One Year on an LCHF Diet with Type 1 Diabetes

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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)

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Low-Carb to Manage Type 1 Diabetes

34 comments

Top comment

  1. Mark.
    My own experience has been less dramatic: I've had type 1 since 1970 and went LCHF less than five years ago, after a lot of damage had already been done. Still I have the best blood sugar control I've had since I started testing blood sugar, with half the insulin I used to take. I hope that more type 1 diabetics start LCHF early on.
    Read more →

All comments

  1. FrankG
    Here's to your continued health! Good for you :-)

    It is bordering on criminal: not just that such common-sense advice is not offered routinely to all newly diagnosed diabetics but that it is still actively discouraged by many health care professionals.

  2. Jan
    I echo what FrankG has said .... Here's to your continued good health.

    We do sometimes have to take the lead when it comes to our own health, fitness and well being.

    All the best Jan

  3. Mark.
    My own experience has been less dramatic: I've had type 1 since 1970 and went LCHF less than five years ago, after a lot of damage had already been done. Still I have the best blood sugar control I've had since I started testing blood sugar, with half the insulin I used to take. I hope that more type 1 diabetics start LCHF early on.
  4. Jillm
    Congratulations!
  5. parrthasaarathi
    I am diabetic since last 5 years ,using Glycomet Gp1 once daily, can I take brown rice, what sort of foods u suggest, Indian food.
    Replies: #6, #7
  6. FrankG
    Dr Andreas has pages devoted to dietary advice starting here... http://www.dietdoctor.com/lchf

    In general terms I'd suggest you keep it simple at first. Real, whole food... local, fresh and seasonal, using traditional recipes and preparation. Ghee rather than vegetable oil for example. Avoid sugar and refined starches. If you are using a Blood Glucose (BG) meter test around all other foods to see which you can tolerate, without raising your BG too much.

  7. Zepp
    Avoid rice of any colour or other high carb foods!

    Its dificult for us westeners to imaging whats india food, and its seems to be regional, cultural and religius ones too!

    I did a Google search on Indian Low carb and got this!

    https://www.google.se/search?q=indian+low+carb+recipes&oq=Indian...

    And make sure recepies is not only low carb but altso high fat.. good fats like ghee and coconut oils!

    And I am sure that there are some book and recepies cald Atkins in India too.. becuse Atkins and LCHF is the same concept!

  8. Paul
    I'm a type 1 (LADA) and a ketogenic diet of 30 grams carbs or below per day has enabled me to keep my insulin to 10 units a day split over 2 injections and so far I've managed with Lantus basal alone without a bolus and have lost loads of weight and reduced my A1c down from over 14% to around 5%-I would recommend LCHF 100% to all diabetics and although many other folks with insulin dependant diabetes may need more injected insulin than I do because mine is a slower onset form of type 1-this diet should greatly reduce the amount of injected insulin that is required provided that protein is not eaten in excess.
    Reply: #9
  9. Zepp
    Nice to hear your story.. and it could encourage some others to try a less carb aproch!

    Dr Bernstien says that whit a smaller amount of carbs one do smaller místakes with isulin dosing!

    And everyone should know that insulin by injection is not the same as frome a healty pancreas!

    But without a healty pancreas one have to ad insulin anyhow.. but one can limit the injections and go for a steady normal low insulin level.. just as those eating low carb.

    http://www.diabetes-book.com/

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdxPfxIbKqo&list=PL6BA6FEE3A4A331...

  10. Claire
    Hi All, recently started, LCHF (a week ago), am Type 1 (11 yrs) with generally terrible sugars and A1c. I have almost stopped my bolus unless really high readings. I wanted to know - with only using basal - do you end up reducing this more than before as you don't have much as a tolerance to insulin due to the reduced amounts being now taken? Have people lost weight using this "diet"? that is sadly my main reason for doing this - but the general health benefits inc. sugar control from what I've read sound quite astonishing. Why isn't my diabetes team recommending this??!!
    Reply: #12
  11. Claire
    Also...is ketosis dangerous for diabetics? I'm still trying to get my head around it, but I was under the impression ketones present is a bad thing!?
    Reply: #13
  12. Zepp
    Watch the youtube link above.. Dr Bernstein is the expert on low carb for diabetics, he is type 1 him self!

    Do read his book too, for furher explanations!

    I read that swedish type 1 often coming to a state there they almost rely on basal insulin and only small doses of fast acting.

    And you got a transitation fase too.. so its to measure a lot.. and after a year you got a totaly different metabolism.. and then its time to think again.

  13. Zepp
    Diabetic ketoacidosis is dangerus for you.. becuse ketosis is regulated by insulin!

    We all got keton buddies in our blood, pertycaly in the morning or after long time since the last meal, fasting and by excercise!

    And to that.. type 1 is seldome insulin resistante, and can use some more carbs to play safe, you got to take your insulin anyhow.. and if one nit IR then there is seldome the same benefits of deep ketosis!

    Normal levels for nomal people is up to 1.0 and betwen 1-3 says to be diet inc´duced ketosis, often about 50 grams of carbs a day.

    Up to 6.0 is excercise induced or fasting and diabetic ketocidos is over 10.0 or more.

  14. Deb
    I have been eating a much lower carb diet for 2 months. My blood sugars before were 60-200 while eating 250-350 carbs a day. Now my blood sugars are 220-400. I am having 3-10 carbs at breakfast, 10-20 at lunch, and 10-20 at dinner. I am on a pump and am getting more correction insulin than bolus for meals.
    I need help!! What's wrong?
    Reply: #16
  15. Raj
    Can someone please provide an answer for Deb?
  16. Zepp
    Its probably Glukagon that make that glucose?

    And I know there are some that have to relearn .. becuse if on goes to low on basal insulin Glukagon freely make glucose both from stored glycogen and by glukoneogenes!

    Soo one have to learn a new way to take insulin.. becuse befor you probably added more fastacting insulin to your meals.. and probably eat more often?

    Dr Bernstein is the best expert on low carb and type 1!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdxPfxIbKqo

  17. Starrlynn
    I also wear an insulin pump with fast acting insulin for basal/bolus.....
    Unclear exactly what you are saying but, perhaps your pump needs basal adjustments.
    What is your age, weight, height?
    If I were you and my glucose numbers are out of my desired range I would begin checking my basal settings, correction ratio, and bolus per carb ratio. Your insulin pump instruction book should be helpful with all of this. This is time consuming but very rewarding when completed. Hope this is helpful you do need help or either take multiple injections throughout day/night.
  18. Hannah
    Are you eating a lot of protein and not enough fat? If you eat more than your body's requirement for protein your body can convert it to carbohydrates. Try eating more fat instead
  19. Lea Ann Norris
    I am so thrilled to read of other Type 1's embracing the LCHF diet, I do have some low attacks but it is so much easier to manage your blood sugars while eating real filling food. One thing I did notice in one statement a while back- that it stated "for Type 1 diabetics to consult their physician concerning ketones etc/Not recommended for type 1 diabetics" We get the fact that in some ways we are playing with fire, but if we were to go to our physicians and tell them that we are on LCHF, they would have a complete meltdown!! It wouldn't matter if our cholesterol levels, lipids, blood sugars, and BP were in the excellent values, they would firmly affirm that we must discontinue this deadly practice. Oh- and back to this of playing with fire, my Dr.'s encouraging me to eat gobs of fruit and such only made my journey with diabetes a living nightmare, every insulin made known to man was prescribed and my low sugar attacks were beyond horrifying, then stopping and considering my first days with diabetes, not fun- but manageable because I was on no carbs whatsoever. We have a nasty disease and often it rules our life, I feel that the LCHF diet is our only option for taking some control back, I hope any and all T1's consider this with conviction.. taking back control and enjoying as normal and healthy a life as possible :)
  20. Zepp
    Type 1 shouldnt follow advices for type 2, there are a big differens!

    T2 often benefits of eating lesser carbs, they suffer mostly by hyperinsulinemia, and they have an pancreas that need a rest!

    T1 dont have a working pancreas, they need to take there insulin anyway, they need normal insulin levels, there body/muscles are often more able to use glucose as fuel, they can eat more carbs.

    One can eat litle (not to litle) and slow acting carbs, GLUT 1 have the ability to transport moste of the glucose in to cells whitout the help of insulin.

    Type 1 should been measuring both glucose and insulin, but only glucose is awailably on a dayly basis!

  21. Naomi
    Actually, not all type 1 diabetics have a pancreas that doesn't work. My husband is an LADA 1.5 diabetic, his pancreas works just fine at this point, it is his auto-immunity that is the base problem. It is intercepting the cells carrying the insulin. The more carbs he eats the more insulin his pancreas needs to keep making. He is not and has never been overweight he is a very active 37 year old. So low carb= less sugar= less need for insulin. Low carb = less insulin resistance. Also, high amounts of health fats equal less inflammation. Which is a plus for anyone with an auto immune disorder.
  22. Ben
    Hey Naomi,

    I too am a 37 year old recently diagnosed with LADA. Ive never been overweight and have always been fit and healthy. Ive been on LCHF eating (Paleo style with more healthy fats) for 12 months or more.

    I'm feeling good most of the time, but do have slight ups and downs with my BG levels. My biggest problem now is maintaining my weight as Ive dropped about 8 to 10kgs that I really didnt need to lose.

    I'd love to chat more to you about this (or your hubby) and find out a little more about what hes doing. My email is benniross@yahoo.com.au.

    Would love to chat more-

    Thanks alot,
    Ben

  23. Duncan
    I am 47, and have been type 1 for 40 years. Over the last 5 years, my weight has ballooned, and my bm's have been up and down. I have followed the LCHF plan for a week and have lost 7lbs and have had the best bm results for years! I have literally more than halved my insulin dose and feel more energetic, healthy, etc. In hindsight, this is very much like the diet I was put on 40 years ago when first diagnosed. I guess with insulin, and especially the ease of using a pen these days instead of huge glass syringes, it is easy to keep increasing insulin doses to enable a sweeter diet, which in turn, increases the need for more insulin. The problem with diabetes can be the whole psychological thing about eating the same as everyone else, but once the cycle is broken, it is VERY easy to feel so much better. I really feel so much better with LCHF, and would recommend it to anyone with type 1. Just test your bm regular though- you really won't need so much insulin!
    Reply: #30
  24. Zepp
    Heres frome one type 1, to other diabetics!

    'LCHF to manage Diabetes'
    By Dr Troy Stapleton.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epsSVosmtUc

  25. 1 comment removed
  26. Patrick
    I've started LCHF diet about a week ago, I've been diabetic Type 1 for more than 32 years now (I'm 44). I've been on an insulin pomp for the past 3 years and it was great. But eversince I've started LCHF, I don't use the Bolus anymore, only my basal rate. It's incredible - I also use a Constant Glucose Monitor, and my blood sugar never rose above 9 and never below 4.5 - that is a great exploit for me... I don't understand how come I was not told about this before. Oh yes, and I also cut in half my insulin intake.
  27. wander
    For those concerned about ketones: keto acidosis is a metabolic disaster resulting from a complete absence of insulin. Normally the pancreas spits small amounts of insulin out 24 hours a day. This is required for certain cellular function. This amount of insulin that type 1 need daily whether you eat or not is your basal rate. People use Lantus or the gadget to supply this evenly all day. When you drop below this rate you get sick because glucagon pours into your body and rapidly dissolve fat at a rate impossible for non insulin dependent diabetics. When you are sick or stressed your basal rate increases and you have to increase your dose. But in this case your BS will eventually increase as a sign you're needing more insulin. According to the Joslin Handbook, it is common for those diabetic on a very low carb diet (in order to achieve tight BS control) to often show ketones without harm. Ketones are a normal consequence of fat metabolism. This was the only sentence regarding hflc in the manual and as we are experiencing ourselve, why isn't this standard treatment?
  28. Bron
    I can't seem to get into ketosis. I am a very fit and active 29yo who has had type 1 for 15 years. I ate low carb before but now want to get into ketosis. I only have a small portion of protein based on my body weight but I am finding that I still need some insulin correction. I don't understand. I have a pump and run my basal at .625units per hour which seems to be fine and I stick to around 65-70g of meat per meal for protein. When I check my ketones they are never above .6 I'm confused as I am literally eating no carbs!!
  29. Kyle
    Bron- I am by no means a expert but if you are truly eating no carbs that could be your problem. Your body needs SOME carbs to function correctly. Also the corrections you are seeing is from proteins converting to carbs because you are not eating carbs.
  30. Ashley McBride
    This is exactly what I needed. Today is day 1 on LCHF. Have been T1D for 17 years. Had the same mentality of I can eat whatever I want and take insulin. More insulin = more fat stored. My father in law lost almost 200 lbs on LCHF and is having no trouble let from his T2D, so I wanted to try this. Day one was not fun and I want ice cream, but here I am. Thank you for your words.
  31. peter
    below 30 grams per day?how does that work?my grand daughter ketone levels would skyrocket if we were to even try that
  32. Erika
    So I've been in this LCHF ride for about 12 days now. I was loving the results and enjoying the energy (even thru the keto flu). I have gone thru keto acidosis years ago and I as of today went they it again. Getting fluids and electrolytes now actually. What did I do wrong? I am also a LADA diabetic, which is why I looked at your blog to begin with .
  33. Donna
    Response to FrankG - I recently spoke by phone with a dietician through my medical insurance about being Type 1 on a LCHF ketogenic diet. She did everything she could to discourage me, even when I told her that my blood pressure quickly went down to 121/70 without meds (she said I was dehydrated) and my blood glucose is way down and easier to control (I now live in the 100's instead of 200-300's). I do keep a close watch on my ketones to make sure they don't get higher than medium. I'm also losing weight, which is very important for my health. I am just so disappointed with her attitude, which is the antiquated attitude of medical/health care provider, too. I think that using common sense and personal experience here is best for me!
  34. Lori Ritchie
    Just came from my diabetic professional - diabetic nurse and nutritionist. They highly do not recommend this diet for me as they can't test how much residual insulin my body creates. I am so disappointed that I can't do this, I was so gung ho! They scrared the crap out of me with the possibility of keto acidosis so back to square 1!
  35. Rosa
    Lori, don't believe them! My 4-yr old type-1 daughter was strongly advised not to go on a low-carb diet and I believed them and followed their advice. Until we decided to try it out when she was about 7 yrs old, 4 years ago. She is now 11, healthy and growing well, with the best blood sugars ever - all thanks to going on a LCHF diet. Unfortunately they have got it very wrong.

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