Dr. Weyrich's Naturopathic Functional Medicine Notebook is a collection of information on topics of interest to Dr. Weyrich that may be of interest to the world wide audience. Due to limitations of time, not all information that Dr. Weyrich knows or would like to further research is published here. Dr. Weyrich welcomes financial contributions to support specific research topics, as well as copies of non-free access journal articles for him to review on a topic. Constructive criticism is also welcome.

Overview of Diabetes Mellitus Type I

Type I Diabetes Mellitus is sometimes called juvenile onset diabetes because the new onset peaks at about age 12. The onset is rapid and is generally thought to be due to an autoimmune process triggered by some unidentified infection. The autoimmune process destroys the pancreatic tissue that produces insulin, thereby requiring lifelong insulin supplementation.

A related type of diabetes is sometimes called Type 1.5, LADA, or Latent Autoimmune Diabetes of Adults.

Complimentary and alternative treatments for diabetes mellitus type I that are considered below include:

  • Immune System Balancing
  • Low Dose Naltrexone
  • Neurotransmitter Balancing

Treatment of Diabetes Mellitus Type I

Please see conventional, complimentary and alternative medical treatments for important background information regarding the different types of medical treatments discussed below.

Conventional Treatment of Type I Diabetes

Insulin replacement is the primary treatment for Type I Diabetes Mellitus, along with proper diet and exercise. Poor glucose control is generally blamed for secondary causes of morbidity and death such as atherosclerosis. See [Joslin], [Kelly2001].

Experimental treatments with stem cells are being tried, but are not expected to be helpful unless the autoimmune reaction can be eliminated.

A monoclonal antibody called teplizumab (Anti-CD3) has shown that "clinical type 1 diabetes (T1D) can be delayed for a median of two years in children and adults at high risk." [https://trialnet.org/our-research/completed-studies/teplizumab]

Naturopathic, Complimentary and Alternative Treatments

Optimize Thyroid Function

Hypothyroidism has been associated with diabetes (type I and II) and it has been observed that diabetic patients concurrently treated for hypothyroidism are spared most of the secondary causes of morbidity and death [Starr2005, pg 42].

Immune System Balancing

[McCulley2018, pp 28, 33, 35, 60, 89, 363-386] reports that Type I and Type 1.5 diabetes melitis are TH1- and TH17-dominant [DM1], localized, autoimmune disorders, and proposes an approach to treating these diseases, which should be supervised by a properly trained medical professional. Dr. Weyrich has considerable interest in this topic, but has not treated any cases of DM1 or LADA with Immune System Balancing.

Please see What is Immune System Balancing? for more information.

Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN)

According to the Low Dose Naltrexone home page [LDN], LDN has been seen to benefit many different autoimmune diseases. Dr. Weyrich is aware of one anectdotal report of treating Diabetes Mellitus Type I using LDN. In this case, better blood glucose control was obtained, and insulin dose was reduced but not eliminated.

Dr. Weyrich has been trained in the use of Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN). However, Dr. Weyrich has not treated any cases of Diabetes Mellitus Type I with LDN.

Please see What is Low Dose Naltrexone? for more information.

Neurotransmitter Balancing

Neuro Research [Hinz2015] reports that chronic diseases such as Diabetes Mellitus Type I can be benefited by balancing neurotransmitter levels in the body.

Dr. Weyrich has been trained in neurotransmitter balancing protocols, but has not treated Diabetes Mellitus Type I using this technique.

Please see What is Neurotransmitter Balancing? for more information.

Prevention of Diabetes Mellitus Type I

There is evidence that hypothyroid function suppresses the immune system and increases susceptibility to whatever bacterial or viral infection might trigger the autoimmune response [Starr2005].

Hypotheses regarding Diabetes Mellitus Type I

Type I Diabetes is typically diagnosed when about 90% of insulin-secreting pancreatic tissue has been destroyed. It is theoretically possible that if the autoimmune process can be arrested soon enough, some pancreatic function can be maintained and even some reversal can be achieved. There are no FDA-approved protocols to do this.

Adult Stem-cells

Adult stem-cell research also holds some promise for restoring pancreatic function. Adult stem-cells are collected from the patient's own tissues and do not have problems with tissue incompatibility (MHC-mismatch) that stem cell lines from other people (such as fetal stem cells) would have. However, introducing new insulin-secreting cells still faces the problem that the autoimmune process must be arrested in order to prevent destruction of the new insulin-secreting cells as well.

References for Diabetes Mellitus Type I