Managing type 1 diabetes – can a low carbohydrate diet help?

low carbohydrate diet

Unlike type 1 diabetes, there do not appear to be any related causes of type 1 diabetes; it simply happens to some people. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body attacks cells in the pancreas. This means that the cells are unable to produce the insulin that is required to enable glucose to enter the cells of the body.

Without insulin, carbohydrates that are taken in when eating and drinking are still turned into glucose, but it remains in the bloodstream. Sufferers are prescribed insulation for the rest of their lives in order to control the condition.

Management of type 1 diabetes

Anyone who is diagnosed with type 1 diabetes needs to undertake the regular task of ordering medical supplies so that they can monitor their blood sugar levels. They also need to administer insulin by injection or by using an insulin pump. It’s vital that insulin is administered, and blood sugar levels are regularly checked, as higher than normal levels of glucose in the blood can cause long term damage to the heart, kidneys, feet and eyes. If treatment is carried out effectively, complications can be prevented, or at the very least delayed.

How a low carbohydrate diet can help?

The issue with carbohydrates, when it comes to type 1 diabetes, is that they are digested into glucose which then remains in the bloodstream as there is no natural insulin present. Given that this is the case, you can see why a low carbohydrate may seem like a good idea for type 1 diabetes sufferers. Although there is no complete consensus about what represents a low carbohydrate diet, a very low level of carbohydrates is around 20-50 grams each day and a low level is less than 130 grams each day.

There are different views about whether a low carbohydrate diet should be used to assist with type 1 diabetes as some experts believe that lowering the intake of carbohydrates too much can lead to blood sugar levels which are dangerously low. They also believe that such a diet may restrict normal growth in children.

However, a study which was published recently suggested that such detrimental effects did not happen. The study found that a group of adult and child type 1 diabetes sufferers that maintained a high protein, low carbohydrate diet for more than two years had excellent control over their blood sugar levels. The incidence of complications was low and there was no evidence of any effect on the children’s growth. The study was not a clinical trial; it was an observation of people who had chosen to follow a low carbohydrate diet in order to manage their condition. However, the results seem to suggest that reducing intake of carbohydrates could be useful in managing type 1 diabetes.

It’s important to remember that if you suffer from the condition, you should seek advice from your doctor before you begin any form of diet.