From California, USA:
My message is regarding a previous question asking about recently diagnosed type 1's who have been able to go off of insulin after following a strict diet and exercise plan. The answer given was that whomever this success happened to must have been a type 2 or otherwise the plan would not work without insulin.
I am writing this to tell you that I am a newly diagnosed type 1 who has been able to be off of insulin shots for 3 months after having taken insulin for a year. I was diagnosed last year and almost immediately went into a "honeymoon phase." Knowing that I had functioning beta cells left, I started a lower-carbohydrate diet to ease the strain on my existing cells. Within 2 days I was able to go off of insulin completely. I feel that, through my experience, the person who wrote about the others was indeed talking about other type 1's who are like me in that they have functioning beta cells and are able to prolong their existence through careful diet and exercise.
I suggest that you research more into this "experimental" way of treating newly diagnosed diabetics. There are a lot of us out there, and I was offended when I saw that the interpretation of the treatment was from a misdiagnosis.
In the last few years it has been realised that there are several sub types of acute onset, initially insulin dependant, diabetes in young people. In Caucasian families, some 95% are what is now called Type 1A or autoimmune diabetes. In these cases the antibody test is positive. However, in about 50% of Hispanic and African American families the antibody test is negative and in many it is possible to dispense with insulin after a few weeks or months: these are called Type 1B. There is some evidence however that Type 1B cases are nonetheless insulin deficient and that eventually they may need insulin once again.
It might be a good idea to talk to your doctor and discuss whether to do an antibody test in your case. If the test was positive, you would know for certain that you would ultimately need insulin even if you were one of the lucky ones to have a prolonged honeymoon period. A number to call for more details is 1-800-425-8361. If the test is negative then you are almost certainly Type 1B and can expect to be able to manage without insulin for some years though maybe not for ever. Either way keep up the diet and exercise!
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