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Insulin is NOT required for Type 1 Diabetics? Really.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

The question no one ever asks in relation to Diabetes (both type 1 & 2):
"Just like you wouldn’t give a peanut to someone with a peanut allergy, why are carbohydrates still pushed onto diabetics?"

How many of you know an 80+ year old TYPE 1 DIABETIC who is slender, active, vibrant, whose kidneys function well, who can still see properly, and who has all of their digits and limbs... AND who has NOT used insulin since his mid-30's?

(I so wish I could have said this about my husband's grandma... the last 10 years of her life were so full of physical suffering.)

There is at least one... though anyone who follows Dr. Bernstein's advice can also claim the same:

Says Alex Quinn, after finding Dr. Bernstein

"Without bread and potatoes etc, your blood sugar is better and you just don’t want carbs when it comes down to taste vs kidneys, eyes, fingers, and toes."

"‘There is no food more important than my own physical integrity."

"Thankfully, there are thousands of others around the world who have found Dr Richard K Bernstein.... And all of us agree — we are finally living.

Nay, thriving.

From young children who are meeting their growth benchmarks, excelling at school, participating in sports, and no longer living in fear of death, to people who wish they’d been told this information 50 years ago.

All thriving."

It's been a very long time since I felt the need to save an article here in case it might otherwise disappear off the internet in a few months. This is such an article!

Read it here, as published:

... or just keep scrolling!
(you may want to get a cup of coffee... it's a long one)

Also, keep in mind... there are hundreds of parents now choosing diet modifcation (eliminatioin of carbs) and nutrition rather than insulin to SUCCESSFULLY treat their kids diagnosed with Juvenille (Type 1) Diabetes.

What Really Happens When You Ignore Conventional Diabetes Advice?
You Live Happily Ever After
by Jenny Grant, August 10, 2019, copyright MEDIUM.com

‘You have Type 1 diabetes’ says your doctor.

He’s keeping his gaze fixed on your latest blood test results, rather than your eyes.

And he keeps talking.

But he sounds muffled and far far away. You struggle to focus, to take it all in. Your mind is full of a thousand thoughts all at once, yet strangely, none.

Maybe you were too young to remember the conversation, but you remember your parents’ anguished faces. Expressions that stayed that way as they navigated this new world of injections and sleepless nights, hoping you’d wake up in the morning.

Every morning.

Are you better off having known no other life? No habits to change, no remembering the freedom of food choices and feeling well?

It doesn’t really matter. Either way, the cause is the same: your immune system decided to go rogue on your organs. Hopefully, just one at a time.

But anyway, your doctor is still talking.

I need to focus.

He is talking about injecting insulin to do the work of your defunct pancreas. He tells you you’re lucky because if you had been diagnosed 100 years ago, you would have only weeks to live.

Right. Grateful. I need to be grateful.

Through the muffled sounds that are maybe his words — maybe your thoughts — he tells you you’re also lucky because we now have these fast-acting insulins that can cover all the carbohydrates you eat. And that you should eat between 45–60 grams each meal, and 15–30 for snacks.

Okayyy ... I have no idea how many grams of carbohydrates are in anything. But alright, that sounds easy enough. I managed to memorise the calorie counter in high school; I’ll be fine. Easy peasy.

He goes on to talk about the immediate dangers of low blood sugar levels and that coma and death are a definite possibility if you don’t manage this well. He tells you that this disease is progressive, and the end of the line is bleak.

Blindness, amputations, kidney failure, heart attack, and stroke are likely outcomes. But maybe you’ll be one of the lucky ones.


And, he adds, anxiety and depression are also much more likely to happen to you.


He tells you that it doesn’t matter how high your blood sugar levels go, as long as they come back down…

With the magic needle.

Then he sets the doses of your two insulins — the long-acting one you take once a day (basal) and the one you will take with food (bolus). He uses a sandwich as an example and gives you a dose to start with to ‘see how you go’.

He makes an appointment with a diabetes educator to teach you the basics. Then with a dietitian who will help plan your meals based around a third of your plate being starchy carbs. And then says he will see you in three months’ time.

What Happens If You Follow This Advice?
Meet Alex Quinn, who tried to do the right thing by her ‘meat space suit’ yet…
It didn’t go well.

Cocktail of Pills and Vomiting Last Night’s Dinner — Every Morning
Diagnosed aged three, Alex has had Type 1 for 27 years. Her mother, having two older Type 1 brothers, recognised the symptoms. Their first endocrinologist gave her sage advice — to keep her blood sugar levels (BSL) between 80 and 120, avoiding sugar and any foods that spiked her levels.

Continental Europe and the USA use mg/dL, which are the numbers above. The rest of the world uses mmol/L (making the above range 4.4 recurring to 6.6 recurring). To calculate between the two, divide or multiply by 18.

At the age of seven, Alex’s family moved, and so began her struggle to find an endocrinologist that was either willing to help her fine tune her insulin needs, or more likely, able to.

As Dr Jason Fung explains, generally speaking, during the years of medical school, the total amount of time spent on nutrition is about 10 to 20 hours… but it’s really much closer to biochemistry.

For the medical professionals, truly understanding diabetes often only happens when they have it themselves.

In the mid 90s, Humalog — a faster insulin — came onto the market, and doctors adopted the mindset that diabetics could eat what they liked and simply dose for it. Here’s how Alex describes that way of thinking:

Yeah, donuts smell good, but you know what happens if I eat them? I will probably become violently ill, and it will start off this cascade: blood sugar shoots up, pump some insulin, bring blood sugar back down, and drop hypo.

Because how can you possibly guess how many carbs are in a donut and accurately dose your insulin for that?

You can’t.

There’s no way to do it, and so the rollercoaster of sugars up and down sets off this trigger of anxiety and depression. There’s physiological things that are going on that trigger anxiety and depression as well, like inflammation, and insulin spiking and sugar crashing.

There’s all kind of sh!t that happens.

The dream number — 83 (4.6) — to hover around to avoid debilitating complications

Growing up, Alex wasn’t seeing the magic 83. An indication of her BSL average — her HbA1c blood test, was between 12 and 14.

Ideal is 4.8–5.5 — the non-diabetic range.

Doctors want our A1c in the 7s, due to the life-threatening lows. However, what they don’t tell you is that anything over 140 (7.7) on your metre, at any time of day, is doing you damage.

That relentless monitoring to stay within range can take its toll on your resolve.

I was in total burnout. I was like f*ck this, I don’t want diabetes. I don’t want to be here. I didn’t want to be the weird kid always taking shots.

So by the time I was 14, I was skipping shots and lying about it, and my A1c was like 12 or 13. And then my parents and endo team decided on a pump because they worried about diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).

It’s important to note here that DKA is different to the ketosis that the keto diet followers talk about. In essence, DKA is high blood sugars and a lack of insulin. Nutritional ketosis is not life-threatening, but DKA most definitely is.

At 16, my aA1c was up to 14 — because you just think you can eat what you want and push a little button on the magical little device where you just hit that little UP button. My blood sugar was out of control.

I had horrendous depression and was unmotivated and sick all the time.

I also had a crazy autoimmune flare up and my whole body was covered in hives.

All the allergy testing came back within normal ranges, so they decided it was stress induced and put me on a major cocktail of medication — 6 pills twice a day. Some were antihistamines and I found out later they’d snuck in some anti-depressants.

I was just sick. Sick in the head and sick in the body. All inflammed.

I had a long history of poor relationships with endos, and I think the poor blood sugar control had a lot to do with that — one fed into the other and then back on themselves. I felt frustrated and didn’t know what to do but was trying my best to work with the tools I had, with no support.

I knew their tools weren’t working.

So she went cold turkey on the pills.

Then I couldn’t afford my pump anymore, so I ditched it. That was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made because it forced me to pay attention, to nail the doses and the timing. I couldn’t just hit a button anymore.

At 21, I had a slightly better endo, but my A1c was around 8, with crazy up and down lines.

I know now that I had underlying gut problems — cycles of constipation and purging which would shoot up my blood sugar.

I didn’t know it was a diabetes complication or that there was a word for it until my mid-twenties.

By then it had progressed to where I was waking up every morning vomiting up last night’s dinner completely undigested.

It wasn’t fun. Every day I’d wake up and vomit. Food was coming out whole the other side too. I was obviously severely malnourished because I wasn’t able to digest any of my food. And that obviously caused the crazy spikes in my blood sugar.

But I didn’t know what was causing it. Or what to do about it .

After slowly cutting out things like rice, sugar, and icecream, and eating a Mediterranean style diet, she still couldn’t get her A1c lower than 6.9 — the lowest she’d ever got it.

My endo was super happy about it. I was like, ‘You’re happy about this?

I don’t think this is actually success. I don’t know what success looks like, but if this is it, I’m not sure I’m up for this — I’m throwing up my food every morning, I can’t digest anything, and I’m sick all the time.’

My efforts weren’t helping my complications get any better. And then things got even worse.

Rock Bottom at 25 Years Old
My uncle died when I was seven, in his early 40s, from Type 1 complications. By then, he was completely blind, he couldn’t walk, well, he could hobble but basically lived in a recliner in my grandparents’ basement.

He painted the walls high-contrast colours so he wouldn’t bump into them when he was shuffling around.

So in my young brain, that’s what an adult with Type 1 diabetes looked like. Family was always ‘take care of yourself or you’re going to go blind like your uncle’, so when I started to go blind at 25, I was like this is the end, this is the beginning of the end.

My whole life, my deepest fear has been going blind and ending up trapped inside my own body and unable to interact with the rest of the world.

I was starting to go blind in one eye from Type 1 complications — problems that don’t usually affect people until they’re in their 70s and 80s.

They told me that I would probably be mostly blind in that eye by 30 and I’d probably be totally blind by 40. And they told me that these complications were progressive, that there’s nothing you can do about it.

‘It’s a shame that it happened to you so young, they said, but sh!t, that’s just diabetes. Sorry kid.’

That was the lowest point in my entire life and I did not know how to handle it.

The monthly eye treatment scared the daylights out of me. It was just awful, and the details are too gory to tell.

After that, I spent a year in a deep depression — waking up to having panic attacks every day, and couldn’t get out of bed when I wasn’t at work.

Stumbling Upon Dr B
Recovering at home after an eye treatment, Alex became determined to change her future.

I was holed up at computer thinking, I have to not go blind and I have to find a way to help myself and it CAN’T be what happens at that eye doctor — I can’t do that for the rest of my life.

I stumbled upon Dr Bernstein’s website, read his bio and was just blown away!

His book arrived overnight, and I read the entire thing in 36 hours.

Having tried everything else, she figured it was worth a shot at reversing her complications like he had.

And man, if that wasn’t the most profoundly life changing decision I’ve ever made, I don’t know what is.

It was hard and it was confusing and my endo told me I was going to kill myself by trying it.

The dietitian, who also hadn’t read the book, told me I was going to basically kill myself by going low carb, too. But after meeting with one years earlier who’d had to turn sideways to fit through the door… I knew…

I was doing it on my own.

Going low carb really illuminated for me how astray I’d been led by the other authority figures on diabetes.

And to find out this information had been out there — this whole time — and nobody told me about it … in fact, that information had been suppressed by the powers that be, I was like, ‘I’m sooo mad’.

It’s a pretty common feeling for those who have found Dr B. ‘Whatttt?? Nobody told me??? It seems so obvious now … HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THIS??’

Diabetes is a profound intolerance to carbohydrates.
Dr B

Just like you wouldn’t give a peanut to someone with an allergy, why are carbohydrates still pushed onto diabetics?

Alex says, what I do eat I feel is amazing and delicious. I don’t feel deprived at all. It tastes good, it makes me feel good, and it helps me keep good blood sugars.

Without bread and potatoes etc, your blood sugar is better and you just don’t want carbs when it comes down to taste vs kidneys, eyes, fingers, and toes.

Never Looking Back
One day, after doing Bernstein for 8 or 9 months, I checked my sugar at work — it was mid 90s (5.3) and I remember so clearly, I stopped like somebody had slapped me upside the head because I realised my blood sugar had been in the mid 90s for a week straight.

For the first time — in my entire life.

And I just starting sobbing.


‘Holy crap, I have just found everything I’ve always wanted in terms of health, wellbeing, internal stability, and normal blood sugars. For the first time.’

I cried happy tears in the corner for about two hours.

I realised then that normal blood sugars were possible, and I could achieve that and that even if I had bad days — some highs and lows — I can do this. And I will do this.

It was an amazing, profound moment of joy, happiness, and relief.

That was the first time that I had not been in pain, not been extremely anxious, and depressed, that I had not felt in some way I was lacking …

That I actually felt stable, well, grounded, and whole.

That’s what motivates me now because I was coming from a place of desperation, going blind, and I will do absolutely anything to prevent that.

I think a lot of the difficulty in finding your inner grit has to do with the unwillingness to be uncomfortable. I’m okay with being uncomfortable — I’ve been uncomfortabe my entire life because I’ve been sick my entire life.

Another revelation: I became an entirely different person after I normalised my blood sugar.

I had all these personality traits before that I thought were just who I was. That’s not true at all — I’m not an angry, mean, cranky, whiny, sloth-like person who doesn’t want to do stuff.

That’s not me at all — that’s my diabetes when it’s out of control. It takes over my personality. It’s amazing to me how different your mindset is when your blood sugar is out of control.

When I realised that wasn’t actually who I was, that was also profoundly life changing. It was amazing.

I started walking every day and going on big long hikes, which if you had wanted me to do physical activity before, you’d have to get a crowbar to pry me out.

My bad days now are what my good days used to look like — and that’s mindblowing still to this day. It’s been such a profound journey into health and wellbeing that I never thought was possible — it’s amazing.

I had to reconcile a lot when I was going through being angry at the establishment for screwing me over my whole life.

If I hadn’t hit my own personal rock bottom of retinopathy and gastroparesis and my body basically shutting down in my mid-twenties, I would never be where I am at today.

I’m happy, I’m healthy, I’m successful, I have a great relationship, I’m in a beautiful home, I have a wonderful family. I wouldn’t been here without having hit rock bottom and then having found Dr B. So, I’m grateful for that in a weird way.

Now, the eye stuff is stable. I still have a fish eye lens thing in one eye, but my actual vision has started to improve. I’ve had no treatments for about a year and a half. The gastro is leaps and bounds better — haven’t vomited in years. I have regular bowel movements — not perfect but they happen.

I used to have major acid reflux, bloating, and gas and this whole host of awful stuff and most of that is gone.

I’ve seen significant improvements. And my HbA1c stays between 4.8 to 5.3.

Easier Than it Sounds
Alex says the transition was arduous, but ‘there is no food more important than my own physical integrity.

I don’t know how to help someone else find that motivation because mine is that if I choose to eat certain foods, they will harm me. Like, immediately harm me.

And for the long term they will harm me.

It’s not just, I won’t feel so good, or my belly will hurt. It’s like chronic, long-term high blood sugars that cause neuropathy and cardiovascular problems and damage.

Thankfully, there are thousands of others around the world who have found Dr Richard K Bernstein, and are members of the TYPEONEGRIT (on Facebook) way of living.

And all of us agree — we are finally living.

Nay, thriving.

From young children who are meeting their growth benchmarks, excelling at school, participating in sports, and no longer living in fear of death, to people who wish they’d been told this information 50 years ago.

All thriving.

The choice between cake, bread, and potatoes, or eyesight, intact limbs, and being as healthy as the next old person — or healthier — is surprisingly easy…

When you find your motivation.

If you need help with that, the TYPEONEGRIT community is extremely knowledgeable, encouraging, supportive, and successful — where the norm is blood sugar levels the same as non-diabetics.

On this side of the planet, there is also an Australian and NZ group that achieves the same, and both groups will help you enormously.

By following Dr Bernstein’s protocol that sees him now in his mid-eighties, brimming with vitality despite having Type 1 since childhood (and later becoming the pioneer of the personal glucometre) they are the proof that it indeed can be done.

Change can be daunting.

But as Alex said, ‘be comfortable with being uncomfortable temporarily. It soon passes’.
And like every Gritter will tell you: read THE BOOK!

It will save your life.

You don’t have to accept the dire prognosis lying down. You can stand up and take charge.
One decision at a time.

Find THE BOOK (Dr Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution) and many other invaluable resources here — just in case you missed it above:

Dr. Bernstein's 'DIabetes Solution' on-line:

Three Key Discussions With Dr. Bernstein
In this three part series, Dr. Bernstein walks you through the confusion of diagnosis, the myths that abound in the diabetes world and finally gives you in depth diabetes management techniques so that you can get healthy, normal blood sugars and avoid the complications of diabetes.

Dr. David Dikeman: How to Avoid Complications of Type 1 Diabetes

Managing Type 1 Diabetes - R.D. Dikeman

Peter Attia: What if we're wrong about diabetes?

Alex Quinn: Finding My Deepest Motivation Part 1

Alex Quinn: Finding My Deepest Motivation Part 2

Alex Quinn: T1, 27 Years, Healed her Gut and Depression with Low-Carb

TYPEONEGRIT (facebook Diabetes education group)
TypeOneGrit is a (not-so) small FB group of type ONE diabetics who have read, "Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution" and are CURRENTLY following his protocol which consists of a VERY low carb - no grains, no sugar, no starch, and no fruit, to normalize blood sugars. We believe in normal blood sugars. If this is new to you, READ THE BOOK "Dr. Dr Bernstein's Diabetes Solution".

Typeonegrit (open facebook Diabetes resources page)

...the really tough "pill" to swallow? This information has been available to doctors for over 30 years now. Why is carb restriction not ROUTINELY shared with diabetics as at least one treatment option, if not as the gold standard of treatment?

Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
    78 days ago
    Astounding! How marvelous that you got your life back!
    108 days ago
    I have Type 2 diabetes and need to get serious about my diet. Thanks for shar.ing. I'm glad you found a way to turn your life around. You've given me a direction to find more about.
    171 days ago
    Great blog.Thank you for posting this. I do hope everyone reads this. emoticon emoticon
    205 days ago
    Very interesting. I don't have diabetes, but I feel much better when my diet doesn't include simple carbs. I do recall when I used to attend ww meetings there were people able to come off insulin. Doctors get so little training in nutrition and it is so vital to preventative care and intervention.
    219 days ago
    I asked my doctor to send me to a diabetic nutritionist because I wanted to get information on the old exchange program (I had lost a lot of my papers over several moves)

    Turns out she was a young thing, too young to know anything about nutrition much less diabetic nutrition. She ignored what I was asking for and gave me a sheet of paper that said I should be eating 297 grams of carbs per day! I said if I ate that many carbs, I would be in a permanent diabetic coma..... So I went back to my doctor and told him I would not be going back to her and told her why. He shook his head and agreed with me that I should just go "Low Carb"

    P.S. I still wish I could find the wall chart from the old exchange program. It was the best "tool" I ever had.
    223 days ago
    The Dr. Jason Fung website (he's a Toronto nephrologist) is full of very helpful information on managing diabetes with intermittent fasting combined with a keto-type diet. He is a genius!! And this is such important information . . . diabetes is becoming an epidemic and Trump is sending Americans north of the border to buy insulin because it's about a tenth of the American price here . .. reducing carbs, of course, is free.
    223 days ago
  • BERRY4
    As JEANKNEE indicated, a LOT of people seem to just want to follow traditional advice. -- I know personally, 4 people w/ Type-1 diabetes. Even small examples of possible changes are resisted. Guess they live in their body & have to decide what they want from it.

    My neighbor was diagnosed @ 2 yrs ago, in her 40's, w/ Type-1. Then her 25 yr old son. Her young daughter had a hormone issue at age 7 which then kicked in her Type-1. (Her name is Candice...and she LOVES her candy.) emoticon
    I will buy the book & offer it to them. They can decide how to walk from there....

    Thanks for the amazing resource!!
    223 days ago
    reminds me of a video i watched not too long ago by Peter Attia who realized what he was learning in school becoming a physician was just plain wrong. also makes me wonder if they have x wisdom and no one has any serious research after wards to change that wisdom, why the current recommendations are so opposite of the life-long wisdom in so many areas of life, not just this one...
    223 days ago
    I always wondered why diabetics were encouraged to go so high carb. Never made sense to me. Great article!😊😊😊
    223 days ago
    Interesting info and undeniably a very supportive testimonial, I do hope however that people do read the literature, do the research and have in place a reliable means to monitor their blood sugars. Sorry to be a "downer" but as a health care professional I have seen too many folks jump off the deep end without due diligence and get themselves into serious trouble.
    223 days ago
    Thank you for another informative article!
    223 days ago
  • no profile photo CD22518161

    I am blessed not to be diabetic, but the information here is INVALUABLE, Ramona, and I thank you.
    "Wishing you the best on your journey" would be a huge understatement of words. My heart wants all that and more for you.

    Foods can kill, and foods can heal.
    223 days ago
    Thanks Ramona. Smart thinking saving the article here.

    "Blindness, amputations, kidney failure, heart attack, and stroke are likely outcomes. But maybe you’ll be one of the lucky ones.


    And, he adds, anxiety and depression are also much more likely to happen to you.


    That has been the experience of far too many in my life. And, that experience is not restricted to Type I diabetics. It is a reality for Type II diabetics too.

    Blood sugar regulation has not challenged me. Thankfully, despite the family medical history. But, I certainly have a reduced carb tolerance and a friend said to me some years ago when my experience with carbs was shared that it made sense because diabetes is a disease of carbohydrate metabolism.

    I have shared information about carbohydrate intake with relatives suffering with diabetes and none have opted to even consider changing their dietary habits. They continue to follow the conventional medical guidance that is hastening their deaths and promoting profound suffering.

    I feel a need to let it go. They are here with their own lessons to learn.

    For those that have the capacity to take in what you've shared and run with it? An opportunity at a life renewed awaits them!


    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    223 days ago
    Mind blown! My DIL was diagnosed at four. While pregnant with little man, she had a pump installed. His pregnancy almost killed her. Her world went dark, she endured many laser and eye scrapings to regain her vision. Prior to the pump, she truly lived in denial...poked her finger and did the injections. Huge progress now that she counts carbs...even understands them.

    This is powerful, I’ll send her the article...thanks for this.

    223 days ago
    OH MY GOODNESS. I was diagnosed w/type 2 in 2010. Joined Sparks. Got really, really serious about nutrition and exercise. AND . . . definitely was on the road to healing when I CUT OUT THE CARBS! As you say, if it's a choice between bread/potatoes or my vision/kidneys/limbs, I'll choose my vision/kidneys/limbs! That's the thing that just upsets me when I think about MY diabetic educator (using the term loosely). Bread, potatoes all on the plan. But how can that be if diabetes is a carb INTOLERANCE! So, that relationship was short lived. So here I am, 100 lbs. less of me, eating WELL, not missing anything in life. A far cry from the brain fogged, exhausted, depressed, obese person I was!

    Thank you for this blog!
    223 days ago
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