Care and Cure of Type 1 Diabetes
My website and book Eat Chew Live are dedicated to helping people with prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes (T2D). However, after hearing about the emotional and financial cost associated with caring for someone with Type 1 diabetes(T1D), I looked into it, and I would like to address this issue in this blog posting. If you have T2D, you will still be interested in the information here, as it has implications even for you in that it reinforces the role that grains play in causing both types of diabetes.
Historically, T1D has been a disease that affected primarily white children and youth. However, a study published by the American Medical Association in 2014 covering the period 1990 to 2008 showed an increased incidence among white, black, Hispanic and Asian Pacific Islander youth. The investigators could not establish the causes for this finding.
Currently, there are more than 1 million Americans living with T1D in the United States, and that number is expected to reach 5 million by 2050. These individuals need daily insulin administration to survive. When taking injections, some may need up to 10 shots per day, and the cost of insulin has gone up as much as 400 percent in the last 10 years.
Drug manufacturers point to high deductible insurance plans as one of the reasons for cost increases (which makes no sense). Some offer rebates or discount cards for lower-income people who qualify, and non-profit organizations assist some people. The rest of T1D patients must bear the increasing cost of care until a cure for T1D is achieved.
The Cause of T1D
Type 1 diabetes results from a severe lack of insulin due to the destruction of cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. That destruction is caused by the patient’s own killer cells directed by the immune system. Most individuals appear to be susceptible because of inherited genes, and develop it soon after birth. However, even among identical twins, both twins being affected by this condition happens only 50% of the time. This suggests that there must be some external trigger to activate the inherited gene’s destructive potential.
Many autoimmune diseases are caused when the immune system fails to work properly. In general, immune cells are designed to attack and kill invaders, such as germs that can harm the individual. Invading germs are identified when immune cells detect the presence of protein molecules on their surface of cells that are alien to the body. In other words, immune cells are aware and protective of each and every type of cell naturally present in the body, including cells that produce insulin.
What could induce immune cells to make an insulin-producing cell in the pancreas a target for destruction? Viral infections and chemical toxins have been demonstrated to cause damage to the cell membrane making them targets for killer cells. The only flaw in this possibility is that it does not explain why the incidence of T1D is increasing. There is no increase in infection rates or exposure to toxins to account for the rising incidence of type 1 diabetes in the modern age among many different population groups. So what could the cause?
The Link to Grains as the Trigger for T1D
I surmise that there is another explanation for the emergence of Type 1 diabetes in many more people than ever before. The mechanism of this starts with a protein released in the intestine that is alien to the body but similar to one present on the membrane of the insulin-producing cells and absorbed by the body. The immune system recognizes the protein as an invader and starts the defensive strategy to instruct killer cells to attack and destroy any cell that has that protein attached to it. This inadvertently kills insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.
But the question is: what mechanism could possibly allow such foreign proteins to enter into the body? And not surprisingly in my view, it has to do with eating grains. It has been demonstrated that inflammation in the intestine leads to a greater permeability of the tight seal that normally exists between cells lining and protecting the intestinal wall. Gliadin is a protein molecule present in wheat, and it has been shown to incite exactly this type of inflammation in the intestine of some individuals. This inflammation could allow other foreign proteins, or gliadin itself, to enter into the body, and ultimately be responsible for destroying insulin-producing cells, irrespective of one’s genetic susceptibility to T1D.
The point is, I suggest that T1D is triggered by grains just as T2D. The causes are different, the mechanisms are different, but the effect is the same. In T1D, grains release a protein that causes the immune system to attack insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. In T2D, grains cause the “fatty acid burn switch,” in which the body begins burning fatty acids rather than glucose when people overconsume grains over time and fill their fat cells.
The objective of caring for an individual with type 1 diabetes is to administer adequate amounts of insulin at an affordable cost. The long-term treatment objective is to be able to cure T1D by transplanting functional insulin-producing cells into the body.
To help with both of these objectives, I recommend that, as a society, we urge everyone to avoid or refrain as much as possible from consuming all grains and grain-flour products. Since each molecule of grain flour can contain up to 200,000 molecules of glucose, this action will reduce the amount of glucose absorbed into the body, reducing your need for insulin and thus cutting down on rising costs of insulin treatment.
In addition, by avoiding wheat products, you will likely also reduce activating immune cells that will be falsely destroying or rejecting the transplanted insulin-producing cells. Since all nutrients from grain can be obtained from other foods, avoiding grains should not cause any adverse health effects in anyone, even in infants or children.
If you are overweight or concerned about getting diabetes, Eat Chew Live provides exactly the new science & inspiration you need.
Based on more than twenty years of research, Eat Chew Live offers a revolutionary new explanation of high blood sugar and Type 2 diabetes. While traditional medicine says it is due to “insulin resistance,” Dr. Poothullil disagrees. Eat Chew Live will show you:
- How the consumption of grains causes your body to develop high blood sugar
- How you can lower your blood sugar to avoid or reverse Type 2 diabetes without using drugs.
- How you can change your eating habits to avoid grains while still enjoying every meal
There are no special diets to follow or products to buy. Read the book.
Learn how you can lose weight once and for all, eat for health, and prevent diabetes.