Dr. Weyrich's Naturopathic Functional Medicine Notebook
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
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:
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."
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.
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.
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-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.