Save Your Legs! A Taboo Way to Avoid Amputation From Diabetic Neuropathy

In his book Sugar Crush Dr. Richard Jacoby describes the first amputation he assisted with as a young surgical student in Philadelphia—removing a gangrenous leg from a man suffering with diabetes:

My job was to hold the rotting leg as the orthopedic surgeon sawed it off just above the knee. The stench of a gangrenous leg is putrid and overpowering, so much so that we had to put peppermint oil in our masks to endure it. As I held the leg and struggled with smell and the sound of the saw, I was struck not only by the impersonal, awful nature of the procedure—but by the enormous weight of the diseased leg as it fell into my arms.

I stood confused in the middle of the room. Clutching the heavy burden and wondering what to do with it. I saw a nurse nod toward the medical waste container. No longer viable, this once healthy, functioning leg was now trash.

That amputation was the end result of diabetic peripheral neuropathy—precipitated by pain and numbness, caused by damage to the nerves of the foot. Had we not removed the man’s grossly infected leg, the gangrene would have killed him.

The above story sent a shiver down my spine when I first read it many years ago. The thought of my wife, Nicole, losing even a toe, no less a leg, to type-1 diabetes was a reality that haunted us. We already knew the familiar sight of a prosthetic leg resting on a chair in the waiting room of the dialysis clinic she attends three times a week. That patient lost one leg, then the other, then he died.

Furthermore, battling foot infections has been a regular part of Nicole’s life. Simply walking in sandals for a day, or a sock rubbing her feet the wrong way, would result in foot lesions that lasted for weeks or months. Those lesions would often become infected. Even at the best of times her feet were dry and calloused — ready to blister or crack under the mildest provocation.

Over the years, we’d tried many different oils, herbs, diets, breathing exercises and concoctions. Some helped, some did nothing. In the end only one remedy saved her feet. Today, her feet have no infections, cuts and barely a callous.

The miracle treatment is free, accessible, not very time consuming, though a bit smelly and as  taboo as eating cat fur. But as Yogi Bear says, “What works, works.”

The protocol is quite simple:

  1. We collect about 1-1/2 cups (475ml) of mid-stream urine in a glass jar. Since Nicole’s kidneys are offline, we capture our son’s morning urine with a laboratory collection “hat.” Since we don’t use it right away, we store it in the fridge (just don’t confuse it with fruit juice).
  2. Before application, we place the glass jar in a pail of hot water to warm the urine up. We usually fill the pail twice (ten minutes apart) to get the urine to about body temperature.
  3. We buy 100% organic, dye-free cotton socks from the local health store. I soak one of them in the urine and then wring out the excess.
  4. Next, we put the wet sock on one of her feet.
  5. Next comes a small, clean, garbage bag over the sock.
  6. Then we place an extra large sock over the plastic bag to hold it in place.
  7. We repeat with the other foot.
  8. We leave the urine socks on for 2-3 hours.
  9. Then we remove and rub dry. The urine readily absorbs into the skin and leaves no odour.

Even after one treatment we normally see dead skin peeling away. The new skin starts growing back with successive treatments. With each application, without fail, we’ve seen infections vanish, open sores and cuts seal up, dry skin become baby smooth and callouses dissolve. Progress is somewhat slow but unmistakable. If one does four or six treatments per day they’d probably see rapid progress. But one treatment a day has even reversed a deep split in her toe that became filled with a black infection.

I’ve already written on this site about why urine is not really a waste product and contains such healing properties. In short: all urine appears to me to be (keeping in mind I’m no scientist) merely blood without any red blood cells and a higher percentage of water.

To support this theory we can turn to the womb: Urine and amniotic fluid are essentially the same thing. A fetus is floating in its own urine for seven months of its life — growing its body from the outside in. Lab tests reveal urine contain nutrients, antibodies, stem cells, hormones, enzymes and highly filtered water. Our proverbial fountain of youth may indeed be an allegory for our urinary tract.

Urine socks. Sounds like I should be put in an asylum. How could such a simple treatment save people with diabetes from having limbs sawed off with all the sophistication of a medieval war film?

I must admit, I actually laughed so hard my liver hurt when I first heard it suggested. My awkward amusement had certainly turned into awe after spending three months testing urine therapy on a 90-year-old man with gangrene of the scalp. Next post I’ll share the story (with photographic evidence)—one I never thought I’d be telling. It has convinced me that topical urine therapy might indeed be a simple way to save millions of legs from the hospital incinerator.

Thinking way outside the T1D Matrix,
–John C. A. Manley

P.S. To hear the upcoming three-part post about how urine therapy saved a 90-year old man  with gangrene from the surgical table, be sure to subscribe. Also, share this post with anybody you know who is suffering from diabetic neuropathy. Two socks and 10 minutes per day of work could outwit decades in a wheelchair.

P.P.S. 100% organic, purified cotton socks, with no dye, are available from, and We just rinse them out after each application and throw them in the laundry (a little ammonia in the load doesn’t seem to affect the other clothes).

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..