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September 28, 2006

LADA and MODY, Meal Planning, Food and Diet

Question from Toronto, Ontario, Canada:

I was diagnosed with diabetes in high school, about six years ago. A few years ago, my brother was diagnosed as well, and it was discovered that we have MODY. I've been on a number of different oral medications, which is very frustrating as I'm constantly having to change my dosages because my doctors will not give me a specific amount to take. They believe I can "figure it out on my own," which is very frustrating and stresses me out, which is definitely not good for my diabetes. Currently, I am taking glyburide and have gained a lot of weight, I also often wake up in the middle of the night with lows. Eating the same amount of carbohydrates for breakfast, for example, will spike me up on certain days and doesn't affect me at all on other days; I'm so confused! I am sick of this medication and am fed up with experimenting with other medications. It seems that no oral medication is the right one for me. I was wondering if it would be a good idea to try to control my diabetes with a living foods diet (raw fruits and vegetables, soaked nuts, legumes, and maybe some fortified soy milk or almond milk, etc.) so I can stop pumping my body full of chemicals. I am vegan and very concerned with my health, so it bothers me that I have to ingest these chemicals that may be harming my body. If you have any advice about a raw foods diet or even some suggestions for oral medications that have worked well for other MODY patients, it would be greatly appreciated. I see my doctors in a month and wanted to propose something to them. I just wanted to hear your advice first.


There are many vegetarians who have type 1 and type 2 diabetes. I would not make any significant changes to your dietary program until you meet with a nutritionist/Registered Dietitian to review matters and to assure you get good protein intake, etc.

As for being “pumped full of chemicals,” while it is true that MODY patients may be able to respond to oral hypoglycemics, many cannot. Perhaps what you need is insulin. Yes, it is a “chemical,” but it is the NATURAL chemical that your body produces to control your glucose. Different types of insulin can be provided to match your daily metabolic demand. Talk with your endocrinologist.

Additional comments from Dr. Stuart Brink:

It sounds like you need more input from your diabetes team, so that is the first recommendation. If they are leaving you “in the lurch,” then call them and set up a consultation visit enough times to get these specific questions answered. No one on the Internet can answer such questions except in generalities. Any well balanced meal plan including vegetarian meal plans can work, if you are consistent enough and figure out what times to eat what amount of carbohydrates. The vegetarian approach is generally a good one because it involves lower glycemic index foods (higher fiber, etc.) and thus requires less insulin availability (or medications). You may want some specific input from dietitians as well as nurse educators and all should be done without dogma but based on frequent pre- and postprandial glucose values to figure out what works best for you wether you have MODY or any other type of diabetes.