Many people write to the Bountekos seeking ways to cure diabetes naturally. I would like to share with you some of the information that Victoria compiled in 2006 and some snippets from her own family’s personal experience with curing diabetes through diet. Victoria first began gathering books, articles and testimonials about this disease when her youngest son Sergei was diagnosed with diabetes in 1993. The following is an overview of the facts, thoughts and experiences she considers to be most valuable.
The Boutenko’s experience with Diabetes
At the time my son was diagnosed, I was told that he had symptoms of type 1 diabetes. The doctor insisted that he had to go on insulin immediately. However, the recent death of my dear grandmother was still fresh in my memory. She was killed by an overdose of insulin.
My grandmother Katherine had always been a tremendous source of inspiration for me. Born in 1909, she was adventurous enough to jump with a parachute at the age of 18 in 1927, when airplane flights had just begun, and parachutes were rather bulky and unsafe. She was an educated and well-mannered lady who managed to marry Count Bulgakov, the cousin of the world-famous classical Russian writer, Michael Bulgakov.
My grandmother was one of the central figures in my family and her early death was a big shock to us all. She had given herself the usual dose of insulin, but for some reason, her body responded to it with a strong hypoglycemic reaction that resulted in death. So of course, when the doctor pronounced that my son was diabetic, the biggest threat to me was the idea of giving my child insulin shots.
I am aware that I am a very protective mother, and the motherly instincts are strong in me. While considering the treatment proposed for my son, I began collecting and scrutinizing all the information I could get my hands on in order to choose the optimal treatment for him. At first I could find nothing that even devotedly suggested an alternative way of treating diabetes. I spent many hours in the library, reading medical journals both new and old, with a stack of post-its and a medical dictionary by my side marking everything that could help shed some light on my understanding of my son’s disease. The very first book that brought me hope and relief was the book, Reversing Diabetes, by Dr. Julian Whitaker. In this book, Dr. Whitaker said, “Most diabetic patients can reasonably expect to lower their insulin dose or eliminate oral diabetic medications. Some patients may be able to stop injecting insulin altogether.”
Even though my doctor explained to me that my son’s pancreas was incapable of producing insulin, and he therefore had to immediately take insulin, I strongly felt that if I didn’t try to correct his condition with diet first, I would be devastated should unwanted complications from insulin occur later. It was a very difficult decision to make. I never described in any of my books or conversations what I had to go through during those first months, because I was afraid. I love my children more than anything in the world, and I was afraid to lose my son either to disease or to misunderstanding authorities. Even now, when my son is 21 years old and vibrantly healthy, I still have some of those fears. I just want to explain that my heart goes out to all the mothers and fathers of diabetic children who have to go through the same torturous decisions. Very often I hear accusations that I placed my son’s life at stake. Honestly I didn’t feel that way, because I was always very close to him. I placed his bed in my own bedroom so that I could hear his breathing day and night. I monitored his blood sugar several times a day, and closely watched his symptoms.
I subscribed to most of the existing magazines that had to do with diabetes, Diabetic Living, Diabetes Health, Diabetes Self-Management, and Diabetes Forecast. I was seeking cures for my son everywhere. I changed my son’s diet dramatically several times. At first, I put him on the diet that was at that time recommended for diabetics, a low carbohydrate, high protein, and high fat diet. This didn’t help at all. On the contrary, it made his symptoms worse. I was puzzled by the fact that the recommended diet for diabetics visibly worsened his condition. I stumbled at such results. These consequences didn’t make any sense to me! Consuming sugar raises the blood sugar. One would think, okay let me cut out sugars (carbohydrates). However, when one cuts out carbohydrates, the blood sugar goes even higher! This is probably the biggest paradox associated with diabetes, and is responsible for much of the confusion both among diabetics and the medical profession.
Driven by the quest to find what I should feed my child, I began searching for more information and found many research documents that proved that the diabetic diet itself could cause diabetes. As early as 1927, a comprehensive study conducted by Dr. J. Shirley Sweeney,3 demonstrated that the high fat, low carbohydrate diet used in treating diabetic patients would cause diabetes in normal people. Dr. Sweeney also found that when those who had blood sugar levels indicative of diabetes changed their diets from a high fat or high protein diet to a high carbohydrate diet, their diabetes disappeared!
Dr. Sweeney concluded that, “If you want a quick case of diabetes, just eliminate the carbohydrates from your diet for a couple of days and then take the test. It will demonstrate diabetes.”
In the early 1930s, another researcher, Dr. H.P. Himsworth4 published several articles that contained information similar to Sweeney’s. Like Sweeney, he demonstrated that in a normal individual, a fat-rich or protein-rich diet could bring on diabetes, which could be eliminated by a carbohydrate-rich diet. He revealed that diabetes could be induced to various degrees depending on the fat content of an individuals diet.
In 1932, yet another doctor, I.M. Rabinowitch5, put the high carbohydrate diet to work in patients with great success and was baffled that his observations and results were so different from the commonly accepted beliefs.
In 1935, 24% of Rabinowitch’s patients who had been on the high carbohydrate – low calorie diet for five years were successfully withdrawn from insulin. Insulin requirements were reduced in almost all the participants who still required it. The patients felt better, had more energy, and lived more comfortably. He concluded: “I believe that in the data presented here there is incontestable evidence that the high carbohydrate – low calorie diet is more effective in controlling diabetes than all other methods of treatment reported hitherto.”
In 1976, still another doctor, James W. Anderson, M.D6., began searching for the best diet composition for a diabetic patient. He compared the ADA diet recommendations with a high-carbohydrate, high- fiber diet on 13 diabetic men. These patients were all receiving medication to control their blood glucose: eight were on insulin for a number of years, and five were taking oral drugs. At the hospital, these patients were first stabilized for one week on the ADA diet recommendations, which contained only 43% carbohydrate calories and about 4.7 grams of crude fiber. They were then shifted to a diet containing 75% carbohydrate calories, only 9% fat calories, and 14.2 grams of crude fiber.
The results were almost unbelievable. A simple dietary shift rendered nearly 70% of the patients drug fee, and 50% insulin free! This suggests that of the 20.8 million diabetics in America7 who are taking some form of diabetic medication, about 14.7 million could possibly become drug free if they were placed on a high-carbohydrate, high-fiber diet!
Once I read these studies, I completely eliminated animal fat and almost all animal protein from my son’s diet. As soon as I made this change, both my son and I quickly saw positive results. My son’s symptoms noticeably reduced, but his blood sugar remained higher than normal, and he was still beleaguered by an un-quenchable thirst. Other symptoms of diabetes were also present even though their form was much milder.
Approximately at this time, I learned about the raw food diet, and after several weeks of extensive reading and research about benefits of this lifestyle, my family switched to an all-raw diet on January 21st, 1994. This dietetic change immediately improved my son’s condition still further.
Soon thereafter, I learned about the necessity of aerobic exercise for every diabetic, regardless of type. As Dr. Whitaker described in his book8, “Aerobic exercise enhances the body’s sensitivity to insulin and is recommended because it significantly lowers the insulin requirement. An exercise program should be prescribed for the diabetic patient in the same way that medication or diet is prescribed.”
Indeed exercise proved to be instrumental in helping my son keep his blood sugar under control. On many nights when my son would have a glucose level of 350 or more and was unable to fall asleep, I would go for a two mile run with him, sometimes after midnight, to bring his sugar level back down to 120. All of this took a great deal of effort. I had to quit working outside the house and create a business at home, so that I could closely monitor my son’s condition. To my great relief, he began doing better and better each day.
Next week I will post the remainder of this article where Victoria talks about diagnosing diabetes correctly.
1 - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National diabetes fact sheet: general information and national estimates on diabetes in the United States, 2005. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2005.
2 - Dramatic Upsurge In Diabetes-related Deaths And Illnesses Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. Article Date: 01 Mar 2006, Contact Karen Gardner: firstname.lastname@example.org
3 - American Medical Association of January 16, 1926
4 - Reversing Diabetes, by Julian M. Whitaker, M.D. New York: Warner Books, Inc., 1987.
5 - “The Present Status of the High Carbohydrate-Low Calorie Diet for the Treatment of Diabetes,”Canadian Medical Association Journal 26:46-148, 1932
6 - “Beneficial Effects of a High Carbohydrate, High Fiber Diet on Hyperglycemic Diabetic Men,” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 29:895-899, 1976
7 - http://www.diabetes.org/uedocuments/NationalDiabetesFactSheetRev.pdf
8 - Reversing Diabetes, by Julian M. Whitaker, M.D. New York: Warner Books, Inc., 1987.