Type 1 diabetic newbie questions

Answered on May 11, 2014
Created May 10, 2014 at 11:31 AM

My husband is just starting into the Paleo diet and I, as the cook, wonder if it is okay to pretty much eliminate carbs altogether, or should he have some, in the form of starchier veggies or fruit? Also, how much protein/fat will be enough to keep him going if there are no carbs at all in a meal? I thought this would be simple to figure out, but as he has no appetite or hunger to go by I worry about him having not enough energy or losing precious weight (he is very thin). He also has low thyroid. I have been fixing meat/fat/green veggie meals, and he has eggs for breakfast.

Also, how will he know if he is not good with dairy or nuts or eggs? What would the symptoms be? (being raw milk organic dairy farmers it is psychologically a real hit to stop dairy!!) Or should he start out eliminating dairy and then add it back later?

Thanks, Barb

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7 Answers



on May 11, 2014
at 11:55 AM

That article is very confusing. He cites several studies showing

total T3 is decreased in low carb diet and reverse T3 is increased in one of the study.

Then he completely denies that this low carb induced lowered T3 has detrimental physical effect,

because he has not seen any "clinical evidence" for that. First, i thought he meant

that low carb diet does not cause permanent damage to thyroid glands.

In the epilogue he is saying this " The preponderance of clinical evidence

suggests that their symptoms were caused by too few calories or a pre-existing thyroid condition."

I think he knows very little about physiology, thyroid or science to analyse scientific studies.

The exchange between Paul Jamminet in the comment section is worth reading. But Paul stopped

responding after few exchanges.

Dr. Chris Masterjohn is a paleo friendly scientist,who has a good understanding

of nutritional science. If you choose to go for high fat diet, coconut oil is the best choice.

Medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil has a very high rate of

metabolism that other longer chain saturated or unsaturated fats.



on May 10, 2014
at 09:58 PM

Eliminating carbs altogether for a Type I is tricky because of the insulin dosing and risk of hypos. Even if your husband doesn't follow Bernstein exactly, it might be useful to go back and read how to adjust insulin doses to avoid hypos when he is eating no or very limited carbs. He should be vigilant about testing before AND after meals, stress, and physical activity until he has it all figured out.


on May 10, 2014
at 08:15 PM

I just wanted also to put out a link that debunks the idea that very low carb causes low thyroid. Here it is:



on May 10, 2014
at 07:24 PM

My husband has been T1 diabetic for 38 years. He has had "excellent control" but over the past few years he developed the thyroid problem ( and is now on a supplement with not much noticeable improvement in how he feels, though his numbers are now normal), not sleeping, erratic night time blood sugars, fatigue and depression. He truly spends a good part of his time correcting and recovering from either high or low blood sugars and is so tired he can't do much else. We have always eaten healthy (we run an organice dairy and grow all our own meat, dairy and veggies) but obviously that is not enough. We tried Dr. Bernstein's diet a few years back and again not much change. So I have hopeful that very low carbs will get him off the insulin see saw that he is on.



on May 10, 2014
at 05:04 PM

I have read that hypothyroidism can induce diabetes and diabetes can cause

hypothyroidism. In diabetes, cells can not metabolize glucose efficiently.

Low carbohydrate diet lowers active thyroid hormone and can create

hypothyroidism. I think a nutrient dense diet is the most important

part of a healthy diet. Moderate carb can improve thyroid function.

Adequate protein is essential. Body can make fat from carbohydrate.

Rest of the diet can be healthy saturated fat. Small frequents meals

composed of carb,protein and fat keeps blood sugar steady.

Contrary to common belief, diabetics are able to metabolize

fructose better than glucose. Metabolism of fructose does not

depend on insulin. Whole fruits are ideal for many reasons.

Here is a very interesting analysis of multiple studies showing benefits

of fructose in diabetic people.


Thyroid supplement of T4 and T3 can improve diabetic symptoms.



on May 10, 2014
at 05:03 PM

Why are you going paleo? There's no weight loss issue (in fact, weight gain sounds to be the desired effect), a calorie deficit is not what you want, cutting carbs does not help you. T1D, you want a consistent diet that doesn't screw up his insulin/BG levels.


on May 10, 2014
at 04:56 PM

I think you should keep fixing him what you are fixing him. It sounds balanced. I really do think it is good to eat every couple hours!!!

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