Recently, Sysy Morales, founder and editor of The Girls Guide to Diabetes blog, interviewed us and posed some tough questions, but graciously provided us the opportunity to answer them. She posted the interview on her web site, which we encourage you to read. I post the entire interview below, but I encourage you to visit Sysy’s web site as well. She has had type 1 diabetes for nearly 20 years and shares very insightful, encouraging articles and comments. *
(* results may vary)
Interview with Dan and Sally Roman
Their type 1 diabetic sons do not take insulin.
Dan and Sally Roman have two children who have been diagnosed with type 1 and neither child takes insulin. They don’t call what they’ve done a cure, rather blood sugars have been normalized via lifestyle habits. I was as confused and shocked as you when I first heard of this. I ask that you please keep an open mind as you read this.
No one has to feel compelled to do as they have done, however to say what they are doing is a lie or a scam, without having infinite knowledge about type 1 diabetes or what they’re doing is exercising ignorance and I know we can all rise above that. It benefits us all to learn more about what they’ve done and to think about how this information could be used by our diabetes researchers.
I’ve interviewed Dan Roman to hear their story and to get some tough questions answered.
Please tell us a little about yourselves and your family.
Sally and I are the parents of 6 children ranging in ages from 10 to 24. The four children still at home with us are 10, 12, 14 and 16. We have two type 1 diabetic children, ages 10 and 14, with whom we have had great success managing their disease through diet and lifestyle changes. I previously worked for 18 years with a specialty pharmacy and disposable medical supply company where I held the title of Vice President of Sales. Sally was formerly a registered nurse before becoming a full time mother of 6 children. After diligent research (and some good old fashion trial and error) we discovered the elements that comprise #TheRomanDiet and the Health-e-Solutions lifestyle. Through an ongoing process of combining various alternative measures and seeing the cause and effect of different foods, we have fine-tuned this lifestyle for greater success and easier, more practical application in a busy world. We now enjoy helping others learn the practical application of the Health-e-Solutions lifestyle though our company, Health-e-Solutions.
About your two young boys who have been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, can you share a little of their diagnosis stories?
Our story began in January of 2008. We thought our youngest child, Gabriel, possibly had a bladder infection because of his frequent urination. Our children had a bad flu virus over the holidays and Gabriel just did not recover from it completely.
Our family doctor said he suspected Gabriel had type 1 diabetes. We were shocked. We had no family history of diabetes, and overall our family had been very healthy. The tests taken the next day and explained by our pediatric endocrinologist revealed that our six-year-old son would probably be insulin-dependent within six months. He did not yet need insulin injections but was close to that point. Our doctor insisted that there was nothing we could do to prevent the onset of diabetes. He said that no dietary changes were needed or would help. He advised us to prepare for the inevitable day that was just around the corner when Gabriel would need to go on insulin.
We spent extensive time researching all possible options of treatment. We incorporated several approaches after realizing that our nutrition can really impact our health. We began to test different foods and meticulously chart Gabe’s various food responses. We discovered that many recipes we found for diabetics had too high of a glycemic load, even many alkaline recipes. Desperate to make this lifestyle change “livable,” my wife camped out in the kitchen experimenting with new culinary creations.
It was so rewarding to see that within a month Gabriel’s blood sugar levels stabilized.
Our story took a twist in the road when only four months later our ten year old son, Nathan, was also diagnosed with early type 1 diabetes. Nathan had been exhibiting behavior changes for several months. He was very moody and could not concentrate in school. His grades were suffering. We learned that siblings of type one diabetics were at much greater risk of developing diabetes than the general population, so we decided to have all of our children tested.
Nathan joined his brother on the Health-e-Solutions lifestyle adventure. The same day Nathan was diagnosed, a blood test revealed that Gabriel’s fasting insulin had dropped below the measurable limits of the test and his c-peptide was down to .18 (normal range was .8 – 3.1). Although we were thankful that Gabriel was maintaining normal blood sugar levels, we grieved at what appeared to be the loss of insulin production. Gabriel seemed to be following the path the pediatric endocrinologist laid out for us, except that neither of our boys required any exogenous insulin yet. Even with very low insulin levels, their blood sugars were very stable while eating the #TheRomanDiet.
By this time we found a naturopathic physician well versed in diabetes and very supportive of our lifestyle changes. We decided to have our boys followed by him instead of the pediatric endocrinologist.
In July of 2008, after two months of perseverance, we ended up back at our doctor’s office. We were stunned when he announced the results of both boys’ recent lab tests. Gabriel’s pancreas had once again begun to produce some insulin (still below normal, but a definite change in direction). Nathan was overproducing insulin in order to compensate for insulin antibodies present. Both were maintaining normal blood sugar levels. We were overwhelmed with gratitude.
Fast forward to today, it has been four years since Gabriel was diagnosed. Both he and Nathan are doing exceptionally well. Their A1c tests remain below 5.0 and their blood sugar levels are very stable. All other tests are within the “normal” ranges.
Do your boys take insulin?
No. Neither one of them has ever had to take insulin because we were fortunate enough to catch the disease in an early enough stage of progression. For that we are very thankful for the astute observations of our family doctor back in January of 2008.
Do they still have diabetes or do you feel it has been reversed?
Yes, they still have diabetes, but yes it has been reversed. All of their symptoms have disappeared. As long as they remain on the Health-e-Solutions lifestyle they have normal blood glucose results. We now only test their blood glucose levels when they try new foods because they have been so stable for such a long time.
We like to say that the monster (diabetes) is locked up in a box. As long as our boys are faithful to living the Health-e-Solutions lifestyle, they are symptom-free. They do not have to test blood sugars daily. They can eat whatever they want, whenever they want, so long as it is within the Health-e-Solutions diet. They do not count carbs or food portions. They (and we) sleep care-free at night, never worrying about hypoglycemia. We know the monster is still there, locked up in that box, but it is severely limited in what it can do.
What is the explanation that doctors give you about this? Do you they think their diabetes has been reversed?
We typically hear that they must have been misdiagnosed, or that they are having a very strong honeymoon phase. But this cannot explain all the others who have implemented the Health-e-Solutions lifestyle and had similar or even more remarkable results. Some have gotten completely off insulin and no longer have any antibodies. Of course, everybody responds differently because everybody is unique in how they express their diabetes.
Our two doctors that have reviewed their cases believe the symptoms have been reversed, and they definitely attribute it to the diet and lifestyle changes. We definitely think their diabetes has been reversed. The symptoms have all disappeared. But that is not to say we think they have been cured. As stated earlier, the monster is locked up in a box.
Is there any possibility that your sons have one of the more unpopular forms of diabetes such as ketosis prone diabetes which looks and acts much like type 1 but can be managed without insulin with a low carb diet?
It is unlikely. KPD is usually found in African-Americans, Hispanics, and other minority ethnic groups of non-European descent. These patients are usually obese, have a strong family history of diabetes, and, most importantly, are characterized by DKA at time of diagnosis. Our boys have none of those markers, and they were not in DKA at time of diagnosis.
Most doctors out there say there is no type 1 diabetes cure. People who are taught that and who hear your story probably feel confused and very skeptical. What can you say about this?
Their reaction is understandable on many levels. I think two keys motivate that confusion. First the word cure is a very nebulous term that carries a lot of different meanings with it – probably as many meanings as there are diabetics. We do not use the word cure. We think the term remission is a better fit. Even so, I think a lot of type 1 diabetics would be very happy with the results we have had if it were the same for them. In fact, they might even use the word cure.
When insulin was discovered and the first people began injecting it, insulin was called a diabetes cure. Were they wrong? Yes, but to those living at that time, insulin injections were far superior to the alternatives they had. So much so that it was a practical cure for them.
Secondly, mainstream medicine places very little value on nutrition and its impact on type 1 diabetes. In fact most people are told at time of diagnosis, just as we were told that diet will make no difference. They are told to eat whatever they want and just cover it with the right amount of insulin. This is wrong on so many levels it would require pages to address.
This approach sets up the type 1 diabetic for:
- Early onset of more health complications,
- lowers their nutritional quality of life,
- makes blood sugar management more difficult,
- is inconsistent with research,
- and decreases the chances of protecting remaining beta cells (autopsies on type 1 diabetics reveal that the majority still have at least some functioning beta cells)
With all the research into finding a way to regenerate or replicate beta cells, it seems we ought to do all we can to preserve what we have.
We have found that naturopathic doctors are well ahead of standard care doctors when it comes to a more holistic approach to treating diabetes that gets at root causes instead of just treating symptoms. Their support has been very instrumental in our continuing efforts and success.
Is this diet that your boys are on also a low carb diet?
Yes and no. Compared to the Standard American Diet (SAD) the answer is yes. If you mean carbs as most people understand them (cookies, cake, candy, bread, rice, potatoes, the answer is still yes. However, if you mean in a strict definition of carbohydrates, then the answer is no. In fact, we had a typical two week meal plan analyzed and found out that the average daily carbohydrate intake was 196 grams! 121 of those grams were fiber, so the net carbs were 75 grams.
We have found that it is more important to focus on the type of carbs you are eating than the amount. Both are important, but making sure you are eating what we call “Right Carbs” is more important. “Right Carbs” are those carbohydrates that are high in fiber, low in sugar content, low in #InsulinDemand and high in anti-oxidants.
Do you think this way of eating has to be implemented early on in order to work?
What do you mean by “work”?
It is true that the earlier in the disease progression you begin the better are your chances for more dramatic results. However, we believe most people, no matter where they are in disease progression can experience at least some benefit. We helped a woman who has been type 1 for over 35 years who started the Health-e-Solutions lifestyle about 6 months ago who has now had her best two A1c results in her entire life as a diabetic. I would say that is an indication the lifestyle is “working.” Does she still take insulin? Yes, although the amount is reduced.
We tell people that the goal should not be getting off insulin, although that is a nice side benefit for some of us! The goal should be excellent blood sugar management in the healthiest way possible. So with that goal in mind, we think the Health-e-Solutions lifestyle works beautifully! Results vary from person to person, but we believe the lifestyle is the healthiest way to manage diabetes. Even our kids that are not diabetic feel better on the diet!
I would imagine that word about what you both have done would spread like wild fire and doctors everywhere would attempt to screen children for signs of early type 1 diabetes in development and then quickly start them on this diet. How come this hasn’t happened?
There is an old expression that says, ‘the first one through the wall gets the bloodiest.’ While we are certainly not the first, we are close enough to it to reap the consequences of being well outside standard care practices and opinions.
In 1847, Ignaz Semmelweiss discovered that hand washing by medical students and doctors before they treated obstetrical patients would reduce dramatically the incidence of maternal deaths. Although hugely successful; Semmelweis’ discovery directly conflicted with the beliefs of science and medicine in his time. His colleagues and other medical professionals refused to accept his findings. The continued criticism and lash out finally broke him down. By 1865, he was suffering from depression, forgetfulness and other neural complaints and was eventually committed to an asylum.
We hope we have a more pleasant outcome, but we are just happy to help those who are willing to listen to alternative methods of managing and treating type 1 diabetes.
We also find a lot of research supports the nutritional components of #TheRomanDiet and very little that detracts from it. After all, the foundation of this lifestyle is just healthy food – how can you go wrong?
Do you think education and awareness about what you’ve done should spread in order to help save lives?
Why isn’t the information you share in your business free?
For nearly 3 years we helped people as time would allow and did not charge anything. At that time, I was working at my former place of employment. Now that we are doing this full time, we have the opportunity to help more people, a nice array of products and services to offer, and time to keep developing better services. We really have a desire to help as many people as we can, but we do still need to put food (healthy food!) on the table for our children.
We do extensive research, provide free correspondence, write many articles and reports and offer many recipes on our website all for free. However there is a lot of administrative work that goes into keeping a web site running and offering products and services.
We get asked this question fairly often, but I wonder if the same would be asked of health care professionals, or even of the author of a book with information that could potentially save lives? The unfortunate reality of life is we all have to make a living. We feel blessed to be able to help people while trying to do so.
Can anyone with type 1 benefit from your services and information?
Yes. We believe the lifestyle we have implemented can be beneficial for anyone with type 1 diabetes. It can also be of great benefit to pre-diabetics and type 2 diabetics – we work with them as well. Since we are showing people how to live what we believe to be a healthier lifestyle, virtually anybody can benefit from our services. But our goal and passion is to teach type 1 diabetics how to better manage this disease for long term health and sustainability.
It is interesting that many of the organ-specific autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, Lupus, autoimmune thyroid disease, all have special diets associated with them that seem to help manage or reverse symptoms. The diets are similar, in many ways to #TheRomnDiet. It is also interesting that people with type 1 diabetes also have higher incidence rates of these other organ-specific autoimmune diseases. If lifestyle and dietary change make a difference with those autoimmune diseases, it stands to reason that that the same may be true for type 1 diabetes.
Dan and Sally, thank you so much for taking the time to answer those questions and speak to me over the phone.
To readers, thank you for taking the time to read this interview. If you’re feeling a pang of jealousy as I had initially, understand this is due to the amount of suffering we have endured at the hands of type 1 diabetes. I felt at ease once I realized that perhaps we can learn really valuable information here. The way I see it, if a hand full of children and adults can benefit from this information and approach, I consider this priceless.
We are so quick and willing to spread myth busting information about diabetes. What about being open to information that might be used to help some people with diabetes? What about those who are in the early stages of developing it? I think that not spreading hopeful information like this to those willing to try it is a shame. This doesn’t mean anyone judges anyone for not being willing to try it or sacrifice certain foods. It’s a personal decision that should be respected. However, having access to information and opportunity is something we all deserve. The chance to decide for ourselves how we go about tackling our diabetes is essential.
To learn more about the information and guidance they offer, please go to their website: