Author Sidebar: When I was in the hospital, because my blood sugar was so high, there was some concern that I might be a Type 1 diabetic. After they tested my blood for certain antibodies, I remember the nurse saying that I was lucky because I had Type 2 diabetes instead of Type 1 diabetes.
Later, when I started to do some research, I began to understand what she meant -- that Type 1 diabetes is a more devastating disease than Type 2 ...
Although some of you may disagree, I believe that Type 1 diabetes is a lot more difficult disease to deal with because it is an autoimmune disease that attacks mostly children whereas Type 2 diabetes is a lifestyle-driven disease that attacks mostly adults (although today more children are becoming Type 2 diabetic).
From a scientific perspective, the pathology of Type 1 diabetes is more difficult to understand at the cellular level. As a result, it is a lot more difficult to design safe alternative solutions because it's not clear what is the specific root causes of this disease.
And, from an engineering science perspective, it is almost impossible to design an effective solution for a problem if you don't know what's causing the problem, that is you don't know the root causes of the problem.
I also believe that parents and children with this disease are sadly being misled as Western Medicine keeps its head buried in the sand, refusing to investigate alternative therapies.
This is unfortunate, because there appears to be some evidence that alternative solutions can be helpful when combined with insulin therapy.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that is entirely different from Type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is also known as insulin-dependent diabetes; and, used to be referred to as juvenile diabetes because it affected primarily children. However, that has changed recently, due to the increase with autoimmune diseases in adults.
Although medical science states that how Type 1 diabetes starts is unclear, it is pretty clear that there are several key factors associated with Type 1 diabetes as well as other autoimmune diseases, e.g. chronic inflammation, increase in antibodies, leaky gut syndrome, excess toxicity, oxidative stress, food sensitivities, etc.
Various immune cells including macrophages, dendritic cells (DCs), T cells, B cells, natural killer (NK) cells, are involved inflammation, oxidative stress and other harmful biological processes that cause damage to the pancreatic beta cells (which are responsible for producing insulin).
When the pancreas is injured usually due to a bacteria, virus, infection, drug, toxin, etc., the immune system has not had enough time to mature and be strong enough to fight off the effects, especially from multiple sources.
In response to the pancreas being injured or damaged, the immune system kicks in (as it's supposed to) to initiate the cell repair and healing process for the pancreas.
The first phase of the cell repair process is inflammation because the body needs extra blood and other elements (such as collagen) to repair and rebuild the damaged tissue. Actually, this is very similar to what happens to you when you cut your finger.
During this phase, macrophages are activated as part of the inflammation phase and cell repair process. During this time, the macrophages recruit other immune cells to help.
Normally, after the inflammation phase, the cell repair process proceeds to the proliferation and remodeling phases. However, during the inflammation phase, something goes awry. For some reason, the cells and tissues are not getting repaired, which prolongs the inflammation phase and causes more immune cells to be recruited.
Because the immune cells are not strong enough to fight off the virus, infection and other causal factors, the immune cells, specifically the macrophages, send out cytokine signals to recruit more immune cells -- T cells, including T Helper cells, Th1, Th2, and Th17.
Depending on the type of infection, the Th2 cells may indirectly recruit the B cells to create antibodies; while the macrophages may recruit more macrophages and more T cells.
The immune system tries to coordinate and balance the immune rsponse between the Th1 and Th2 cells as well as the Th17 and Treg cells, but, is unable to do so. In most cases, there are a lot more Th1 and Th17 cells, creating a major imbalance.
In addition, cytotoxic T cells are recruited -- their primary job is to kill the infected cells. However, if the infected cells happen to be the beta cells, then, the Tc or NKT cells start to destroy the beta cells! Other immune cells such as the macrophages, who's job is to kill the invading pathogens, attacks the infected or damaged beta cells, causing a further increase in the death of beta cells.
As inflammation increases causing more damage, there is an increase in free radicals causing an increase in oxidation, which further causes damage to the beta cells. This creates a vicious cycle of inflammation, oxidation, cell damage and cell death.
Unfortunately, this ends up creating more inflammation within the pancreas, which can lead to disorders and disease, including insulitis, beta cell dysfunction, and/or pancreatitis.
(Author's Note: When I was in the hospital after I came out of the diabetic coma, I was diagnosed with pancreatitis, along with severe hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, hypertriglyceridemia, deep vein thrombosis, (DVT), and NKHH coma. At the time, the doctors thought I had Type 1 diabetes until I asked for additional tests).
As the number of damaged beta cells increases, the amount of insulin production decreases causing a rise in blood glucose levels. This eventually leads to severe hyperglycemia, which usually goes unnoticed until the person starts to feel very tired and is urinating a lot, leading to a doctor's appointment.
These events may take years, but, in some cases, it can happen very quickly within several months -- especially if the patient has other health issues such as a leaky gut, an infection, or some other disease.
This all leads to cell dormancy, dysfunction, and finally death of the pancreatic beta cells. This eventually leads to less than 10% insulin production; and, in some cases, 0%. By then, the patient has been put on insulin to get the blood glucose back down to a reasonable and safe range.
Please Note: As you can see from the diagram, chronic inflammation fuels Type 1 diabetes (and Type 1.5 diabetes) and leads to the destruction of the beta cells. The key here is to understand that there are many factors and variables that can trigger and sustain the chronic inflammation, e.g. virus, infection, leaky gut, drugs (vaccines, antibiotics), "dead" foods, toxins, immune cells, etc. The key here is to eliminate these potential root causes as soon as possible.
Type 1 Diabetes Autoimmune Disease Pathogenesis Diagram
Unfortunately, some of this could have been delayed or averted if addressed sooner, before the disease got out of control.
However, despite these problems and the harsh reality that the patient will require insulin to maintain proper blood glucose levels, there are still some safe things (such as better nutrition) that can be done to make the disease more manageable and require less insulin and other drugs.
Unfortunately, doctors are unaware of how to use nutritional science to help the patient, since most doctors only took a 3-hour course in nutrition. In some cases, the beta cell damage could, at least, have been slowed down or stopped temporarily instead of allowing it to continue to accelerate.
Most people with Type 1 diabetes, especially children, are unaware of how to eat properly to reduce their body's need for so much insulin.
Of course, Type 1s will always need insulin, however, they can reduce their body's need for so much insulin. Why is this important? Because, the insulin is still a drug! And, if you can reduce the amount of drugs going into your body, that's a good thing.
However, most Type 1s are unaware of the importance of nutrition -- unless they learned about it from their parents or on their own. Instead, most type 1s are told to eat whatever they want and just take more insulin to compensate!
As previously mentioned, in Type 1 diabetes the pancreas does not produce enough of the hormone insulin or stops making it altogether. Insulin is vital to the process of moving glucose from the bloodstream into the body's cells, where it is used for energy. It also is needed to help the liver to store excess glucose.
Without sufficient insulin, the body is unable to process and use sugar properly to produce the energy that the body needs. Medically, this is known as an inability to metabolize glucose, which results in an abnormally high level of glucose in the blood, called hyperglycemia.
Left untreated, Type 1 diabetes can rapidly progress into life-threatening conditions, including diabetic ketoacidosis, hyperosmolar hyperglycemic nonketotic syndrome, shock, coma, and death.
It appears that two peaks of Type 1 diabetes incidences occur in childhood and adolescence—one between 5 and 7 yr of age, with the other occurring at or near puberty (Harjutsalo et al. 2008).
Beyond this, although many autoimmune disorders disproportionately affect women, Type 1 diabetes (T1D) appears to affect males and females equally. But, there is some debate whether there is a modest increase of T1D cases in males in early age (Weets et al. 2001; Krischer et al. 2004).
Long-term complications of Type 1 diabetes are serious and affect every major body organ. They include kidney failure, diabetic retinopathy, blindness, peripheral neuropathy, serious skin infections, gangrene, lower leg amputation, cardiovascular disease, stroke, disability, and death. Refer to the Diabetic Complications web page for more details.
About five to ten percent of all people with diabetes have Type 1 diabetes. The vast majority of people with diabetes in the U.S. have Type 2 diabetes.
Author's Sidebar: Because the majority of diabetics are Type 2, many people make the assumption that when they meet a diabetic, that the person is Type 2. Do not make that assumption! That is offensive to the person in question. Also, Type 1 diabetes tends to be a more difficult disease to manage and live with.
But some people mistakenly group the two diseases and think that what works for Type 2s will also work for Type 1s! Also, there is a stigma associated with Type 2s that some Type 1s do not like being associated with. Type 1s had no control over becoming diabetic, while most Type 2s could have avoided their diabetes by making better dietary and lifestyle choices.
So, please, always ask the person whether he or she is Type 1 or Type 2 -- and, do not make the assumption that the diseases are similar! And, do not assume that you know enough about diabetes to offer your two cents of advice -- more than likely, they've already heard it ...
Concerning the root cause of Type 1 diabetes, it is not clear what specifically causes Type 1 diabetes. However, at this time, it is believed that there is a multitude of possible causes. These possible causes include environmental factors and viruses that trigger an autoimmune response, in which the body's immune system destroys the insulin-producing cells (islet cells) of its own pancreas.
Exposure to certain viruses, environmental factors and certain foods/chemicals along with possible genetics may play a role in the development of the disease. Some other medical conditions, such as cystic fibrosis and alcoholism can damage the islet cells in the pancreas and result in Type 1 diabetes.
Prompt diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes and effective ongoing life-long treatment to normalize blood sugar levels in the blood are key to minimizing serious complications.
Symptoms include excessive thirst, excessive urination, fatigue, extreme hunger, significant weight loss, frequent yeast infections and urinary tract infections, blurred vision, impotence, nausea, vomiting, and dehydration.
Type 1 diabetes can be diagnosed during a routine office visit with a simple blood test, called a fasting blood glucose test, which will detect hyperglycemia. High levels of glucose can also be quickly detected with a random blood glucose test or an urinalysis performed on urine. The newest form of testing for diabetes is the glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test, which measures the average overall blood sugar for the past several months.
Management of Type 1 diabetes includes regular monitoring of blood sugar levels, eating a well-balanced healthy diet, and regular aerobic/anaerobic exercise.
Type 1 diabetes is treated with insulin injections, which must generally be given two to four times a day to maintain stable blood glucose levels. Eating superior, well-balanced, wholefood meals can help reduce the amount of insulin needed by the body, but, unlike Type 2 diabetes, a certain amount of insulin will always be required.
Note 1: Since most Type 1s tend to be children, it is imperative that the parents educate themselves about the disease, the drugs, nutrition, blood glucose testing, the signs of high/low blood sugar, etc. In addition, parents need to learn more than what the medical doctors tell them, especially about proper nutrition. Also, parents need to learn how to structure their home environment for their child such that it is a supportive and learning environment -- not a limiting and suffocating environment that may cause the child to rebel.
Note 2: One of the biggest mistakes that hurt Type 1s is the belief that they can eat whatever they want and compensate by injecting more insulin! This leads to unnecessary damage of the blood vessels and organs that could have been prevented or slowed down with a superior nutritional program.
Note 3: Even though vegetables cause the blood sugar of a Type 1 diabetic to rise, it is still much better for Type 1s to eat a plant-based diet that includes green vegetables and bright-colored vegetables. However, Type 1s should avoid drinking raw juices, and, instead, consider drinking green smoothies with fiber and fat along with 4-6 macronutrient-balanced meals -- to offset the sugar from the vegetables.
Type 1 Diabetes: Symptoms
The symptoms of Type 1 diabetes are often subtle, but they can become severe. They include:
- Increased thirst
- Increased hunger (especially after eating)
- Dry mouth
- Nausea and occasionally vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Frequent urination
- Unexplained weight loss (even though you are eating and feel hungry)
- Fatigue (weak, tired feeling)
- Blurred vision
- Heavy, labored breathing (Kussmaul respiration)
- Frequent infections of the skin, urinary tract, or vagina
- Signs of an emergency with type 1 diabetes include:
- Shaking and confusion
- Rapid breathing
- Fruity smell to the breath
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of consciousness (rare)
Type 1 Diabetes: Diagnostic Tests
The list of diagnostic tests for Type 1 diabetes includes:
- Physical examination
- Urine sugar test
- Blood glucose tests
- Fasting plasma glucose (FPG)
- Random plasma glucose
- Tests for ongoing monitoring of diabetes control:
- HbA1c blood test - an average blood sugar measure over about 3 months.
- Fructosamine blood test - an average blood sugar measure over about 2 weeks
- Oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT)
- C-peptide blood test
- Insulin level blood test
- Urine ketone tests
- Self-managed blood glucose testing
o Fingerprick blood drop blood glucose tests
o Urine glucose home testing
o Urine ketone home testing
- Type 1 diabetes antibody tests
- Insulin antibody tests
- Glutamic Acid Decarboxylase (GAD) antibody tests
- Islet cell antibody (ICA) tests (or Islet cell cytoplasma antibody test)
- Tyrosine phosphatase IA-2 test
- Tests for conditions related to Type 1 diabetes
- TSH blood test - tests thyroid function
- Vitamin B12 blood test - test for pernicious anemia and other digestive problems
What Causes Type 1 Diabetes?
Doctors don't know all the factors that lead to Type 1 diabetes and autoimmune dysfunction. It appears that the susceptibility to the condition can be inherited, but, there are other factors such as toxins, food chemicals and the environment.
Some of the causes of autoimmune dysfunction and Type 1 diabetes include the following:
- Bacteria, Fungi, Parasites, Other pathogens
- Environmental/chemical toxins, e.g. heavy metals, pesticides
- Chronic inflammation
- Oxidative stress
- Lack of sunlight (Vitamin D deficiency)
- Nutrient deficiencies, e.g. Vitamin A, Omega-3s, iodine
- Food intolerances, e.g. gluten, grain, cow's milk, dairy
- Leaky gut syndrome
- Stress and anxiety (stress hormone imbalance)
- Heredity or genetics
Some of the causes of pancreatic beta cell (β) dysfunction include the following:
- Diabetic drugs such as Glucophage, Glipizide, Glucotrol, and Amaryl either wear out the beta cells or cause damage to these cells.
- High blood glucose levels and excessive oxidative stress damage a key enzyme that guards insulin-producing beta cells.
- Chronic exposure to hyperglycemia can lead to beta cell dysfunction that may become irreversible over time, a process that is termed glucose toxicity.
- A high-carb diet or a diet full of processed foods and fast foods may lead to beta cell dysfunction.
Doctors have identified that an environmental trigger plays a role in causing the disease. Type 1 diabetes appears to occur when something in the environment -- a toxin or a virus (but doctors aren't sure) -- triggers the immune system to mistakenly attack the pancreas and destroy or damage the beta cells of the pancreas to the point where they can no longer produce sufficient insulin.
Markers of this destruction -- called autoantibodies -- can be seen in most people with Type 1 diabetes. In fact, they are present in 85% to 90% of people with the condition when the blood glucose levels are high.
Because it's an autoimmune disease, Type 1 diabetes can occur along with other autoimmune diseases such as hyperthyroidism from Grave's disease or the patchy decrease in skin pigmentation that occurs with vitiligo.
Autoimmune dysfunction occurs when immune system cells attack your own cells, such as cells associated with the skin, nerves, joints, muscles, pancreas, kidneys, eyes, thyroid and other glands.
When the autoimmune dysfunction is associated with the pancreas, it is the pancreatic beta cells that are attacked -- this is known as beta cell dysfunction.
Research scientists say that it is not clear how autoimmune dysfunction occurs, but we do know that when a virus invades the body, the immune system starts to produce antibodies that fight the infection. Immune cells known as T cells and B cells are in charge of making the antibodies, and then they also help in fighting the virus.
However, if the virus has some of the same antigens as the pancreatic beta cells, then, the immune cells can actually turn against the beta cells. As a result, the immune cells and its antibodies can destroy or damage the beta cells. And, when a large number of the beta cells in your body have been destroyed, your pancreas can't produce enough insulin.
It takes a long time (usually several years) for the immune cells to destroy the majority of the beta cells, but that original viral infection is one of the root causes that is believed to trigger the development of Type 1 diabetes.
Not every virus can trigger the immune cells to turn against the beta cells. The virus must have antigens that are similar enough to the antigens in beta cells, and those viruses include:
- B4 strain of the coxsackie B virus (which can cause a range of illnesses from gastrointestinal problems to myocarditis—inflammation of the muscle part of the heart)
- German measles
- Rotavirus (which generally causes diarrhea)
There have also been some controversial studies into the connection between drinking cow’s milk as an infant and the development of Type 1 diabetes.
Researchers don’t all agree on this, but some believe that the proteins in cow’s milk are similar to a protein that controls T cell production called glycodelin. The baby’s body attacks the foreign protein—the cow’s milk protein—but then also attacks glycodelin, leading to an overproduction of T cells. And too many T cells in the body can lead to those T cells destroying the beta cells.
Researchers have made significant progress in understanding the causes of Type 1 diabetes, and why certain viruses trigger it and why T cells turn against beta cells.
Who Gets Type 1 Diabetes?
Although the disease usually starts in people under the age of 20, Type 1 diabetes may occur at any age.
The disease is relatively uncommon, affecting 1 in 250 Americans. The condition is more common in whites than in blacks and occurs equally in men and women.
Type 1 Diabetes: Health Problem Consequences
In people with Type 1 diabetes, glucose isn't moved into the cells because insulin is not available. When glucose builds up in the blood instead of going into cells, the body's cells starve for nutrients and other systems in the body must provide energy for many important bodily functions.
As a result, high blood glucose develops and can cause the following problems:
Dehydration. The build up of sugar in the blood can cause an increase in urination (to try to clear the sugar from the body). When the kidneys lose the glucose through the urine, a large amount of water is also lost, causing dehydration.
Weight loss. The loss of sugar in the urine means a loss of calories which provide energy and therefore many people with high sugars lose weight. (Dehydration also contributes to weight loss.)
Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). Without insulin and because the cells are starved of energy, the body breaks down fat cells. Products of this fat breakdown include acidic chemicals called ketones that can be used for energy. Levels of these ketones begin to build up in the blood, causing an increased acidity.
The liver continues to release the sugar it stores to help out. Since the body cannot use these sugars without insulin, more sugars piles into the blood stream. The combination of high excess sugars, dehydration, and acid build up is known as "ketoacidosis" and can be life-threatening if not treated immediately.
Damage to the body. Over time, the high sugar levels in the blood may damage the nerves and small blood vessels of the eyes, kidneys, and heart and predispose a person to atherosclerosis (hardening) of the large arteries that can cause heart attack and stroke.
Retinopathy. This eye problem occurs in 75% to 95% of adults who have had diabetes for more than 15 years. Diabetic retinopathy in Type 1 diabetes is extremely rare before puberty no matter how long they have had the disease. Medical conditions such as good control of glucose, management of high blood pressure, and regulation of blood fats like cholesterol and triglycerides are important to prevent retinopathy. Fortunately, the vision loss isn't significant in most people with the condition.
Kidney damage. About 35% to 45% of people with Type 1 diabetes develop kidney damage, a condition called nephropathy. The risk for kidney disease increases over time and becomes evident 15 to 25 years after the onset of the disease. This complication carries significant risk of serious illness -- such as kidney failure and heart disease.
Poor blood circulation. Damage to nerves and hardening of the arteries leads to decreased sensation and poor blood circulation in the feet. This can lead to increased risk of injury and decreased ability to heal open sores and wounds, which in turn significantly raises the risk of neuropathy and amputation. Damage to nerves may also lead to digestive problems such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
For more details about health problem caused by diabetes, refer to the Diabetic Complications web page.
The good news is that these complications can be prevented or, at least, slowed down, by utilizing a superior nutritional program such as the DTD AIP & Autoimmune Diseases Nutritional Program or the Type 2 Diabetes Death to Diabetes Super Meal Program, with some slight modifications, i.e. avoid cow's milk/cheese and gluten-based products, eat more plant-based organically-grown foods.
Type 1 Diabetes (insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, IDDM) is associated with the inability of the pancreatic beta cells to produce insulin. This disease is classified as an autoimmune disease that attacks and kills the insulin-producing beta cells. The pancreas continues to form beta cells, but they are rapidly killed off by the malfunctioning immune system.
Type 1 diabetes used to be called childhood-onset diabetes, because it primarily afflicted children whose immune systems had not fully matured. But today adults in their 20s and 30s are now developing this disease.
Key Point 1: Because this disease primarily attacks children, we cannot emphasize enough that it is imperative that the parents of the child become educated in understanding diabetes, nutrition, and drugs -- beyond the conventional information about Type 1.
Children should be applauded for taking on the responsibility to manage their blood glucose every day. Parents should also be applauded for doing an excellent job caring for their child.
But if you want to prepare your child for their college years and beyond, it is imperative that you understand how to take caregiving to the next level -- and, create the proper environment that will prepare your child for the later years. Unfortunately, most parents miss a major opportunity to prepare their child's future beyond the early and teen years.
We recommend that you get a copy of our Diabetes Caregiving Guide to better understand how to prepare your child for the immediate future and beyond. It is critical that the parents educate themselves and act as role models for their child.
You may think that you are feeding healthy foods to your child, and you may think that you are doing everything for your child to protect his/her health. To help you to understand the knowledge that you are missing, we strongly recommend that you get Mr. McCulley's book (Death to Diabetes) along with a book about Type 1 diabetes such as Dr. Bernstein's book.
If you want to improve your child's quality of health for the future and lead him out of the darkness of ignorance, you must be his/her light.
And, in order to be his light, you must acquire the proper knowledge -- the superior knowledge that goes beyond what "the experts" have told you about diabetes and nutrition. That superior knowledge is in Mr. McCulley's book, especially the chapters about nutrition and blood glucose testing.
Although Mr. McCulley's book is focused on Type 2 diabetes, many of the nutritional protocols and super foods can be applied to Type 1 diabetics. The book also identifies the 5 key foods/chemicals that your child needs to avoid.
His book also identifies the 7 key areas that you need to address to ensure your child achieves optimum health, especially as he/she gets older. We also recommend that you get 1 or 2 other books about Type 1 diabetes to broaden your knowledge.
Key Point 2: Despite the similarities, Type 1 Diabetes is a much different disease than Type 2 Diabetes.
Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease with dead or dormant pancreatic beta cells that are not producing insulin. Type 2 Diabetes is a lifestyle-driven disease with trillions of metabolically defective cells that don't utilize the insulin produced by the pancreas.
Similar to other child-related diseases and various autoimmune diseases such as autism and lupus, Type 1 diabetes is on the increase.
This would appear to indicate that environmental factors such as exposure to chemicals and the wrong foods (i.e. cow' milk, fast foods, processed foods, animal meat) may play a bigger role than genetics.
As a result, there needs to be a lot of focused research to confirm this and provide better solutions to the parents and the children with Type 1 diabetes.
Many people with Type 1 diabetes live long, healthy lives because they learned how to take responsibility for their own health.
Unfortunately, many people with Type 1 diabetes are not told that they live even longer and healthier by safely reducing their body's need for large amounts of insulin.
The key to this is keeping the blood glucose and hemoglobin A1C within their target ranges by relying on activities like superior nutrition, proper meal planning, nutritional supplementation, exercise, blood glucose testing, and testing analysis -- instead of depending on large amounts of insulin therapy.
As most people are aware, people with Type 1 diabetes must use insulin injections to control their blood sugar. However, what most people are not aware of is that superior nutrition (e.g. plant-based diet) will help to reduce the amount of insulin that is needed.
And, by reducing the amount of insulin, this reduces the health problems associated with taking too much insulin. Don't forget that insulin is a drug, so by reducing the body's need for drugs, this helps to improve the overall health of the body and reduce the need for other medications!
Of course, people with Type 1 will always need to check their blood glucose levels regularly and make adjustments of insulin, food, and activities to maintain a blood glucose level within the normal range (80-100 mg/dl).
However, it is unfortunate that people with Type 1 diabetes are told that they can eat anything they want as long as they increase the amount of insulin to compensate for their food intake. This is wrong!
In the long run, it is better to eat healthier foods and reduce the body's need for large amounts of insulin! As previously mentioned, the insulin being injected is a drug!
Type 1s and even Type 2s are taught to carry some candy with them to combat low blood sugar episodes. This is okay for obvious emergencies but eating candy or taking sugar tablets every day should not be the norm! Again, in the long run, it is better to eat more frequent, healthier, balanced meals and snacks instead of over-compensating with eating too much candy because of low blood sugar!
One of the keys of any effective diabetes management program should be blood glucose stabilization -- consistent blood glucose readings with minimum fluctuations between the highs and lows.
Note: One of the side benefits of requiring less insulin is the reduction in the need for other medications for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc.
In order for a nutritional strategy for Type 1 diabetics to be effective, it must address diabetes management, blood glucose control and autoimmune dysfunction (i.e. beta cell dysfunction).
In order to achieve blood glucose stabilization, eat lots of green and bright-colored vegetables and drink raw vegetable juices to help provide maximum nutrition.
Key Point: Both Type 1s and Type 2s suffer unnecessarily, especially when a superior nutritional program can help to stabilize blood glucose levels, strengthen the immune system, and cleanse/detox the body, especially the pancreas (for Type 1s).
There must be an adequate intake of foods that don't require a lot of insulin and that provide antioxidants and other phytonutrients to keep the pancreas and other organs healthy.
Antioxidant-rich, low-insulin-response foods include most (organic) green and bright-colored vegetables and (some) fruits, i.e. broccoli, Brussel sprouts, string beans, spinach, kale, Romaine lettuce, celery, cucumbers, cantaloupe, berries, peppers, (cooked) tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and (organic) carrots. Other key foods include sea kelp, shitake mushrooms, goji berries, aloe vera gel, cabbage, okra, and eggplant.
Unfortunately, both Type 1s and Type 2s who try to eat properly still suffer because they're eating too many "dead" foods and too many so-called healthy foods that are not healthy for diabetics. Once they reduce or eliminate these foods and replace them with superior plant-based foods, both groups are able to achieve more consistent blood glucose stabilization.
Most people are aware that the pancreas controls blood glucose with its secretion of insulin to help lower blood glucose levels. But most people are unaware of the other hormone -- glucagon, which helps to raise blood sugar.
In addition, most people forget that the pancreas performs another key function -- secrete digestive enzymes to help break down the food we eat. That's one of the reasons why a plant-based digestive enzyme supplement may be important for most diabetics.
It is imperative that a Type 1 diabetic avoid all the 5 "dead" foods, especially the dairy, wheat, gluten, grains, hydrogenated oils, fatty animal meat, processed meats, and the refined processed foods made with sugar and flour. Type 1s should also avoid most soy products, except for the fermented ones, i.e. kefir, tempeh.
Beans can be a healthy alternative to meats, and in addition to being a low-fat source of protein, beans also provide fiber and B vitamins. Healthy bean choices for the pancreas include kidney beans, black beans, navy beans, garbanzo beans and lentils.
In addition to blood glucose stabilization, a sound nutritional program must address the autoimmune system dysfunction, specifically the beta cell dysfunction.
For example, make sure that you eat key foods and supplements that help to fight autoimmunity (and leaky gut syndrome) including, raw vegetables, fermented vegetables, wheat grass, bone broth, extra virgin coconut oil, chlorella, spirulina, l-glutamine, collagen protein powder,and unprocessed cod liver oil.
In addition, include anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich foods and herbs such as wild salmon, sardines, blueberries, flaxseed, garlic,turmeric, and extra virgin olive oil.
Also, eat herbs and foods and use compounds with antiviral properties such as echinacea, licorice root, astragalus; garlic, onions, lemons, turmeric, extra virgin coconut oil, and medicinal mushrooms; and colloidal silver. This, along with detoxing, will further help your immune system, especially if the primary root cause of your autoimmune dysfunction is virus/bacteria/infection-related.
Just as important (maybe even more important), make sure that you avoid the "trigger" foods, drugs, toxins, and chemicals that may trigger autoimmune dysfunction and damage the beta cells, e.g. white flour (alloxan), wheat, gluten, grains, cow's milk, most dairy, vegetable oils, canola oil, legumes/nuts, some diabetic drugs, and possibly other OTC/prescription drugs.
Use raw juicing to help get key nutrients into your cells and to help strengthen and rebalance your immune system.
Perform a periodic cleanse and detox to help fight most infections and remove accumulated toxins within your cells that may contribute to chronic inflammation and excess oxidation.
In addition, use nutritional supplements to complement your nutritional program, e.g. l-glutamine, Vitamin D3, Vitamin B-Complex.
When your body is fighting any disease, your immune system triggers its repair, regenerative and healing processes in order to overcome the various degenerative processes such as excess oxidation and toxicity.
However, in order to accomplish this, the body requires critical nutrients and other resources from various foods and herbs. But, the overuse of medications can block the body's regenerative and cell renewal processes by suppressing the symptoms associated with the disease.
For example, taking the drug metformin to lower one's blood sugar inhibits certain cell renewal processes and keeps the body in a diabetic state. As a result, anyone taking metformin for years, eventually has to go on insulin. Why? Because the drug did nothing to stop the progression of the diabetes; and, may, in fact, prevent the body from initiating its repair and healing processes.
Based on research that has been done for centuries about nutritional science and various super foods and nutrients, there are specific foods, nutrients and herbs that help to cleanse and detox the pancreas so that it can be repaired and healed by the body.
In fact, some clinical studies have shown that the pancreatic beta cells can be awakened from their dormancy to help produce insulin. This is a key point because if the beta cells are not completely destroyed, then, there is hope for some people with Type 1 diabetes.
Foods and Nutrients: Some of these foods, nutrients and herbs that are beneficial to the health of the pancreas and may help to regenerate or awaken dormant beta cells include: arginine*, artichokes, asparagus, avocado*, berberine*, biotin, bitter melon*, broccoli, cedar berries, corn silk*, curcumin* (turmeric), dandelion, garlic, fermented vegetables, flaxseed, garlic, goldenseal, genestein*, gymnema sylvestre*, licorice root, medicinal mushrooms, onions, olive leaf extract, oregano, probiotics, pumpkin seeds, raw honey* (manuka), raw vegetable juices, spinach, Swiss chard*, and organic yogurt (with active cultures).
Note: Foods with an asterisk (*) have been identified as possibly being able to regenerate the beta cells. Refer to the Clinical Studies web page for more details.
Note: All green, leafy vegetables contain myrtillin, a sugar lowering substance. And, fresh raw foods, like cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, garlic, onions, and Swiss chard are all rich in much needed sulfur.
Cedar berries have antiviral, antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties which stimulate the immune system, cleanse the lymph system, and it is noted as an excellent detoxifying agent for the expulsion of toxins from the system.
In addition, cedar berries can regulate the normal function of the pancreas, have a high concentration of insulin and may be helpful in healing the pancreas.
Bitter melon is an herb that has demonstrated the ability to stimulate beta cell regeneration in diabetic rats. Indian J Exp Biol. 2007 Dec;45(12):1055-62. PMID: 18254212 Abstract Author: Neera Singh, Manushma Gupta.
Bitter melon contains three potent compounds which work together for the healing of pancreatic beta cells — oleanolic acid glycosides, charanti, and polypeptide P which is an insulin like polypeptide which helps to lower blood sugar. All three together and especially oleanolic acid glycosides seem to increase the number of beta cells in the pancreas.
Gymnema sylvestre is an herb that is native to the tropical region of southern and central India where it is known as "the sugar destroyer" and has been used as a naturopathic treatment for diabetes for centuries. It is a very effective and potent herb in managing and controlling diabetes.
Scientific researches done since 1990, has shown that gymnema can help people with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes Its active component, gymnema sylvestre extract (GS4), acts by raising the number of beta cells in the pancreas. Thus, the internal production of insulin is enhanced.
Goldenseal can lower blood sugar levels and help the pancreas with its overall function by stimulating the beta cells within the pancreas.
Horsetail is rich in silica, which helps the body heal and rebuild damaged tissue that become damaged due to inflammation of the pancreas.
Licorice root is thought to be an excellent treatment for many problems with pancreas. Traditional Chinese medicine has used licorice root for thousands of years.
Sea algae contains high levels of beta-carotene, antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and gamma linolenic acid (GLA). The high density of nutrients found in algae help strengthen the human cell’s membrane, and the cellular function. Algae contain high levels of antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory micro-nutrients to fuel metabolism and the detoxification process. Also, it appears that sea algae strengthens the function of the mitochondria – the power plants within cells that produce energy required to carry out various cell functions.
Yogurt with active cultures are a good source of probiotics, beneficial bacteria which help keep the immune system and digestive system functioning at their best.
Detox: In addition to eating healthy foods with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, detoxing the pancreas (and liver) to remove harmful toxins (e.g. chemicals, metals) is very beneficial to healing the pancreas.
Note: Refer to the Clinical References web page and the Clinical References listed in the Appendix of the Death to Diabetes book for more details about the clinical references and applicable studies.
Note: No other diabetes book or program focuses on how to nourish cleanse, and protect the pancreas! (which is especially critical to Type 1 diabetics).
Note: In addition to more frequent blood glucose testing, the following Super Meal diabetes planning attributes are more critical to a Type 1 vs. a Type 2: Meal timing, meal consistency, meal frequency, meal content, carb/protein/fat ratio, number of carbs, and type of carbs.
Note: We are not experts when it comes to Type 1 diabetes, so we recommend that you get a book that is strictly focused on Type 1 diabetes, such as Dr. Bernstein's book "The Diabetes Solution".
Note: Interestingly, Dr. Bernstein also happens to be an engineer just like Mr. McCulley. So, maybe, there is something unique about engineers and their approach to solving problems like diabetes.
Note: If you have an autoimmune disease such as Type 1 diabetes, we also recommend that you get the DTD How to Treat Autoimmune Diseases Naturally book along with the Death to Diabetes book, Raw Juicing book, and the Cleanse-Detox book.
Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes are two entirely different diseases even though they "sound" alike. In fact, years ago, Type 2 diabetes was misnamed because it was originally thought to be a variation of Type 1 diabetes. As a result, the medical profession gave these patients insulin just like they had done with Type 1 diabetics.
However, in this case, when these patients were given insulin, many of them died! A few years later, the doctors realized that they had made a mistake! These patients did not have Type 1 diabetes! But, instead of the medical profession admitting that they made a mistake, they gave the disease a similar name calling it type 2 diabetes. Given what we know today, the disease should have been called something like Metabolic Disease or Metabolic Syndrome or Metabolic Hormonal Disease or some combination of these words.
Unfortunately, because Type 2 diabetes was misnamed, there is a lot of confusion and misinformation about Type 1 diabetes versus Type 2 diabetes. This has led to a lot of anger, frustration, acrimony, and in-fighting between the two groups -- instead of working together for the common good. This is unfortunate especially for the parents and the children who have to suffer unnecessarily with Type 1 diabetes.
1. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. Type 2 is a lifestyle-driven disease. As a result, they are two entirely different diseases! But, because the names are similar, it creates confusion and uncertainty that leads to anger and fear, all of which is unnecessary.
2. Type 1 diabetics have to take insulin or they will die. Type 1s have to manage their diabetes or they will die. Type 2s don't have to manage their diabetes as carefully. As a result, many Type 1s tend to eat healthier and are healthier than many Type 2s.
3. The pathology of Type 1 diabetes is entirely different for almost every child! Consequently, there is no one-size-fits-all solution! Factors include age, pathology, genetics, immune system maturity, environment, parents' knowledge, etc.
4. With the increase of autoimmune diseases such as Type 1 diabetes, autism, lupus, etc., this indicates that genetics may not be the primary reason for this increase. Consequently, parents need to learn about other areas besides prescription drugs such as nutrition, super foods, potentially harmful foods (i.e. cow's milk, cereal), food additives, neurotoxins, other chemicals, and various environmental factors.
5. Parents of Type 1s need to educate themselves about medical science, drugs, plus parents need to learn all they can about proper nutrition and other (safe) alternative methodologies. Parents need to be aware of the many so-called health foods that are not that healthy, i.e. milk, cereal, bread, tap water, fruit juice.
6. Parents of multiple children with allergies appear to become more susceptible to eventually having a child with an autoimmune disease such as Type 1 diabetes, autism, etc. This is partially due to the toxic and chemical onslaught that takes advantage of a child's immature immune system.
7. Type 1 diabetes cannot be "fixed" via diet like Type 2 diabetes. However, although vegetables still cause the child's blood sugar to rise, a plant-based diet is still more beneficial to Type 1s than processed foods and fast foods.
8. Parents of Type 1s should expand their healthcare team to include a diabetes educator, health coach, or similar professional who has a proven and documented track record and in-depth science-based understanding of diabetes and its pathology. Note: There are a lot of nutritionists, dietitians, health advocates, consultants, etc. who think they understand nutrition, but they lack the scientific perspective and insights to nutritional science to design specific wellness protocols that address specific disease pathologies.
9. The medical profession should move away from being business/profit-focused and instead focus on the root cause and an authentic cure for Type 1 diabetes instead of a bunch of drugs and band-aids to "manage" the disease.
10. It's unfortunate, but, a lot of Type 1 diabetes could be avoided or the health impact reduced if the medical profession put there ego aside and tested parents and their children before school age. If either parent has or had an autoimmune disease or problems with allergies, or if specific genetic traits or protein markers are present, or if a previous child had Type 1 or some other autoimmune disease, then, the nutritional profile of the current child should be changed immediately.
The diet should be changed to a plant-based nutritional program combined with the avoidance of specific foods including most dairy (esp. cow's milk, cheese), wheat, gluten, processed foods, soda, diet soda, artificial sweeteners, vegetable oils, etc.
Note: Worse case scenario: Even if this didn't work, the child will still be healthier! Best case scenario: The child doesn't develop Type 1 diabetes. Also, the medical profession will be a lot smarter because they would be collecting real proof and real data that could eliminate or at least reduce the occurrence rates of this disease.
11. The school system and other related groups need to be educated about Type 1 diabetes in order to support the parents of the children with Type 1. Parents need to receive a lot more support than what they're currently getting.
12. Besides medicines, there needs to be a lot of research in other areas such as nutrition, certain foods (i.e cow's milk), food additives, neurotoxins, other chemicals, and various environmental factors.
13. There appears to be some evidence that there are some viable alternative therapies (e.g. diet, detox, juicing) that can be helpful for Type 1s when combined with insulin therapy. Although all Type 1s will still be required to take some insulin, the amount of insulin can be safely reduced over a period of time.
14. Given the lack of real support from the medical community, the government, ADA, CDC, FDA, JDRF, and the other hundreds of groups, parents need to educate themselves about the disease beyond what the doctors tell them. For example, many parents are unaware of the benefits of a plant-based diet for their children with Type 1 diabetes.
15. Similar to Type 2 diabetes, when Type 1 diabetes isn't well controlled, it can result in serious or life-threatening problems, including: retinopathy, neuropathy, nephropathy, heart attacks and strokes.
Although the focus of the Death to Diabetes book is Type 2 diabetes, many of the nutrition and wellness principles in the book can be applied to Type 1 Diabetes with the proper medical, lifestyle and nutritional guidance.
In addition, if you have an autoimmune disease such as Type 1 diabetes, get the author's How to Treat Autoimmune Diseases Naturally ebook to understand how to address autoimmune system dysfunction without the need for drugs.
This book addresses Type 1 diabetes as well as several other autoimmune diseases including:
Refer to the Clinical References web page for a comprehensive list of references about Type 1 diabetes, including possible nutritional recommendations.
- Possible regeneration of the Islets of Langerhans in Streptozotocin-diabetic rats given Gymnema sylvestre leaf extract, J. Ethnopharmacology 30:265-279 (1990). Shanmugasundaram, E.R.B. et al (Dr Ambedkar Institute of Diabetes, Kilpauk Medical College Hospital, Madras, India).
- Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med. 2012 Nov; 2(11): a007641. The Pathogenesis and Natural History of Type 1 Diabetes, Mark A. Atkinson
- Effect of nicotinamide therapy upon B-cell function in newly diagnosed type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetics. Diabetologia 1989;32:160–2. Mendola G, Casamitjana R, Gomis R.
- Relationship between cows’ milk consumption and incidence of IDDM in childhood. Diabetes Care 1991;14:1081–3. Dahl-Jorgensen K, Joner G, Hanssen KF.
- Type I (insulin-dependent) diabetes mellitus and cow milk: casein variant consumption. Diabetologia 1999;42:292-6. Elliott RB, Harris DP, Hill JP, et al.
- A bovine albumin peptide as a possible trigger of insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. Children antibodies cross-react with and damage the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas. N Engl J Med 1992;327:302-7. Karajalainen J, Martin JM, Knip M, et al.
- Cow’s milk exposure and type I diabetes mellitus. Preliminary studies have found that early introduction of cows’ milk formula feeding increases the risk of developing type 1 diabetes. Diabetes Care 1994;17:13-9. Gerstein H.
- Biotin status and plasma glucose in diabetics. Type 1 diabetics were given 16 mg of biotin per day for one week, their fasting glucose levels dropped by 50%. Ann NY Acad Sci 1985;447:389-92. Coggeshall JC, Heggers JP, Robson MC, Baker H.
- A population based strategy to prevent insulin-dependent diabetes using nicotinamide. Healthy children at high risk for type 1 diabetes (such as the healthy siblings of children with type 1 diabetes) may be protected from the disease by supplementing with niacinamide, but only under doctor supervision. J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab 1996;9:501-9, Elliott RB, Picher CC, Fergusson DM, Stewart AW.
- The Deutsche Nicotinamide Intervention Study. An attempt to prevent type 1 diabetes. Supplementing with niacinamide may not help prevent type 1 diabetes. Diabetes 1998;47:980-4. Lampeter EF, Klinghammer A, Scherbaum WA, et al.
- Insulin Cells Persist in Long-standing Diabetes. Study showed that the majority (88 percent) with type 1 diabetes for up to 60 years still had detectable insulin-producing beta cells in their pancreas. According to Dr. P. C. Butler: Type 1 could, theoretically, be cured by stopping the beta cells from being destroyed. Therefore, type 1 diabetes may be reversible by targeted inhibition of beta cell destruction. Additional studies being funded by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Reuters Health, June 2005; Diabetes Today; Dr. P. C. Butler, University of California, Los Angeles, CA.
- Effect of extended release gymnema sylvestre leaf extract (Beta Fast GXR) alone or in combination with oral hypoglycemics or insulin regimens for type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Diabetes In Control Newsletter 2001;76. Joffe DJ, Freed SH.
- Effect of Extended Release Gymnema Sylvestre Leaf Extract (Beta Fast GXR) Alone or In Combination With Oral Hypoglycemics or Insulin Regimens for Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes. The use of Gymnema Sylvestre (Beta Fast GXR®) supplementation in all patients with diabetes has a positive result. Reducing postprandial blood glucose significantly caused a decrease of HbA1c, therefore reducing the complications from diabetes. Diabetes In Control Newsletter, Issue 76 (1) : 30 Oct 2001. Joffe, DJ; Freed, SH.
- Beneficial effects of increasing monounsaturated fat intake in adolescents with type 1 diabetes. Diabetes Res Clin Pract 2000;48:193–9. Donaghue KC, Pena MM, Chan AK, et al.
- Vitamin D May Cut Risk of Type 1 Diabetes. There is new evidence that children who get plenty of vitamin D, either from supplements or sun exposure, have a reduced risk of developing type 1 diabetes. WebMD Health News.
- Knip, M.; Veijola, R.; Virtanen, S. M.; Hyoty, H.; Vaarala, O.; Akerblom, H. K. (2005). "Environmental Triggers and Determinants of Type 1 Diabetes". Diabetes 54: S125. doi:10.2337/diabetes.54.suppl_2.S125. PMID 16306330.
- "Nutritional risk predictors of beta cell autoimmunity and type 1 diabetes at a young age". The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 78 (6): 1053–67. PMID 14668264
- Hyppönen E, Läärä E, Reunanen A, Järvelin MR, Virtanen SM (November 2001). "Intake of vitamin D and risk of type 1 diabetes: a birth-cohort study". Lancet. 358 (9292): 1500–3. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(01)06580-1. PMID 11705562
- Elliott RB, Pilcher CC, Fergusson DM, Stewart AW (1996). "A population based strategy to prevent insulin-dependent diabetes using nicotinamide". Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology & Metabolism. 9 (5): 501–9. doi:10.1515/JPEM.19126.96.36.1991. PMID 8961125
- Soltesz G, Patterson CC, Dahlquist G (October 2007). "Worldwide childhood type 1 diabetes incidence—what can we learn from epidemiology?". Pediatric diabetes. 8. Suppl 6 (s6): 6–14. doi:10.1111/j.1399-5448.2007.00280.x. PMID 17727380
- Pagliuca, FW; Millman, JR; Gürtler, M; Segel, M; Van Dervort, A; Ryu, JH; Peterson, QP; Greiner, D; Melton, DA (9 October 2014). "Generation of functional human pancreatic β cells in vitro.". Cell. 159 (2): 428–39. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2014.09.040. PMID 25303535
- Antvorskov, Julie C.; Josefsen, Knud; Engkilde, Kåre; Funda, David P.; Buschard, Karsten (2014-01-01). "Dietary gluten and the development of type 1 diabetes". Diabetologia. 57 (9): 1770–1780. PMID 24871322.
- The Epidemiology, Pathogenesis, and Treatment of Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus By Ishita Aggarwal 2015, VOL. 7 NO. 11
Note: There are 5 stages of progression associated with most cases of beta cell dysfunction. Refer to the Death to Diabetes Blog for more details.
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