The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) recently ran the following ad in the The New York Times and in The Washington Post:

jdrf_ad_2011

Piper has type 1 diabetes. One in twenty people like Piper will die from low blood sugar.

In fact, kids and adults are dying every day from low blood sugar or complications caused by type 1 diabetes. In the next few weeks, the FDA has a chance to show it is leading the world in medical innovation, not standing in its way. It will lay out the pathway to bring to market the first artificial pancreas, a life saving technology now under development, and the most revolutionary treatment in diabetes since the discovery of insulin.

Three million kids, teens, and adults with type 1 diabetes are counting on the FDA to get it right. Our lives and health are at stake.

This is quite the shock campaign… and most of the buzz in the type 1 diabetes communities has been about that 1 in 20 statistic. Can it possibly be accurate that so many people with diabetes die of low blood sugar?!

JDRF stands behind the statistic, citing multiple studies, while some observers balk that “this ‘fact’ appears to be based almost entirely on one author’s (Dr. Cryer’s) interpretation of a variety of studies done by others.”

From a diabetic-alkaline lifestyle point of view, this is a horrendous statistic when you consider the possibility that many type one diabetics could possibly avoid the low blood sugars causing these deaths if the diabetic-alkaline lifestyle was integrated into their plan of care. Instead, they are told to eat whatever they want because diet does not make any difference.

I also find the statement that the artificial pancreas is “the most revolutionary treatment in diabetes since the discovery of insulin” interesting. Revolutionary? Perhaps so, and I hope it helps save many lives, as it is being characterized to be able to do.

But if you want something truly revolutionary, try the diabetic-alkaline lifestyle. It is so revolutionary that most researchers and doctors simply cannot believe it has any therapeutic value for type 1 diabetes. They do not believe it has any lasting cure, prevention or treatment value, despite the amazing results some of us have experienced. Yet here we are.

The artificial pancreas has many merits that may help thousands achieve better glucose management – artificially. Yet it is no cure. There are still many drawbacks to this means of managing insulin infusion. It still falls within the “treat the symptoms” paradigm of standard care.

The jury is still out for the diabetic-alkaline lifestyle, whether or not it can actually cure (in the idealized sense of the word) people of their type one diabetes. However, I believe it is getting at some of the root causes of type one diabetes: environmental factors.

The biggest environmental factors are lifestyle issues associated with food and drink. Researchers believe that many of the organ-specific autoimmune diseases, like type one diabetes, are triggered by environmental factors in genetically susceptible people, with dietary elements topping the list of possible triggers. Is it such a stretch to think that diet and lifestyle changes can have an impact on the management of type 1 diabetes, especially in those newly-diagnosed, who have not yet experienced as much destruction of their pancreatic beta cells? I think not!

Revolutionary? Yes. Radical? It shouldn’t be. Ridiculous? No!