Disease Proof

Type 1 Diabetes: What to Do?

We talk a lot about Type 2 Diabetes here on DiseaseProof, but what about Type 1? What about all those young children diagnosed with the chronic disease everyday? Stephanie Dunnewind of The Seattle Times tells the tale of one such child. Meet 4 ½-year old Kyle Hughes:
There's no easy time to be diagnosed with diabetes — kids deal with school issues; teens can be rebellious risk-takers — but toddlers rank up there as the most challenging. It's nearly impossible to reason with them, and they can barely talk.

Kyle ended up at Children's Hospital & Regional Medical Center when his pediatrician diagnosed diabetes at his 18-month checkup. Christy slept over every night during his weeklong stay. They got a crash course in needles, drugs, meters and all the terrible things that can go wrong.

With no family history of the autoimmune disease, "It's not something I ever expected to know about," Christy Hughes [Kyle’s mom] said.

In the hospital, it took two people to give Kyle his shots. "You sweat, your hands shake — you don't want to do it," Christy said. "Unfortunately, to keep your child alive, you have to do it."

Even when they got home and Kyle stoically accepted the "pokes" — rotated around the fatty areas of his legs, bottom and upper arm to avoid scar tissue — "Every time I'd give him a shot, I'd walk away to cry," Christy said.

"Diabetes makes you feel helpless as a parent," Kurt said. "All day long, you're taking guesses."
Seems unfair, doesn’t it? But good thing for Kyle, his parents are definitely proactive—and that’s what it takes. Now, even though Dr. Fuhrman admits a person with Type 1 Diabetes will never stop taking insulin completely, he insists there is still a lot you can do. From Hope for Type 1 Childhood Onset Diabetics:
I find that when type 1 diabetics adopt the ETL program, they can lower their insulin requirements by about half. They no longer have swings of highs and lows, and their glucose levels and lipids stay under excellent control. In other words, it is not Type 1 diabetes itself that causes such negative health consequences. Rather, it is the combination of the diabetes and the typical nutritional “advice” given to these patients—advice that requires them to take large amounts of unnecessary insulin.

The extra insulin and the high glucose levels raise lipids, accelerate atherosclerosis, and damage the body. With this in mind, it should be clear that while the Standard American Diet (SAD), which has spread to all industrialized nations, is dangerous for everyone, it is particularly deadly for diabetics.

With a truly health-supporting lifestyle, including exercise and real food designed by nature, the type 1 diabetic can have the same potential for a long, disease-free life as everyone else. Even though the type 1 diabetic still will require exogenous (external) insulin, they will no longer need excessive amounts of it.
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