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From Asheville, North Carolina, USA:

I am a 20 year old type 1 diabetic. I was diagnosed at the age of 7. I want to know if the Atkins (high protein) diet is safe. I have been on it for a week or so and my insulin amounts have gone from 75u of Humalog and 100u of NPH per day to 15u Humalog and 60u NPH per day, but I have also been spilling a small amount of ketones. I do know that non-diabetics are supposed to spill ketones when on this diet. Will this harm me?


The presence of ketones with normal blood sugar levels usually means they are starvation ketones -- meaning your body must be burning fat in place of sugar.

Ketones in someone with diabetes are a flag that something is wrong and it is difficult to assess when you are on this diet. I would not recommend the Atkins diet for other reasons for a person who has diabetes. The increased load that high protein places on the kidneys is a risk in the development of kidney disease. Having had diabetes for as long as you have makes your kidney's more susceptible. It would be very wise to inform your physician that you are on this diet and obtain direction from him/her as to how to proceed.

It does not surprise me that your insulin needs dropped since sugar is not being provided to your body for fuel. It is my feeling that all things in moderation is a better plan than eliminating whole food groups on a routine basis.


Original posting 1 Jul 2000
Posted to Meal Planning, Food and Diet


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:12
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