Has Anyone Else Reversed Diabetes Complications? If You Have, I Want to Hear From You!

This article was originally published in Diabetes Health in August, 2008.

Heather Jacobs is looking for your feedback

| Dec 25, 2008

Are you a scientific anomaly like me?  Have you or someone you know reversed the complications associated with diabetes? Did you suffer microvascular and macrovascular damage during the “growing pains” of coming to terms with having no choice but to live your life with diabetes? Then, did you turn around and find love and hope, which made you change your life? And after changing it, did you find after several years that you were healing the damage that you had incurred by your own misguided hand? 

Well, I did and I am looking for others!  I want to encourage people to share their stories in the hope that we can generate sufficient anecdotal information that will demonstrate sufficient cause for a rigorous study to scientifically prove that we can reverse complications associated with diabetes!  

I am proud to say that, despite my early years of virtually ignoring my diabetes and sustaining significant microvascular and macrovascular damage, thanks to an improved lifestyle over the past years I am seeing tremendous improvement of the neuropathy in my hands and feet, the retinopathy in my eyes and the nephrology of my kidneys. I’ll say it myself: Wow! 

I’ll share some of my story and hope that others will identify with and show me that I am, indeed, not an anomaly.  

Headed for an Early Death

I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes nearly 30 years ago when I was eight. The reasons I chose the paths I did in taking and not taking care of myself, my disease and my life were as diverse and complicated as the causes. A defining moment for me was after awakening from a three-day ketoacidodic coma and hearing the doctors tell me and my parents that I would die by age 40 and by that time I would be blind, with an amputation and quite possibly on dialysis. Needless to say, I did not learn how to live, let alone live well with diabetes.  Diabetes was as an intruder in my life and I vehemently despised being destined to such a short, disease-riddled life.  So, I did what any 8 year old would do, I rebelled.  

The rebellion lasted 20 years. My logic was simple: Most people seek out and do things that are good for them because they want to live long and healthy lives. But since I was going to die a young, horrible death anyway, I chose to search for things that were bad for me. I did them with gusto.  Over the years, I picked up every thing from my first greatest taboo love, sugar, to filtered Camel cigarettes to my greatest, most agonizing nemesis, alcohol. Those vices all seemed par for my abbreviated course.

So, the first 20 years of my life with diabetes were spent acting as if I did not have it. I didn’t tell anyone I had it and I never, ever talked about it.  I tried to keep my blood sugars high enough that I would never have a low, and high enough to never have to test.  At the time, I saw no other reason to “test” my blood sugar except to see if I was actually experiencing another one of those scary lows.  So, I always kept my blood sugar high.  This made me feel even more a failure every time I tested, hence I didn’t.  At one point I had an HBA1c of over 18%.

My Turnaround Allows a Comeback

Today, I am so happy and proud to say that these things are no longer true in my life and that I have come to embrace myself, my life and even my diabetes.  I met my life partner 18 years ago and married him four years later.  His unconditional love and support made wanting to live a good long life a brand-new reality. I had never wanted to live a long, good, happy life.  I knew it was impossible, and yet now I had found hope. 

I began to change, slowly. I had learned over the years that any action that needs to be done for the rest of my life must first fit into it. I began to look at myself, my life, and my diabetes in entirely new and nurturing ways.  I had finally made a change in my life and sustained it. It felt good. Actually, it felt incredible!  So, I chose to make another change, and then another. These changes soon added up and I am now happily living the benefits of my concerted efforts.

With improving my blood sugars, blood lipids and blood pressure, came significant and considerable benefits.  My kidney function went from full-blown clinical albumineria to normal function. My feet, which used to be virtual icebergs, now maintain healthy warmth. I had sustained proliferative retinopathy and in 1997 had laser surgery on my eyes to prevent me from progressing to blindness. My ophthalmologist has told me for the past consecutive six years that not only are my eyes not getting worse, they are healing and improving.

I could hardly believe what was happening.  I was healing?  I went to speak with my endocrinologist, who now calls me “The Diabetes Poster Child.” I asked him how on earth I could have not known that we can reverse diabetes complications. He said, in a nutshell, because not enough people have done what I have done with my life, and since it could not be proven scientifically he could not tell his patients that it is a possibility. I responded that if no one hears it is possible, then no one will know to try. 

He continued, telling me there have been cases where they have taken, for example, a kidney from a diabetes donor and placed it in a person without diabetes only to find over time that the organ has returned to normal function.  The point is with the right environment the human body can and will heal itself.  Now, let’s prove it! 

An Appeal for Your Help

I want to hear from people who have had experiences similar to mine and can help support this anecdotal success.  If I’m correct, we will have sufficient anecdotal proof to warrant a full-blown, rigorous scientific study that will prove without a doubt that it is never to late to turn it around! Just imagine the lives that will benefit by being shown a way not just live, but a way to live well with diabetes!

I look forward to hearing from you!

Heather Jacobs

Founder of the Diabetes Wellness Center

Please post your comments below.

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Posted by Anonymous on 10 April 2008

I went from a 8.5 A1C to a 5.9 without medication by changing diet and adding exercise.

Posted by Anonymous on 10 April 2008

I have lost 76# since Nov. 3rd, 2006. I have been a Diabetic since 1979. I became a Vegetarian Jan. 1st, 2007. I have cut my Insulin by 80%, which in turn has helped me in alot of my other Health Problems. So the combination of weight loss, my walking, new hip, new eyes, new foot, new shoulder, becoming a Vegan, I have reversed my Diabetes. My Dr. says in another year I will be off Insulin at this rate!!!!!

Posted by davidh on 10 April 2008

I believe that it is possible to heal from type I diabetes. If you correct the spiritual problems that led to your disease (the pancreas is affected by how adaptable you are), then the body will respond and begin to function normally again. I believe I can overcome type I if I follow my heart's desire and live life without limits. I took big steps last year by leaving my very unsatisfactory job of 21 years and moving from an area where I felt very out of place. I feel much more in tune with life and myself here and I feel that's a start but I have a long way to go! It was great to see a post such as yours.

Posted by Anonymous on 10 April 2008


I was prediabetic in 1998 and weighed 259 pounds at 5'9" and female.

I joined the Diabetic Prevention Program and luckly was randomized into their lifestyle changes group. Which basically meant that I was to exercise 30 minutes a day.... and to make better eating choices and lose at least 7 percent of my weight.

It was the best thing that ever happened to me. I needed someone to point out that I was slowly killing myself with my bad eating habits and lack of exercise.

As of today I weigh 145 pounds and have run a marathon and one of my greatest joys is getting out and running in the fresh air and sunshine. Everyday I am greatful that I am happy and healthy and hope someone can look at me and say it is possible to make small changes in their life that will make amazining changes in your health.

Dyan Buffa
Reno NV

Posted by Anonymous on 10 April 2008

What are you saying David? That Heather developed diabetes at age 8 because she had spiritual problems and wasn't "adaptable?" I don't think you heard what Heather was saying. She had problems adapting to being a type 1 diabetic, resisted and ignored it. She finally made peace with a disease that she has due in no part to anything she did. She changed her attitude and her choices about diabetes and was able to become so much healthier and happier. She did not reverse her diabetes, she reversed the effects that her unfortunate choices had caused. I admire your decision to make a change in your job and life - and I wish you spiritual peace and happiness. But you can have that and accept the fact your pancreas is not functioning normally and that you have a chronic disease that you can sucessfully manage. Don't feel
"limited" - be in control of your life.

Posted by catman on 10 April 2008

Great post Heather. Inspirational! I have also had complete resolution of significant neuropathy in both feet (my left foot was much worse than my right foot).

For many years prior to my diagnosis of type II diabetes in 2005 I had experienced a myriad of neurological symptoms in my feet ranging from icy cold to tingling and numbness. At their worst I had the sensation as if my toes, especially my great toes, had been amputated. I experienced significant numbness both in the my toes and in the soles of my feet. At times I also experienced sharp, stinging pains between my toes when walking.

When I was diagnosed with type II diabetes in February 2005 as a natural problem-solver I saw this as an opportunity to learn and especially as an opportunity to see just what my body was capable of. I had faith that if I worked with my body that it would respond...... and it has done exactly that. Three years after I was diagnosed with diabetes I am now not only completely free of neuropathy but have what I consider to be exceptional tactile sense in both my feet. In addition, my vision has improved to the point where I am now very comfortable without my prescription glasses.

I can't say for certain what has been responsible for my improvements. Even though my 12 fasting BG was 300 mg/dl when I was first diagnosed and much higher at 2 hours PP I have never taken any medications. Instead, I went on a low and then a very carbohydrate diet with a number of supplements including magnesium aspartate and glycinate and Glucorelle (600 mg/day). These are some of the main supplements. However, there is no question in my mind that the low carbohydrate no wheat diet is the major factor. My response to a reduction in carbohydrate intake was both immediate and significant in terms of improvement in BG.

Posted by scooter8209 on 10 April 2008

I have been a type 1 since the age of 7 which makes this my 26th year. I too spent over 20 years being totally uncontrolled, eating what I wanted, never testing, drinking alcohol etc and at one point I also had an A1c of close to 18. I went on a pump in 1996 and while I have seen a dramatic improvement in my blood sugars and lifestyle, taking my diabetes seriously for the first time since my childhood years, the complications do not just go away.
You can inprove things but you can't delete the damage that has been done by so many years out of control. I too have had lazer surgery and while my eye's are doing well, they have not improved but stabilized. My kidney function thank God has remained good and I do believe God has been watching over me. I suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia and starting osteoporosis along with having severe deformities of my feet making walking something I don't do much anymore. I too found my life partner 10 years ago and while my attitudes have changed, the consequences of my folly still haunt me to this day. I"m glad you are doing better and are now happy and yes, attitude can play a big role in our health but reversing serious complications is not possible but improving on them is.
Not seeing doctors and knowing how bad my lab values were for years I don't know if things have improved or if I have just been blessed with good genes to keep me healthy. I too was told I would never live to be past 40 and am now getting ready to turn 53.
I do think studying older diabetics would be beneficial especially one's who have been so severely out of control and later in life learned the seriousness of the disease and regained control. I also hope our new President in 2008 supports funding for diabetes research.
I just hope I can continue to live at home and care for myself and my type 2 husband for many more years and to see my grandchildren grow up so I continue to test my sugars 8-10 times a day and will never give up my insulin pump.

Posted by scooter8209 on 10 April 2008

I made an error in my comment, I have been a type 1 for 46 years, not 26, sorry :(

Posted by Anonymous on 10 April 2008

I have a long history of type 1 diabetes 60 years. I had very painful neuropathy in both feet.In 2000 I went on a much tighter control with a pump. I have been in the 5.7 to 6.5 A1c range for 8+ years. After 2 years of low A1c numbers I lost all pain from neuropathy in my feet. I am sure tight control is the cause

Posted by Kristi G. on 10 April 2008

Hello Heather.
Congratulations on taking control of your life. I have type 1 diabetes, and was only recently diagnosed (about a year ago), so needless to say, I am not suffering from any complications. I am 32 years old and the disease hit me with the pregnancy of my son Zack, therefore, this past year has been both the best and worst year of my life!
I try to take care of myself and my diabetes the best I can, not only for myself, but also for my son and my husband. Although I can't share any stories of side effects, I wanted to share with you a book I'm currently reading that has become my diabetes bible, you may already have read it, it is called "The Diabetes Solution" and it is written by Dr. Richard Bernstein. His story is a little similar to you in the fact that he was suffering severe long term side effects and was able to reverse them all with a low carb diet. He is an inspiration and a genius in my opinion. If you are looking for stories like your own, you should read his book. He is also a doctor and an engineer, and his book is full of wonderful tips on managing diabetes.
Good Luck to you and your family, your story was great to read!

Posted by Richard157 on 10 April 2008

Heather, I am pleased that you have managed your diabetes and your overall health so well. Congratulations!

I was diagnosed with Type 1 in 1945 when I was 6. I knew nothing about carb counting and low carb diets until 40 years after my diagnosis. I ate many carbs for 40 years but I did not know that was the wrong thing to do. My doctors never told me anything about carbs during that period of time. My parents were told I should not eat anything with a high sugar content. We follwed that advice. I did not cheat but I ate tons of carbs since we did not know any better. I had very high urine sugar almost all the time. I was healthy though and I did not develop complications. I had poor control and I did not know it was poor, but I remained healthy. I began experiencing some minor complications when I was in my late 40's but that was about the time that the glucose meters became available and I started using Humalog insulin and counting carbs. My complications never became serious because of the changes in my diabetes care and my control was the best I had ever experienced. My A1c's have been below 6.0 for several years now and I am pumping insulin. I am very healthy and have wonderful control despite so many years of high BG's and knowing so little of what I desperately needed to know to have the control that I have now.

Good luck to you! We watch our diabetes and our health so closely that it makes me feel that we will live longer, healthier lives than we may have lived as nondiabetics.


Posted by Anonymous on 10 April 2008

Yes, I know of 4 people with Diabetes who have had remarkable regenerations. 2 recovered from blindness and nearing kidney dialysis,one recovered from spilling large amounts of protein from kidneys and one more from blindness.

2 methods of regeneration were used. One I have tried to get funding for research with no luck as I am not a doctor. The other is available to all so no research needs to be done.

Medicine has always known one can reverse complications if the complication is not set in for too long.

One of the blind people was blind for 2 yrs.
and it took her a good 6 mos. before she saw anything again. One of the other blind people recovered in 1 week and had been blind for less than 1 yr.

Hope you get lots of responses as research is only going to help the young if they find a cure. There is very little research going on to reverse or improve the quality of life one has with diabetes complications.


Posted by billb on 10 April 2008

Heather, First . . . Thanks for your work!

AND, I have 3 points/pointers/comments to offer:

1) I've been on the medtronic/minimed insulin pump since 2002, and am seeing a dramatic improvement in my control. (btw, both my MD and staff nutritionist are type 1s and both on the pump too -- what a coup!!)

1 a) Even BETTER -- I've been on the Paradigm CGMS (continuous glucose monitoring system)since October 2007 (just 4 1/2 short months) and my A1c is down a FULL POINT! I am losing weight -- less insulin, less fat storage!!

2) I connected with a Doctor in Singapore (Dr Khoo) who "invented" a Chinese herb blend called Combetic, which he stated (and backed up with data) showed incredible results on reducing and even eliminating the need not only for diabetic drugs but also cholesterol and bp drugs as well. I reviewed the findings and was blown away! It (sadly) had minimal impact on me personally, though I referred a type 2 friend who had FULL RECOVERY!

3) Finally, I have HUGE hope for the study at MASS involving the use of a vaccine (tuberculosis) to "turn back on" islet cells and reverse the auto-immune attack on our own bodies.

We are getting closer . . . thanks for your work. I'd be interested in further info and/or discussions -- bill dot barbee at gmail dot com.

Posted by Anonymous on 10 April 2008

Heather... your story is one of hope and inspiration. It could be my story as well. I am also a Type 1, diagnosed at age 18. I also rebelled and tried to ignore my diagnosis. My doctor also told me I'd never live to see my 40th birthday. That was 10 years ago. I have suffered a major complication in that I had quad bypass surgery at age 41. My eyes and kidneys are doing pretty good considering. I have non-proliferative retinopathy and my kidney function is good for now. I have little, if any neuropsthy. Without the heart working properly... nothing else really matters. I have begun to really take charge of my diabetes in hopes of buying myself a few more years. Your story has inspired me to keep up the fight!

Posted by Anonymous on 10 April 2008

Heather, I have been Type I for 41 years, diagnosed at age 19. Never happy about the restrictions but tried to do the best I could given each particular life situation - college student, NY commuter, pregnancy, Mom, self employed, yoga, golf. My worst A1c was an 11 when I was working full time, had a husband with a travel intensive job and an asthmatic three year old.
All this leads to say about 10 years ago my legs/feet started buzzing and my kidney function was below 1/2 normal. Panic! But, my endocrinologist said that with tighter control and low protein diet the kidney function could improve and tighter control could help the neuropathy. IT DID! - kidney function is now 90% of normal and foot doc says I have normal sensation on bottoms of all toes. I'm not a poster child - my A1cs are good when in the 7s and sometimes run in mid 8s. But even that degree of tightening up has made things better. Hope this helps your campaign. Good luck.

Posted by eri on 10 April 2008

congratulations to all who are trying to reverse this illness, i am looking forward to read more ,I have type two for 10 years now and did not relize how much damage it was doing to me , my vision and now erectile problems that scared me being a macho type man it took that to make me realize i need to control my sugar i have never been heavy , so i started to excersise more and drinking cactus water its a old remeady if it works i certainly will post the good news

Posted by rosiolady on 10 April 2008

Since October 31 of 2007, Halloween, I have been following Dr. Bernstein's very low carb diabetes diet. My kidneys have gone from early stage kidney disease to back to within normal range. My eye exams have shown no further development of retinopathy. They are stable. I have been a type 1 diabetic for 37 years and have done very well, I think, except for eye and kidney problems. Those are responding "big time" to the low carb diet!

Posted by harryand on 10 April 2008

I am 85 and have had Type 2 diabetes for about 35 years. My H1cs average 6.5. I weigh 156 pounds. My diabetes is definitely hereditary. Some plump cousins who were jolly and adventuresome lived to be 92-94. Others died in their 60-70-80s. I exercise 2 hours daily. I have had neuropathy in my right foot for the past 3 years, with numbness and some pain. I am hoping that neuropathy can be reversed. I find that a glass of water every time that I get up reduces the neuropathy when in bed.The only specific exercise that helps is to raise myself on my toes. My general attitude is that diabetes has been a good thing for me because it has forced me to pay attention to food, exercise and stress. Also, I try to maintain a good sense of humor. Basically, I have a low carb diet but I don't count calories. So far, I seem to have avoided the worst effects of diabetes except for this fairly recent neuropathy.

Posted by Anonymous on 11 April 2008

Hello there, that was a very inspiring story. I am trying to fight type II diabetes.

Posted by bluecatmarlow on 11 April 2008

I am 57 having had diabetes since I was 13. I now have problems with neuropathy and retinopathy, heart disease (not helped by having Sleep apnoea diagnosed 3 years ago), being very overweight, irregular blood sugars. I would love to know of a way to help reverse these problems.

Posted by merileek on 11 April 2008

Thanks for your inspiring post. For 46 (since I was 16) years I've coped with IDDM. Urine testing -- 2 hours delayed, as results were -- was insufficient. I indulged in the candies and proscribed cookies and candies, not out of hunger, I'm sure, but rather because my BG's too high or low. Mild diabetic peripheral neuropathy in my legs and hands ensued. For exercise, while swimming hands would numb, while toes tingled, ala pins and needles. My endocrinologist helped me with Inositol (part of the B-complex vitamins.) In split doses, I took 3,000 IU (or mg) daily. Like you, since finding a loving mate (37 happy years together,) I had more reason to avoid further complications. I'm fortunate the BG home monitoring (recommended by my psychiatrist) came along, and I jumped onboard. This, I'm sure, saved my life. Symptoms abated. I'd read, and asked my "endo" if I could get off the Inositol. He said, I could try it by, little by little, reducing the total. I've done this. My A1c has normalized, and I'm symptom free. At a talk about diabetes complications, I heard an endocrinologist say that neuropathy does not get cured. I say, fine, but symptoms abate. I'm glad to tell this story...and lead a healthier happier life. For those who've not yet found, as motivation to improve, outside love, may I suggest that loving oneself is a great start.

Posted by Anonymous on 11 April 2008

There's absolutely a chance to decrease or stabilize thr risk of serious diabetes complications by tightening up on control. But it's not going to "reverse" complications for everyone. I'm tightly controlled at A1C of 6.5, age 33, female, with type 1 for 25 years, and have retinopathy (stable), gastroparesis (stable), and early kidney disease (stable). I'm positive that living happily & healthfully prevents my complications from being worse, but even doing my best, I still can't "reverse" my complications. Let's be cautious in how we talk about this; remember that not too long ago Halle Berry claimed she "weaned herself off insulin."

Posted by Anonymous on 11 April 2008

Very disturbing story! As a father of an 8 years old diagnosed with diabetes, I believe that this kind of anecdotes can harm more than they help.
In the first place, the idea that at an early age you were told that you will not live long, is irresponsible and "criminal". That premise moved you to think that taking care of one self is pointless. So why do it.

But secondly, your above opinion only reinforces the same premise, but from the reverse side. It goes like this: Taking care of myself is pointless and therefore live it up. Conditions created by years of mismanagement are reversible. Just watch me. So live it up and when you find a real purpose to live for, then you will reverse all the damage.

So please be careful with the message that you broadcast. I hope my 8 year old will learn that even if the damage is potentially corrected, to a degree, that he will love to take care of himself. It is my job as a parent not only to watch his blood level, but most importantly to prepare him for the management of a long, long and perhaps at times difficult illness.

Posted by robinkota on 11 April 2008

Thanks for a great article, Heather.
I was diagnosed with IDDM in 1972 at the age of 4. So I guess I've survived for almost 36 years with it.
I smoked for 19 years, and am an alcoholic. I got sober 7 years ago, so that has helped my health more than you can even imagine.
I had many ulcers on both of my legs, which have since (in the last 9 years) healed beautifully and have not recurred.
I have worn an insulin pump for over 17 years and tested 5 or 6 times a day. I currently am using one of the continuous glucose monitor systems from DexCom (LOVE IT!) which means i'm only poking my finger 2 or 3 times now. The continuous monitor gives me blood sugar results every 5 minutes. It is a wonderful addition to my diabetes care package. I am just graduating from nursing school and when I am working a 12 hr shift at the hospital, it is very convenient to check the monitor in my pocket and know how I’m doing, and also what direction my sugar is heading. I can head off problems before they materialize.
In direct reference to complications and healing, I too had retinopathy in both eyes, but did not have laser. After getting sober and taking very good care of myself with nutrition, exercise, and improving my mental/emotional health- over 4 years time went by and I have NO sign of any eye damage at all, no protein exudates, no hemorrhages, no nothing! My ophthalmologist was surprised and very happy!
I am the picture of health and happiness. My doctor in Seattle also considers me her Diabetes Poster Child. I am a miracle, among many. I'm happy for you and me, and all the others. To all: keep trying. Just do the best you can each day, and give yourself a lot of credit for it! It is not easy.

Posted by Anonymous on 11 April 2008

very inspirational!!!

Posted by Anonymous on 11 April 2008

Dear Haether

First I would like to truly congratulate you for the all the changes you have made in your life. Second, as an endocrinologist and a researcher in the area of diabetic complications, more specifically in the diabetic nephropathy field (kidney disease caused by diabetes), I want to say that there is evidence in the medical literature that improved/normal glycemic control, as obtained after pancreas transplant, can reverse the clinical and pathological changes of diabetic nephropathy (New Engl J Med 339:69, 1998). There is also data suggesting that peripheral neuropathy can be improved by such treatment. I am not advocating for pancreas transplant as a treatment/cure for diabetes and its complications, but patients and health professionals need to be aware that it has been proven that once you remain normoglycemic for long periods of time, it took about 10 years for the renal lesions to reverse in the study above, the chronic lesions caused by diabetes may significantly improve or even disappear. The long time needed for recovery could be expected, since it is known that kidney lesions develop slowly, in clinic silence for many years, thus it is conceivable that it will also take several years for them to heal after the factor causing the injury is removed. This suggests that there is a balance between injury and repair, which leans towards injury during periods of severe hyperglycemia, and towards repair during periods of normoglycemia. There is also evidence that our cells have some kind of “memory” for the glucose environment they were on, and this has been demonstrated not only in vitro, but also in vivo. Thus, having diabetes does not mean that you are destined to have chronic complications. You can change this course, if you take good care of yourself.

Posted by Anonymous on 11 April 2008

yay heather awsome article........devin loves ya baby!

Posted by Anonymous on 11 April 2008

Diabetes is a condition. 60% of prediabetics can revert to normal plasma glucose levels with healthy diet and physical activity. Changing habits slowly over time is what works. You can do it!!

Posted by Anonymous on 11 April 2008

Harness the power of the internet. For the first time in history, there is a simple way of getting these unique stories together to find out the truth. My daughter gets amazing information and help about her 'failsafe' condition from the net.

Get these great success stories together onto a permanent website (separate the type 1`s and 2's). Well done to all of you.

Posted by Anonymous on 11 April 2008

What an inspiring story. No one's life is perfect and to reflect upon this fact and be able to change it is paramount to a successful life. I have had type I diabetes for 54 years and am facing the fact that my mate often (via emotional tension) is a factor in my high blood sugars. I hope I can find the courage (as you did) to correct this problem.

Posted by Anonymous on 11 April 2008

I am a Type 1. I slowly developed neueopathy on the bottoms of my feet. A very strange feeling when you try to walk! The pharmacist suggested that I take 1000 mcg of
Vitamin B-12 twice each day at 12 hour intervals (reason: constant high level of B-12) to restore my nerves. My Endocrinologist who is a professor at Northwestern University's medical school comfirmed upon giving me the needle test that my neuropathy has sugnificeently improved. VERY HAPPY!

Posted by Anonymous on 12 April 2008

Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food. If you want to reverse your diabetes check out Dr. Gabriel Cousens work. His site is TreeOfLife.NU.

Posted by tedmartin on 13 April 2008

Congratulations Heather, on learning to live with diabetes. You are proof that if one pays attention and lives healthy, living with diabetes is almost as simple as living without it. I don't think however, that your experience is that unusual. The body has a tremendous ability to repair itself if you treat it right and you have learned to do that. Anyone, with or without DM can do the same and I hear many stories at support groups all of the time of similar accomplisments. Any diabetic can live a long and healthy life if they choose to, just like anyone without diabetes. We just have an added step in our daily lives to compensate for this "metabolic malfunction" we live with. It's not a lot different than getting up and brushing your teeth and combing our hair, we just do a quick blood test and medicate accordingly; not that big a deal when you get used to it. Yes, there's a little more to it such as a healthy lifestyle, but you also learn never to let DM get in the way of living a good life.

As for being being a "scientific anomaly," I think you're more the norm. At least for those who pay attention, you're the norm. Most of the old "scientific" theories have gone out the window over the last 17 years. And with the acknowledgement of "leptin's role in DM, more will follow shortly. Science still lacks answers and the focus to cure this disease as long as it is more profitable to treat than cure.

I was diagnosed a type 1 32 years ago at age 33 with a glucose reading of 1056. Six moths later a teen came in with a reading of over 2000. My complications were due mainly to my lifestyle prior to my diagnoses and my smoking which I finally gave up. I changed my lifestyle, had repaired what I could and the body is taking care of the rest. I'm not totally stupid. I've just been able to work diabetes into my life, no choice involved.

I am a bit distressed with some of the comments posted to your story though and the misguided thinking which prompted them. Diabetic education obviously is still sorely needed in most parts of this country. Many of these people really need to be in support groups to learn what they are talking about. And that goes for the medical community as well.

Good luck on your long and happy life.

Posted by Anonymous on 14 April 2008

Has anyyone that is reversing kidney damage with low carb diets checked their cholestrol or ask doctors the effects it will have on heart later? I have always wondered, because my type 1 son loves the low carb, high protein diet, but I worry about heart blockages. Also, does anyone else have big discrpencies in finger stick A1C's than blood drawn from arm? Our regular doctor will check Jake's A1C w/ fingerstick method and it's always in the 6 to 6.5 range, but the endo will draw it from arm and be in the 8's.Please respond.

Posted by muchow on 16 April 2008


I am type 1, have been so since 1972 (at the age of 12).

Here's my story. About 5 years ago, I lost 50 pounds and started eating what my wife calls "fishetarian", meaning mostly vegetarian with the exception being that I also eat fatty fish (salmon) 5-8 times a week. I run 15-20 miles a week and work out regularly. For about the last 2 years, my retina specialist has said, like yours, that not only was my retinopathy not continuing to proliferate, but that the lipid deposits were disappearing or dissipating. I am practically off statins (my cholesterol is still slightly above normal, possibly genetic). My A1C's have been 5.5-6. I have found that it's almost impossible to stay in control if you are significantly overweight -- I was literally having to 'hammer through' 10-15 units of humalong for a meal that now I bolus for 2-3 units. I didn't even realize how insulin resistant I was.

I get most of my help not from my doctor ("eat right and exercise -- see me in 3 months -- that will be $95.00 -- second window please!), or from my diabetes nurse educator (who is used to dealing with hopelessly out of control people), but from DESA, the Diabetes Exercise and Sports Association, http://www.diabetes-exercise.org.

I love my continuous glucose sensor - pump combination. I sure hope insurance starts covering the sensors. But that won't stop me from buying them.

In response to the poster who says they're getting different readings depending on the method, don't forget to wash the site you draw from... I have had readings of 250-300 from a finger that touched food, and 120-150 from the one next to it that didn't.

Anyway, just wanted to respond -- yes, I have seen symptoms improve markedly and in some cases recede under tight control. Good luck, everyone!

Posted by Anonymous on 16 April 2008

Thanks for the stories! I have to live by Heather's story, otherwise I don't see much of a point to keep on living. 26 year type 1 survivor here. Minimal complications, thank God. GO HEATHER! Mi in AL

Posted by davidh on 17 April 2008

To anonymous from 4/10:

Science does not know why the body attacks itself in auto immune diseases. Studies are coming out that show suffering from depression can increase your risk of diseases. Depression can be caused by chemical imbalances but sometimes it is not. If having a poor mental outlook onlife increases your risk of certain diseases (Alzheimer's, heart disease for example), then why is it not possible that diabetes can be caused by some similar mechanism? I'm not saying that the person in question's diabetes was caused by not being adaptable (perhaps it was) but everyone's system is affected by different issues, otherwise all people with the same disease would follow the exact smae course and that doesn't happen (of course self care plays into that).

You are very correct in pointing out that this person accepted her diabetes and this was her big turnaround. I believe in order for such reversals to take place, one must be fully accepting of their situation. I have improved greatly on this but still have a little bit to go. It doesn't stop me from taking care of myself however. I do accept that my pancreas in not functioning normally but I do believe it is possible to heal from this. If one gets to their place of joy in life, amazing things can happen.

Posted by Anonymous on 17 April 2008

This is such an important idea...if those who have experienced symptom reversals would share the means of their recovery, it has the potential to be of enormous benefit to all of us. We need one localized website (one that is highly publicized so we would get a lot of responses that could then be statistically analyzed). There are so many anecdotal remedies and even so-called "cures" out there that it becomes ridiculous to attempt to sort them all out and try the ones that appear to be halfway plausible. If we could learn from each other's experience, it would save us all a lot of time and money, as well as allowing us to more quickly narrow down the field of promising treatments.

Posted by Anonymous on 18 April 2008

I understand the dad's comment on being careful about the message being portrayed to his 8 year old child, however; for those of use who have had the disease before glucometers and pumps were around, who tested sugar levels using urine and existed on 1 shot a day, the story is inspirational. It is scary to think about what the effect of unintentional improper control of diabetes has on the body. They just didn't know then what they do now. To the dads of the 8 year olds who get the disease now, any diabetic who has had the disease prior to today's technology will encourage good control and emphasize how much easier it is and how much better we can control our health today. However, recognizing and seeing if we can learn more from the mistakes of the past will increase research and technology today, hopefully leading to better control, if not a cure, in the future.

Posted by Anonymous on 20 April 2008

Great story. I was diagnosed with Type II ten years ago at 50. I followed my doctors recommendations fairly well for about 5 years then due to a broken bone in my foot stopped exercising and ate badly for about three years,put on weight etc. It was then after this abuse I had numbness of my feet start. I am continually traveling with my job and I often work in field on a random schedule. Recently I am making more effort to bring my diabetes under control, my A1c is down from 8.5 to 7.5 and I want get it down further, started to exercise everyday by riding my bike for 40 mins or more. Your story about turning around some of or most of the negative diabetes issues/ symptoms has given me an enormous boost. I will continue make that extra effort to get it completely under control. I hope I can improve the numbness and pain in my feet which I find the Number one issue for me.
It is great to know there can be light at the end of the tunnel. Thanks for sharing your story with us all.

Posted by Anonymous on 24 April 2008

I went low carb when I got diagnosed, I already had protein spilling in my urine. The low carb reversed that and the burning in my feet, my kidney function is now normal. Also, my good cholesterol went up and my bad cholesterol and triglycerides went down. A1c has been lower than 6% since a few months after diagnosis when it started out at over 12%.

Posted by Anonymous on 26 April 2008

I sure hope it's possible. I've been suffering from nerve pain for the past couple years that only recently I've come to take seriously. I denied having a problem for too long. I pray the damage to my arms and legs (caused by sitting too long, working at the computer) is not permanent. Your words are encouraging, Heather. Thank you.

Posted by Anonymous on 27 April 2008

Cinnamon, Real Cassia cinnamon, like from the health food store is really kick-starting my 4 year old's pancreas into action -diagnosed four months ago

Posted by Anonymous on 27 April 2008

davidh, sorry to say this, and i hope you continue to manage your diabetes well, but your ideas are fundamentally flawed. I have a BSc in Cell Biology and I developed diabetes at age 2. So you are saying I was depressed or not adaptable at age 2?

The majority of the scientific community agrees that Type I diabetes is caused by an autoimmune disease whereby a bacterial or viral infection causes your body to undergo an autoimmune reaction against its Beta (insulin-producing) cells in the pancreas. To say that spiritual events cause diabetes is not only ignorant, but also insulting to any individual with either type of diabetes.

Posted by Anonymous on 28 April 2008

heather, what's your routine nowadays? can you please expand on it, what you eat, how often you work out and when and type of insulin you are using?

Posted by naadira on 30 April 2008






Posted by Anonymous on 1 May 2008

Heather, God bless you for your efforts and for inspiring us! I have had Type 1 for 14 years and have no complications--yet. Thank God I got the diagnosis when I was 26, and perhaps had an easier time accepting it than an 8-year-old would. Keep it up, and I look forward to hearing more responses.

Amy Glass

Posted by Anonymous on 2 May 2008

I have had type 1 for 22 years. I've always been good about eating low carb, but I want to remind you all that there are many other (uncontrollable) things besides food that cause high blood sugar. Besides sickness and stress, here are a couple more:
1) The days prior to my period, my BG is sky high. Those hormones can play a major role in BG. 2) Also, my BG spikes not only in the morning like a lot of people (dawn phenonomon), but also most times right after I wake up from a nap at any time of day (if I fall asleep with my 4-yr old daughter). My liver must automatically spill sugar into my system for some "get up and go" when it senses my body moving.
Only since being on the pump and CGM the last year have I been able to recognize these patterns and been able to react to them. For this, I am truly thankful. Prior, it was just a case of randomly getting a high reading and wondering where in the heck that came from (because I knew it was not due to carbs).
No low-carb diet from a book or a doctor is a cureall for type 1s. Comments that suggest that offend me as it is more complicated (for type 1s at least).
Heather, I believe the advancement of complications can be stopped wiht good BG control. I hope you are right that they can also be reversed.

Posted by Anonymous on 8 May 2008

I have well-controlled diabetes with an A1c of 5.0 and I still lost my kidney function anyway. It does not seem to be reversing, and my nephrologist says it's the diabetes that did it. I have been diabetic for 13 years. On the other hand, I had a diagnosis of diabetic retinopathy last year and this year there is no sign of it at all.

Posted by Anonymous on 8 May 2008

Having lived with insulin dependent diabetes for 32 years I find this article disturbing. My own reality is that outside of 2 years after my Father died, unexpectedly, in 1974 I have kept my A1C's in excellent range. Despite this fact I have accrued many, many complications. Over the past ten years my A1C's have never been over 6.6 and my complications not only do not regress but continue to progress. I work hard at taking care of myself because of the simply fact that I want to feel as well as possible each and every day and because I want to live long enough to see my 13 year old, adopted, daughter grow up.

Posted by Anonymous on 8 May 2008

Thanks for helping me recover hope

Posted by Anonymous on 9 May 2008

great story, but no hint as to what you did to 'reverse' your diabetes. Were you insulin dependent? What exactly did you do to 'reverse' your diabetes? What do you mean by reverse? You only reveal you had an attitude change and decided to take care of your diabetes, give specifics! This sort of sounds like a soft sell beginning to a sales pitch!?

Posted by draulakh on 10 May 2008

we all are happy that good things happened to you after so many years of having diabetes.But being a doctor i want to convey one thing;if u r diabetic,the only way to avoid complications is to control ur BG as well as blood presuure right from the day when u know and understand what is diabetes.yes i have seen many cases where there is a lot of improvement in diabetic neuropathy,to some extent in diabtic retinopathy,and very rarely in diabetic nephropathy [with macroalbuminurea] by controlling their blood sugar

Posted by Anonymous on 10 May 2008

Heather! God bless you and your article is an answer to prayer.. I really need help and to start managing my health and you gave me HOPE and DESIRE to keep going and try it!..Thank you...carol

Posted by Anonymous on 11 May 2008

I was diagnosed at age 7 in 1978. My younger sister was diagnosed 4 years later at the same age as I. After my parents divorced, the last thing I cared about was my diabetes. I ate what I wanted, tested rarely and often skipped my insulin dose. At the age of 19, I began to have vision problems. By the age of 21 I was legally blind. I went to all the doctors and had hundreds of laser treatments, yet my sight was gone. After that rude awakening I finally decided to take care of my diabetes. I married and gave birth to a very healthy girl, who had no complications associated with babies of diabetic mothers. My sister who had always been of normal weight and had managed her diabetes well died of heart disease at the age of 28. Today I am on the list for a kidney and pancreas transplant. My kidneys operate at around 20% function. Although your complications improved, many do not. I think the reasons are that each body is affected differently by diabetes. Some have terrible complications and some do not. It is encouraging to hear of someone who recovered like you have, but it is still a risk that teens need to not take. You may have recovered, but I have not, although I too am in very tight control and have been for years. My sister had diabetes take her life before it hardly began. I hope that young people read this and know that diabetes affects everybody in a different way and some do not recover as easily as you.

Posted by Anonymous on 19 May 2008

I agree with anonymous may 9th 2008.
i reread your notes looking for facts of what you did to reverse your diabetes and maybe I could use them; disappointing there were none.
I did think this was a sales pitch for something to buy at the end of your long story. I learned more from the responses to your babble than from you.Thanks!!

Posted by Anonymous on 23 May 2008

I have had type 2 diabetes for almost 8 yrs. Over the past 8 months I have been taking a product called MaxGXL is has lowered my sugar levels I do not have highs and lows any more and all of the other blood work that they do has come back with amazing results. I have talked to other people who take this and it is working to reduce the side effects of diabetes, no this is not a cure but man it makes my life a lot easier to live. I buy my product of the web I hope it is OK to give the website out. www.sozomax.com/wmartin
They rep who has this site is very nice and she knows her stuff. God Bless I hope this may help someone else as is has help myself and others.

Posted by Anonymous on 31 May 2008

Unbelievable how bitter some people are. This woman has a great story to tell and some miserable pathetic souls feel the compulsion to spread their misery and bleed on others. The negative attitude may say a lot about why some of you are not doing as well as Heather who has a much better attitude in life.

Posted by Anonymous on 2 June 2008


good read, I too grew up in the era when Fear was the endo's favorite tool. As a rule I have generally tried to keep thigs under controll. The way high and low sugers feel are just too annoying to stray too far from the tight rope. Back when I was really youn I did the DKA thing a few times. The last time was 1984, so its been a while. Still, damadge can happen really fast. When I switched from R/L Humalin to Lantus and Humalog I suffered from a lot of lows. I reached a point where I had next to no low blood suger awareness. Finally, I woke up one morning and the sensation on the tip of my big toe was plain old gone. I knew I needed a change, I futzed with my Lantus doseages against my Dr reccomandations ( he was gidd about my sub 6 A1C's ) and yea my a1c's are closer to 7 these days but I am also not dropping low all the damm time. I have also made some lifestyle changes ( including always having my feet covered ) and I am taking a spookey coctail of supplements. The good news is that the sensation is returning, and I actually have energy to make it through the day and do things.

As for folks who worry about what these storys are telling the new type1 kids. The real message here is, take care of yourself. Also, when the inevitable happens do not dispare. Fear and dispare are nearly as bad as the lows and highs for us. We need to stop living with it and look to take real controll.


Posted by bjkiah on 12 June 2008

I had read that complications could be reversed and like you I'm walking proof. I've lived with Type 1 for 50 years and had complications like you and just about walked the same path you did. In the last 10-12 years I have attained the best of health I've ever had living with this disease...we all are proof that it can be done.

Posted by Anonymous on 17 June 2008

Thank you to everyone who responded to this story, and especially to the person who wrote it. I am only 26 years old and was diagnosed at 20. I also feel like why bother im just going to end up in a wheelchair and blind etc. Since being diagnosed ive been very depressed and isolate myself, i rarely go out anymore, ive been told that i have protein leeking in my kidneys, but the docs arent doing anything to help me, so i stoped going to them, i really need help and all of your stories have given me new hope that i can live my dreams and find happiness. Ive been looking for stories like these but all i ever come across are the ones about complications, and for the dad with the 8 year old you will never understand what your child is going through unless you are a diabetic, someday he may need to see articles like these to find hope to live his life again, my parents dont know how im feeling, so please for your childs health keep an open mind and dont be quick to judge.

Posted by Anonymous on 19 June 2008

I see talk of being in tight control and still having complications. Tight control for diabetes is the same as good numbers for true non-diabetics, an A1c in the neighborhood of 4.5. Yes, you saw right. I am not there, but I know people who are, including Dr. Richard Bernstein. Read his writings and find out how he himself, reversed almost all of his very serious complications.


Posted by James on 28 June 2008

To this poster:"I am only 26 years old and was diagnosed at 20. I also feel like why bother im just going to end up in a wheelchair and blind etc."

It doesn't have to be that way. I was diagnosed in 1952 (at the age of 12) and have been insulin dependant since that time. My Dr. only told me about one negative aspect of diabetes...that if I didn't take care of it, I might go blind.....to eat a good diet, salads & no more donuts or cokes, and get lots of exercise.....this I did.

That was 55 years ago & I'm still here. My best investment was to check out, purchase and follow methods in Dr. Bernsteins book, since July of 2007. Since following his methods I have had at least a partial reversal of hypoglycemia-unawareness which to me is a tremendous advantage in itself. I can now tell when I'm going low. No more roller-coaster ride blood sugar wise with its ups & downs.

My A1c is not down to 4.5 yet either, but is at 5.5....a good improvement from the 6.5 it was a year ago. So keep your spirits up, it is worth pursuing a normal life which any diabetic is entitled to.


Posted by Anonymous on 4 July 2008

I am a type 1 for the past 24 years. I am not overweight.
I always believe diabetes starts with the blood. Instead of carrying oxygen to the body cells,
it carries too much glucose, which makes blood thicker. High cholestrol makes it worse.
The heart needs to work harder to push the blood to all parts of the body.
This in turn can result to high blood pressure, ruptured vessels in brain, kidney and eyes.
Furthest from the heart are the feet, which receives the least oxygen. So gangrene starts from the feet.
So controlling glucose and blood pressure are crucial. The heart needs to rest.
I exercise whenever I can to increase the heart rate so that more oxygen goes to all parts of the body.
I took ginseng and tonics for the past 4 years and had proved to be very effective. These help the body
to absorb nutrients better and keep the body parts healthy. Diabetics seem to have missing hormones in the blood.

Posted by Anonymous on 4 July 2008

Strange, most of the comments I read had nothing to do with reversing complications. I however, have reversed 2 complications, perhaps 3. When I became a type 1 28 years ago, I wasn't given a target A1c. I was simply encouraged to keep by BGs low to avoid complications. Low was never clearly defined.

With this vagueness, I had A1cs as high as 9-11. I had neuropathy in my feet. Later I developed diabetic diarrhea and retinopathy. When my opthamologist saw the retinopathy, he said, "You MUST get your A1cs under 7. The closer to 6 the better."

I was shocked. But I was glad to finally have a clear-cut goal. I stepped up my testing to 7-10 times per day. Shifting from injection therapy to pump therapy helped a lot. When I began averaging 6.4 A1cs, my retinopathy, neuropathy and diabetic diarrhea all were reversed.

I'm now taking Symlin and that has made keeping my post prandial spikes below 140 even easier.

So my answer is, yes, I did reverse diabetic complications through stringent control of BGs.

Deborah Moore

Posted by HeatherJacobs on 9 July 2008

Hello Deborah Moore!

I really want to know more about your story. Please contact Scott King, the Senior Editor, and get my contact information.

Thank you for your inspirational life! Please reach out again! Also, anyone else who has lives with similar experiences, please share your stories. The experience, hope and strength are so desperately needed in our Diabetes Community!

Best of health and life to all!
Heather Jacobs

Posted by HeatherJacobs on 10 July 2008

Hello Deborah Moore!

I really want to know more about your story. Please contact Scott King, the Senior Editor, and get my contact information.

Thank you for your inspirational life! Please reach out again! Also, anyone else who has lives with similar experiences, please share your stories. The experience, hope and strength are so desperately needed in our Diabetes Community!

Best of health and life to all!
Heather Jacobs

Posted by Anonymous on 18 July 2008

hi im 46years old, insulin dependant for 20 years,hba1c of 13%, smoker!!!! i know im a mess! realy want to change but dont know where to start, living by myself so no one to help!!!! (silly excuse) have a few good well controled days even no smoking.....then off the rails.....for a few days! if anyone is interested will keep yous informed ....m

Posted by Bev on 25 July 2008

Hello Heather and it's been wonderful to read everyone's comments. I was diagnosed with Type 2 last November 2007. By the time of my diagnosis, I think I must have had it for ten years already. I am going to be 50 this September. My fasting BG was 22 and my doctor phoned me at home and told me to call him ASAP. I was really quite ill for a long time but just thought I was just overworked and fatigued, but by the time of diagnosis, I could barely see, and I could only feeling a horrible buzzing tingling sensation from the knees down. My toes felt bizarre, I had numbness and confusion about whether my feet were hot or cold. For years they had been extremely painful now there was nothing but this horrible sensation. I had unbearable crushing fatigue, the constant urination, the whole deal....
For me, fear is a great motivator. Within six months my A1c is 5.8. I test about 8 times a day, I take three 500mg pills of metformin per day as well. I learned as much as humanly possible about eating using the Glycemic Index, including how to combine foods to alter the glycemic value of a meal. I take good quality cinnamon, apple cider vinegar, alpha lipoic acid, magnesium, zinc, calcium, B50, B6, spirulina, good quality salmon oil and cayenne/garlic.... and well I also still eat my dark chocolate but limit it to be included in a 45 gram carb meal at dinner when I do have it. Lindt is my favorite! I eat berries every single day and I've discovered fantastic pre biotic breads and whole grain cereals that agree with me totally and never spike my blood sugar. I am absorbing carbs properly again because all my muscles had atrophied, I could barely walk, now I am ALIVE AGAIN. Alive alive I tell you!!!! I had also lost my sense of humor....I lost friends too.....because I had no energy to connect, I could barely get through a day. I love food, I want for nothing, I am satisfied, and I can laugh again. I have without a doubt reversed symptoms associated with chronic high blood glucose. My big toe is still giving me trouble....that bothers me and I still do have numbness feelings in the toes at time, but NOTHING like it was. Oh yes, and I do have a glass of dry red wine most nights during my supper which I find both relaxing and helpful but not everyone likes to take alcohol as such.
My life has totally changed since I started to eat healthfully and I've been able to walk more and more each day which has also been very important in my recovery. As I have a job where I sit all day. Moving is very important. I am NOT glad to have diabetes, I will always well, for lack of a better word, I will always HATE diabetes. But I have now seen the gifts that the diagnosis gave me, they are countless and I am thankful to have my life back! I am a psychologist by the way, and so you can only imagine the wild ride I've been on, trying to reestablish my health and take responsibility without losing my self esteem. But it has worked out and YES I'd say you can't make diabetes go away, but you can "reverse" it, no doubt.
My thoughts and empathy go out to all of you and wish you continued strength and success on your journeys!

Posted by Anonymous on 7 August 2008

Gastric bypass surgery has been said to reduce and/or eliminate diabetes symptoms almost immediately, eliminating the need for all medications even before losing any weight (weight loss is not even necessary to rid oneself of the diabetes symptoms after having this surgery). A number of studies have proven this to be true; CBS 60 minutes had recently had a special which also interviewed a number of previously diabetic patients who underwent gastric bypass surgery, all of whom said that their diabetes disappeared completely within a number of days. I do not know if there are any complications from this type of surgery but it looks like it should be looked into for anyone who has severe complications that have not been significantly reversed or eliminated with or without medication.

Posted by Anonymous on 19 August 2008

You know what? Im proud of you just to hear this story... and you know what? I don't feel alone anymore knowing that there is some people who went thriught the same thing I did! Thank you for the article is great!

Posted by Anonymous on 11 September 2008

Hi, have been a type 1 diabetic since the age of 9. I am now 34 years old and reading your story was like a duplicate page in the story of my own life. However I am still living like I don't have diabetes, and even though I am very much aware of the horrid complications awaiting me, I just cant seem to apply my will to turn my life around in practice. Until about 2 years ago, I have had no complications apart from one lazer session to my right eye. Whilst pregnant with my daughter (11), I had severe pre-eclampsia and I was told that the single "bleed" I had on my eye was due to my extremely high blood pressure during pregnancy. I have not had any new "bleeds" to date, and my sight is fine. My recent HbA1c was 11!!!! and for the first time ever, have I now developed symptoms of diabetic feet. My feet are always cold, loss of feeling in my toes and the area underneath where the toes attach to the foot. Circulation seems okay though, when applying pressure on the skin, the area goes white and I can see blood returning immediately once pressure is removed. I am passionate about dancing and surfing, and my feet are starting to impact on my quality of life. The other night I went out and after dancing for a while, I couldn't maintain balance on my high heels with my left foot, it was like I had no control of it. It's difficult to explain and I know it sound stupid - knowing what I am doing, knowing what the consequences are and what I should be doing. I have worked in the medical field all my life and have wittnessed the complications 1st hand - Yet I can't stay on the straight and narrow path of the good? Help!! What scares me most of all is the fact that I am a single mom and I am all my daughter has. Regards Delia

Posted by Anonymous on 15 September 2008

Hi all

I'm 26 years old and have been a Type 1er since I was 5. I cannot tell you how much this story has helped me. I had decent control as a kid but became very depressed during my teenage years about being diabetic and my diabetes went out of control. I got my act together a few years ago but have recently developed a spot of retinopathy and my protein results were borderline (although thanks to ACE inhibitors, my protein count is normal at the moment). Physically, I am doing all I can to manage (have become vegetarian, finger pricking obsessively, carb counting, injecting maybe 6 times a day) but emotionally, I am exhausted. Everytime I think about complications I become very distressed and begin crying. I despise myself for not taking the disease seriously. Have sought professional help about this and have shared my story with my family and friends - forgiving myself and committing to a better life was the key for me. Please, doctors tend to focus on managing the physical side of diabetes but the emotional effects of the disease can be very dark. Consider speaking to counsellors and reaching out to your support network to help you manage the often crippling emotional impact of the disease.

Posted by HeatherJacobs on 17 September 2008

Hello to you the 26 year old, type 1 since 5, anonymous commenter and to all of those who are frustrated by the limitations of seeing and treating diabetes solely from a medical standpoint. I want to let you know that things are changing! I have started a nonprofit called the Diabetes Wellness Center which will address many of the non-medical components to living this life with diabetes.
The Diabetes Wellness Center is a nonprofit community center dedicated to empowering individuals with diabetes or at risk for diabetes to identify, address and overcome the physical, psychological, social, financial, and environmental obstacles and barriers to living well with diabetes.
Please email me if you would like to know more. Never give up HOPE!

Posted by overhead on 23 September 2008

Hi,I am so glad I came across these stories.I am a 32 year old type 1,diagnosed when I was 7.I have been feeling like the worst Diabetic ever.I know my control could have been a lot better when I was young,thank god I became interested in sports,and was pretty obsessive about them,then in my teens and twentys,I started smoking pot,experimenting with other drugs,and binge drinking,hard.I always felt like such a failure,then came the thoughts that I might as well go out having fun.By that time,I was diagnosed with depression,then Bi-Polar disorder,alcoholism.After a slip that lasted for about a month,I have been sober for four days.I am freaking out about what I'm going to tell my Doctor,and I just had to call the office to see if I could get samples of insulin,because I have been out of Lantus for a few days.Just started testing and carb counting again today.I am just going to put one foot in front of the other.I have a nineteen month old son,and I want to be there for him.Thank you so much for this Heather!,If there is anything I can do in VA,let me know.

Posted by HeatherJacobs on 25 September 2008

Dear Overhead, While your story saddens me, I am so happy to see that despite the fact you have faced so many obstacles, that you continue to look for ways to live well with diabetes. Remember: yesterday is gone, tomorrow may never come, so live in today! I find that I do much better and am more content when I take this life one day at a time. My best to you and all those who are struggling. Please keep hope alive! Heather

Posted by HeatherJacobs on 25 September 2008

Dear Overhead,

While your story saddens me, I am so happy to see that despite the fact you have faced so many obstacles, that you continue to look for ways to live well with diabetes. I would be happy to connect with you, so please feel free to email me at: hjacobs@diabeteswellnesscenter.org
Remember: yesterday is gone, tomorrow may never come, so live in today!
I find that I do much better and am more content when I take this life one day at a time.
My best to you and all those who are struggling.
Please keep hope alive!

Posted by Anonymous on 8 October 2008

Wish to find the normal readings for blood Glucose in caseS of fasting 2 hrs after main meal for type I
I looked at many differnt pages to no avail.

Posted by bonbon on 13 October 2008

It's interesting, reading the different entries here,how obvious it is that fear of complications can affect your outlook on life and in turn, how you bear up in actually managing your blood glucose day to day.The psychological issues ARE under-attended by diabetes care professionals, who are kept busy dealing with everyone's HbA1cs,but your average "endo" is not a counselling service - we have to realise the value of what we have in our own lives, and what therefore is worth fighting for.Like everybody else we only have one life, we must do our best not to throw it away and yes, we have a harder time of it than the chronically healthy but some disease processes you cannot control, and will kill you, despite what you do. Diabetes by contrast (in most cases) gives you a chance every day to straighten things out and improve your quality of life, and nomatter how hard it has hit you up until now you should help your body fight it.A high blood reading can always become a low blood reading. You don't know what it can do until you give your body a chance, give it the best chance.Don't look at other people's incredible recovery stories and feel bitter, think, nobody can predict the future, I'll do what I can do to help me,today. WARNING though - IF YOU HAVE EXISTING HIGH HBA1C DO NOT CRASH IT, DROP IT GRADUALLY OR YOU MAY CAUSE MICROVASCULAR REACTIONS YOU DO NOT WANT!!
In response to the original posting, I have been a type one since I was eight, diabetic for 17 years now, background retinopathy treated by light laser and which my ophthalmologist informs me is actually trying to heal itself and has "dried up nicely." So yes, it has happened,in my experience, too. My body has tried to reverse this bit of damage.Which was caused, I feel I need to hammer,by getting a grip TOO thoroughly after that well-publicised teenage veering off course a lot of us seem to do. Someone should research that phenomenon, I reckon.

Posted by Anonymous on 14 October 2008

This is a Great Article. It's realistic, it's inspirational and it really gives the reader a first-hand perspective.


Posted by Anonymous on 19 November 2008

What ever made you think that medical science wants to CURE anything????????

Posted by Anonymous on 24 November 2008

I was just diagnosed with Type I (at age 39), and have been reading Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution. He also reports tremendous improvement, and in some types of damage a total reversal, since learning to truly control his blood sugar. Stacey- Dunsmuir

Posted by Organic Diabetic on 5 December 2008

Hi, I have not read all of the 82 comments here yet, but I will. I was diagnosed with Type 1 in 1971, 38 years ago. I went threw similar experiences like you did, Heather, but, I also have a 16 year old, and he was 1 year old when the movie Steel Magnolias came out. I had better Dr's than in the movie, and made it threw an extreamly difficult pregnancy. My Kidneys almost died, but came back as soon as my son was born. During the pregnancy, I was put on some pretty good Prenatals. My Mother and I noticed how they helped my fingernails grow, so I had a taste of what quality nutrition was. Four years later, I was no longer on the Prenatals, and I was getting sick with bad kidneys, dry skin patches, and thick yellow toenails, let alone having fingernails that wouldn't grow. I had also gone threw the first of 2 Lazor surgeries on my eyes, and had horrific heartburn. I was getting old before my time, and all this couldn't happen, because I was now a Mom. What happened next, competely changed life. I started taking another quality nutritional product, and 6 months later, all the worries about my future started vanishing. I was reversing to a healthier person. One by one, all the problems went away. Today, I have healthy eyes, kidneys and organs, and I do believe that I will overcome this disease and be completely healthy.
I wrote a blog on Blogger, called Organic Diabetes. Humalog insulin in an insulin pump is what I use right now, but I have also learned many homeopathic ways to stay healthy. The first is high quality nutrition, and I am a huge believer in it. I am also trying many ways to stay away from chemicals of any kind by doing such things as making my own household cleaners, and eating Certified Organic fruits and veges, and composting. I choose to be happy and healthy, from exercising regularly, to living a healthy lifestyle free from as many chemicals as I can. Check out my blog.

Posted by Anonymous on 15 December 2008

femal 75 years old but look 50 when i have sex i find that when im sexualley aroused by my partner i long for him to come inside me and my blood begines to flow better and my nipals get erect . i have group 2 diabetes.
joyc p h.

Posted by Anonymous on 15 December 2008

female 75 years old but look 50 when i have sex i find that when im sexualley aroused by my partner i long for him to come inside me and my blood begins to flow better and my nipals get erect . i have group 2 diabetes. joyce p h
joyce p h.

Posted by Anonymous on 25 December 2008

I was a team leader on a diaster mission to Lousiana in 2005. Sager-Brown (Baldwin,LA)feed us like hogs! I came back to OKLA and noticed some fuzzy vision & wt. gain. I'd gained 10# in 10 days. I went to my pharmacy & had bl.sugar taken. It was 160 & 2 days later it was 178.
I googled "lower blood sugar" and found a lot of articles on the benefits of exercise on diabetes. I immediately began a walking program. I walked 42 miles in 10 days. I waited 3 days & had my bl.sugar taken again. It was 88. 3 days after that it was 92. I have maintained the walking regimin, and I still have blood sugar in the low-mid 90's. I maintain with walks of 2 miles 2-3 times a wk.
You've heard diabetics need to exercise, & it's true. If you tried and failed, you probably didn't walk enough. Besides it also lowers blood sugar, & it also helps clean your arteries, and sharpen the mind.
If you've tried exercise with no results, I say you didn't try long enough. I hope this helps you,all.

Anonymous (Pharmacist -Age 68)

Posted by Anonymous on 26 December 2008

I am 60 year old female with type 2. I started getting numbness in both hands. I started b6 once a day and within 5 months numbness has gotten better and tingling has stopped.I also do a hand message every night with castor oil on both hands. I had started wearing a brace when using the computer. My conditions is caused by my blood flow.

Posted by Anonymous on 26 December 2008

I've been type 1 for 30 years. My endos encouraged me to be in good control to limit complications without ever giving me a BG target. So my A1cs went as high as ten.

But when my opthamologist found damage occurring in my retinas, he shook his finger at me and said, "You MUST get your A1cs below 7!" I'm grateful for his stern approach and clear guidance. Ever since, I've kept my A1cs around 6.4. Now after 5 years, the same opthamologist says, "If I didn't know you're diabetic, I couldn't tell by looking at your retinas." So I've successfully reversed the damage.

How did I do it? By combining pump therapy with Symlin. The Symlin does what insulin alone can't do--it keeps my after-meal BGs down around 140 instead of 220.

If you're having any complications or trouble keeping your Alcs under 7, tell your doctor you want Symlin added to your regimen. If your doctor doesn't know about Symlin, find one who does. This is a life or death issue. Don't trust your life to an incompetent doctor.

Posted by Anonymous on 26 December 2008

Anonymous on 14 April 2008
3. Substitution of fat for carbohydrate is generally beneficial for markers for and incidence of CVD

The diet-heart hypothesis states that dietary fat, or at least saturated fat, promotes CVD. There are, however, numerous counter-examples and the popular and scientific literature has seriously challenged many of the underlying assumptions of the hypothesis [28-33]. In fact, total fat in the diet is not associated with an increase in CVD, as shown by experiments going back to Ancel Keys's Seven Country Study [34]and, most recently and dramatically, the Women's Health Initiative [35].
Lipid markers for CVD

Clinically significant elevation of LDL-cholesterol is generally considered a primary indicator of CVD risk but interpretation must be tempered by the effect of particle size: small dense LDL particles are significantly more atherogenic than large, buoyant LDL particles [36,37]. Krauss, et al. identified a genetically influenced pattern (B) in people with higher levels of the smaller particles and found a strong linear relation between carbohydrate intake and prevalence of the atherogenic pattern B phenotype. Thus, replacing dietary fat with carbohydrate tends to worsen LDL size distribution for most of the population[36,37].

Other factors, such as high triglyceride (TG) and low HDL, are independent markers of insulin resistance and CVD risk. Indeed, the triglyceride:HDL ratio has been posited to be a surrogate measure of insulin resistance [38]. This ratio is frequently exacerbated under conditions that lower LDL [24]. An increase in apolipoprotein B (apoB) may be a preferred marker since each atherogenic lipoprotein particle contains one molecule of apoB; total LDL would bias results towards lower risk [39]. There is also strong evidence that the apoB/apoA-I ratio is superior to conventional cholesterol ratios [39] as a predictor of CVD risk. Of particular importance is circulating TG because of its mechanistic link to the formation of atherogenic particles [40,41], and its responsiveness to dietary manipulation. There is probably no dietary outcome as reliable as the reduction in TG due to carbohydrate restriction[41].
The role of saturated fat

A primary goal of current recommendations is to put limits on dietary saturated fat but published results are inconsistent (see e.g. [42]). Several critical reviews have pointed up the general failure to meet the kind of unambiguous outcomes that would justify blanket condemnation of saturated fat, per se [29,30,41,43,44]. Notably, during the obesity and diabetes epidemic, the proportion of dietary saturated fat decreased. In men, the absolute amount decreased by 14%. Similarly, the WHI revealed no difference in CVD incidence for people who consumed < 10% saturated fat or those whose consumption was > 14%[35]. Dreon, et al. [44] showed that increased saturated fat lead to a decrease in small, dense LDL. Perhaps most remarkable was a study by Mozaffarian [45] which showed that greater intake of saturated fat was associated with reduced progression of coronary atherosclerosis; greater carbohydrate intake was linked to increased progression.

In our view, inconsistencies in the experimental results with dietary saturated fat arise from a failure to distinguish between replacement by unsaturated fat or by carbohydrate [3]. In the former case, there is usually improvement in CVD risk or outcome (although it is not excluded that this is due to the effect of the unsaturated fat rather than reduction in the risk from the saturated fat). Replacement of saturated fat with carbohydrate, however, is almost always deleterious [46,47]. Again, the idea that carbohydrate is a control element determining the fate of ingested lipid is overriding.

The assumption that the dietary fatty acid profile is reflected in plasma distribution is not always true, especially for saturated fatty acids which seems to be subject to much metabolic processing [42]. It was also expected that an increase in total fat might show changes in lipid pattern but Raatz, et al. showed that such differences were extremely small between a low fat and high fat diet [48]. A recent report comparing two low-CHO groups that differed in dietary SFA showed little difference in plasma levels of stearic or palmitic acid [49]. Most telling, Volek's group compared a VLCK diet (% CHO:fat 12:59) with a low-fat (LF) diet (56:24) and found that after 12 weeks, SFA in TG and cholesteryl ester were lower in the VLCK group than the LF group even thought the low carbohydrate group had a 3-fold higher intake of dietary SFA [50].

Posted by Anonymous on 26 December 2008

My brother had HbA1c of 14.7% and several nerves, kidney, and heart problems. We made several attempts to get a good grip on his severe numbness, poor circulation, and dizziness problems without much help from one clinic to another.
Finally a family friend introduced us to Dr. Godwin Uzomba of Piedmont Endocrinology Medical Associates in North and South Carolina. Within three to six months, his HbA1c went from 14.7% to 6.5%. His numbness and tingling got better and so did his poor circulation. The doctor also corrected what he called Cardiac Autonomic Neuropathy. My brother's dizziness, heart, kidney, and nerve problems have been better since the past two years. His current medications are very protective on his heart, kidney, and nerves.

Posted by mgordon on 26 December 2008

I developed frozen should in both arms. I could barely lift them until I began aqua therapy.

Posted by mgordon on 26 December 2008

I developed frozen shoulders 2007. however with Aqua therapy 3 times per week it has improved.

Posted by Anonymous on 26 December 2008

Thank you for your comments. I had an HbA1c of over 13% when I first went on the pump. It is now down to below 6. I too took a varied path and saw many similiarities with your story. I too did a complete turn around, sort of, when I got on the pump. I still eat what I want when I want it. Although, I have now dropped off 40#'s and hopefully still on the same path after the new year. The only complication I have had is high cholesterol (part heriditary) and high blood pressure. Since dropping the weight, it has been a great improvement. I have been a type 1 for 42 years. That in itself amazes me because I thought I would be dead by 30!! Kudos to you.

Posted by Anonymous on 29 December 2008

Congratulations upon your achievements and the reversal of your complications! You are to be commended. You are also setting an example for others realizing that we are not doomed because we have diabetes.

I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes 37 years ago at the age of 32 and decided that the doctor was a trained professional with my best interests in his directions and I obeyed his orders. I was told to eat a balanced diet, take my medication, and keep the presence of sugar out of my urine and to gain 15 to 20 pounds. I now weigh 25 pounds more that I did then. Of course that was before glucose monitors and when urine test strips were the only way to determine the amount of sugar in our system and the only way to determine the glucose level in our blood was by a blood test taken at the doctor’s office. Since then glucose monitors have been developed which most people have. With the development of the hemoglobin A1C test the control has been even more refined. My goals are now to keep my A1C below the value recommended by the American Diabetes Association (ADA). The ADA recommends that the A1C be below 7%. It is always best to refer to your health care provider for the level of A1C which you should strive for. In general, reducing your A1C by just one percent, such as from 8% to 7%, may reduce your risk of some diabetes complications by approximate 40%... or 1/3!

My wife died when I was 60 and I was surprised because I was supposed to be the first because I had diabetes. I realized that it was not under my control but something or someone else which made me the survivor. At that time I was under good control without any complications. About five years ago I developed sharp shooting pain in my legs which made it impossible for me to walk and my endocrinologist described it as neuropathy and prescribed medication to control it. The medication stopped the pain but I did not like the side effects which the medication had on me. I then found out about Infrared Photo Therapy which offers hope to people with pain, and circulation problems which I tried. After undergoing a few months of this therapy, I stopped taking the medication and the pain has not returned. Later, I also used the therapy for pain in my shoulder, at home and that pain also went away. The pain does not recur so I believe that the complications have been reversed without medication.

Posted by Jerry1423 on 1 January 2009

This was a very nice story to read, and reinforces that the complications of diabetes can be reversed, which is something that I have wondered about.
The only thing that I did not like about this story is that she is a hero because she did not take care of herself for several years after being diagnosed a diabetic - and now that she takes care of herself the red carpet comes out.
I have been a type 1 diabetic for 33 years (since age 14) and have always tried my best to take care of myself. I have never had any problems with my eyes, feet, or anything else.
Nobody has ever held my hand with my diabetes control, I was old enough to take care of myself when I was diagnosed, and that is what I did. I definitely had my down periods, but I always learned from them.
So call me a butthead for posting this ... even before I was diagnosed my parents disliked when their kids would feel sorry for themselves, for any reason .... I guess that paid off for me. But I also must give lots of credit to the doctor that I had.

Posted by Anonymous on 3 January 2009

I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in March 2008 my A1C was 10.4. Doing 30 min. work-out every other day and watching carb intake and taking apple cider vingar,cinnamon,GTF chromiom and Omega 3 fish oil in 3 months it was down to 6.4 and 4 month latter 5.9,my present goal is to get to 5.5

Posted by Anonymous on 9 January 2009

After my physical I learned this week my A1c was 15.3%. I was told to stay off sugars until Monday when I will be retested. I was told I am diabetic and my heart akmost exploded with panic. I thought of this as a death sentence. But after reading your story I know that I can still live a normal life. Thanks.

Posted by Anonymous on 29 January 2009

I was diagnosed type 1 in 1972 at 2 yrs old and have had a difficult time controlling my diabetes. A life of troubles and a family death in 1985 did not help my situation and I totally ignored everything and self-destructed literally. Around 1994 I ended up with severe peripheral and autonomic neuropathy, retinopahty and nepthropathy and was told my life would end in a few years if I continued on my downward route. (in my words a very stupid fool ignoring my diabetes). I had a fantastic consultant that really put me on the path to helping myself sort this lot out. I have a great Dr/Nurse team, which I think helps so very much and since 2001 I have lowered my A1c's to around 6 and set to keep on falling. My nepthropathy has gone, my peripheral is better and my retinopathy has stabilized and the autonomic I am still working at. The damge is done and won't go away but since knuckling down, more so for my children, things are stabilizing greatly and will continue, letting me live a lot longer. I really would urge everyone with diabetes to get hold of the control and work hard at it, afterall the end result is worth it - Life. Many Thanks to all!

Posted by Anonymous on 17 February 2009

Very inspirational Heather and as you have found out the powers of a positive mind and attitude have no boundaries. We put limitations on ourselves or sometimes let others impose their limitations on us.
Type 1 here from Australia diagnosed in Nov 2007 at the age of 59 years young after that many years with impeccable health.
Following 3 weeks in hospital in quite a bad way , condition was probably triggered by a few years extreme stress. patchy diet, to much shallow breathing and long hours that caught up.
Most of the things that were supposed to happen following release from hospital haven’t.
Got rid of these conditions and my honeymoon period is now 15 months and shows no signs whatsoever of ending and insulin requirements are down by around 60% and will probably get lower.

Expreriment with diet and (don't tell my doc) going without insulin for extended periods 18 hours the longest so far and will continue with this experimenting ( always a plan B organized though) with no adverse effects and sugar levels well within my acceptable range.
Trying to convince my docs that my pancreas is better than stated, I firmly believe it is .
In my apprentice as a T1 have learnt , regular exercise is extremely important, cutting out as much processed food as possible, plenty of vegetables (organic if possible)regular water intake, some form of yoga, mediation ,Tai Chi (form doesn't matter , application and using the mind in powerful ways does)and to me the magic potions, garlic, ginger and some chili, bugs don't like them !

Posted by Anonymous on 23 February 2009

I had a very long honeymoon and went at least 5 years from the time I started feeling sick to the time I was formally diagnosed. In those 5 years I was denied donating plasma because of high urine sugar but didn't know what that meant, so I didn't do anything about it.

By the time I was diagnosed I had vision problems and neuropathy in my feet. And gastropareisis.

It is now 11 years since my 1998 diagnosis and my feet are right as rain, I wear all manner of inappropriately high and stylish heels without discomfort, I can eat without feeling sick or nauseous or immediately full; I've been off Reglan since 2002, and my eyesight is perfect. My last A1c was 5.3.

Reversing complications are totally doable!

Posted by Anonymous on 25 February 2009

i have to say that this article and the comments give me hope. i was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2001 and have struggled with blood sugar control the entire time. the past two years have been horrible for me with the side-effects mounting. i've gone from a man with a strong-constitution to someone who feels weak, frail, and tired all the time. i barely have energy to do the work that i do. the complications have had a severely and increasingly negative effect on my life. i've recently made the decision to get off my ass and do something about this and have started making the move to a vegan lifestyle. the first few days made me very hopeful as my normally iceberg like hands and feet started to warm. i am hopeful that with continued dilligence, the remaining problems will go away. you all provide me great hope for that to be true.

Posted by avefenix on 3 March 2009

Dear Heather Jacobs, i read your words and they give me hop, please be a lot more specific of how you did it.
Thanking you in advance, Arty R.P.

Posted by Champaigne99 on 20 April 2009

Just 30 mins ago I was alone, crying and very scared as 6 hours ago I was told I had type 2 Diabetes. As the nures was very busy she did not have time to answer my questions. I only know my future had blindness,amputations and an early death to offer. I went onto the net and found so many sites and self help groups with a lot of conflicting medical advice as well as complementary treatments. I became so confused and even more upset, until I found this site. And whilst everyone is individual reading Heathers experience and all your differing responses I now know there is hope and ways to fight back.
Thank you so much

Posted by Anonymous on 9 May 2009

After 14 years of injecting insulin and following medical advice I arrived at 90 units of insulin per day.In late 2005 I decided I would try a different approach, by reducing my insulin intake and at the same time increasing exercise andc reducing food intake.In addition to this move and guided by my meter I eliminated certain carbohydrates, potatoes, bread,rice, bran flakes and surprise surprise my insulin requirement reduced to zero a position that I have maintained now for almost three years. Weight loss 21 lbs, BMI 29.5 to 24.8, HbA1c typically 5.8, medication reduced from 12 types to 5 with no diabetic medication at all.

Posted by HeatherJacobs on 12 May 2009

Delia! - from anonymous on Sept 11, 2008
I want to connect with you! Email me, please.
Anyone who is at their "end" please don't give up hope! Things ARE CHANGING!!!
Please email me at: hjacobs@diabeteswellnesscenter.org
Please check out - "Welcome to the Diabetes (R)Evolution!" on Diabetes Health at: http://www.diabeteshealth.com/read/2009/03/20/6125/welcome-to-the-diabetes-revolution/
On with the (R)Evolution!!!

Posted by Anonymous on 28 May 2009

Yes, ihave this problem, both my legs have burning, coldness and trigging feeling.
Now i'm on gabapentin 300mg three times a day, and also went to TCM for treatment. my leg is now begining to be more worst, afet reading you message. Can anyone tell me how can that better.

Posted by Anonymous on 24 July 2009

Heather, i've only just come across this article but I support you all the way. I lived my life in my teenage years, through university and even my early career as a 'non diabetic'. By 2007 i had severe retinopothy and didnt realise that i even had neuropothy as i had just lived with it. December 2007 my A1C was 11.8 and last month (06/2009) was 6.2. My eye surgeon has said the change in my eyes has been remarkable and about a year ago i went to bed one night and was pleasantly surprised NOT to have any pain in my lower legs.

recent hospital tests all indicate circulation, heart and kidneys are all functioning 'normally'.

So yes, your story is inspirational and I truly many people read it as this affliction can be beaten.

ironically, i now test and balance my BGs with such rigour that its become second nature and not the pain that i perceived it to be in my teenage years.

Well done!!


Posted by HeatherJacobs on 12 August 2009

Right on London! Thanks so much to you and all of those who are beating the odds and living well with diabetes! Our diabetes community desperately needs hope- so please keep sharing your triumphs!

Posted by elsa on 21 August 2009

Hi Heather,
I've been a diabetic for 28 years. I would love to know what is it that you have done to see if I am able to do it. I am 61 now, but unlike you I have always tried to be healthy. Hope to hear from you,

Posted by danruiz on 17 December 2009

All my complications have recently gone away including, glaucoma, neurogenic bladder, neuropathy in right foot trigger finger in both thumbs. I started taking a product called Immunocal. It works by naturally raising Glutathione levels which in reduces oxidative stress which is the cause of most diabetic complications, of course brought on by the elevated blood sugar. I am extremely delighted and feel better now than i have in many years. I wish I could post my contact info here for anyone to contact me but I cant so here is a web site you can use www.ImmunocalNow.com I know of many other diabetics that have had the same results on this product. Its worth taking a look at.

Posted by Anonymous on 27 February 2010

This doesn't surprise me at all.. the body seems capable to recover from a lot of damage given the right environment. I have had T1D for over 17 years and have always had good control, but since taking it to the next level recently I have seen my health improve greatly (mental & physical). Although I never had any diagnosed complications, I am sure the progression of them has stopped and probably started to reverse slightly. Coronary artery disease can regress with lifestyle changes, so I'm sure related vascular and nerve diseases can as well.

Posted by Anonymous on 1 May 2010

I was diagnosed 8 years ago, type one with neuropathy in my feet. HBA1c 11% late onset as I was 39. Immediately went into my usual control freak response. Quit job to focus on getting head around my diabetes and insulin, read everything, weight all my carbs, tracked everything else, tracked my results, exercised to return to 4-7 mmol range if ever above, etc. Reserved my neuropathy in my feet, to the surprise of the doctors who have never seen it before. No further complications fortunately, A1c in the 4.5 - 5.2 range since 6 months after diagnosis, very occasional hypos but have hypo awareness etc.

Also might be worth reaching out to Dr Richard Bernstien, his books have plenty anecdotal discussion of reversals of complication of diabetes.

Apologies for not posting earlier only saw the post today.

Posted by Anonymous on 2 April 2011

Diabetes can be a deadly disease if it is not properly taken care of. It can cause various complications to occur.

Posted by Anonymous on 7 May 2011

wonderful wonderful article Heather!

We want MORE!!!

How low carb did you go? Did you use Dr. Berstein's diet?

Posted by gary712 on 30 September 2011

I had Peripheral Neuropathy visit me in 2005. in 2008 it was bad enough that the doctors were thinking about removing my big toe as it started to turn blue. I had severe blockage in my lower extremities heart and high blood pressure from diabetes 2. I started using L-Arginine 500-750 mg and L-Carnitine 500-750 mg in the morning and within four months my blockage was gone, by the beginning of 2010 Hair had started to reappear on my legs. I have nerve regeneration going on in my feet, while much of my feet are numb, I can feel nerve regeneration is occurring. I have since stopped eating "modern wheat" This has helped weight loss and has stopped my R arthritis. I also have started astaxanthin 1o mg which has now brought my sugar under control.

Posted by windowwink on 29 November 2011


DO: eat a "low-glycemic index" diet, take a digestive enzyme with meals, take the following: olive oil, green tea extract, fish oil, vit E, flax seed oil, chromium picolinate, multi-vitamin from food source, use stevia and/or xylitol as sweeteners. stretch and move daily.

DON'T: consume aspartame (equal) it causes retinopathy, consume other artificial sweeteners, eat foods that raise sugar rapidly (flour, potatoes, tropical fruits, figs, etc.)
I have been a type one for 32 years and do not have traditional side-effects. There are two phases in my life that have had tremendous effects on my diabetes and reducing side-effects.

This year I had two islet cell transplants at the University of Minnesota - Schulze Diabetes Institute which literally cured me of diabetes for two months. I rejected most of the cells. Within one week of the transplants, I felt tremendous improvement in reducing pain, increased flexibility, etc.

The transplant team gave me a book on "LOW GLYCEMIC INDEX DIET". This diet lets you eat carbs, but only carbs that raise the sugar slowly. I went from a size 10 to a 2-4 on this diet. More info about this diet is on webmd.com and dozens of other sites including medical journals.

They also asked me to not consume artificial sweeteners - and to consume everyday - olive oil, green tea extract, fish oil, vit E, flax seed oil, chromium picolinate,

When I was in high school, I would go to the medical library at the local university and read research. Here are a few things I read:

1- AVOID ASPARTAME (EQUAL) turns into formaldahyde (what is used to embalm corpses) at body temperature. The product has most significant damage in causing retinopathy by hardening the capillaries that feed the retina.
2- when insulin is not going from the pancreas directly to the liver, many digestive enzymes may not by stimulated into production - I have found that by taking a DIGESTIVE ENZYME at the beginning of each meal I can reduce cravings and flatulence, and, it seems, I can increase feelings of well-being and energy.
3- there is something in milk that can trigger t-cell activity similar to what has been seen in type one infiltration
4- stretching can increase circulation. best to stretch until you feel the first sign of resistance and hold for 5-10 breaths until you do not feel the resistance anymore. Then repeat. 15 min of stretching each day makes a huge difference. Don't push your stretches too far past the first resistance or your fascia can become tighter and more resistant. The fascia is there to protect from injury. it loosens and allows more flexibility best when done gently.
5- exercise increases the body's sensitivity to insulin requiring less of it.

Mainly, the side-effects I have developed seem to do mainly with internal nerve damage and tendon problems.

I have had many trigger-finger surgeries and have developed arthritis. I stay in REM sleep and am sleep-deprived as well as have symptoms of low blood pressure frequently (black-out when raise head or stand up). I get nauseated and vomit at least four times/month. It seems most of this is from internal nerve damage.

Good luck to all of you in health and wellness!

Posted by Anonymous on 22 February 2012

I am 27 yrs old and i had diabetes now for almost 20 yrs. Im in a cloud with taking care of myself and i want too.. I have neuropathy and i get blurred vision from reinopathy.. i think one of the reasons is cause i gave up on the fact that it could get better.. i made a choice today to watch my health more and focus on at least not getting worse.. i also noticed alot of hair loss for the past few years is that a diabetic cause and is it reversable?

Posted by Anonymous on 21 July 2014

Thanks u give me courage for live

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