Hello. My name is Gordon. I'm a 13 year old student at Githens Middle School in Durham, North Carolina. I have had type-1 diabetes for more than 3 years and have been treated by Duke University during this time. Type-1 diabetes means the beta-cells in my pancreas do not make enough insulin. Insulin is very important because it is the hormone that makes it posible for glucose to go into the cells in my body. Glucose is the main fuel that keeps my cells working properly, and without insulin, glucose cannot get into the cells in my muscles, heart, brain, and all organs in my body.
When I was diagnosed with diabetes by Duke University in 2014, I had a blood sugar of over 700 and doctors found I had 3 different types of auto-antibodies linked to type-1 diabetes. One of these autoantibodies called GAD, was very high. Autoantibodies are suspected of playing a part in type-1 diabetes by attacking insulin making beta-cells in the pancreas.
In December of 2016 (about 2 and 1/2 years after diagnosis), my daily blood sugar was typically between 300 and 400. Even with help from my doctor, we were not able to get my numbers back into the normal range of between 100-150. One of my friends at school also had type-1 diabetes but his numbers were in the normal range. After a suggestion from my school's secretary, the father of my friend (I call him Mr. Richard) met with my mother and talked to her about the latest research on environmental causes of diabetes. The next day we started a program of removing different things in my home that have been reported in the medical research to cause or worsen diabetes. I was told that some common chemicals used in many home products are now being found to cause autoimmunity (where the immune system attacks beta-cells) and something else called oxidative stress (where free radicals formed from oxygen and other chemicals can weaken or kill beta-cells).
People with diabetes have also been found to have higher blood levels of chemicals called phthalates (thaylates) and a chemical used as a plastic liner in canned food called BPA, so Mr. Richard also helped us remove home products that contain these chemicals. Within 4 days of beginning the program, my blood sugar dropped 150-200 points on average and within another week, I was having repeated morning lows requiring us to continually reduce my insulin injections.
Over the next 5 weeks my blood sugar continued to drop requiring my mother to reduce my nighttime insulin twice a week on average. My diabetes continued to improve and I experienced a severe low blood sugar at school one day requiring the nurses to call an ambulance and take me to the emergency room.
By the last week in February 2017, I only required 10 units of Lantus each evening (down from 24 six weeks earlier) and was taking only half the Novalog insulin for carbohydrates at meals than before the program. After a visit to my doctor at Duke University in March 2017, we found that my C-peptide had increased and was higher than what it was when I was first diagnosed with diabetes. C-peptide is used to measure how much insulin is being made by the beta-cells in my pancreas. When I was diagnosed with type-1 diabetes in June of 2014, my C-peptide was 0.3 (for healthy people without diabetes it is normally between 0.8 and 3.1). After having diabetes for more than 2 and a half years - and at the end of the 6 week program with Mr. Richard, my C-peptide was 0.4 (meaning it had improved 33%). When looking into what normally happens to children with type-1 diabetes, we found it is practically unheard of for someone to have a higher C-peptide years after getting type-1 diabetes. In fact, in studies of hundreds of children with type-1 diabetes - in nearly all cases, doctors see their C-peptide getting lower every month with a typical decrease of 0.1 every 15 months. If this pattern would have been true for me, (since I was 0.3 at diagnosis) I should now be at around 0.1, but instead, after removing suspected environmental causes of diabetes from my home, my C-peptide is 0.4 - and it appears the things we've done is the reason why it improved.
On February 23, 2017, I met with my doctor, Dr. Freemark, at Duke University and gave him the results of our 6 week study. He expressed an interest in this and said he would discuss this with his research department.
After the doctor visit, my family returned to using many of the chemical based products that we originally removed during our 6 week study. This was partially due to the higher cost of these items. Within a few days, my blood sugar began rising, and after 10 days, my blood sugar had risen so much that we had to increase my insulin to nearly the level before I started working with Mr. Richard.
MY DIABETES CURED FOR 18 HOURS
Several months later, we tried another "test" - we again tried avoiding chemical compounds linked to diabetes, but this time we tried having me leave my home (since some members in my family were still using personal care products suspected of worsening diabetes symptoms). Along with this, I ate a 100% organic food diet. While organic foods are known to quickly reduce pesticide levels in the body, we also put a very large amount of effort into making meals that had as many different types of vegetables and fruits as we could find. This was done since many studies are now showing specific plant compounds (called phytogens) have the ability to improve glucose control in the body.
After being away from my home for several hours - avoiding consumer products linked to diabetes - and eating a wide variety of organic foods - my blood sugar became so low that I had to stop taking all of my usual novalog insulin shots with meals. This continued for the entire day. In other words, I was cured of type-1 diabetes for the 18 hours I was away from my home and with Mr. Richard.
All of this was recorded in my log book and can be further documented by recordings on my blood glucose meter. Please see the details of this in the next section under the heading "THE TIMETABLE."
My name (according to my friend Gordon) is Mr. Richard. While Gordon's C-peptide was 0.3 when he was diagosed with diabetes nearly 3 years ago - his C-peptide in February 2017 was 0.4 - This improvement in C-peptide, along with his 50% reduction in insulin requirements over our 6 week home intervention trial, has not been achieved previously and strongly supports the contention that strict avoidance of consumer products containing chemicals linked to diabetes, can contribute to remarkable improvements in diabetes control and reversal of diabetes symptoms. Details of our first intervention - including daily improvements in glucose and bi-weekly reductions in insulin can be seen from the link at the top of the page called the "The Gordon Report." While this intervention resulted in a dramatic long-term improvement in Gordon's type-1 diabetes, we took what was learned from the first intervention - expanded upon this - and achieved what we believe is an even more remarkable and unprecedented occurrence in type-1 diabetes reversal and is explained below in - "The Day Gordon Was Cured of Type-1 Diabetes."
THE IRONY OF THE PANCREAS
Before describing the day Gordon went without insulin on April 11, it is important to understand that of all organs in the human body, the human pancreas has been found to be the most vulnerable to damage. This is due to its inherent lower levels of detoxification enzymes in its cells including far lower levels of critical anti-oxidants that protect cells from aging and damage. However, on the flip side, it is fascinating to note that the human pancreas has also been found - in post-mortem studies, to continuously regenerate new beta-cells (even in people over age 60). In fact, in studies of intentional damage to the pancreas in test animals, regeneration has been shown to occur at over 7% per day in older animals (and even more in younger animals). But of course, regeneration and improved pancreatic function can only become apparent if the causes of pancreatic decline are eliminated or reduced, thereby allowing a daily net-gain in beta-cell mass and subsequent pancreatic function.
THE DAY GORDON WAS CURED OF TYPE-1 DIABETES
The following details an event that occured with Gordon on April 11, 2017 and clearly demonstrates the potential for dramatic and immediate improvements in children with type-1 diabetes.
REMOVING CIRCUMSTANCES THAT DAMAGE THE PANCREAS
The first part of our intervention on the day Gordon was cured of type-1 diabetes included removing him from his home which was built prior to 1990. This was of concern because of studies showing approximately 6% of homes built in this era contain very high air levels of the now-banned pesticide chlordane and also a chemical known as PCB's. Both chemicals were used in pre-1990 home contstruction (with larger amounts used in homes in existence in the 60's and 70's). Chlordane was typically used in termite prevention and PCB's were used as a thickening agent in window caulking, paint and wood floor varnishes. Also of concern, some of Gordon's family members resumed using a number consumer products containing chemicals suspected of increasing rates of diabetes. Therefore, removing him from the home would simultaneously eliminate all of these concerns.
STOP EATING PESTICIDES
Along with leaving his home for the day, Gordon was intentionally given a very wide variety of organic foods. In fact, over 30 different types of vegetables and fruits were given in his meals, many of which have been found to contain beneficial compounds identified as being able stimulate processes in the body that regulate glucose metabolism, including specialized cells in the intestine that produce a hormone called exendin-4, which (when released) has been found to stimulate new beta-cell growth in the progenitor ducts in the pancreas.
NO INSULIN FOR 18 HOURS
When viewing the timetable below, note that beginning at 12:55 PM, we had to stop all injections of Novalog insulin due to Gordon experiencing very low blood sugar measurements - for the next 18 hours we did not give any further insulin with any of his meals (which totaled over 100 carbs).
On the morning of April 11, 2017, Gordon's blood sugar was 179 at 6:35AM - 215 at 8:15 AM - and 192 at 9:05 AM. To investigate if the home could be a contributing factor to these poor numbers, his mother allowed me to pick him up take him to my home for the day. I picked up Gordon at his home at 10:30 AM and we drove to my residence with my own 4 children in SW Durham, NC about 20 minutes away. In the timetable below, minutes have been rounded to the nearest 5 minute interval for easier time comparisons.
12:00 PM: Gordon's blood sugar was 159. This was 90 minutes after arriving at my home and the first measurement at the house. As we were preparing lunch, Gordon gave himself an injection of 8 units of Novalog insulin for the following 47 carb meal: 2 organic hotdogs (no rolls) and a bowl of 14 organic bean chilli seasoned with cumin and chilli pepper. Gordon also drank 4 ounces of a special combination of 7 organic juices that we made because of their known high anti-oxidant potential. This was the last time Gordon took any insulin for the day.
12:55 PM: Blood sugar was a very low 51 about 45 minutes after finishing lunch - the drop of over 100 points in such a short time frame suggests significantly increased insulin output, but apparently no increase in alpha-cell glucagon (which normally works to raise low blood sugar). It is important to note that even though Gordon's blood sugar was 51, he appeared coherent, at ease, and stated he felt good .
1:15 PM: Blood sugar 113 about one hour and 5 minutes after lunch.
2:00 PM: Blood sugar 53 - dropping 60 points over one hour and 45 minutes since lunch. To raise his blood sugar I gave Gordon our 7 juice drink totalling 10 carbs.
3:00 PM: Blood sugar 74 - rising only 21 points since 10 carb drink at last measurement.
4:15 PM: Blood sugar 70 so another 10 carbs of juice was given.
4:55 PM: Blood sugar at 81 just before dinner. Dinner consisted of 53 carbs including: organic hotdog (3 carbs) - a slice of mixed grain organic bread for hotdog roll (21 carbs) - ketchup (4 carbs) - organic vegetable soup (20 carbs) and stir fried zuchinni and squash and onions (5 carbs). Again, all of this was 100% organic.
5:55 PM: Blood sugar 108 about 40 minutes after finishing dinner. Still taking no insulin.
Of interest, in the past - Gordon has typically demonstrated a 30 to 40 point increase in blood sugar for every 5 carbs eaten. Therefore, a 50 carb meal such as this would normally raise his blood sugar over 300-400 points, but instead, during our intervention - his blood sugar rose only 55 points to a safe 108.
7:25 PM: Blood sugar now 78 - 2 and 1/2 hours after last measurement. Lantus taken 14 units.
10:30 PM: Blood sugar is 58 - a drop of 20 points from measurement 3 hours earlier. It's important to again state that Gordon continues to show no signs of ill health and stated he felt absolutely fine. 10 carbs of juice was again given in an attempt raise blood sugar. At this point Gordon had now gone nearly 10 hours without insulin and his glucose was still very low.
11:00 PM: Blood sugar a surprising 48 at 11PM. This was completely unexpected as Gordon drank 10 carbs of juice just 30 minutes earlier when his blood sugar was 58, but instead of blood sugar increasing as expected, it decreased 10 points, this was corroborated with a second measurement. These continued and repeated low blood glucose results even after carbohydrate consumption strongly supports the premise that improvements in insulin production and/or glucose/insulin efficiency are increasing the longer we stay on this regimine. Again, Gordon's mental state seemed excellent although he expressed a slight feeling of "uneasiness."
At this point we gave Gordon two 5 carb peppermints to raise his blood sugar as consuming the juice appeared to have little or no effect in increasing blood sugar. As it was getting late - I took Gordon home as we had now gone nearly 11 hours with no insulin and experienced numerous low blood sugar episodes throughout the day. While Gordon did take 14 units of timed release Lantus around 7:30 that evening, his blood sugar the following morning was 86 (nearly 18 hours after stopping all external Novalog insulin). A few hours after breakfast (and after being home for about 8 hours), his blood sugar again started rising to concerned levels so normal insulin shots were resumed at his home.
As the results of this intervention are unprecedented, it is imperative to determine if similar results can be repeated with other children with type-1 diabeates and for longer durations. If this can be duplicated, it will suggest that a person's home residence - chemical products used in the home - and food choices can come together to dramatically affect glucose homeostasis and diabetes progression. Along with this, interventions of this type will provide new hope and a potential treatment option for a condition that is growing exponentially in the United States and other countries. The benefits of an intervention of this type is the ease of implementation and potential for dramatically reduced suffering for millions of children in the U.S. and around the world, not to mention the dramatic savings in medical costs to society.
A SIDE NOTE: Although the cost of organic food for this intervention is not one that a family on a limited budget can typically afford, it does demonstrate how type-1 diabetes can be reversed under the right conditions. Interestingly, one could make the argument that if it turns out (as it did here) that a 100% organic food diet results in dramatically improved pancreas function and reduced insulin requirements, then the savings in insulin cost would pay for the organic food many times over (since insulin injections are far more expensive than organic food). This is certainly something that insurance companies may wish to investigate further as the research continues to evolve.
I also wish to thank Gordon's mother "Crystal" for her cooperation in reducing the use of some chemicals used in household cleaning - pest control - body care and food choices.
We believe none of what transpired was coincidence and wish to thank the hundreds of scientists around the world who have been vigorously researching environmental causes of diabetes in an effort to explain why this disease is increasing exponentially around the globe. The primary interventions we implemented with Gordon were based on findings from scientists at Harvard, Duke, Princeton, Research Triangle Park in North Carolina, Monsoura Children's Hospital in Greece and and dozens of other research facilities around the world. Their efforts have repeatedly identified and confirmed a select group of chemical compounds that have the uncanny ability to cause free-radical destruction of cells, increased autoimmunity - insulin resistance - as well as mimic and disrupt hormones in the human body responsible for controlling glucose homeostasis.
LISTEN TO THE SCIENTISTS
REDUCING OXIDATIVE STRESS & AUTOIMMUNITY = NET GAIN IN BETA-CELLS
The main chemicals identified as causing damage to the pancreas and beta-cells and disruption to glucose metabolism include - phthalates (pronounced "thaylates") - bisphenol-A - nitrates (such as in pork preservation) pesticides in homes - pesticides used on food crops as well as a class of chemicals known as phenols. (There are actually another five or six we'll add to the list but discuss later). For anyone to reduce exposure to these compounds, it requires identifying which consumer products are the biggest offenders. While there are many sources, the primary routes include - air fresheners - skin lotions - nearly all chemical based cosmetics - disinfectants - chlorine bleach - detergents - fabric softeners - hand sanitizers - perfumes - cologne - pestcide products in the home and yard and even canned food. Along with this, simply increasing ventilation helps tremendously in reducing levels of these compounds inside the home.
GORDON IS DEFYING THE ODDS
It is important to understand just how unique Gordon's situation is compared to other children with type-1 diabetes. In studies of hundreds of children who have just been diagnosed with diabetes, their insulin output typically increases for the first few months with many entering into what is called a honeymoon period (or partial-remission). However, after that, insulin output typically decreases each month, so that after 9 months, the majority of children are no longer in their "honeymoon" and producing very little insulin. While this was true for Gordon during his first year with diabetes (he lost his "honeymoon" status at 6 months), nearly 3 years later, he was able to reverse the decline and show greatly improved natural insulin output. Again, this is contrary to what happens in nearly 100% of children with diabetes. As of Februrary 21, 2017 (six weeks after begininng the program), Gordon's need for insulin shots was 60% less than what it was 6 weeks earlier. In other words, while 99% of children show a continued worsening of diabetes and increased need for insulin injections with each passing year, Gordon is going in the complete opposite direction - showing reduced need for external insulin and substantiated by a 33% improvement in c-peptide. And of course, as outlined in our last study on April 11, 2017, Gordon exhibited a complete 100% reversal of diabetes with no need for external insulin.
WHY DID GORDON'S PANCREAS FUNCTION IMPROVE SO QUICKLY?
It is important to look back to understand why Gordon improved so rapidly after removal of these environmental circumstances from his home. Since type-1 diabetes is a disease caused by oxidative stress and autoimmune reactions against beta-cells, it certainly makes sense that removal of chemical products found to cause oxidative stress and autoimmunity could result in less damage to the pancreas (and other organs). While autoimmunity is the hallmark of type-1 diabetes, it is important to note that people with type-2 diabetes have also been found to have high levels of oxidative stress and autoimmunity, but their autoimmunity is apparently directed toward different parts of the body other than the pancreas.
UNDERSTANDING OXIDATIVE STRESS
THE CRITICAL FIRST STEP IN AUTOIMMUNITY
Interestingly, type-1 diabetes is called an autoimmune disease. However, dozens of new medical studies now state this is only part of the picture, and in fact, type-1 diabetes can occur when beta-cells die from a condition known as oxidative stress. Oxidative stress refers to a condition in which oxygen molecules are missing an electron after metabolism in the cell. In this process, they steal electrons from other parts of the cell (especially in the mitochondria). If this situation is not corrected by natural anti-oxidants, then the beta-cell can become damaged and eventually die. After beta-cells die from oxidative stress, immune system cells then infiltrate into the area to "clean-up" the debris left over from the dead cell, and this is what gives the appearance of an autoimmune reaction when viewed under a microscope. Unfortunately, the process of cleaning up dead beta-cells by the immune system has been shown to start new and inappropriate autoimmune reactions which then need to be "calmed" by other parts of the immune system.
Therefore, if oxidative stress is the first step in causing cell damage and autoimmunity in a child with diabetes (or anyone for that matter), it certainly makes sense to avoid chemical compounds in our lives that have clearly been identified as being able to cause oxidative stress damage. For those with type-1 diabetes, less oxidative stress means less daily destruction of beta-cells and less autoimmunity. Since beta-cells have now been found to regenerate daily in humans (and in numbers now suspected of being in the millions), this reduction in oxidative stress and autoimmunity could very well tip the balance - resulting in more beta-cells being added to the pancreas than being destroyed by oxidative stress and autoimmunity. And for those of us with a child with type-1 diabetes, imagine the end result if we could actually do something that would give our child a daily net-gain in beta-cells - rather than a net-loss...
Because of the rapid increase of diabetes in the U.S. and around the world - scientists who study this condition agree that genetics alone cannot explain the dramatically increasing numbers every year - and that something in the environment must be playing a role. Through extensive work by scientific communities around the world, approximately one dozen specific chemical types have been identified as having the ability to accelerate the onset of diabetes. This occurs as the identifed compounds slowly damage the body's defenses - increasing oxidative stress and cell death - autoimmunity and also disrupting critical hormones in the body responsible for maintaining proper glucose levels. The list below reviews the main chemical sources identififed by research centers around the world as damaging the ability of the pancreas to control proper blood sugar levels in the body.
||Pronounced "thaylates" - the chemical is used to soften plastics - in plastic wrap on food and also as a thickening agent and solvent in many home products including plug-in air fresheners - perfumes - colognes - detergents - fabric softeners - and most cosmetics including facial & wrinkle creams - eye-liner - lipstick - and skin lotions.
||Used as a liner on the inside of canned foods - hard plastic bottles and dental teeth plastic coverings.
||Used in computer circuit boards (larger amounts in high powered gaming computers), couch cushions, beds, infant car seats, carpeting and many other home sources.
||Used in homes for roach, ant and termite control. Another major exposure source comes from residues on food grown using conventional pesticide-based farming methods. Organic foods typically do not have measureable levels of these chemicals, thereby suggesting the importance for a child with diabetes.
||Used to preserve meat such as ham, bacon, hot dogs and more.
||Monosodium glutamate. Used to artificially enhance the flavor of foods such as meats, hot dogs, Chinese Food, fast food chicken and take out restuarants such as Popeye's - Bojangles - etc. Three separate studies have found a strong link between MSG and diabetes.
||Contains the chemical benzene and many others known to cause autoimmunity and increase diabetes risk.
||Formed with using bleach in the home and also in tap water treated with chlorine.
||Found in weed killers and formed when trash is burned in back yard burning.
||Primary exposures include nail polish - gasoline fumes while filling the gas tank and car exhaust on highways.