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November 7, 1999

Meal Planning, Food and Diet

Question from Lincoln, Nebraska, USA:

My 16 year old son was diagnosed with Type 1 about 1 month ago. We have communion (bread and wine) at our church every two weeks. Can he now continue to partake of the wine (which amount to about 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons) or will this cause problems? He is doing very well and his numbers are well within the acceptable ranges.

Answer:

The small amount of wine you describe should cause no changes in your son’s diabetes control. The way to confirm this is to test blood sugar before going to church and then again after returning home. If you do notice a predictable change in his control at these times, then my advice would be to work with your doctor or educator to determine the correct insulin dose for those mornings. Your son’s diabetes should not be allowed to stand in the way of his religious observance or of anything else — sports, travel, and so on — that makes up a full and rewarding life. If he didn’t have diabetes, his body would produce different amounts of insulin to handle these situations. With blood testing and some detective work, you and your team can do the same thing now.

BB