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December 26, 2005

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Question from Prescott, Michigan, USA:

My teenage son was being treated at a pediatric endocrinology clinic where they were having him count carbohydrates to dose his sliding scale insulin. His blood sugars steadily increased. His diabetes was under poor control. It was suggested that I take him to see an internist. He was then changed to counting calories to dose his sliding scale insulin. I am looking for more information on calorie counting versus carbohydrate counting for best blood sugar control. I am curious if anyone else is using this calorie counting system and has it been successful.

Answer:

Calorie counting is a very “old school” way of doing diabetes and, as I understand it, predates “exchanges” and “carbohydrate counting.” Since carbohydrates are what influences the blood sugar most directly, I’d stick with carbohydrate counting. Calorie counting is sometimes still useful in persons with type 2 diabetes who need to lose weight. For type 1diabetes, carbohydrate counting is the preferred method.

LAD