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July 7, 1999

Meal Planning, Food and Diet

Question from Homewood, Illinois, USA:

My stepdaughter is 14 and was diagnosed with Type 1 at the age of 10. Her endocrinologist's staff tells her she can eat whatever she wants between meals, so long as she takes a shot for anything she consumes over 24 grams of carbs (Her exchange ratio is 12g/1 unit of Humalog). How much is too much insulin to take in one day? And what will the long term effect of this be on her body? Wouldn't she be healthier in the long run if she elicited a little self-control in what she eats in terms of her diabetes?

Answer:

Certainly there are limits to be set in regard to food and insulin consumption. I guess the bottom line is the HbA1c. If it shows control over the long run without weight gain or impact on other health measures (i.e. cholesterol or blood pressure), then there seems to be no harm in this approach. Each diabetes team has its own unique philosophy that integrates treating, nursing, nutrition, psychology and education, all within the standards of care.

HVS