Can The Ketogenic Diet Treat Or Reverse Diabetes?
Can the Ketogenic Diet Treat or Reverse Diabetes? Diabetes is one of the most common metabolic diseases in the country. In 2015, 30.3 million Americans (9.4% of the whole population) had diabetes and 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes every year[ * ]. These overwhelming statistics show that diabetes is a disease that must be addressed. Doctors from around the world can all agree that a healthy overall diet and consistent exercise regimen are the most effective natural solutions to prevent diabetes. But in the nutrition world, there is a lot of confusion as to which specific diet is best. Luckily, there is an overwhelming amount of research suggesting a low carbohydrate, high fat ketogenic diet may help ease symptoms of diabetes or, in some cases, eliminate it completely. In this article, well discuss the following: Before diving into the role of the ketogenic diet in diabetes, its important to understand how diabetes works and review some basic medical terms. Diabetes is a disease that can occur when your blood sugar is chronically too high[ * ]. Blood sugar (or blood glucose) is your bodys main source of energy and comes from the food you eat primarily carbohydrates. Insulin is a hormone produced by your pancreas. When you eat, glucose enters the bloodstream and insulin helps transport this blood glucose into your cells to be used for energy. When your body doesnt make enough insulin, or doesnt use it properly, sugar (or glucose) will remain in your bloodstream and wont reach your cells. Over time, you will build up excessive amounts of sugar in your bloodstream and develop diabetes. There are two main kinds of diabetes type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes occurs when your immune system destroys the beta cells in your pancreas responsibl Continue reading >>
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Why I Chose A Ketogenic Diet For Diabetes Management
Often people use the term “diet” to mean something that is temporary for a specific purpose, usually weight loss. For me, it is a permanent way of eating now. I am a retired physician living with Type 1 diabetes since 1998. I started to exercise regularly in 2007 to help ward off complications, particularly cardiovascular disease. I was unaware at the time that aerobic exercise alone would have little impact on the development of cardiovascular disease. It wasn’t until 2011 when I contemplated doing an ironman distance triathlon, that I discovered diet is the most important determinate in the development of most chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease. My research led me to begin a very low carbohydrate, ketogenic diet in February 2012. Why I Chose a Low Carb Ketogenic Diet for Diabetes Management Carbohydrate is the macronutrient that raises blood glucose the most, so keeping consumption low is my primary goal. Of next importance is using whole foods that naturally have the necessary micronutrients and enough complete proteins to support my exercise. I had to add fat to my meals to replace calories from the omitted carbohydrates. My protein intake did not change after starting a ketogenic low carb high fat diet. This way of eating has resulted in a significant improvement in my blood glucose control and a 1.2% reduction in HbA1c. Most importantly, the diet supplies my body with the energy, substrates, and nutrients to enable daily resistance and aerobic/endurance exercise, with minimal need for sports nutrition (sugar), or development of hypoglycemia. I completed The Great Floridian Triathlon in October 2012 without any sugar, food, or hypoglycemia thanks to my low carbohydrate ketogenic lifestyle. Nutritional Ketosis My diet keeps me in a state of nut Continue reading >>
The Ketogenic Diet And Diabetes: The Definitive Guide
The Ketogenic Diet and Diabetes: The Definitive Guide The ketogenic diet has been around for a LONG time. Its popular. Its controversial. Some love it. Some hate it. Some even say it can help your blood sugars stay in better control. After thoroughly reviewing the scientific literature and trying the ketogenic diet myself for over 6 months, I am ready to unfold everything youve been hearing and let you decide for yourself what you think about the diet that has taken the world and diabetes community by storm. In this guide to the ketogenic diet and diabetes, I will cover the following: 7. Conclusion: Is a keto diet good for people with diabetes? This guide is relevant for people with any type of diabetes. I will mainly talk about insulin when I discuss how a keto diet affects blood sugar, but some studies also show a possible reduction in certain type 2 medications. Disclaimer: Please always consult with your medical team before you start a new diet, adjust your medication or change your diabetes management routine. Once upon a time, keto was the original diabetes diet prescribed to type 1 diabetes patients before the advent of insulin, as this would prolong their lives as it has less of an impact on blood sugar levels. More recently, Doctor Bernstein has popularized the keto diet for people living with diabetes in his book: Dr. Bernsteins Diabetes Solution: The Complete Guide to Achieving Normal Blood Sugars The ketogenic diet is a low-carb diet where you get only ~5% of your daily caloric intake from carbohydrates. By restricting your carbohydrate intake so severely, you force your body to get most of its energy from fat. A byproduct of this fat burning is the production of natural ketones in the body, hence the name of the diet. Burning ketones supplies the body with Continue reading >>
Type 1 Diabetes And The Ketogenic Diet
For thousands of years, something has been sneaking up on children and robbing them of their ability to control their blood sugar levels. The culprit is an autoimmune condition called Type 1 Diabetes, and its incidence has been increasing in both the United States and in other western countries. But there is no need to worry. This sneaky disease has left us with enough clues to diagnose it, manage it, and potentially reverse it. How to Know If It Is Type 1 Diabetes Type 1 diabetes is most commonly diagnosed in children between the ages of 10 and 14, although many children can present with symptoms at ages as young as two years old. The incidence is approximately 1.5 times higher in American non-Hispanic white people compared with African American or Hispanic individuals. Risk Factors for Type 1 Diabetes The three most well-researched risk factors for type 1 diabetes include: Family history. Anyone with a parent or sibling with type 1 diabetes has a slightly increased risk of developing the condition. Genetics. Specific genes can increase the risk of developing type 1 diabetes. Age. Although type 1 diabetes can appear at any age, it is diagnosed in two prominent peaks. The first peak occurs in children between 4 and 7 years old, and the second is in children between 10 and 14 years old. However, these aren’t the only three risk factors. Recent research has found that type 1 diabetics tend to have a different balance of bacteria in their microbiome then non-susceptible individuals. Vitamin D deficiency, gut health issues, and dairy intolerance are also linked to a greater risk of type 1 diabetes as well. Having all of these risk factors, however, does not mean that you will have type 1 diabetes. Its symptoms will provide us with a clearer picture. Symptoms of Type 1 Dia Continue reading >>
The Ketogenic Diet And Type 1 Diabetes: What I Eat
I recently began writing about the ketogenic diet and type 1 diabetes in an attempt to optimize my blood sugar in relationship to athletic performance. This podcast episode can provide some additional perspective about how I arrived at the ketogenic diet for type 1 diabetes. It started with a low-fat plant-based diet and I have recently changed my approach (dramatically) to a Ketogenic diet (low-carb, high-fat). The results have been remarkable and I feel like this dietary approach is a worthwhile consideration for anyone who is in a position to optimize their diabetes management–or who just wants better energy with no “crashes” throughout the day. In case my standpoint isn’t obvious, let me clarify, there is no should or shouldn’t implied in my writing about this or any other diet. Some people eat pizza. Some people drink diet soda. Some never consume either–or do but always feel guilty. Still others know the drawbacks and act in moderation and feel great about it. My goal is to inform those who are interested in trying something new or just knowing what else is out there–not to persuade those who are happy with an already satisfactory approach. I wrote an eBook compiling my experiments with the ketogenic diet and type 1 diabetes which you can check out here: In my last blog I focused on the comparative results between the two diets, and this blog will hopefully answer the one major question I got–‘what do you eat on a daily basis?’ Not all low-carb diets are Ketogenic, but the Ketogenic diet is low-carb. In the coming weeks I will be sharing more about how my transition to this diet came together as well as mistakes I made along the way. I will also probably put up a post along the lines of “What is a Ketogenic diet?” although that is lower pri Continue reading >>
Type 1 Diabetes: When Doctors’ Good Advice Turns Bad
Here’s a fascinating blog that throws up an ethical dilemma for doctors, nurses and dietitians who dish out orthodox advice for type 1 diabetes. The writer is Lemming Test-Pilot, the alter ego of a British GP who has type 1 diabetes. Last year, Lemming ditched “the almost impossible dark art of carbohydrate counting”, went on a low-carb, high-fat, ketogenic diet and survived. Actually, Lemming hasn’t just survived but has thrived in body and mind. And has been running half marathons faster ever since, even after fasting. Doctors and nurses told Lemming to go on the wrong diet for type 1 diabetes for 20 years. Lemming is understandably miffed about that but says with admirable restraint: “Any other condition managed with the wrong treatment for 20 years would rightly merit a lawsuit. The guideline advisers are getting knighthoods.” Here is Lemming’s remarkable, poignant, real-life story: By Lemming Test-Pilot* I have had type 1 diabetes for 20 years. I got it relatively late, in my 30’s. I’ve managed it the conventional way: 55% carbs, 30% fat mostly unsaturated, basal (long-acting) insulin, and DAFNE (Dose Adjustment For Normal Eating) with carbohydrate counting and injection of rapid acting insulin to balance the glucose. I look after my weight and exercise regularly. I tried three types of statins at various doses but had to stop due to muscle pains and fatigue. My blood pressure is OK and cholesterol reasonable in the 5’s. I have tried hard to manage my condition to the best of my ability and have followed the NICE guidelines and regularly attend for check-ups. My GP or Diabetes Nurse takes my measurements every year, makes some suggestions for improvement (there is always room for improvement) then leaves me to it for another year. My GP team the Continue reading >>
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One Man Compares Ketogenic And Vegan Diets For Type 1 Diabetes
Diets that require less insulin are popular among people with type 1 diabetes because less insulin required means a higher likelihood of more easily managed blood sugar levels. To put that more clearly: Each time you give insulin, a certain amount isn’t properly absorbed. This happens to a varying degree each time, whether you inject or use an insulin pump. Each time you give insulin you are also dealing with a different set of variables that may impact the way the insulin works for you. We all deal with these ever-changing variables like stress, digestion, fluctuating hormones, and different levels of activity. The more insulin we give, the more outside our target range we risk being. This is the “law of small numbers” which Dr. Richard Bernstein coined to help explain why low-carb eating equals tighter blood sugar management. A ketogenic diet is a low-carb diet like the one Bernstein follows except it includes a larger amount of fat and a bit less protein. Another popular diet right now is the vegan diet. Those who eat this way while omitting refined or processed foods and grains say doing so leads to high levels of insulin sensitivity which help lower insulin needs and better blood sugar levels. Comparing Ketogenic and Vegan Diets for Type 1 Diabetes Steve Richert is a documentary adventure photographer who also has type 1 diabetes and eats a ketogenic diet. You can visit his website, LivingVertical.org to learn more and read about his latest project–a documentary about insulin access. In a recent post, Steve compares his experience and continuous glucose monitor (CGM) data while eating vegan and ketogenic diets. Two very different ways of eating, both of which appear to work out better than the standard American diet (SAD). There is a clear winner for Steve Continue reading >>
Tweet Ketogenic diets are very effective at achieving two common aims of diabetes control, lowering blood glucose levels and reducing weight What is the ketogenic diet? A ketogenic diet is a very low-carb diet, considered to be when you eat a level of carbohydrate of around 30g of carbohydrates per day or below. This encourages the body to get its energy from burning body fat which produces an energy source known as ketones. The diet helps to lower the body's demand for insulin which has benefits for people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Note that it is important that you speak to your doctor if you are considering following the diet as precautions may need to be taken before starting. How a ketogenic diet works On a ketogenic diet, blood glucose levels are kept at a low but healthy level which encourages the body to break down fat into a fuel source known as ketones. The process of breaking down or ‘burning’ body fat is known as ketosis. People on insulin will typically require smaller doses of insulin which leads to less risk of large dosing errors. The diet helps burn body fat and therefore has particular advantages for those looking to lose weight, including people with prediabetes or those otherwise at risk of type 2 diabetes. How to follow a ketogenic diet Based on the understanding that carbohydrate is the macronutrient that raises blood glucose the most, the primary goal of a ketogenic diet is to keep consumption lower than that of a traditional low carbohydrate diet with moderate protein and a very high fat content. This will determine the nutrient density of the ketogenic diet as well as how to follow it, as different foods will have different effects on insulin and blood sugar levels. Which foods to eat on a ketogenic diet There are a number of differen Continue reading >>
Diabetes & Ketogenic Diet: Can You Manage Your Diabetes On A Ketogenic Diet?
In this article we will cover what a Ketogenic diet is and if you can manage your diabetes while on this diet. Ketogenic diet for diabetics is a highly controversial topic, but we will break down everything here for you! As a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE), I have to tell you from the start I will have a biased view here. Sorry, but I feel that I need to be completely honest right up front! I will however, present all the evidence that is available currently on the subject. As a CDE, I have been taught to follow the American Diabetes Association Dietary Guidelines for Americans which is low in carbohydrates, high in fiber, with fresh vegetables, fruits and whole grains. The Ketogenic Diet this article will be discussing is much lower in carbohydrates, in order to promote the state of nutritional ketosis, or the fat burning state for weight loss. What is a Ketogenic Diet? The Ketogenic Diet is a low carbohydrate diet, consisting initially of less than 20 carbohydrates per day. Not per meal, yes, you heard me correctly, per day. It is not for the faint of heart and yes I am writing from experience. Of course I have tried it! Hasn’t everybody in America at some point who has wanted to lose weight? Does it work you ask? Of course it does! The problem is how long can you keep it up? Your body uses the carbohydrates you eat for energy, so if we restrict how many carbohydrates we eat, the body has to get its fuel source from fat. A byproduct of this fat burning state are ketones which are produced; this is called nutritional ketosis. You can determine if you are in this fat burning state by purchasing urine ketone testing strips from your local pharmacy. The Ketogenic Diet with Diabetes Some precautions must be made clear; this diet is not appropriate for people with any Continue reading >>
How The Ketogenic Diet Works For Type 2 Diabetes
Special diets for type 2 diabetes often focus on weight loss, so it might seem crazy that a high-fat diet is an option. But the ketogenic (keto) diet, high in fat and low in carbs, can potentially change the way your body stores and uses energy, easing diabetes symptoms. With the keto diet, your body converts fat, instead of sugar, into energy. The diet was created in 1924 as a treatment for epilepsy, but the effects of this eating pattern are also being studied for type 2 diabetes. The ketogenic diet may improve blood glucose (sugar) levels while also reducing the need for insulin. However, the diet does come with risks, so make sure to discuss it with your doctor before making drastic dietary changes. Many people with type 2 diabetes are overweight, so a high-fat diet can seem unhelpful. The goal of the ketogenic diet is to have the body use fat for energy instead of carbohydrates or glucose. A person on the keto diet gets most of their energy from fat, with very little of the diet coming from carbohydrates. The ketogenic diet doesn’t mean you should load up on saturated fats, though. Heart-healthy fats are the key to sustaining overall health. Some healthy foods that are commonly eaten in the ketogenic diet include: eggs fish such as salmon cottage cheese avocado olives and olive oil nuts and nut butters seeds The ketogenic diet has the potential to decrease blood glucose levels. Managing carbohydrate intake is often recommended for people with type 2 diabetes because carbohydrates turn to sugar and, in large quantities, can cause blood sugar spikes. If you already have high blood glucose, then eating too many carbs can be dangerous. By switching the focus to fat, some people experience reduced blood sugar. The Atkins diet is one of the most famous low-carb, high-p Continue reading >>
The Ketogenic Diet And Type 1 Diabetes
What is type 1 diabetes? How is it different than type 2? Type 2 diabetes is a condition where the body becomes resistant to insulin, forcing the pancreas to produce ever more insulin, and leading to a downward spiral of metabolic illness. It’s also called “Adult Onset Diabetes”, because the vast majority of people who develop it do so in adulthood, after years of eating a high-carb diet. Type 1 diabetes, also known as “Juvenile Diabetes”, is a disorder where the body’s immune system attacks the cells of the pancreas responsible for producing insulin. Only the pancreas can produce insulin, and insulin is the hormone primarily responsible for shuttling molecules out of the blood and into cells for energy or storage. That means, if the pancreas isn’t producing insulin, a person will starve to death from the inside. Their cells, literally, cannot get any food. They can eat and eat and eat, but there’s no mechanism to transport that food energy into the cells. That’s why they need regular insulin shots. On a regular-carb diet, those insulin shots might be several times per day. On a high-carb diet, those shots will be even more frequent. Type 1 diabetics must keep injecting themselves with insulin in order to deal with all the glucose in their blood stream. They have to keep insulin levels high, if they eat high carbs, because they have a high level of glucose to deal with. Being ketogenic means insulin levels don’t have to be high, because there isn’t a high level of glucose that needs to be shuttled around. And, because there isn’t a big requirement for insulin, the type 1 diabetic can reduce the amount of insulin needed on a daily basis (many reduce this requirement by 80%). The important thing to remember is that someone suffering from type 1 dia Continue reading >>
One Year On An Lchf Diet With Type 1 Diabetes
How does an LCHF diet work with type 1 diabetes? Here’s a one-year update: Today I celebrate 1 year with LCHF, or I could say that I celebrate 1 year in good health! I can certainly endorse the LCHF diet as being good for type 1 diabetics. Besides a more stable blood sugar and a more easily managed diabetes, I’ve gotten rid of pain in my legs, headaches, GI problems, and constant throat infections. Previously, I had recurring yeast infections, but during this past year I haven’t had a single one! I only need one injection daily, instead of the previous 5-9. I eat delicious food, and I don’t miss anything. I have more energy and I’m happier than ever before! During the past year I’ve also gotten to know, and come in contact with, a lot of great people through Instagram and my blog! I could go on about more positive things, but now I’m off to make dinner. A fatty, smoked rainbow trout to honor the day! The whole story on the blog DiabetesType1LCHF (Google translated from Swedish) More Low-Carb to Manage Type 1 Diabetes Continue reading >>
Ketones: Clearing Up The Confusion
Ketones, ketosis, ketoacidosis, DKA…these are words that you’ve probably heard at one point or another, and you might be wondering what they mean and if you need to worry about them at all, especially if you have diabetes. This week, we’ll explore the mysterious world of ketones, including if and how they may affect you. Ketones — what are they? Ketones are a type of acid that the body can form if there’s not enough carbohydrate to be burned for energy (yes, you do need carbs for fuel). Without enough carb, the body turns to another energy source: fat. Ketones are made in the liver from fat breakdown. This is called ketogenesis. People who don’t have diabetes can form ketones. This might occur if a person does extreme exercise, has an eating disorder, is fasting (not eating), or is following a low-carbohydrate diet. This is called ketosis and it’s a normal response to starvation. In a person who has diabetes, ketones form for the same reason (not enough carb for energy), but this often occurs because there isn’t enough insulin available to help move carb (in the form of glucose) from the bloodstream to the cells to be used for energy. Again, the body scrambles to find an alternate fuel source in the form of fat. You might be thinking that it’s a good thing to burn fat for fuel. However, for someone who has diabetes, ketosis can quickly become dangerous if it occurs due to a continued lack of insulin (the presence of ketones along with “normal” blood sugar levels is not necessarily a cause for concern). In the absence of insulin (which can occur if someone doesn’t take their insulin or perhaps uses an insulin pump and the pump has a malfunction, for example), fat cells continue to release fat into the circulation; the liver then continues to churn Continue reading >>
Ketogenic Treatment For Diabetes Type 1
Before the invention of insulin in the 1920's, ketogenic diets were the main treatment for type 1 diabetes (T1D). In 1923, Osler and McCrae in the Principles and Practice of Medicine recommended that a diabetic diet contain about 5% carbohydrate, 20% protein, and 75% fat. The current guidelines call for higher carbohydrate and lower fat intake and this is problematic for adults and children with T1D. As a result of this higher carb intake, blood sugar spikes after meals, which requires a large dose of insulin to bring it down. These higher doses of insulin put T1D patients in danger of severe low blood sugar episodes (hypoglycemia). We call this the blood sugar roller coaster. Switching to a low-carb, fat-burning ketogenic diet stops the blood sugar spike/crash cycle, because when carbohydrate intake is reduced, basal blood sugars stay normal and steady, and less insulin is needed at mealtime. Smaller doses of insulin mean there is less danger of driving blood sugar too low. Coauthored with Dr. Keith Runyan, a physician who successfully treats his own T1D with a ketogenic diet (his average HbA1c is 5.0), The Ketogenic Diet for Type 1 Diabetes provides practical information on: How to adapt and reduce insulin therapy dosage with the diet How a ketogenic diet helps control blood sugar and minimize long term diabetic complications How the diet helps protect against hypoglycemia Special considerations for children with Type 1 diabetes (carbs are NOT essential !) The myths about saturated fat intake and ketoacidosis How to start the diet, monitor progress and treat side effects What foods to choose, which to avoid and how much to eat Tips on cooking, dining out,traveling and where to find recipes The Ketogenic Diet for Type 1 Diabetes eBook is an electronic book in Acrobat P Continue reading >>
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Is The Ketogenic Diet Safe For People With Diabetes?
Is The Ketogenic Diet Safe for People with Diabetes? If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, chances are you’re looking for simple yet effective ways to control your blood sugar. And, if at all possible, without the use of daily shots or medications. As I’ve mentioned in earlier blog posts, exercise is one of the best natural ways to manage blood glucose. But perhaps the most obvious way to keep blood sugar at a safe and consistent level without insulin is to pay special attention to what you eat. And, in the case of diabetes, limiting your carbohydrate intake may be the key. What Is the Keto Diet? At first glance the ketogenic (keto) diet may seem like a crazy idea for type 2 diabetics. After all, many patients are put on diets to help them lose weight. The keto diet is high in fat, but it is very low in carbs, and this combination can help change the way your body stores and uses energy. With this diet your body converts fat instead of sugar into energy, which can improve blood glucose levels while reducing the need for insulin. Ketosis VS Ketoacidosis Ketosis and ketoacidosis are two very different things, which are often confused. But it’s very important you understand the difference. What is ketoacidosis? Ketoacidosis (KA) is a life-threatening condition in which your body doesn’t make enough insulin. This causes you to have dangerously high levels of ketones (substances occurring when the body uses fat stores for energy) and blood sugar. The combination of both makes your blood incredibly acidic, and this can, in turn, change the normal functioning of your internal organs such as your liver and kidneys. Patients suffering from ketoacidosis must get treatment immediately or they could slip into a coma and even die. Ketoacidosis can develop in less than 24 Continue reading >>