Thereis no cure for Type One Diabetes, but there are ways to manage it. These ways include, insulin injections,insulin pumps, and meal management.
Onediet known most commonly to help those with this disease is the Ketogenicdiet. It is a low carb diet in itself,which benefits those who need to be limiting their carbohydrate intakeeveryday. Type One diabetes, a lesser-known disease, is commonly mistaken forType Two Diabetes. Do not get the twomixed up. Even though a Ketogenic Dietcould potentially help those with Type 2 Diabetes as well, I will be focusingon Type One seeing as it needs more awareness brought to its attention and mybest friend, Lauren, was diagnosed two years ago. Let’s start with some backgroundinformation on Type One diabetes.
TypeOne is something you are born with and it cannot be put in remission from ahealthy diet and exercise like Type Two diabetes can. Being a Type One has nothing to do with yourweight or how healthy/unhealthy you are, it is something you are born with.According to Mayo Clinic “Type One Diabetes…is a chronic condition in which thepancreas produces little or no insulin.
” A person who is not a Type One diabetic, their body will automaticallyprovide the insulin needed to keep their blood sugar at a good level, which istypically between 90-110mg. A Type One’sblood sugar can range in normalcy depending on their body. When they eat, they have to inject themselveswith the insulin to compensate for the carbohydrates entering their body. Sugar is a big problem for Type One’s, butthey are counting Carbohydrates because that turns into sugar once your bodyprocesses it. They can still eat as muchsugar and/or carbs as they want as long as they are giving the insulin tocompensate for it. However, there arecomplications and health concerns that can occur when they consume a lot ofsugar and/or carbs. For starters, consistentlygiving insulin can cause the skin to form Lipohypertrophy, which is extra fatthat accumulates at the injection sites of insulin.
(Healthline) When firstreading what that actually is, it does not sound too bad, in fact it almostsounds similar to cellulite, which is something that may look unsightly tosome, but wouldn’t hurt you. Lipohypertrophy can actually turn painful, become pokey and caninterrupt the proper injection of insulin. Also, just like someone without Type One, it is not healthy to be eatinga ton of sugar and carbohydrates; since a Type One’s body can already be weakerit is important for them to stay healthy in order to reduce the risk of morehealth problems later on in life. “The lower glucosediet also triggers less insulin release and less need for GLUT translocation,which takes a lot of pressure off the pancreas. This reduces cravings andimproves blood sugar control.
” (Elizma Lambert) Inorder to keep the amount of insulin injections at a lower number per day, theKetogenic Diet can help reduce the amount of carb intake and therefore reducethe amount of insulin injections and insulin given. The typical Type One whodoes not have a pump could be giving themselves up to five shots per day, notincluding testing their blood glucose level which is done through a fingerprick at minimum eight times per day (American Diabetes Association). A Ketogenic Diet, also known asKeto, “is a very low-carb, high fat diet” according to Healthline. There are many different types of Keto Diets,such as, Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD) which contains periods of higher carbintake, the Targeted Ketogenic Diet (TKD) that allows carbs to be added aroundwork out times, the High-protein Ketogenic Diet that includes more protein, butthe most common is the Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKD) as described before.
The SKD is highly effective for those withType One Diabetes, but it has been found that more people have lost weightdoing this diet rather than a calorie-restricted diet with or without Type Onediabetes. It has also been shown to helpmany other health issues, such as, Heart Disease, Cancer, Alzheimer’s,Epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (Healthline). Someone on a Keto diet would typically avoidsugary foods, fruit, root vegetables, condiments and sauces that are high insugar, grains or starches, beans or legumes, unhealthy fat, low-fat or dietproducts, as well as sugar-free or diet foods and Alcohol.
The foods they will eat are along the linesof meat, cheese, eggs, fatty fish, avocados, and low-carb veggies. As with any diet there come side effects thatcould include the most popular, “keto flu” which shows symptoms of “poorenergy, increased hunger, sleep issues, nausea, digestive discomfort, and decreasedexercise performance” as per Healthline. It is recommended to ease yourself into a Keto diet by trying low-carbfor a couple of weeks while your body gets used to it, otherwise the symptomsshould go away in a few days. Type 1 andKetogenic can work together if done properly. Dr. Keith Runyan, who has Type 1 Diabetes, chooses to live his life onthe Ketogenic diet. He writes about hisexperience on his blog www.
asweetlife.org under “Why I Chose aKetogenic Diet for Diabetes Management.” He was not diagnosed until later in life, at the age of 38, which isuncommon.
He experienced manyhypoglycemic episodes from not being able to manage his blood glucose levels. A hypoglycemic episode is when blood sugardrops below 80 mg. When hypoglycemia occursone may experience shakes, sweating and having their heart pound. (joslin.org) “Hyperglycemiais the most salient feature of diabetes. Dietary carbohydrate restriction hasthe greatest effect on decreasing blood glucose levels.” (Richard D.
Feinman etal) I would not say it is easy to bring bloodsugar levels back up but it is easier than bringing them down. As mentioned before my best friend is a TypeOne, if she is hypoglycemic she chooses to drink Gatorade, eat skittles, gummyworms, anything high in sugar. This is a common occurrence for Type Onediabetics.
The Keto diet kept Dr.Runyans’ blood glucose level somewhat regular because he was consuming lesscarbs. He had less carbs turning intosugar and less sugar raising his blood glucose above a normal level. As with all diets, there is a downside and for any Type One Diabetic, theirs on this diet is ketoacidosis. This is where high levels of blood sugar(glucose) mixes with high levels of ketones (the energy byproduct ofketosis). Many people who have chosenthe Ketogenic diet as a Type One say that you must be “all in” and this isstrongly enforced because of the concern for ketoacidosis.
Having a cheat meal and indulging in a tonof carbs can throw your body off the track you have set. Every Type One diabetic is giving them self adifferent amount of insulin for every meal and/or snack they eat. It all depends on their normal blood sugarlevels.
If they chose the Ketogenicdiet, which will significantly lower their insulin intake then choose toindulge in a high carb meal that means more insulin. There are two concerns for this, one of thembeing that their body is not used to receiving this much insulin, let aloneeating that type of food. Sticking to anew diet for a couple months and then suddenly indulging can shock anyone’sbody. The other concern is that they maynot know how much insulin to give.
Thereare charts that your doctor could give you with the amounts of insulin percarb, however, as you continue in the Ketogenic lifestyle your body is adaptingdifferently to carbs and will react differently to the amount of insulininjected. For example, Dr. Runyanstarted needing less and less insulin per day so his body adapted to not havingit injected into him so if he decided to suddenly have a cheat day withoutconsulting anyone there could be some health risks. It is very important to work closely with adoctor in order to ensure that everything in being done right and only a smallamount of problems occur if any at all. Lauren returns to her Endocrinologist every six months, at least, thisappointment is to ensure that her insulin levels are still working forher.
This is normal for most with TypeOne and if any of them choose the Keto diet to help regulate blood sugar, aftera few months their amount of insulin needed per carb could drasticallychange. Once again, they always want tomake sure they are not giving themselves too little or too much insulin. Therefore, a Ketogenic diet can beextremely beneficial to many people.
Serious diseases, such as heart and lung can possibly be tamed with alow carb diet, but the biggest disease to be controlled by this is Type 1Diabetes. Ketogenic will limit thecarbohydrate intake, which is the one thing Type 1 diabetics are looking outfor the most. This in turn lowers theamount of insulin given and injected at each time.
Regardless of how educated you may think youare, always ask your doctor before starting a new diet or do yourresearch. Any kind of diet can bedangerous if not done properly because you could be missing important foodsyour body needs in order to survive.