Before we move on to the third leg of glucose balance, I want to address product and dietary claims to “reverse diabetes”. Whenever I see a product or diet claiming to “reverse diabetes”, it makes me cringe. Don’t get me wrong, I find benefits in many vitamin supplements and raw food practices. However the human body is a very complicated and efficient system of systems. And when something interrupts one of the subsystems significantly, like diabetes, rarely can a product or dietary change alone cure the condition.

When claims that diabetes is caused by obesity and not Type 2  diabetes can be caused by obesity, it saddens me that young children with Type 1 diabetes could listen to these claims and believe that they somehow caused their diabetes by eating the wrong foods. Or they live each day expecting that a quick fix will make it ok for them to not control their chronic conditions. Perhaps some education can help.

There are 4 general types of diabetes: Type 1, Type 2, Gestational Diabetes, and Pre Diabetes.

Pre Diabetes is when the doctor warns that your blood sugar is a little elevated and if you are not careful, it could turn to a condition that we need to treat–diabetes. The only kind of diabetes it could turn to is Type 2.  In this case losing weight if necessary and nutritional balance is important. I say “balance” because it is the balance of eating and exercise along with protein, carbohydrate and fat balance that are necessary. The raw diet tends to be high in carbohydrate content and the diabetic diet is lower in carbohydrate–powders and supplements don’t do the job as efficiently as food proteins.

Gestational Diabetes is when a pregnant woman has elevated blood sugar. Usually when she delivers, her blood sugar normalizes. However what that is indicative of is that when her body is under stress (pregnancy) she has diabetic tendencies and again care like that of pre diabetes should be taken.

Type 2 Diabetes used to be called adult onset diabetes because it typically happened later in life. Now scientists understand that it occurs either when the body isn’t producing enough insulin to balance the amounts of food eaten, or the imbalance caused by a seminary lifestyle, and these causes are usually from obesity or lifestyle. However there are some Type 2 diabetics who have elevated blood sugars because they cannot use their insulin efficiently or they suffer from what is called insulin resistance. The difficulty in treating this condition is that without a doctor’s diagnosis of the likely cause of diabetes a nutritional change may not be sufficient. Also even if it is caused by obesity or a sedentary lifestyle, medication may be necessary to move from one state to the other.

Finally there is Type 1 Diabetes and that is what I have. Type 1 diabetes is simply a condition where the pancreas’ islets of Langerhan do not produce the enzyme insulin. Insulin is necessary to move the foodstuffs (glucose) to our body’s cells in order to live. NOTHING SHORT OF INJECTING INSULIN WILL TREAT THIS CONDITION. AT THIS STAGE OF RESEARCH, NOTHING SHORT OF A PANCREAS OR ISLET CELL TRANSPLANT WILL CORRECT THIS CONDITION.

So to say “reverse diabetes” is not really accurate and only plausible in a few situations: pre diabetes and T2s with obesity causes. Nutrition alone cannot treat the other forms of diabetes.

The self motivation that it takes for a young person to time and balance medication, insulin and nutrition is difficult enough to muster up. But when alternative medicine sources bombard them with inaccurate claims that ‘diabetes’ can be reversed. Even if they know better, their friends somehow think that their friend’s diabetes is caused from eating the wrong foods or being fat.

I’m blessed to have had parents who very carefully protected my psyche and encouraged me to do whatever I wanted to while understanding that it would take a little extra work to get it done. And so I am always conscious of the mind sets of young type 1 diabetics.