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Carbohydrate Counting in Children and Adolescents with Type 1 Diabetes

Pediatric Clinic, Department of Surgical and Biomedical Sciences, Università degli Studi di Perugia, 06132 Perugia, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2018, 10(1), 109;
Received: 26 December 2017 / Revised: 15 January 2018 / Accepted: 16 January 2018 / Published: 22 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbohydrate Metabolism in Health and Disease)
Carbohydrate counting (CC) is a meal-planning tool for patients with type 1 diabetes (T1D) treated with a basal bolus insulin regimen by means of multiple daily injections or continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion. It is based on an awareness of foods that contain carbohydrates and their effect on blood glucose. The bolus insulin dose needed is obtained from the total amount of carbohydrates consumed at each meal and the insulin-to-carbohydrate ratio. Evidence suggests that CC may have positive effects on metabolic control and on reducing glycosylated haemoglobin concentration (HbA1c). Moreover, CC might reduce the frequency of hypoglycaemia. In addition, with CC the flexibility of meals and snacks allows children and teenagers to manage their T1D more effectively within their own lifestyles. CC and the bolus calculator can have possible beneficial effects in improving post-meal glucose, with a higher percentage of values within the target. Moreover, CC might be integrated with the counting of fat and protein to more accurately calculate the insulin bolus. In conclusion, in children and adolescents with T1D, CC may have a positive effect on metabolic control, might reduce hypoglycaemia events, improves quality of life, and seems to do so without influencing body mass index; however, more high-quality clinical trials are needed to confirm this positive impact. View Full-Text
Keywords: carbohydrate counting; glycosylated haemoglobin; hypoglycaemia; insulin; type 1 diabetes carbohydrate counting; glycosylated haemoglobin; hypoglycaemia; insulin; type 1 diabetes
MDPI and ACS Style

Tascini, G.; Berioli, M.G.; Cerquiglini, L.; Santi, E.; Mancini, G.; Rogari, F.; Toni, G.; Esposito, S. Carbohydrate Counting in Children and Adolescents with Type 1 Diabetes. Nutrients 2018, 10, 109.

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