Cutting Salt and Watching Insulin Needs Drop

Wednesday. 1:30am. My eyes opened. My brain felt instantly awake. Like a recording, my brain’s auditory centre replayed what it just heard seconds ago. The sound of a body hitting the ground… hard. I’ve only heard that sound once before (while sleeping) and knew what it was. I jumped out of bed and found her laying on the floor.

Nicole’s pajamas were soaked through with sweat. I picked her up and sat her up in bed. She was mumbling about not knowing who she was. I didn’t bother with with the glucometer. I got up to get the jar full of distilled water, honey and apple cider vinegar I had made earlier that day. The measurements on the side indicated there was 2-1/2 “tabs” left. Looked about right. I could check the blood sugar in a minute. At that point, I wanted to get glucose into her before…

Nicole fell back on the bed.

“No, don’t go unconscious on me this time,” I pleaded.

The only other time this happened in the middle of night, she was too out of it to drink anything. Another day, I’ll tell you how I handled that situation. This time, however, I grabbed her hands and pulled her back up into a sitting position.

I handed her the mason jar and asked (more ordered) her to drink. She shook her head and slurred something about being diabetic and sugar isn’t good for her.

“Just try,” I said. So she did. And quickly got it down.

Then I let her lay down and asked her what 2+2 equaled.

“Four,” she said.

I grabbed her glucometer and looked at the last record. At 9:30pm she had a blood sugar of 7.7mmol/L (138mg/dL). She had her dinner insulin long before that. So what was making her low? Levemir? I pricked her finger and squeezed hard, as blood wasn’t flowing all that well. Bleep. The readout said 1.6mmol/L (27mg/dL). She takes only 2 units of long-acting insulin before bed. It shouldn’t have dropped her 5mmol/L in four hours.

Ten minutes later Nicole could talk and think normally. We put a thick bathmat on her bed to cover up the sweat and she changed her clothes.

So what happened? Nicole’s been off of salt now for nearly 30 days. As we’ve found with previous salt-free experiment her need for long-acting insulin diminishes significantly. It’s a bit hard to predict at times because she has kidney failure and is on dialysis. Without functioning kidneys her body builds up sodium even from unsalted food, quite easily. Then dialysis takes the sodium off very quickly, but reintroduces some inorganic sodium (baking soda) into bloodstream.

Last time she was off salt for 40 days, her long acting insulin needs reduced by 60%. This time, we decided to cut her nighttime dose of Levemir from 2 units to 1 unit. So far that’s been working fine.

We’ll continue to test the salt-free approach. In addition to lower insulin needs we have seen many other benefits and no side effects (once you get past the “withdrawal symptoms”).

Thinking outside the type-1 matrix,
–John C. A. Manley

P.S. Next week, we’ll be publishing online the latest issue of The Journal of HealinGrit which features a detailed article on how a salt-free diet appears to provide aboriginals with superior health. Until then, you can get help with this or other protocols by booking a consult.

P.P.S. For more on how and why salt raises insulin needs you can read: How Just 2g Per Day of This Calorie-Free Ingredient Pushes Insulin Needs Up

About the Author: John C. A. Manley researches and writes about alternative treatments for type-1 diabetes and its many complications. His wife, Nicole, of 15 years has had type-1 diabetes for four decades. Together they have lowered her HgbA1c below 5.5%, regained thyroid function, increased kidney function and reversed gastroparesis. Read more about their journey out of the T1D matrix or subscribe to their Diabetic Dharma blog..