Type 2 Diabetes runs in my family and some of my first client were type 1 and 2 diabetics. Even the word diabetes sounds a bit like ‘diet’ and yet many people with a form of Diabetes never get in front of a nutritionist. This is unfortunate because it can help a great deal in both variations of the condition as well as the newly recognised type 1.5 diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes
For type 2 diabetes, even with medication, blood sugar levels can still be:
-Unpredictable especially between meals which makes life really hard I imagine
-Running high regularly which will be inflammatory to the body. We want to see steady and acceptable blood levels otherwise you may need to progress to more medication and eventually insulin
-Inconsistent and not low enough to allow a stable and healthy weight to be established (Note: when insulin and blood glucose are consistently high, the body can not break down fat – this process called lypolysis is impossible under these circumstances.)
Dietary changes don’t necessarily have to be massive or restrictive to get more consistency with type 2 diabetes.
Type 1 Diabetes
As for type 1 Diabetes, this is a very different condition and I have found insulin requirements and responses to certain foods vary a lot between type 1 diabetics. Again, an individualised approach is essential.
The goal is always to:
-establish consistent insulin requirements to minimise the risk of hypos and hypers.
-establish a good basic diet so that minimal insulin is required (please note: this does not necessarily mean a ketogenic approach is needed. Some type 1 diabetics respond well to keto, but others become more insulin resistant requiring more insulin per gram of carbohydrate consumed. This is not ideal.)
I’ve worked with both type 2 and type 1 diabetic athletes and this requires even more specialised understanding. Exercise will affect our stress hormones and in turn how much blood glucose we use and produce during exercise. Diabetics who engage in sport benefit from nutritional support again to assist with predictable blood sugar reactions following exercise, stable energy during and good recovery.
In all honestly, I’d say diabetes (all types) are one of the chronic health conditions that benefit from nutritional intervention the most and see great benefits.
Are you a Diabetic yourself who has never seen a Nutritionist? Or perhaps you have only ever been given generic advice? You can book an initial consultation online now.