Joslin Diabetes Center’s recent
study, published in January’s The Journal
of Pediatrics, reveals that nearly 75 percent of children and adolescents
with type 1 diabetes do not have adequate levels of vitamin D. Vitamin D is
important because a deficit can lead to bone problems, especially among those
with type 1 diabetes since diabetes is now associated with a reduction in bone
mineral density and fragile bones. Researchers suggest that supplements may be
needed to boost low vitamin D levels, although it is usually received in
exposure to sunlight or regular diet.
Researchers found 61 percent of children had insufficient levels while 15 percent had actual deficiency (severely low) in vitamin D. Only 24 percent of children had sufficient levels. The study included children up to age 17, and oldest children had the lowest levels.
Lead researcher Dr. Britta Svoren, an instructor in pediatrics, theorizes that most teenagers with type 1 diabetes aren’t drinking vitamin D-fortified milk, the usual source, and instead drinking increased amounts of “sugar-free colas”. In our world, this means diet soda. And we agree – most PWD’s are drinking diet coke or water or teas in an effort to avoid drinking ‘useless’ carbs. However, we should all remember that if we stop drinking milk we need to make sure and find our vitamin D elsewhere! Kelly actually uses milk to increase her blood sugar when she is low – if that works for you, it’ll have the bonus of increasing vitamin D intake.
- by Dana Lewis