Know someone diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes?
Wait 'til you hear Tyler's story!
First, do you remember the post I shared about Ben, who totally reversed his Type 1 Diabetes? You wouldn't believe the heat I took over that! I posted about it on Fakebook, and I'm pretty sure that one mama bear who disagreed with me sharing his story went to her Type 1 Diabetes group and called out the dogs. They were vicious, so I finally just took the FB post down because I didn't have the time it would take to reply to the venom.
If you know someone who has been diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, just to be CLEAR before you read this story…
- Neither myself nor Tyler's Mom are doctor's or anywhere close. We're also not naturopaths or functional medicine docs. We're just sharing one person's experience.
- We're also not saying with this post that everyone can reverse their Type 1 Diabetes, there are many factors that play into this.
- And we're not suggesting that you should try any of this without talking to your doctor! I want to be clear that messing with your insulin dosage or other meds without help from your doc can be very dangerous.
- Again, this is only one family's story. It's a doozie for sure, but it's still only the 2nd time I've EVER heard of Type 1 Diabetes being reversed. However, just in case you know someone newly diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, or if someone in your future is diagnosed, keep this info in mind!
- Also keep in mind that many of these principles could be implemented if you're diagnosed with Type II Diabetes or if you're pre-diabetic as well! Read more about that here: The Two Biggest Lies of Type 2 Diabetes — Reversing Diabetes Naturally IS Possible!
This post was written by Kimberly, a friend I've gotten to know through my blog–she told me about her son's story and BLEW ME AWAY.
Kimberly's son Tyler was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and thankfully she was willing to share their story:
My then fifteen-year-old son, Tyler, had been complaining about his weight for a while and had confided in me that he was going to do something about it, so it came as no surprise to my husband and me when, in the summer of 2020, he started drinking more water and losing weight. He was so proud of his progress, and so were we. A couple of months in, I started noticing that he had to pee more often than usual. I was a little concerned, but he was intentionally drinking more water, so I said nothing. A few weeks later, it was definitely worse, and I was starting to worry that something was really wrong.
On November 24, 2020 we were shopping and Tyler tried on a t-shirt in what had been his usual size. At that moment I knew something was wrong. He was too thin and he had lost muscle tone. The very next morning I made an appointment to see our family doctor, and by that afternoon we were in her office. She took Tyler out of the room for tests and when she returned, he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. His A1c was 15% and his blood glucose was 337 mg/dL. As a frame of reference, a normal A1c is below 5.7% and above 6.4% is considered diabetic.
She told us to go home and pack a bag. We needed to drive to St. Louis that evening and check into the hospital. Needless to say I left in tears, and at this point Ty was more worried about me than he was himself. He kept telling me that it wasn’t a big deal. “Mom, I feel fine!” he kept saying.
I was completely in shock as we drove home to pack. My first call was to my husband and he was in shock about the news too. My second call was to our pastor. He immediately prayed with us as we drove. Tyler and I didn’t say much as we packed our bags and got in the car. I almost couldn’t breathe. This was too heavy for my heart. As we were driving the two hours to Cardinal-Glennon Hospital in St. Louis, God dropped these words into my heart:
Lean not on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5.
I didn’t know it then, but this would become, and remain, my mantra.
Tyler and I had a very long three days in the hospital, where they did blood tests to check for the antibodies related to Type 1 Diabetes. His level was high and he was officially diagnosed with T1D. We were educated on the fact that T1D is an autoimmune disease and he would deal with insulin and blood glucose monitors for the rest of his life. They told us that they would also monitor him for Celiac and Hashimoto’s, since those autoimmune diseases are common with T1D. “Monitoring” him for more issues did not seem like enough, so I asked the doctors what we were going to do to get his immune system under control?
Their answer was a very blunt, “nothing”.
The educators were in and out of Tyler’s room for the next three days reassuring him that his life wouldn’t change much. They told him that he could eat whatever he wanted, as long as he took his insulin before every meal and before he went to bed. At first my son, who is a six-foot two-inch man-child, tried to hold it together for me, but after a while in the hospital, he broke down. I was devastated. He was devastated. It felt like we were in some alternate universe. This wasn’t happening to my son. However, I just held on to the words, “Lean not on your own understanding.”
When we got home, Tyler did exactly what the endocrinologist told him to do. He was checking his blood glucose regularly and I was calculating insulin dosages with such precision that NASA scientists would have been impressed. His insulin-to-carb ratio was 1:6 when we left the hospital, which means that for every six carbs he ate, he had to dose one unit of insulin. He was also taking 38 units of insulin at bedtime. We were so careful with everything, but it didn’t matter what we did, his blood glucose numbers were like a rollercoaster. Just when I thought he was stable, his numbers would plummet, then they would spike. It was miserable. I was constantly worried about him. I lay in bed at night praying for him and wondering if he would drop too low in the middle of the night. Several times in the beginning, I would sneak into his bedroom at night while he slept, just to check his blood glucose. I didn’t want him to live like this, and I knew I couldn’t survive the worrying.
I prayed for discernment and started researching like a crazy person. Is it possible to reverse Type 1 Diabetes? Was there a chance his pancreas would heal?
Honestly, I didn’t find much hope at all, but I refused to lean on my own understanding. I read several Bible studies on healing and I prayed constantly that God would direct me to the information I needed for Ty. I finally found an article from Kelly, Chris Kresser, and others (see more links after this post) about the possibilities of reversing Type 1 Diabetes.
All I needed was that small glimmer of hope…and God.
I came across a study published in a pharmaceutical journal about specific plants that had been shown (in mice) to regenerate pancreatic beta cells, which is where insulin is produced. It listed several plants that had been proven in at least three different studies. I immediately told Tyler about the article and he was on board! I ordered the supplements, and he started taking handfuls of them every morning and evening.
He currently takes the following once a day:
- Gymnema sylvestre
- Bitter melon
- Chelated zinc
- Chromium dinicocysteinate (This is the only product I could find that contained this specific form.)
- Proflora4R Restorative Probiotic Combination from Biocidin
- (Or this probiotic that Kelly recommends for gut healing–use the code KOP for a discount, plus this real food gut cleaner, and these are helpful for gut health too: a spoonful of real, raw sauerkraut and/or a serving of dairy kefir daily.)
He takes the following twice a day:
- These pineapple chews for gut health
- Nigella sativa with thymoquinone
- Glysen from Apex Energetics (My local chiropractor actually sells this a LOT cheaper.)
- Ortho Biotic from Ortho Molecular Products
Along with the supplements, Tyler also started cutting carbs and requesting meals that didn’t require him to dose insulin. He didn’t like the idea of injecting something into his body if he didn’t really need it. Also, my man-child has a huge issue with needles, so if he could get by without a shot he was going to do just that.
I started combing websites for keto meals that he would enjoy.
Keto casseroles seemed to be easy and delicious. We also started eating a lot of chicken and steak with simple sides of salads and vegetables. I found a lot of keto snacks, just so he would have something quick to grab. When asked what his favorite keto foods were, he said: “salsa chicken, Brussel sprouts (only the way I cook them!), chicken bacon ranch casserole, steak, steak, and more steak. His favorite snacks have been peanut butter and beef jerky. (I asked how she cooks her Brussels: “Cut bacon into bite-sized pieces and fry. Remove from the pan and sauté onions for a couple minutes. Then add shredded Brussel sprouts to the onions. Add plenty of salt, pepper, and lots of garlic powder. Cook the sprouts until they are whatever doneness you like and toss the bacon back in.”)
It had only been a few weeks, but after the changes we had already made, he had improved his insulin to carb ratio!
It was now 1:10, and he was down to just 11 units of insulin at bedtime! There was a lot of improvement, but we weren’t done. Our next step was to make an appointment for Tyler to see a functional medicine doctor in December 2020. We were doing everything the endocrinologist told us to do, but the fact that they didn’t care about his immune system called for a second opinion.
At the first visit, the doctor ordered blood tests to see what was going on in Tyler’s body. Dr. Jake agreed that we needed to make sure his immune system was under control. He told Tyler that he was right to start eating fewer carbs, and his goal should be to dose as little insulin as possible. Tyler, again, was completely on board with the plan.
The blood tests that Dr. Jake had ordered alerted him that Tyler had something going on in his gut. Further tests showed that he had intestinal parasites, leaky gut, and gut dysbiosis. He started him on a couple different probiotics and supplements (included in the list above) to get the healing process started.
After all of the progress that Tyler had made, thankfully, he knew he could still do more to improve.
Tyler made the decision that Christmas dinner would be his last meal where he would have to dose insulin, and it was! From that day on, he limited his carb intake to what his body could handle with the amount of activity he was doing at the time. For instance, in the morning, he could handle eating more carbs, since he was going out to do farm chores after breakfast. He could drink a glass of milk, eat yogurt (sweetened with Stevia), or even eat low carb waffles, as long as he was headed out to work. When it was time for dinner, we really limited the number of carbs he would eat, since he wasn’t very active after dinner. Also, if a food was high in protein and/or fat, the carbs wouldn’t impact his blood glucose very much. We were careful, and we were still monitoring him very closely. (Read here about lowering the glycemic index of the foods you eat.)
We went to the endocrinologist for a check-up, and we were so excited to tell them about our progress. We told them that Tyler wasn’t dosing for meals and his blood glucose numbers were great. The doctor immediately countered our enthusiasm with the offer of an insulin pump for Ty.
Wait, what? I told the doctor that I didn’t think she understood what we had told her. Tyler was no longer taking any insulin with meals. It was like she couldn’t hear me.
Again, she wanted to know if Tyler was interested in getting an insulin pump. I asked her why Ty would need an insulin pump, if he’s not taking any insulin with meals. I didn't get an answer. She made Tyler promise that he would at least think about getting the pump and they would discuss it at the next appointment. (???!!!) It felt like I was in the Twilight Zone. Of course, they assured me that this “honeymoon phase,” where Ty didn’t have to dose for meals, would end at some point.
It was then that I realized that these doctors have absolutely no interest in my son’s well-being. All they wanted to do was stick with the standard protocol for diabetics and be done with him.
We were pretty depressed when we left the doctor’s office that day. We thought that the doctors would be so happy that Tyler was doing so well, but they weren’t. They tried to steal our hope, but we knew that we couldn’t lean on our own understanding! We kept moving forward with what we felt would help him. We had noticed so much improvement in his blood glucose numbers since he was diagnosed. He wasn’t experiencing high blood sugar anymore, but he kept having episodes of low blood sugar. We started to decrease his bedtime dose of insulin. I was no longer consulting the doctors for a dosage change like I had before. They had proven that they didn’t care, and we were super careful. Every three days we would decrease his bedtime insulin a little, but during the day, his blood glucose was still dropping too low. By the end of January, he was only taking three units of insulin at bedtime, and we were still having episodes of low blood sugar.
On February 8, 2021, Tyler took his very last dose of insulin!
He hasn’t taken a drop of insulin since then. No more lows, and no more highs. The rollercoaster ride with his blood glucose numbers was over. He was (and is) now always above 80 and below 140 with no insulin. Without the insulin there was no chance of his blood sugar dropping too low. I could finally sleep soundly again at night.
He’s been able to slowly increase the number of carbs he eats, which amazes me.
He still doesn’t eat potatoes, pasta, or sugar, but he does eat keto bread, the occasional side of rice, and other carbs. He always tries to balance it with enough protein and fat that the carbs don’t impact his blood sugar. He is also very careful to test his blood sugar after he eats carbs, just to keep an eye on things.
His functional doctor has done more tests that show that his gut is getting better. He now only sees the functional doctor for maintenance testing. Along with all of his supplements, Ty has even done one five-day round of this fasting mimicking diet to try to “reboot” his system.
Tyler’s endocrinologist doesn’t know what to think.
The doctor set a target A1c of 7.5%, and at his last visit in October, 2021, his A1c was 5.5%, which is normal for someone without diabetes. He isn’t even on the A1c chart for diabetics anymore. It makes my heart smile! The doctors have told him to monitor his blood glucose a couple of times a week, but they only want to see him in the office twice a year, just to check in. They are amazed. Tyler’s nurse even started to ask questions about what we were doing at home. She took notes about his progress, supplements, and diet. It was fantastic that someone was finally paying attention to Tyler’s progress, although they never forget to mention the phrase, “honeymoon period” every time we are in the office.
That’s okay, though. I’m trusting God that my son is healed.
I’m no expert on this topic, so I can’t even begin to guess which part of our plan has helped the most. I truly believe everything Tyler has done has played some role in his healing. I think it helped that he started the supplements as soon as he was diagnosed, but I don’t know that for sure. I also think it helped that he cut out carbs almost completely in the beginning. Maybe this let his body rest and heal. Again, I don’t know for sure.
One thing I do know is that my son is a rockstar. We could never have made these changes in his life unless he was completely willing.
He humbles me with everything he has been through and his attitude going through it. I don’t know if I would have been strong enough to make the changes that my son made over the last year. He is so strong in his faith. I think that is what kept him going. He told me later that God had also given him a verse to help him get through:
“No weapon formed against me shall prosper.” Isaiah 54:17
My son has always been strong-willed. Now I know why God made him that way… for such a time as this.
It is now February 2022 and it’s been over a year since Tyler has had any insulin whatsoever. Has my son been healed? I absolutely believe he has, but I also know it’s too soon to expect other people to believe it. I’m sure the doctors will still say we’re in a “honeymoon period” for quite a while. All I know is that Tyler’s body continues to produce more and more insulin on its own, and I am so thankful to God for that gift.
Are these two impressive or WHAT?!!!! They're BOTH rockstars!
The effort and grit they put into this, and how they were truly digging into the research, is positively inspiring. My favorite part though, was how their strong faith shined throughout, and also the way they showed us that with God's help, our bodies can do amazing things when given what they need to thrive. Kimberly and Tyler, thank you for being willing to share your story with my readers, I believe so many will be helped. If you know someone diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, please share!
More you might like:
- This one is about Type 2 Diabetes: The Two Biggest Lies of Type 2 Diabetes — Reversing Diabetes Naturally IS Possible!
- Here are all of my posts on diabetes and blood sugar issues. Some I listed here but scroll through to see them all.
- Scroll through here for my keto posts along with keto/low-carb recipes.
- Here are all of my posts on healthy fats. Scroll down through these to see them all.