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Posted by on Jun 5, 2018 in Diabetes mellitus | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This study evaluated blood glucose control in adults and children with type 1 diabetes on a very low-carbohydrate diet (VLCD). This study concluded that this diet may provide exceptional control for type 1 diabetes, with minimal side effects.

Some background

Research has shown that carbohydrates affect blood sugar levels more than any other dietary factor. As a result, carbohydrate restriction is one strategy for managing type 1 diabetes.  Small studies have shown that a very low-carbohydrate diet (VLCD) can improve HbA1c (average blood glucose over 3 months) levels. However, little is known about the long-term benefits or side effects of this diet.

Methods & findings

This study surveyed 316 individuals who had followed a VLCD for an average of 2.2 years. 42% of participants were parents of children with type 1 diabetes. Participants reported an average daily carbohydrate intake of 36 grams.

The average reported HbA1c level was 5.67%. 97% of participants achieved HbA1c levels below 7.0%. On average, HbA1c levels significantly decreased by 1.45% with the VLCD. 

2% of 300 participants reported diabetes-related hospitalization per year. 1% of these were hospitalized for diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) or hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). 69% reported episodes of hypoglycemia. 55% had 1 – 5 episodes per month.

36% of participants reported being very satisfied with the glycemic control provided by the VLCD. 51% reported they were satisfied and 8% reported neutral feelings. 

The bottom line

This study concluded that a very low-carbohydrate diet may provide exceptional glycemic control for type 1 diabetes, with minimal side effects.

The fine print

Data collected for this study came from an online survey of an international social media group for people with type 1 diabetes. Data collected from healthcare providers and medical records was used for verification. Also, not all participants were confirmed to have T1DM (24.7%).

Large clinical trials are needed to confirm these results. The long-term safety of carbohydrate restriction also warrants investigation.

What’s next?

Always discuss changes to the diet with your doctor.

Published By :


Date :

May 07, 2018

Original Title :

Management of Type 1 Diabetes With a Very Low-Carbohydrate Diet.

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