intolerances to food, and cutting out an entire food group has been quite an adjustment. It’s amazing how much of what we eat has dairy in it! I guess you don’t really notice until you can’t have it anymore.

Before going on a dairy-free diet, Kaitlyn would have a yogurt or a cheese stick in her lunch just about every day. Now, it seems that every meal of the day is tricky. No cheese on her tacos, no cream cheese on her bagels, no milk on cereal, no buttermilk bread for her sandwiches. We’re trying to be supportive to her as a family, but now and then, we’ve served things that she can’t eat. We had pizza at my son’s birthday party, and we had to have a separate meal for her. She’s taking it pretty well, but I’m worried that this, on top of all the usual diabetes things — the testing, counting, dosing, waiting — will be too much. I kind of don’t want this new diet to be the solution we’re looking for, because going without dairy has been tough!

The nice thing is that we’ve had a lot of support, especially from Kaitlyn’s school nurse. She also has a daughter who can’t have dairy and has given me all kinds of ideas and tips for how to make it easier. She’s told me about the best dairy-free products, like soy cheese and lactose-free ice cream. Recently, Kaitlyn’s class had their monthly pizza and ice cream party for their reading program. The nurse asked the teacher to buy lactose-free ice cream, and she even scraped the cheese off Kaitlyn’s pizza and melted on some soy cheese that she brought from home. Have I mentioned how much we love our nurse? She’s amazing.

Well, I truly hope that we can get Kaitlyn’s stomach issues under control and that we’ll have a definitive solution soon. Until then, we’ll keep plugging along!

Disclaimer: The experiences and suggestions recounted in these articles are not intended as medical advice, and they are not necessarily the “typical” experiences of families with a child who has type 1 diabetes. These situations are unique to the families depicted. Families should check with their healthcare professionals regarding the treatment of type 1 diabetes and the frequency of blood glucose monitoring. Jen and Kim are real moms of kids with type 1 diabetes and have been compensated for their contributions to this site.

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