Type 1 Diabetes and the Paleolithic Ketogenic Diet

In the media today it has been reported that a 9 year old child with Type 1 Diabetes has been taken off Insulin after following the Paleolithic ketogenic diet.

This to me is irresponsible reporting at best and downright dangerous at it’s worst. The Paleolithic Ketogenic Diet is not a cure for Type 1 Diabetes. Please do not be tempted to take your child off Insulin whilst following this diet without Expert Medical Advice.

Here is why, the Paleolithic Ketogenic Diet is NOT a cure for Type 1 Diabetes. It’s not simply, sugar, carbohydrates or food that raises blood glucose levels in a child, many other things are known to raise it too, such as Growth Hormones, Puberty Hormones, General Hormones, Stress and even the Weather. Insulin requirements are not a static requirement they can change on a daily basis depending on numerous factors including activity levels.

When children are first diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes many of them still produce some of their own Insulin. Though over time this becomes less and less, and Insulin requirements always increase. This is called the Honeymoon Period. The child in the story was recently diagnosed and therefore still producing some of his own insulin, it is not unusual for children in the Honeymoon period to not require insulin for a short period of time or to only require very small amounts. Eventually though this child and ALL children will need Insulin as Beta Cells die off. No diet can stop this from happening.

It is highly dangerous to take a child off Insulin without being told to by a Qualified Diabetes Professional. Without Insulin, blood glucose levels can rise very quickly to dangerous levels, leading to Diabetic Ketoacidosis. This is a life threatening condition.

The Paleolithic Ketogenic Diet is essentially a low carb diet. I personally do not feel that a low carb diet is necessary for children with Type 1 Diabetes, good control can be achieved whilst enjoying a varied diet, eating carbs and taking Insulin. It is possible that a child who is on a restricted diet may grow to resent their condition and rebel against Type 1 in later life. I know my child would rather eat a normal diet and take insulin. It is parent choice, but the purpose of this article is to clarify that the Paleolithic Ketogenic Diet is categorically not a cure for Type 1 Diabetes, please do not consider moving to this diet and stopping Insulin. It is highly dangerous and could even lead to death, almost certainly it will lead to your child becoming very sick especially if they have been diagnosed for some time.

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