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Gluten Free Lifestyle Series part 1

Living with multiple health problems can complicate things. As a diabetic balancing the levels of carbohydrates, (starches and sugars) with the level of insulin requires thought and discipline. You should always consult your doctor and dietitian for specific advice.

People with type 1 diabetes are at greater risk of developing celiac disease. It follows that they will need to manage a diet which controls both conditions. The diets do sit perfectly well together, but it needs careful planning.

In principle the same rules apply to your diet, whatever the problem. As a diabetic you need to eat a well-balanced diet. The one area of difficulty is managing your carbohydrate intake with gluten-free versions. You can find gluten-free carbohydrates in potatoes, rice, wild rice, buckwheat, maize, millet, sago, tapioca, corn flour, soya, polenta, flax, sorghum, linseed, gram flour, channa (chickpea flour), quinoa flour, arrowroot, almond flour, oat flour, coconut flour, codex wheat starch, corn pasta, pure rice noodles, gluten-free pastas are available, as are gluten-free versions of bread.

Here are 5 rules to ensure you get the most out of your life:

  1. Become well informed about both conditions. Be clear what you can and cannot eat, what alternatives there are and where you can get them.

  2. Plan ahead-always take a supply of suitable gluten-free carbohydrates and insulin with you. Planning includes involving school, friends and other organizations of your needs.

  3. Take control of your life, you are a person who happens to have celiac disease and diabetes. You are not defined by these conditions.

  4. Confidence grows out of knowing what you can and cannot eat. Instead of tackling the conditions as two sets of restrictions, combine the needs of both. Having both diabetes and celiac disease is unfortunate, but it is important to be positive and take control.

  5. Live life to the full. Try new things, push out the boundaries and the sky is the limit!

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