Last year at this time, Leo met with an endocrinologist to assess his health. Partially due to the medication he takes to help him manage his anxiety, he had elevated blood sugar and triglycerides. The first put him at risk for diabetes, the second for pancreatitis. Both of those conditions, in case there are any doubts, are best avoided if possible. The endocrinologist recommended eliminating sugar from his diet, increasing exercise,
|Leo walking the new Devil's Slide trail.|
[Description: teenage boy with a blue &
orange jacket and gray shorts, seen from
behind, walking the dashed yellow line on a
black asphalt bike lane, with bushes, hills, &
fog in the background.]
We did all of those things. Yes, more fish oil (he didn't mind). We removed juice from our house, eliminated sweets except for special occasions and even then reduced portions (bringing along substitutes like apple slices), and stepped up his exercise program with track running and stretching, soccer, swimming, and more hiking.
And guess what? It worked.
His blood sugar is now within acceptable limits. His triglyceride level was halved. His height/weight ratio (as a side effect) improved significantly, by medical standards anyhow. So that's good. Diet and exercise really do matter. Who knew.
Leo still has room to improve. He still needs less sugar and more fiber/whole grains. His morning yogurt -- practically his only calcium source -- is quite sugary. So we'll try cutting that with plain yogurt. He eats bagels for breakfast a few times each week; we can swap the plain version for whole wheat. And there is always portion control -- lately we've been bringing thinly sliced apples everywhere -- increasing the crunching/chewing to volume ratio seems to satisfy him.
But I'm proud of him, and relieved. (And hoping to follow his example as two days ago my own doctor read me my own medical riot act re: cholesterol & triglycerides, damn it all.)