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vegetarian diet to reduce insulin

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by Mrs Puff, Mar 28, 2011.

  1. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    That's all well and good for a kid who is honeymooning and for whom "less" may be just fine, but for adolescents who have no insulin production that's a nice dream but not necessarily possible.
     
  2. Lee

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    Glycemic control means that blood sugar levels are always normal. Reducing insulin is not going to give you this. The PROPER dosing of insulin will.

    Insulin is not a criminal - it is a life saver. Matching the amount of insulin to the amount of food eaten, the growth hormones, the puberty hormones, the activity, the excitement of winning a game on the Wii, the nightmare, the nervousness over the test - well - that can only be handled by the pancreas.

    Insulin is not the enemy - it is the lifesaver.

    Lowering the needs by decreasing the carbs is dangerous - kids need carbs for their brains to grow - and it only addresses on smidge of overall D management.

    Being so new to this, it is overwhelming. You are trying everything possible for tight control. I have to tell you, when we were first diagnosed and told that good control was being in range 50% of the time, i scoffed - I probably even rolled my eyes - I knew we could be in range 99.9% of the time.

    That wasn't reality with Type 1 - I am not a pancreas. I am a mom who is grateful for insulin. And the occasional cupcake.

    ETA - there are alot of folks here saying vegetarianism isn't going to reduce insulin needs. And honestly, if reducing insulin needs resulted in blood sugar in range 100% of the time - don't you think that every parent here would be doing it? There are parents here who have been doing this for 1 yr, 2 yrs, 12 yrs, heck - we even have a guy who has been doing it for over 60 years with nary a complication...and none of us say - reducing insulin is key to good glycemic control.
     
  3. nanhsot

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    I honestly don't think I'm even a tiny bit sensitive about this topic, but I am very realistic. Kid in question is a teenager (if memory serves me!)...once honeymoon is over insulin needs will go up and up, add in illness, stress, hormones, sports, etc, etc, and you won't be able to have good glycemic control all of the time.

    Is it a goal, clearly! But I would caution anyone about sending the wrong message to the CWD that insulin is something to limit or otherwise lessen. There will be times in their life that no matter what they do, no matter how well they eat, no matter how much they adhere to their program...they will have high sugars. Insulin is always the solution, and should be viewed as the solution and not the problem.

    My son takes supplements aimed at preserving beta cells, increasing sensitivity, lowering spikes. My son eats low carb. NONE of this is geared towards lowering the amount of insulin. I actually couldn't tell you his TDD right now to save my life, because it's not relevant to me. He takes what he needs. He needs what he takes.

    I would simply caution not to send a message to the child/teen that taking insulin in any form or dosage is ever a problem or you are courting disaster. Once hormones begin raging, a cold virus takes hold of their body, they ask a girl out on a date and adrenaline surges, they get into poison ivy, they get braces...they will not have any control of their sugars! Food is but one important thing to watch, and surely it's never a bad idea to eat a more healthy diet. I just would be very very careful to ever project to the child that taking insulin is anything but a great and wonderful lifesaving thing.

    My son went through a phase of thinking that needing more insulin meant he was more diabetic. He equated his rising needs to something being more wrong with him. This is what we need to educate against. They need what they need and they get what they get.

    Do I wish that my child made natural insulin and didn't need synthetic? Of course. But that it is synthetic does not particularly concern me in the whole scope of things that concern me.
     
  4. MamaC

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    The body needs what it needs. One thing that it needs is insulin - from a pancreas or from a vial or a pen or a reservoir. "Less" is not inherently good, and "More" is not inherently bad. "Less need" can result from diet, or activity, or illness...as can "More need." It is what it is. Whatever your motivation for changing the diet or the activity level, the amount of insulin needed should NOT be a consideration.
     
  5. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    This really ought to be inscribed in stone ;)
     
  6. badshoe

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    It seems to me the goal is health. Physical and emotional.

    For physical health there are great tools to crafting a healthy diet. One free one is at http://www.mypyramid.gov/mypyramid/index.aspx. I am in a graduate school nutrition class right now and the big message is eat a primarily plant based diet that is both balanced and varied. The fact is that a balance plant based healthy diet is going to contain plant based carbs that will need insulin.

    I suspect that cutting added sugars from the diet, a healthy goal in and of itself, will reduce insulin needs a lot more than cutting out meat protein.

    Carbs are the fuel that our bodies and brains run on. To use that fuel the T1 kids need insulin. If lower insulin levels are the result of a more balanced diet then it is great to get to healthier place and the insulin use is a reflection of that healthy diet. If the goal is to reduce insulin levels healthy protein sources will have no effect on the insulin needs.

    There is a whole lot of culture and emotion around food. IHMO changing food and the home's existing culture because of a diabetes diagnosis puts more of a stigma of the condition. If the home is vegetarian, vegan or carnivore there is a culture of coming together and caring associated with food. I would hate to see one of my two T1 kids feel that they are responsible for changing the way our family comes together and shares caring because of their dx. It seems to me that changing family meals because of diabetes is one extra change that can feed into the emotional stress around diagnosis. Not only for the kid struggling with the diagnosis but other member's of the family as well.

    I am a proponent of gradual sustainable changes. Ones that don't appear significant. But I may not be the best source of food based advice as I am also a big fan of cake and ice cream at parties because it a big part of being a kid and takings that away is tougher than taking shots.
     
  7. SarahKelly

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    I could have used hearing this over and OVER and OVER again for about a year since DS's dx, it's daunting when you see numbers fluctuate so much and wish there was just one area that you could better control. But truly I am at peace with this part of d knowing that the best thing I can do for my son is offer him a healthy lifestyle including healthy food, healthy activities and a healthy perspective on himself - he couldn't give a darn about how much insulin his body requires.

    Truly from a somewhat still new P of a CWD this is a lesson you must learn...the amount of insulin isn't ever the issue if you're responding to the needs of your individual child.
     
  8. Mrs Puff

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    Thank you all for your replies. I think what Wilf posted was what I was looking for. If I post again in the future I will try to make myself more clear. I now realize that diabetes and caring for your child can be a pretty sensitive topic. As I posted a little earlier, I understand that insulin is good! Carbs are good! I do not deprive my child of food in order to reduce insulin! I am fairly laid back about numbers and do not project any stress on to him. The honeymoon isn't all it's cracked up to be. Any time he has higher than usual numbers I don't know if it is because the honeymoon is coming to an end or something else is affecting it. I don't stress over it, we just dose accordingly. If he wants four pieces of pizza, he can have it! I was pondering a more vegetarian diet before he got diabetes and I would never make my kids to go along with it if they didn't want to. However, tonight I made spaghetti with meat sauce and used less hamburger than normal. No one complained. That being said, I am going back to lurking.
     
  9. Lee

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    Don't just lurk - post! You asked us for advice, we gave you what we thought - no reason to go back to lurking because of it!

    Being newly diagnosed is a tough thing. Post your questions and take what you read with a grain of thought (yeah yeah - Salt - I know - but I like thought better ;)) and choose to do what is best for your family.
     
  10. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    I'm glad at least one of us provided what you were looking for. I'm sorry you think us "sensitive". I think us informed and experienced and willing to share that information and experience. And I agree, the honeymoon is challenging. None of us who have been through it would argue with that. If you want to lurk, then that's fine. Whatever works for you.;) But I hope you aren't lurking because you didn't get the answers you had hoped to get. That's just the way it works, you post, you get comments.:cool:
     
  11. joan

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    And manging diabetes is all about glycemic control.



    Good glycemic control is something we are all striving for but in children and adolescents diabetes is about a lot more than that.
     
  12. nanhsot

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    Don't lurk, I think your question was a good one and the discussion was full of good information. I'm sorry you didn't get out of it what you were looking for, internet forums are sometimes hard to express ourselves in.

    Good for you for making some positive changes, I use ground turkey instead of hamburger meat quite often and no one notices! Little changes like that are a great way to test the waters and see what works.

    Honeymoon is a tricky time, couple that with teenager hormones and you are correct, no way to know what's going on!
     
  13. frizzyrazzy

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    sometimes YOUR question leads to questions from the rest of us - which help us to answer you. So often if your first question is replied to with more return questions it doesn't mean that people don't want to help you, it means that people want to answer properly by knowing all the information. That said, after you stated your opinion on a vegetarian diet you asked two specific questions: These are quotes:
    1. But how healthy is taking lots of synthetic insulin?
    2. Shouldn't a goal be to not only achieve good numbers but to try to reduce the amount of daily insulin ?

    I think the first was answered by quite a few people. - ie - insulin is good, it's what our kids need.
    The second was again answered numerous times, and also with further questions to get at what you really meant. Trying to reduce insulin mattes less than good numbers.

    The only person you actually thanked was the one person who didn't answer either of these questions. I can only guess that your two questions weren't really questions, you simply wanted backup for whatever opinions you had already formed and not really a discussion on your actual questions.
     
  14. Flutterby

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    Funny thing, its the carbs that raise blood sugar, not meats. Insulin isn't bad (I know thats nailed into people heads that deal with type 2, because they shift to insulin its seen as a bad thing). We all need insulin to live. Doesn't matter where you are going to get it from. Each person is different. My daughters daily dose is fairly low for her age, she doesn't follow the books, she has weird patterns, her basal/bolus is 60/40 sometimes 70/30, she doesn't follow the 1800 rule or any of those fancy things.. Her CDE jokes that she is the complete opposite of any book, if you want to know the answer with K, read the book and do the opposite, it'll work.
     
  15. selketine

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    I have to agree with Michelle - I think you backed off of your initial inquiry on whether synthetic insulin was safe/healthy and focused on the vegetarian question. I think if you have ANY doubts whether insulin is safe/healthy for your child (could be harmful because it is synthetic - I'm not talking about whether more or less helps in BG control) then you should talk to your pedi endo about it. I continue to be concerned that you may still think insulin will harm your child due to its synthetic nature.

    I think the question over vegetarian diet/healthy eating, etc. reducing or raising overall insulin needs is another issue.
     
  16. badshoe

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    I feel that way often. Wilf is OK. Don't say anything though it may go to his head. ;)

    LY/MI Wilf. (LY/MI = BadShoe slang for love ya/ mean it)
     
  17. MichS

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    Hey Jenny, I hope you don't stop posting, your question had validity but maybe your "intentions" weren't clear. I think some of us are sensitive in that we've been told about every cure, every diet to cure diabetes. I learn a lot here, so i hope you ask a question if you have one. But lurking is good too, you will likely find the answer you need anyway!
     
  18. Ashti

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    I agree. Instead of tossing today's diet, just let it evolve in a more nutritious direction.

    One reason, not mentioned, one might aim at reducing the amount of insulin injected in one bolus (by paying attention to the number of carbs) is to reduce significant lows or highs related to getting it wrong in terms of estimating carbs or carb ratio. For example, if you are injecting 20 units and are off by 10%, the result will be more significant than if you were injecting 2 units and were off by 10%.
     
  19. Trev

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    Good Questions.

    Hi there,

    I read the entire thread.

    It is hard sometimes to not take the replies personally, as you posed the original question.

    I do think some of the replies were very informative and very upfront.

    I also think the flaw with forums and cyber communication, emails, etc, is that is it is difficult to read the content(objectivly) with out picking up on the emotional tone of the writer.

    Some people are not very good at seasoning their posts prior to submitting them.

    I do think it is good to remember that people come here for support, and also information. To support another requires, empathy first, information second.

    A little less judging perhaps?

    Take care, and I am sure you and your family will figure things out.
     

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