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July 24, 2003

Meal Planning, Food and Diet

Question from Nova Scotia, Canada:

I cook for and prepare medications for my grandmother who has type�1 diabetes, and is on pills. She absolutely refuses to stick to a diabetic diet. She will get others to get her sweets, and/or she'll go and buy them herself. I refuse to treat her like a child and slap her on the fingers and say no. I heard that excess amounts of sugar in the body can cause the person who has diabetes to lose weight or be unable to gain weight, and I'm wondering if this is true. In my opinion, my grandmother eats way too many sweets. The food I cook for her is not high in sugar, and she gets plenty of it, so I'm totally at a loss as to why she cannot gain weight. Could all these sweets possibly be the reason for her lack of weight gain?

Answer:

I am a bit confused here since you are saying your grandmother has type�1 diabetes and is on oral hypoglycemic agents. So I think you must mean type�2 diabetes. Key questions here are: What are her blood glucose readings? What is her overall diabetes control? Since you did not mention them, I wonder if she is checking her blood glucose levels.

At any rate, your grandmother is very lucky to have you helping her and have your concern. Does grandmother want your assistance? I hope she does, but we often see folks who do not care about their health, at least until something bad happens. Perhaps at the next visit to her diabetes team, you could go with her and ask the team what you can do to help her.

As far as your original question, the answer is yes, if her diabetes is out of control, she will lose weight or be able to eat a lot of food and not gain any weight.

LSF