Hey folks, and hopefully Mark can comment on this as well...
I was doing great being Primal before my Maui trip, since then have slipped, so time to get back to being Grok. Targeting this weekend to get back in the game (have not stopped training, just bad diet habits)...
Question -- I have a 15 year old son who has Type 1 Diabetes, he is insulin dependent. So, Mark -- I get how the insulin release in our bodies causes the fat storing, etc. But how can I help him drop a few lbs. (he is going into sophomore year in HS) and shape up -- is it by getting him to go more primal??? Planning to bring him to the weight room and get him swimming as well....
Look forward to your response.
Your son can absolutely go Primal. The fewer carbs he ingests the less insulin he'll probably need, but you'll need to monitor his blood glucose a little more closely.
Have him hit the gym with you. Weights and swimming sound great, but make sure whatever he does doesn't approach chronic cardio. Too much cardio will require glucose replenishment with carbs.
Speak with your son's doctor about your plan before he jumps into it, and stay in touch. I'd love to hear how things progress.
I have type 1. Mark makes a good point about cardio - cardio does indeed require a lot of carbs to keep blood sugar stable. I biked 25 or 30 miles today and I had to eat a five large handfuls of dried fruit, a bunch of strawberries, and an apple to keep from going low.
Here's my take. For a type 1 diabetic, the most important thing is stabilizing blood sugars. The more stable they are, the easier life becomes. I have never gotten so low I've passed out; I rarely go low at all. This is because I eat less than 20 carbs at every meal (often only 10), and therefore take very small amounts of insulin. Most of my carbs are from non-starchy vegetables. I have small spikes and slow crashes. A diet completely devoid of processed carbs is ideal for strict blood sugar control, and also happens to be great for weight loss and overall fitness.
My last a1c was 5.2%, and I attribute this to avoiding processed carbs and developing strict and intelligent methods for measuring and tracking my blood sugars.
Doctors traditionally put younger diabetics on a less strict diet and have less strict blood sugar targets for them because being diabetic is hard for children. It's hard to rationalize the unfairness of type 1 diabetes and its dietary implications. It's hard to eat different and miss out on sweets. I hope your son has a good attitude about taking care of his diabetes and being as healthy as he can be.
It's a tough row, Sam, as you very well know. An ex-GF went Type 1 when she was 14. No glucose meters, just ER visits if whatever you were doing wasn't right. Like trying to navigate in clouds.
Nor were there any low carb foods or artifical sweeteners. Now there is a huge selection.
We've come a long way.
Thanks for the replies all... great stuff Sam. Yes, thank God we have come so far, and my kids (I have 2 with Type 1) are able to have a fairly tight control on their blood sugars. Sam -- 5.2 A1C -- that is awesome! Now, trying to convince my 15 year old to go primal, that will take some work. But one step at a time!
Appreciate the responses! ken
Some useful stuff here about transitioning to a low carb diet on insulin
Dr katharine Morrison who wrote the How To's is a renegade GP with a Type 1 son
IMO it's perfectly doable with care, you need to have a good grasp of insulin ratios etc. and be prepared to shoot extra adjustments and gobble glucose tabs when necessary until you get balanced. Over time I've met several Type 1s who like Sam have enviable A1cs without hypos. Almost impossible on the Standard Diabetic Diet.
I run the dsolve.com site and have been diabetic for 33 years. I eat low-carb/primal and recommend you take a spin through Dr. Katharine Morrison's how to guides before you adjust your diet. As a refernce my insulin usage went down by two-thirds when I went on this diet. Also, my A1C went from 8.0 to 5.0 in 3 months. One other consideration, hormones in your teenage years make insulin absorptino and glucose management VERY complicated--much more so then once you exit puberty. Katharine has written a useful article (also at dsolve.com) on using primal/paleo/low-carb diet with a Type1 teenager and things to consider.
Originally Posted by Trinkwasser