Saturday, August 29, 2009

Happy and healthy with no insulin injections for 2 months!

The past two months without requiring insulin injections has been quite incredible. I traveled this summer to San Francisco and Chicago without needing any insulin supplies.
I have had no hyperglycemia nor hypoglycemia since taking no insulin. My lowest reading was 68mg/dL and highest was 126mg/dL. My fasting blood sugars range from 70-100mg/dL. My after meal blood sugars are usually around 100mg/dL. Unlike when I was on insulin injections, I now have no fear of falling into a coma due to hypoglycemia nor do I have to make mathematical calculations or stick a needle in me whenever I eat (ouch!).

I feel treating my type 1 diabetes with the paleo diet is far superior than injecting drugs in myself because the paleo diet takes away dietary triggers that may play a role in the autoimmune disease process. Secondly, I would rather not take drugs just so that I could eat food that I couldn't properly digest anyway and most likely cause me another autoimmune disease!

Here's an article about a recent study linking type 1 diabetes to wheat.

For the actual study and commentaries:

So far I've been paleo (grain-free, dairy-free, legume-free) for almost 8 months. Next blog will have a new A1C. Thanks for reading!


  1. Fascinating blog. Thanks. I've posted a link about you.

  2. Michelle,
    I'm really happy for you but what do you say to those folks who think you were misdiagnosed as type 1 and are actually type 2?

  3. Hey, way to go, Michelle. Yes, your story is an inspiring example of what can be accomplished when one consumes the foods that we have evolved to eat. I am very happy for you that you've found your way, though I'm not at all surprised by the results. This is by no means meant as a denouncement of your accomplishment (it's a huge step for anyone -- especially someone of your age -- to overcome cultural conditioning) -- but is only meant to state "how can it *not* work??

  4. Thanks Sue. Good question. I would say I was correctly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes for one, the obvious reasons...I was not overweight instead I looked famished at 100 lbs. Also, I was only 20 years old and the symptoms came on suddenly.

    Secondly for the real proof, my blood tests showed that I was positive for all the islet cell autoantibodies such as glutamic acid decarboxylase antibodies (GADA), islet cell antibodies (ICA), and insulinoma-associated (IA-2) autoantibodies. Type 1's have the autoantibodies because type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease.

    Other blood tests that proved I'm type 1 were C-Peptide which was below normal when I was diagnosed. My c-peptide was low at .3 with reference values of .8- 3.5. Type 2's typically have high c-peptides.

    I also have a family history of type 1 diabetes(my grandpa, great aunt, and great great grandmother were all type 1). I never had insulin resistance either which is characterized by type 2 diabetes.

    Thanks Sue again, I should have made a blog entry about that!

  5. Theorytopractice-Thank you very much for the encouragement! Based on the research, I thought the paleo diet could maybe help but I did not expect it to work so well!

  6. Wow, Michelle!
    I am really impressed and inspired. Thanks for blogging. I hope your message reaches many, many people. So many need to hear this.

    Ramona Denton

  7. WOW!! This is truly amazing. But how can you be sure it's not just a honeymoon phase?

  8. Ramona, thank you!

    Elizabeth- Thanks and yes it is! What makes me think it is not just a common honeymoon phase that most type 1 diabetics have is that I had to about quadruple my insulin needs for about week and half when I reintroduced grain and dairy in my diet for a day. But honestly you're right, I really can't be sure, the symptoms may come back, which is why I say "remission", which is basically what the honeymoon phase is anyway or at least a "partial remission". So technically you could call my remission the honeymoon phase but it appears that I control it with dietary manipulation. If it does come back, I will surely but disappointingly, write about it. Thanks again. Are you type 1?

  9. Michelle, I am very excited for you! Thanks for answering my question. I wonder if you can keep your remission going indefinitely. I sure hope so! It's wonderful that you found the paleo diet. Yes, I'm a type 1, for 16 years now, and I follow Dr. Richard K. Bernstein, author of Diabetes Solution.

    Do you find you can get away with eating fruit? I am very intrigued (and also missing peaches and cherries and cantaloupe), and I'm wondering if vegetables would taste just as good with lard as they do with butter, the thing besides chocolate I would find very hard to give up (Lindt 85% cocoa, low carb).

    Are you tempted to do an experiment where you try cutting out only the gluten or only the casein to see if it's really both that trigger the diabetes? I notice many people with food intolerances are sensitive to both.

  10. I'm 21 now and about 140 pounds and only 5'8". I have resently been diagnosed with type one diabetes myself and my insulin either drops me way too low or at times doesn't lower me much at all. Basically my main diet is chef salads and meat,cheese, and veggie omlets and peanutbutter on a slice of wheat bread when I'm low. My doctors are telling me that I do need small amounts of carbs to help stay healthy. What do you do about carbs and are you now able to eat fruits with out your sugars going up or are you excluding the fruit part?

  11. Hi Christopher, sorry about your diagnosis. I get most of my carbs through fruits and vegetables. For the first 6 months on diet I ate about 100-130g of carb per day while using insulin and since going off insulin, I did decrease the amount of carbs to 70-90g per day. I think I will slowly increase it as the months and years go by. I watch how much fruit I eat but I still include it in my diet.

  12. Hi Elizabeth, yes I definitely eat fruit. For the first six months on the diet I ate TONS of fruit and had a carb intake of about 100-130g/day. For those months I did take insulin but very low amounts of about five units or less total per day. The fruit did not give me high postprandial blood sugars. Since being off insulin I now eat less fruit and my carb intake is about 70-90g per day. Yea I love eating fruit, my faves are strawberries and plums. Lots of people on the paleo diet use lard, I just use olive oil with my veggies and yea, the 85% dark chocolate is what I use to have. I haven't found any good alternatives for that, maybe almond butter?

    That's a good experiment to do! It would be great to allow more foods. I don't think it's just the gluten in certain grain and casein in milk. I think it could be several other components/proteins/molecules that may be acting as a trigger if indeed they are. Studies show different parts of cow's milk, not just the casein, may interfere with the immune system. And also studies show that removing gluten by itself will not reverse type 1 diabetes. So I have no idea really. There is actually another type 1 diabetic little girl that removed grain and dairy and her type 1 went in to reverse and she can have goat's cheese! So maybe one day I'll have the guts to experiment with that ;) Her family has a blog at

    So how long have you been on Dr. Bernstein's diet? The paleo diet definitely allows much more carbs. Thanks for all the questions.

  13. Thank you for taking the time out to talk to us, and congratulations on your fabulous new A1c!

    I never had a honeymoon phase really and that I put down to being misdiagnosed as a T2 in the first place and put on Micronase for 9 months. I finally got sick of it and put myself on insulin, and my eventual C-peptide test indicated that I am indeed a T1 (plus I weighed 114 lbs. and was 20 at the time of dx). I have been on Bernstein's diet for a few years now, but I have to say I spend about as much time off it as on. I cheat a lot, which is really NO GOOD. When I was pregnant I was fairly careful, though, and will have to be when I do it again soon. It would be nice to be CURED before that, though. Diabetic pregnancy is no fun at all.

    I figured that gluten itself couldn't be the sole problem, since there are a number of celiacs out there with T1. They would surely have noticed themselves having a miraculous cure after cutting out the gluten.

    Are you following Dr. Denise Faustman's research? She looks like she's close to a vaccine that might help some of us. In the meantime, though, I wish you luck in extending your remission forever.

    I am curious as to why a paleo diet would involve "lean meats" though, because wouldn't our ancestors have wanted to get as much fat as they could? I find to be a fantastic resource for all things nutrition, and wanted to pass that along to you too.

  14. Elizabeth-
    Wow, 9 months on orals must have been hard! My doctor did the same thing and put me on orals for about 3 days and my blood sugars were still running in the 200-300's, after that I started insulin. Yea I am following Dr. Faustman's research, the fall 2009 newsletter said the results from phase one trial should be published early 2010. It would be amazing if the vaccine would work! And about the lean meats, they are supposedly more paleo because the leaner meat has similar nutritional value to wild animals. Most wild animals aren't fat all year long. Thanks for the link :)

  15. I am 26 and was just diagnosed with type 1 diabetes yesterday. My doctor says I need to start with insulin shots today but I dont want to do the shots, I would rather treat it with my diet. Please give me any tips or advice on what to do. I am clueless

  16. This blog is really a great source of information for me. Thank you for giving me such important information.


  17. This blog is great source of information which is very useful for me. Thank you very much.

  18. thnks for the valuable information. my sis too is type 1 diabetic and she is on insulin. can u please just tell me about this paleo diet in bit detail.

  19. Quick question, with your type 1 does your pancreas produce any insulin or does it produce no insulin?

  20. Treating type 1 without insulin is very dangerous. Michelle may be dead now. I wish be would keep us updated to his condition. Insulin is required by the body so that the cells can use glucose. Type 1 diabetics can't produce insulin. Keyoacidosis can develop, and puts the diabetics at risk for coma. Ketones develop as a side effect of the body metabolizing body fat to produce energy (in large amounts they are toxic). The liver will also start to manufacture glucose to provide the body with energy, and if the body doesn't have insulin the blood sugar will rise even without consuming carbs.

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