Radio talk: ½ hour Q & A with Zulaikha and Sue Visser. 10th January 2019
Q: We know that there are two types of diabetics, but non-insulin dependent or type 2 diabetes does not usually affect children. Are children born with type 1 or juvenile diabetes or does it happen at a later stage?
A: Type 1 diabetes is insulin dependent because the pancreas does not produce enough insulin. It is regarded as an autoimmune disease whereby the body attacks its own beta cells (insulin producing) because these have been mistakenly identified as foreign by the immune system. It can begin in new born babies and generally affects young children. Most doctors assume that there is currently no way to prevent type 1 diabetes and they do not know what causes the autoimmune problem. But there is plenty of new research, especially from the 2018 studies that show how a pregnant mother’s diet affects the unborn child in terms of juvenile diabetes.
Q: Sue, can you explain what really causes type 1 diabetes?
A: When we talk about antigens, the trigger for the immune attack on insulin producing cells, the No 1 culprit is a group of proteins found in wheat called gluten followed by cow’s milk. These antigens can also damage thyroid and adrenal cells, making one deficient in thyroid and adrenal hormones. Gluten, especially in blood type O and B can cause extreme inflammation and in cases where blood vessels are damaged, the gluten or dairy antigens may leak out from the digestive tract and enter the bloodstream. This sets off the immune alert against gluten, but beta cells in the pancreas may also get destroyed – wiped out! So the answer is: wheat can and does cause type 1 diabetes. If the mother of the baby is sensitive to these antigens and consumes a lot of wheat and dairy during pregnancy she increases the risk of having a diabetic child. When the baby is fed formulations containing wheat and dairy – the reaction begins: inflammation, leaky membranes, antigens in the bloodstream and the autoimmune destruction of the pancreas.
https://www.nursingtimes.net/news/research-and-innovation/high-gluten-diet-in-pregnancy-linked-to-higher-child-diabetes-risk/7026089.article Pregnancy – high gluten intake increases type 1 risk.
https://www.bmj.com/content/362/bmj.k3867 Wheat can cause type 1 diabetes
https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/adults-can-get-type-1-diabetes-too Adult type 1 diabetes link
Q: What is the standard way of treating this condition?
Children with type 1 diabetes need insulin to manage their blood sugar. Insulin dosage is based on blood sugar levels that fluctuate. The amount of sugar eaten by the child raises blood sugar but giving too much insulin may cause hypoglycaemia. (Low blood sugar) It is too much insulin rather than not enough carbohydrates that causes the sudden drop in blood sugar. If too much glucose is given, the blood sugar gets too high and more insulin will be needed. The overdosing of insulin causes insulin resistance. This is a protective mechanism for cells to stop them being damaged by an excess glucose. Type 1 diabetics can be both insulin dependent and insulin resistant.
Learning to manage the care of a child with diabetes is a constant challenge. Parents need to learn how to calculate and administer the appropriate levels of insulin according to sugar intake and blood sugar readings. They have to recognize and treat high or low blood sugar, as needed. New technological advances have made managing diabetes easier than before. Some small children use an insulin pump. The parent can just dial into the pump what the child has been eating and what their current blood sugar is, and it will automatically calculate how much insulin they need.
Q: What about the Banting diet for diabetic children? What is it all about?
Professor Tim Noakes is a diabetic and found that by avoiding sugars and carbohydrates that require insulin he could bypass the need for depending on insulin. It could also help people who become resistant to insulin. (Type 2 or adult onset diabetes) The term Banting is derived from the man who followed a low or no carbohydrate high fat and protein diet to lose weight. Dr Atkins pioneered this dietary revolution a few decades ago, so it has a long track record. Some nutritionists say it causes vitamin, mineral and micronutrient deficiencies as natural fruits and vegetables are restricted merely because they contain carbohydrates. For some people, such a strictly exclusive diet has made a huge difference to their weight and blood sugar control. But Prof. Noakes insists that there are no compromises. 25 grams of carbohydrates per day is not easy for most people. Gluten and dairy avoidance may also be important in terms of juvenile diabetes.
Q: What do you personally recommend for young children?
A: As you know, Zulaikha, I like to begin with their blood type. Eat food that does not set off inflammation. Diabetics are vulnerable to phases of high blood sugar and this automatically increases inflammation in the body. A properly balanced blood type diet free of gluten is the best way to begin. Keep carbohydrates to a minimum and include plenty of what we call calorie negative foods, like leafy greens, green beans, lemons, grapefruit ad herb teas that help to lower blood sugar. An active child will burn off a lot of glucose! Do not ever overdose with insulin so the child can have a binge of sweets, soft drinks and cakes. This is not a treat, it causes glucose / insulin instability and will cause your juvenile diabetic to become insulin resistant at a very early age.
http://naturefresh.co.za/google-cse/?q=blood+type+diet Here are the guidelines
Q: What happens if the blood sugar level is continuously higher than recommended?
A: If you keep your child’s blood sugar under control, you drastically decrease the odds of them developing kidney failure, neuropathy, blindness or other organ damage as they get older.
Q: Apart from the insulin treatment, does a juvenile diabetic need other supplements?
A: Yes, supplements are essential because we need to maintain insulin sensitivity. (Prevent type 2 diabetes.) All diabetics who were studied in trials have extreme Vitamin B1 (thiamine) deficiencies. is best to give your child a balanced multivitamin twice a day in a divided dose, because Vitamin B is water soluble and washes out every 3 hours. Sugar nullifies B vitamins, so use substitutes like stevia or xylitol. These natural sugars help to prevent tooth decay as a bonus. Magnesium, chrome and zinc are also important. Diabetics especially, need a lot of magnesium to protect their kidneys. Add probiotics to yoghurt, fruit juice and water.