Type 1 diabetes . . . cured?

Carrie posted this wonderfully thought-provoking comment about her diabetic son:

My 13 yr old son was diagnosed over a year ago with Type 1 [diabetes]. Before his diagnosis, I was very ‘green’ — bought organic foods, bought meat from free-range, grass-fed local farms, cleaned my house with products I made myself from vinegar and natural products. But we did follow the low-fat, low-calorie, high-fiber, healthy whole grain diet. We were told “eat whatever you want” — just dose for it [with insulin] and be healthy (yep: low-fat, high-fiber, etc.)

I didn’t think so: If he has a carb problem, then limit carbs! We immediately went low-carb, causing us to remove a lot of wheat products, but didn’t know about the damages of gluten then.

His last two A1Cs [hemoglobin A1c’s, a 60-90 day reflection of blood sugar fluctuations] have been 5.3% [normal range]. He was taken off his basal insulin and his bolus, continuing to less and less. Today, he is OFF insulin! YES, he is a Type 1 diabetic: They double-checked for the antibodies in case he was misdiagnosed–they are there. Even without insulin, his blood sugars are better than me or his dad, or even sister (we all check now). And all this while growing over 5 inches in one year, going through puberty and the stomach flu with no problems (scary for Type 1 diabetics).

His doctors are amazed. We all still did not know how he was this way, until someone shared with me Wheat Belly. We are all going completely gluten-free now and staying low-carb. Maybe my asthma will be gone and my daughter’s horrible itchy rash all over her arms will finally leave!

Absolutely wonderful book, thank you!

Wow. We know that consumption of modern wheat is associated with causing type 1 diabetes in children, average age of onset 4 years old. This is true in humans, as well as in two experimental models for type 1 diabetes in both rats and mice. This is not to say that all type 1 diabetes is caused by wheat consumption, but that an important subset is caused by wheat. But then how many other correctable causes of type 1 diabetes are you aware of?

Think about this: Type 1 diabetes in children, a diagnosis for life for the majority of those afflicted, a potentially fatal disease prior to the availability of insulin, is caused by consumption of wheat in some kids. That alone is concerning.

What if ALL kids with type 1 diabetes did what Carrie’s son did and rejected all things wheat? Would some enjoy the same apparent regeneration of pancreatic beta cells that allowed her son to become non-type 1 diabetic?

There is no answer, as the clinical trial to provide the answer has not been performed. But is this incredibly exciting or what? Even if only 1% are cured, why not try? That 1% can be spared this life long diagnosis.

No: Humans are NOT meant to consume “healthy whole grains.” Our intolerance can show up as type 1 diabetes in kids, type 2 diabetes in kids and adults, acid reflux, bowel urgency, autoimmune diseases, dementia, seizures, hypertension, water retention, paranoia, anxiety, eating disorders, or just feeling rotten. It can show up in a myriad of ways because they do not belong in the human body.

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Comments & Feedback...

  1. Anne de Selliers

    I was most interested by Dan and Sally Roman’s story of how they treated their two diabetic boys without insulin, but with a very well studied diet.
    Over eighty years ago, in early 1930, I lived the same experience in Belgium (Europe).
    When I was three or four years old, I fell very ill and the doctor diagnosed a type 1 diabetes. He prescribed insulin.
    My mother was an intelligent, educated and independent woman and she knew a lot about the side effects and the dependence for life with insulin, and she refused the insulin against the doctor’s advice. She decided to treat me with a no sugar no starch diet.
    She tried through trial and error. As a child I was always obliged to pee in my pot so my mother or Nanny could test my urine for sugar after every meal. The composition of every meal was dutifully written down in a special notebook, with the results of the test.
    At first, all sugar or starch was prohibited. I was given meat, fish, milk, eggs, nuts, some vegetables, and a gluten-biscuit for diabetics, but no other biscuits or cakes, nor bread or pasta, no sugary fruits, no carrots, and nothing else containing sugar or starch. Very slowly, different fruits or vegetables were added, when the tests would allow it.
    I was given cod-liver oil and raw calf’s liver to make me strong! Horrid!
    I remember when I was five or six, I stole some sugar and hid it under my pillow so as to eat it in secret. My tests went bad and my theft was immediately discovered! And I was punished!
    I went to elementary school at six, but took all my meals at home, except that I brought some milk at school for my ten o’clock snack, because bread was still forbidden.
    Very progressively, I could eat a larger variety of food without problems, and at eleven years old, just before the war, I could eat everything. Completely cured!
    I am now 84, and have enjoyed a good health with no more diabetic problems, and I had six healthy children in a row.
    I am so infinitely grateful to my mother who, like Sally Roman, had the courage to go against the doctor’s advice and imagine a cure to my diabetes.
    Doctors have always listened to my story with utmost skepticism. That is why I am so happy to read that the Romans are treating their children with a Health-e-Solution lifestyle.
    Keep it on, it worked for me eighty years ago, and will surely work for them.

    • We have a similar story in our family, from the 1920s, when insulin either wasn’t available, or the family couldn’t afford it. The diagnosis was diabetes (were they distinguishing between T1D & T2D then?) The child was put on what we would now call a ketogenic diet. The condition vanished after some time, and did not reappear. It’s possible that it was a misdiagnosis, and that it really was acute pancreatitis.

      The genetic predisposition for T1D is reportedly falling, yet the incidence of the ailment is rising. Something is afoot, and it’s gaining on us. Unlike blame-the-victim-T2D excuses from ADA & FDA, no one can make a case that between conception and toddler stage, the kids are choosing too much junk food and playing too many videogames. Something else is the trigger for T1D.

      Are we looking at an effect of maternal or infant nutrition? If so, keep an eye on Sweden, which seems to be leading the world in abandoning high carb low fat suicide, and migrating to LCHF. If there’s a cause&effect relationship here, we should see some childhood statistical results in the next few years.

      • Ali

        Yes, I believe you have something here. I am sure that pancreatitis is a big factor in many cases of diabetes. But what the heck is driving it?

        There are so many possible factors. Vaccinations, antibiotics, modern grains, highly-processed high Omega 6 vegetable oils that clog the cells, nutrient-devoid sugars and other foods, chemical additives, highly-processed soy products, pasteurisation of dairy – killing beneficial bacteria and microbes, etc., etc. Or maybe it’s a combination of some or all of them.

        Whatever it is, it is driven by something we are doing or not doing, eating or not eating in our diet and lifestyle. Personally, I believe one of the biggest factors is not just what we do or have, but what we don’t do or have. It is likely that the pancreas may be one of the first organs to suffer nutrient deficiency.

        Whilst our ancestors would consume a wide range of foods to ensure a good supply of all the nutritional elements, our diet tends to be quite narrow. There is a lot of different food produced, but it is produced within quite a narrow range of ingredients. We rarely, if ever consume properly lactic-fermented foods like most of our ancestors did in some form. We don’t get raw dairy, or pastured animal meat and eggs. We don’t get good nutritious fruit and vegetables grown in highly nutritious soil. We don’t get pure natural water rich in minerals and trace elements. We don’t get clean, pure air, or sunlight that doesn’t have to try and shine through miles of pollution. We don’t commune with nature or feel the good green grass under our feet. Vitamin D can’t get into our skin through the layers of sun block we slap on at every glimpse of the sun.

        Beri-beri is a deficiency of vitamin B1, Pellagra is a deficiency of vitamin B3, Scurvy is a deficiency of vitamin C, what is Diabetes a deficiency of? Interestingly, many of the symptoms of sub-clinical Beri-beri also overlap Diabetes.

        What we think we know, and what we really know are at opposite ends of the spectrum…….

        • Graham

          Good comment, i too believe this could be the case, that we are deficient in something. I go even further and believe that EVERY disease known to man is actually a deficiency of some vitamin or mineral. Does anyone know exactly how much of each vitamin and mineral we should have to be of optimal health for every year of our lives (as i guess this will change as we age)? I would love to find that website, believe me i’ve looked for it.

    • Dr. Davis

      Thanks for sharing your wonderful story, Anne. Your mother was light years ahead, wasn’t she?

    • Smeeta

      Hi Annie
      Can you elaborate the diet you followed. I have an 9 year old niece who has been on insulin for the past 2 years now. I am sincerely looking for an alternative for a gradual cure.
      I am really happy for u. Please help me and god bless.

  2. momma V

    Hello, everyone, I posted a comment a couple of months ago, and my son has since had 2 check-ups. His A-1C level is now a 6.0!!!! When he was first diagnosed as Type 1 in March, it was 9.5. Since going Gluten- free He has not had any insulin and his BS #’s are almost perfect. His dr.’s are amazed. There are many people blogging about the honeymoon phase, and I’m well aware of what could happen in 6 months, but Hey, my baby doesn’t have to get a shot everytime he eats, and our whole family is lighter, brighter, and full of energy. Why would you not want that for your family? Thanks, Dr. Davis,

  3. Hi,

    I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes back in December 2009 after being very ill, I was ketoacidosis, when I presented myself at the hospital. I have since been doing a lot of different protocols and one being to reduce grains, I use QUINOA as a substitute and it’s truly wonderful stuff! I have now started a new protocol and have been off the insulin since the 31st July 2013, my bloods are balanced at this time. I would be very interested in talking with the author of this article and indeed anyone else who is having success in managing this condition. It is very important for people seeking alternative approaches to support each other and hear each others stories. I can be contacted on diabetesmystory@hotmail.co.uk. Thank you, Life, Light and Love to all :)

  4. Carrie

    Just an update- my son is still insulin free! No finger pricking (except twice a week, just to be sure) and no insulin!
    And that itchy, red rash my daughter has had for over 3 years is GONE! She was to so many different doctors trying to figure it out and no one had an answer. She eliminated gluten and it’s finally gone. She’ll have scars from it, but she feels so much better! And her constant runny nose- gone! She called me from college one day to say her roommates bought pizza and she gave in and ate some but got so sick she ended up vomiting it all out.
    My husband is the thinnest he’s been since high school!

    • Brigid Skelton

      Gluten is not the issue. Gluten is a protein which, in itself, does not affect blood sugar/insulin levels. The person in the article removed wheat and other sources of carbohydrates (starches & sugars) from her son’s diet.

  5. So, my 7 year old was diagnosed 6 months at 6. In the hospital I asked tons of questions, very firmly. I asked “in the history of the world, has type 1 diabetes ever been reversed?” She answered unequivocally “No!” I asked about diet, again, she said “no”. I said we have only bought pure cane, and pure maple into our house… she said “nope”. Then the endocrinologist showed up, to explain further. I asked the same questions, He said, “no”. I said I’ll put him on a protein only diet, he said “he needs carbs”. My son is being treated by a team of 3 doctors who work out of The Children’s Hospital of SW Florida. (I understand that nobody gets paid unless that little vile of Novolog is sold). Since being diagnosed, we are bombarded by friends and family and strangers who tell us to do this, try this, eat this, don’t eat this… They tell me stories of … “well, in Russia it helped so and so…” We are yet to see 1 count them 1 child or person on video saying I used to have Type 1 but now because My mother doesn’t give me bread, I’m ok…. Friends On Facebook show support, not for a cure but for a pump, because their child is doing great after 15 years. All those people are morons I suppose, because all they had to do was not eat bread… WE walk with JDRF last week, with actual children who have type 1 diabetes. Nobody was there saying “just say no to bread”. Or gluten…. Every society throughout civilization, was a wheat based society. They flourished by eating a wheat based diet. Asia, Middle East, Europe all wheat based societies that survived to bring us to this point in history, yet the book says don’t eat wheat? So perhaps you can understand my skepticism at the rhetoric posted here. I’m on this site searching, for something… We are all desperate to fix our children, but the flippancy here kind of blows my mind. Got another friend sending me to some foo foo Skin Care specialist who analyzes blood. Yeah, it’s friggin weird I know, she the “doctor”, has yet to produce an insulin key tone less 6 year old, but we will go anyway. Or maybe I’ll just cut out the bread. What was I thinking? Let me know when you got a kid on video who used to have BG of 400 -60 and now is 80 -150 and I’ll buy 100 books.

    • Dr. Davis

      The ONLY hope a type 1 diabetic has of potentially bringing a halt to the autoimmune destruction of pancreatic beta cells is to IMMEDIATELY remove all sources of gliadin and gliadin-like proteins from the diet: wheat, rye, barley, and corn.

      The experimental and human data are quite clear: Wheat causes the autoimmune process leading to type 1 diabetes in a subset of people. What is NOT clear is just how many people who have grain-induced type 1 can hope for remission upon immediate removal.

      The angry type 1 diabetics or parents of type 1 diabetics who argue that this is wrong are referring to the chronic presence of type 1 diabetes, long after all pancreatic beta cells have been destroyed. I am talking about the acute situation upon diagnosis or, even better, before it happens. These are two completely different situations.

    • Graham

      What is now passed off as wheat is not what it used to be, Do a search on GreenMedInfo using the search word of ‘wheat’ and see what you get.

  6. Im finding the cure to Type I

    Its really sad to see mothers with children who have type I be so brainwashed, discouraged and handled terribly with fear to control type I. Thank goodness I see doctors and nurses as pure brainwashed by a modern conventional system. The second my daughter was diagnosed, the crazy docs prescribed high doses of insulin and a diet plan with more carbs than I myself eat for my 8 yr old daughter. They have NO CLUE about real nutrition and diet. They are so brainwashed. The truth about type 1 is that it is curable, you are just dealing with a situation of a very broken and damaged gut system that needs to be restored, and the real way to restore it is through avoiding the high glycemic foods, the grains/wheat/glutens especially, avoiding all processed foods, and eating the way a human being must eat. RAW FOOD, ORGANIC (NOT pasteurized fake milk, packaged snacks and foods that have tons of preservatives and ingredients that destroy your DNA and blood cells over time, and if you’re going to eat animal meats, get grass fed cow, free range chickens. All the food you get from typical supermarkets is so beyond contaminated through the production, packaging, and toying around with additive ingredient process that its basically going to slowly destroy the cells of whomever consumes it. People need to realize the reality that conventionally practicing doctors and surgeons are not real thinkers. They are not taught to think, but to follow and abide by a system. A system that is so corrupt beginning with the food industry, the pharmeceudical industry etc. We need to realize that these types of diseases can be cured when we go back to the basics of health and nutrition.
    It takes a lot of guts, independent thinking and questioning, and going “against the grain” in the literal and metaphoric sense.
    What this cardiologist is saying and revealing about modern wheat, glutens and grains is scarily true and ought to provoke all those who are dealing with a type 1 diabetic situation to wake-up and take charge through nutrition, not typical “insulin dependence-eat whatever I feel” mentality. We must avoid the false understanding of food/grains the way conventional nurses and doctors see it.

    • Dr. Davis

      Wow. Powerfully and persuasively said!

      I agree wholeheartedly. The healthcare system, the one I’ve worked in for over 20 years, is so out of touch with health that it would be laughable if the consequences weren’t so awful. Among the most ignorant in nutrition? Physicians and dietitians.

  7. Wow, *love* this post; I wholeheartedly believe!
    I am also a type 1, diagnosed in February, and through cutting out all grains (and sugar, processed carbs etc) then have managed to stabilise and maintain my blood sugars. I do believe it’s possible; I’ve read about many others who have done so too.

    You can read more about my story / journey at mysweetlife.co.uk or http://www.facebook.com/mysweetlife

    Anything’s worth an attempt: if we shoot for the moon we may land amongst the stars… :)

  8. David Rozell

    Hello,my name is David & I have had Type 1diabetes now for 21yrs,have struggled alot with this & would like to change my diet to better myself,have had alot of seizures from low sugar & other various problems,would like to heal myself so this nolonger hangs over me,its hard to work & make ends meet dealing with sugar,I also have a son & want to be around for him later in life without health issues,if you could help direct me in ways of healing Please email me at drozell1975@gmail.com Ty so much & this has gave me hope,Im also trying to gain weight cause Im to skinny,let me know of ways to function at work,gaining weight & natural energy needed throughout my days,I wanna say Goodbye to Insulin shots & checking sugars

    • Paul

      Hi David,
      I read the article then scrolled down to see what folks have to say about it. I then saw your comment. First of all I am not discrediting the story about the kid with T1 and his “cure”. But, we must remember that T1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease which means it’s with us forever, no matter what you eat or how you live your life. Afterall, the author of the story stated that they went back to the Dr. to ensure the child was…are you ready? still diabetic and they STILL found the antibodies (which show his body was treating itself as a body inflicted with a beta cell killing virus). For me, the jury is still out on this case (if he was really cured). I WILL vouch for cutting down (or completely cutting out) carbs. For me, carbs skyrocket my BG’s and I have to bolus to correct. Most of my foods are lean meats, eggs, nuts and fruits. My BG’s are great 90% of the time except when I eat fruits or the occasion when I go out and splurge on a burger and beer. On those occasions I bolus appropriately and all is well. I also get plenty of exercise, and that is vital. There are many YouTube vids telling stories of a similar nature (T1 being cured), but what I have found is that people who claim to have been cured eat scantily and avoid carbs and fruits and other such food items that will raise BG. But, once one of them eat a burger, or a simple tortilla for that matter their BG will no doubt rise. I’ve had this stupid disease for 27 years. I have had my share of extreme lows and extreme highs. It sucks, but it’s with me forever no matter how well I eat. The best thing I can tell you (and I am no doctor, this is my opinion it’s what works for me) is limit carbs. I have gone many days in a row without ever bolusing while not consuming carbs. Of course, my body is receiving it’s share of basal from my pump. For without my basal flow my BG will slowly, dangerously rise. Eat properly and exercise. Also, you said you were trying to gain weight. TALK TO A DOCTOR about that. I can tell you to throw cake and pizza down your throat for three months in a row, but you’d be doing more harm than good I believe. Diabetes sucks, but if you chill out and control it, it’s really no thing. Peace, dude.

  9. Lin

    My son was dx at age 5 (now he is 10) Don’t know how long after his vaccine but I’m pretty sure it’s close. I never thought about that until reading comments here so I will def have to look at my papers. When he was dx shortly after he was dx with celiac(a few days) we went gluten free but still to this day he has diabetes & needs insulin daily. I’m am curious about low carb & think I’ll give it a try but as for no carb I’m waay to scared to do that. If it were myself I’d give it a go but I can’t bring myself to risk it on my baby. God bless you all & thanks for all your knowledge!!

    • Joan Mac Donald

      My daughter is 11, was diagnosed after she turned 6.
      I have my own theories on how a healthy child, with no family history of diabetes; contracted an autoimmune disease.( vaccines). Anyway, how does one not eat food with carbs and not have constant low blood glucose? The smallest bit of exercise and her sugar drops to extremes even with extra carbs?I don’t get it…

  10. Lauranne

    One of my family members has type 1 diabetes and another has type 2 diabetes. Both are caused by the same disease ie Lyme Disease (Borrelia). Lyme Disease is a spirochete that can also reside within the cells of the body. The immune system recognises the pathogen within the cell and launches an inflammatory attack to destroy the cell in order to access and kill the pathogen within it. Doctors call this an ‘autoimmune disorder’. Lyme Disease makes the immune system hyper sensitive, causing all sorts of allergies and different kinds of autoimmune disorders. Lyme Disease coexists with co-infections and micro-parasites. The Lyme Disease Association of Australia offers information in relation to testing and treatment for the disease. IGeneX are the Gold Standard of testing for this disease. Since treatment the insulin requirements of both above mentioned individuals have reduced significantly. Treatment for chronic Lyme takes a minimum of 2.5 years. Lyme Disease can be passed on inutero. Ticks are not the only source of transmission.

  11. I have had Type 1 diabetes since age 9 for 35 years and have been tested for Lyme Disease Antibodies and I have never had Lyme’s Disease.

  12. from Denmark

    Dear Dr. Davis
    Thank you for your website and inspiring blog.
    Could you say something about your experience with betacell regeneration? Is it realistic to see that happen in a type 1 child?
    Thank you

  13. Hi,

    It is amazing. I am in my late 60’s and was diagnosed with Diabetes 2 about 7 years ago. It changes your live and not something I wish for a child. My ex wife had Diabetes 1 since 11 years old and eventually it caused her death.

    Al this caused an interest in Diabetes – causes and cures). I’ve also read an interesting article about the increase in diabetes cases with is alarming. Even animals are not to spare. We have currently a 6 month old German Shepherd puppy which has Diabetes 1 (need 2 injections per day).

    Any case – wonderful that someone was able to reverse it!

    A great Blog, Thank You…