How Type 1 Diabetics Could Cut Down On Insulin Safely

| September 3, 2016

In type 1 diabetes, the insulin-producing cells (called beta-cells) in the pancreas don’t work. This auto-immune disease puts them under constant attack from the immune system, so their insulin output is small or non-existent. In my last blog post, I told you about new technology that holds out hope of a solution – although it could be some years before it becomes available.

There are, though, several ways in which people with type 1 diabetes could reduce the dose of insulin they need to inject and even kick-start their beta-cells to begin producing insulin again. Before making any of the following changes, discuss them with your doctor; and monitor your blood sugar levels closely until you know what effects they have.

  • First off is your diet. As I mentioned here, an international team of doctors and scientists have recommended that a low-carb diet should be the first line of treatment for both type 2 and type 1 diabetes.1
  • Type 1 diabetes is closely linked with coeliac disease, as I reported here, so cutting out wheat and other sources of gluten may well help. In a recent study, a gluten-free diet led to lower blood sugar levels and better outcomes in children with type 1 diabetes.2
  • Vitamin D deficiency is a risk factor for type 1 diabetes, as I said here. Vitamin D appears to be needed for the production of regulatory T-cells, which instruct the immune system not to attack the beta-cells in the pancreas. So it makes sense to take a supplement.3
  • Look after the good bacteria in your gut, which play an important role in preventing your immune system from attacking your beta-cells, as I mentioned here. Probiotic and prebiotic supplements help maintain good gut bacteria.4
  • Beta-cells could be able to regenerate and start producing insulin again. A key nutrient for this process is GABA – see my earlier post here for ways to boost your GABA levels.5
  • Several herbs also appear to help restore beta-cell function, in animal studies at least, as I reported here. The most promising ones are Moringa oleifera, Pterocarpus marsupium, Gymnema sylvestre and Trigonella foenum-graecum (fenugreek).

In my next blog post, I’ll be looking into new findings that chronic kidney disease could damage beta-cells in the pancreas and appear to cause type 2 diabetes.

Here’s to healthy living,

Martin Hum PhD DHD
Nutritionist
for Real Diabetes Truth

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Bear in mind we are not addressing anyone’s personal situation and you should rely on this for informational purposes only. Please consult with your own physician before acting on any recommendations contained herein.

Sources:

1. Feinman RD, Pogozelski WK, Astrup A et al. Dietary carbohydrate restriction as the first approach in diabetes management. Critical review and evidence base. Nutrition. 2015; 31(1):1-13.

2. Svensson J, Sildorf SM, Pipper CB et al. Potential beneficial effects of a gluten-free diet in newly diagnosed children with type 1 diabetes: a pilot study. SpringerPlus. 2016; 5:994.

3. Badenhoop K, Kahles H, Penna-Martinez M. Vitamin D, immune tolerance and prevention of type 1 diabetes. Curr Diab Rep. 2012; 12(6):635-642.

4. Sun J, Furio L, Mecheri R et al. Pancreatic ß-cells limit autoimmune diabetes via an immunoregulatory antimicrobial peptide expressed under the influence of the gut microbiota. Immunity. 2015; 43(2):304-317.

5. Purwana I, Zheng J, Li X et al. GABA promotes human β-cell proliferation and modulates glucose homeostasis. Diabetes. 2014; 63(12):4197-205.

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Category: Type 1 Diabetes

Comments (2)

Testimonials are based on the personal experience of individuals. Results are not typical and the potential benefits of taking any drug or supplement may vary depending on your individual needs and health requirements. Please consult your GP before making any changes to your medical regimen.

  1. Emil says:

    I didn’t know that t1 diabetics could reduce their insulin. Is this not dangerous?

  2. Jeremy says:

    Can you go more into doses of the herbs and GABA? How much would you recommend taking to start?