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Gluten free diet helps fight type 1 diabetes mellitus

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By Jimmy Downs

MOnday Dec 24, 2012 (foodconsumer.org) -- A case report in British Medically Journal - Cases Reports suggests that children with type 1 diabetes mellitus may benefit from a gluten free diet.

S.M. Sildorf from Paediatric Unit, Copenhagen University Hospital in Herlev, Denmark. reported that a 5-year and 10-month old boy diagnosed with typical type 1 diabetes mellitus followed a gluten free diet for up to 20 months without resorting to any insulin therapy improved his diabetic condition drastically.

The boy did not have celiac disease, which is often found in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus.  Gluten free diet is often used by patients with celiac disease patients. 

The boy had 7.8% HbA1c, which is an indicator for the severity of diabetes mellitus, when starting use of the gluten free diet. The typical level of HbA1c was stabilized at 5.8 to 6.0 percent and fasting blood glucose was stabilized at 4.0 to 5.0 mmol/L, without insulin treatment, according to the authors.

At 16 months after diagnosis without insulin therapy, the fasting blood glucose was maintained at 4.1 mmol/L and at 20 months, he still did not use insulin therapy.

The gluten free diet did not change the positivity of glutamic acid decarboxylase antibodies to which are known to be associated with type 1 diabetes.

The authors say the gluten-free diet was safe and did not cause side effects and they propose that the gluten free diet had led to prolonged remission in the patient with type 1 diabetes mellitus without using insulin therapy.

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