Type-1 diabetes is not a disease. At least, that’s what it seems Dr. K. P. Buteyko concludes in his 1969 Moscow State University lecture. This Ukrainian scientist created a series of breathing retraining exercises that many say can cure over 150 different diseases (including diabetes). But Dr. Buteyko argued this point. Not 150 diseases. Only ONE disease.
In the English translation I’m reading of his 47-year old presentation, Buteyko says his method can cure only the little-known disease of deep breathing. He goes on to say that this unregistered disease of over-breathing “causes a wide range of abnormalities.” Abnormalities like missing beta cells.
In other words, Buteyko proposed that certain conditions, like type-1 diabetes, are not actually diseases. They are merely symptoms of the disease of chronic over-breathing. Over-breathing causes low levels of carbon dioxide in the blood. Low levels of CO2 causes blood vessels to constrict. It also prevents the release of oxygen from hemoglobin into body cells. Therefore, less blood and oxygen reach the internal organs – organs such as the pancreas. Without blood and oxygen, the organ is not able to repair, maintain or protect itself.
“[Over-breathing] makes metabolism, the foundation of life of all cells, abnormal,” continued Dr. Buteyko, “wherever there is a stronger body part or a weaker one, then one or another symptom will prevail, and strongly manifest itself as a disease.”
Hence why my wife, Nicole, suffers from type-1 diabetes, while I battle with inflammatory bowel disease. Both, so the theory goes, are caused by low carbon dioxide levels. One might say Buteyko is just playing with words. But I think, if true, it offers a critical perspective to curing type-1 diabetes. If you want to knock down a diseased tree, hacking away at branch is not going to get the job done. You need to take the axe to the base of the trunk.
Thinking outside the type-1 matrix,
–John C. A. Manley
P.S. To see how Nicole’s faring with the Buteyko Method check out 6-13s MCP: Doubling Tissue Oxygen Levels with Type-1 Diabetes.
P.P.S. For more information on reported success with treating type-1 diabetes with the Buteyko Method you can read Breathing Slower and Less by Dr. Artour Rakhimov. It’s available from amazon.com, amazon.ca and amazon.co.uk.