Treatment of Type 1 Diabetes and Epilepsy through lowering carbohydrates
This is a very quick topical research update as in the last few weeks a large number of people have asked about the best way to eat for Type 1 Diabetes (T1D). So when we saw this research published just a few days ago we had to stop what we were doing and write a research update about it. It is rare we get clients with T1D as unfortunately it is not curable in the same way that Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) is therefore, fewer recommendations are made to people with this condition to seek advice on optimal nutrition. In case you skipped over that… T2D is curable without drugs so if you end up being diagnosed with it and it gives you a wake-up call to start caring about your health, DON'T take the lazy option of drugs! You don't need them no matter what your Doctor says! We have even gone with clients to their Doctors appointment because they felt there were being 'fobbed off by the Docs technical jargon.'
In case you are not aware, T2D used to be called Adult Onset diabetes, until children started to get it due to a myriad of reasons including the money hungry food industry and the terrible 'healthy eating' guidelines provided by the government. T2D is generally diet and exercise related and if you become greatly overweight you are much more likely to be diagnosed with it however you can still have it even if you are not overweight. Prior to the development of T2D, individuals become 'insulin resistant' which means their fat and muscle cells do not respond properly to the release of insulin. Therefore, glucose is not stored properly. High levels of glucose in the blood is very bad for the body and, if nothing is done, can lead to kidney disease, blindness and nerve problems. However, by simply following the Mac-Nutrition principles of eating you can increase insulin sensitivity!! If you exercise on top of this it will increase it even more!
T1D is a little different. Individuals with T1D are termed 'insulin dependent' because their body cannot produce insulin and therefore, they must inject it. At last check, the drugs industry was boasting that it had increased the average life expectancy from 65 odd years old to circa 70 years old… Many of the diabetes charities willingly push the 'drugs are good' message and that 'Type 1 diabetics should eat 3 meals per day containing starchy carbohydrates.' Yup! You read that right, an individual who has a disorder of carbohydrate metabolism should eat carbohydrate at EVERY meal?! This brush stroke advice does not sit well with us. Well, on the other 'team' we have Type 1 Diabetics like Bob Krause who is the oldest living Type 1 Diabetic at over 90 years of age! Take that drugs industry, you lose! Guess how Bob treats his T1D? Eating 2 meals per day, with an overall low calorie and VERY low carbohydrate intake. Meat, Nuts, 5 pitted Prunes and Salad. Of course Bob still has to use insulin but he uses very low levels.
While trying to find the news story link on Bob we also came across an article in the Daily Mail. Low carb diets for T2D! Apparently you can only follow it for one year though, according to the charity Diabetes UK… ridiculous.
Anyway, to close, here is the research paper:
Successful Treatment of Type 1 Diabetes and Seizures With Combined Ketogenic Diet and Insulin (Full text)
This is a case study of a 2 year old girl with epilepsy that had been put on a ketogenic diet (KD). This is a diet MUCH lower in carbohydrate than we would normally recommend for health and it requires fruit, vegetables and dairy to be limited as well as starchy carbohydrates (obviously) to bring carbohydrates down to around 5 – 20g per day! This KD had improved her epilepsy significantly. In this case however, the 'ketosis' had become too severe (due to undiagnosed type 1 diabetes). So, was the treatment to pump her full of carbohydrates to take her out of ketosis? Nope! The ketogenic diet was continued but with a small amount of insulin to keep the ketosis in a moderate range.
In an individual without T1D, ketosis is not unhealthy. Many people believe that this is a state that spells trouble… others believe it is the best way to live! If you want more info on Ketogenic Diets check out this website by Lucas Tarfur, he's used to solely blog about the benefits of Ketosis so he's pretty clued up.
This weekend we held a talk and we mentioned that Ketosis had been used to treat cancer…. Lucas has conveniently blogged about the study we referred to, so here is a link to that too! Advanced Cancer and the Ketogenic Diet
Not such a short blog in the end but hope it provides a start point for anyone looking to broach the subject with a friend or family member. You can also take a look at this article on Improvements and Adherence to Low carbohydrate diets in type 1 diabetes.