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May 19, 2000

Meal Planning, Food and Diet

Question from Kuwait:

My 2 year old son was diagnosed with Type 1 two months ago. He averages 6 units before breakfast, and 2 units before dinner of NPH. When he drinks cow's milk, I notice it increases his blood sugar. Is it correct? What should I give my son instead of cow's milk?

Answer:

Cow milk’s intake increases blood sugar levels through its sugar (lactose). This explains the increase of blood sugar you noticed after your son drinks milk. I suggest you to ask to your diabetes team how to properly handle with the insulin therapy the increase of blood sugar after milk intake.

On the other hand, the rationale behind the story about cows’ milk and type 1 diabetes stems from the potential diabetogenic role of some proteins (caseins) in cows’ milk towards affecting the autoimmune process, eventually leading to the destruction of beta cells of the pancreas and ultimately to clinical diabetes. This applies only to the prediabetic stage of the future patient, though, not to children like your son who has already been diagnosed with diabetes.

MS