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Anyone had any experience with Dr Bernstein's "Diabetes Solution diet with kids?

Discussion in 'Nutrition and Food' started by lynnh, Dec 17, 2009.

  1. lynnh

    lynnh Approved members

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    Read the book "Diabetes Solution" and was intrigued. Have 2 kids with Type I. Started trying diet with daughter and getting a lot of ketones. Any one have any knowledge of this book or experience with children on very low carb diets?
     
  2. Amy C.

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    I have read the book and found the diet to be rather drastic for me or my child. We couldn't follow it.

    IMHO, a child needs carbohydrates to grow properly. Your daughter is probably getting ketones because the body does not think it has enough energy and is pulling sugar from the liver. This is how Type 1 diabetics were treated prior to the development of insulin injections.

    Children without diabetes produce insulin themselves. A Type 1 Diabetic needs insulin from an outside source. Insulin moves the carbohydrates from the blood stream to the cells and gives them energy. Your daughter is missing an important nutrient when you tightly restrict the carbohydrates.

    I would check with your child's endocrinologist before proceeding much further. Your daughter probably needs more carbohydrates than you are allowing right now.

    Many people find that somewhat limiting the carbs helps with the blood sugar control. Because your daugher has ketones, this shows you are limiting the carbs a little too much.
     
  3. Toni

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    I read Dr. Bernstein's book (in the attic somewhere). His recommendations? 6 grams breakfast, 12 grams lunch, 12 grams dinner DAILY! This is for adults. No tomatoes, fruit (maybe some berrries allowed), potato, rice, etc. An adult could use the diet if they wish (though I doubt most could follow it for long) but totally unsuitable for a growing child. When I think of carb restriction for adults, I think along the lines of 40, 40 and 40, not what Bernstein does. I'll bet his diet works for controlling blood sugars, but at what price? I do not think his diet is healthy in general; only addresses the blood sugar control.
     
  4. Toni

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    This is dangerous! Stop Bernstein and call your endo. I don't remember if Bernstein discusses the starvation ketones; I know Atkin's, who has a different diet but also very low carb, does. Atkins was of the opinion that ketone production was not a big deal but Atkins was only writing for healthy people; I disagree the Atkins diet is safe for anyone and don't think Bernstein diet is safe for adults long-term. I think ketones in children with Type 1 are dangerous. Bernstein diet is healthier than Atkins but still omits carbohydrate.
     
  5. lynnh

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    bernstein diet

    Thanks for your feedback everyone. I appreciate your answers. Have always thought the same about Atkins, etc. except that I've gotten advice from a natural nutritionist to restrict carbs THEN I read Bernstein's book. I have spoken to a mom of a 4 year old boy, on the diet since age 2, and thriving with A1c of 4.8.
    It's so hard to know the right thing to do, but I think what one parent said, about an adult choosing to attempt to follow the diet but not imposing it on a child, makes a lot of sense.
    I have told the endo about what we are doing and they were somewhat supportive, though they would only be so if ketones were not an issue. So, I guess this one didn't work out.
     
  6. Amy C.

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    This is good to hear. I know there are many ways to treat diabetes, but the poor child need not be so restricted. He can always do this when he grows up.
     
  7. dejahthoris

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    An A1c of 4.8 seems too low for a child. He could be in danger of low blood sugar, which is the number one cause of morbidity in type 1 children. Also if you do not get enough carbs you are in danger of starvation ketones. Thirdly, a very restrictive diet for a type 1 diabetic child would be potentially psychologically damaging and seem like a punishment for having this condition, and is not necessary. That is just my take on it.
     
  8. magickalmeadows

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    kids need carbs.

    I would not consider any "diets" without working closely with a nutritionist who specializes in children with type 1.

    Does your daughter need to lose weight?

    I agree that the limitations of a child having to diet could create a slippery slope in terms of long term psychological impact, and over all acceptance of the diagnosis.

    If weight is the concern, I'd focus on adding activities (and the extra snacks necessary to sustain healthy BS during them). It's healthier both physically and psychologically.
     
  9. Amy C.

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    I don't know if you noticed, but the original message was posted in 2009.
     

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