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Type 1 Diabetes Diet

👤by AP 0 comments 🕔Thursday, October 15th, 2015

Type 1 diabetes is characterized by the loss of insulin secretion by the pancreas, and thus an inability to move sugar (glucose) out of the blood and into muscle, brain, and other targets where it is used for energy. The high blood sugar that results can lead to a number of complications such as kidney, nerve, and eye damage, as well as cardiovascular disease. Moreover, cells are not receiving the glucose they need for healthy functioning. The loss of insulin secretion is typically caused by auto-immune destruction of the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. Because people with type 1 diabetes can no longer produce their own insulin, they must inject doses of exogenous insulin. Good glycemic control (that is, matching carbohydrate intake with the appropriate insulin dose) can prevent long-term complications of type 1 diabetes.

Meal timing, insulin, and type 1 diabetes diet plan

Meal timing is very important for people with type 1 diabetes. Meals must match insulin doses.

Most people with type 1 diabetes use a long-acting insulin (also called basal insulin or NPH), which means it will continue to lower blood sugar over 24 hours. This means it will lower blood sugar even if there is no glucose from dietary carbohydrates to act upon. Because of this, skipping a meal or eating late puts a person at risk for hypoglycemia.

On the other hand, eating a larger meal or a meal that contains more carbohydrates that normal will raise blood sugar more than the basal insulin can dispose of. In this situation, a short-acting insulin (also called regular insulin) must be given in the appropriate dose to match the carbohydrate content of the meal and the level of blood glucose before eating.

People who use continuous glucose monitoring and insulin pumps instead of finger sticks and injecting insulin have a little more flexibility in their meal timing. However, everyone benefits from becoming more aware of their dietary intake and matching their meals with appropriate insulin doses.

Paying attention to meal timing enables people with type 1 diabetes to keep their blood glucose levels relatively stable. Stable blood sugar prevents the complications of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia1. Recent studies have provided contradictory data regarding the benefit of better glycemic control in preventing cardiovascular disease, with data that show increased risk of cardiovascular disease when hypoglycemia is common2. When reviewing the research all points to the importance of stable blood sugar. Consistent meal timing is one of the best ways to achieve this.

It is also important to consider the balance of macronutrients (fat, protein, and carbohydrates) in a meal. Specifically, fat, protein, and fiber all slow down the absorption of carbohydrates, and thus allow time for insulin to work, gradually moving glucose out of the blood and into the target tissues. Slower digestion and absorption maintains a more stable blood sugar level.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/15/2015

Type 1 Diabetes Diet Index

Patient Comments Viewers share their comments

Type 1 Diabetes Diet - Experience Question: Please share your experience with a healthy type 1 diabetes plan.

Type 1 Diabetes Diet - Experience Question: Please share recipes or helpful tips on incorporating these diabetes superfoods into a daily meal plan.

Type 1 Diabetes Diet - Tips for Eating Out Question: What healthy type 2 diabetes plan tips can you share in regard to eating out and keeping your blood sugar levels under control.

Type 1 Diabetes Diet - Foods to Include Question: What foods other than the ones listed here, have you found helpful in keeping your blood sugar levels stable?

Type 1 Diabetes Diet - Foods to Avoid Question: Other than the foods listed here, what foods have you found wreck your blood sugar levels?

Medical Author:

Erica Oberg, ND, MPH

Erica Oberg, ND, MPH

Dr. Erica Oberg, ND, MPH, received a BA in anthropology from the University of Colorado, her doctorate of naturopathic medicine (ND) from Bastyr University, and a masters of public health (MPH) in health services research from the University of Washington. She completed her residency at the Bastyr Center for Natural Health in ambulatory primary care and fellowship training at the Health Promotion Research Center at the University of Washington.

Medical Editor:

Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Early Type 1 Diabetes Symptoms

Early symptoms of any type of diabetes are related to high blood and urine glucose levels and include:

Dehydration Hunger Increased urination, and Increased thirst Weight loss or gain Fatigue Nausea Vaginal infections in women and yeast infections in both men and women

Article Credits / Source

AP / MedicineNet.com

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