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How to survive with Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes when SHTF
I'm new here but I've been a lurker for quite some time.
There was a thread a few years ago on this forum that mentioned a method for manufacturing your own insulin, using a method that had been used during a SHTF moment last century.
While the overall method is brilliant, it is probably WAY beyond the resources of the average Joe.
I worked as a lab chemist for several years and with all the equipment at my disposal and my daily working knowledge of the process involved it would be nearly impossible for me to do. I can only imagine what some poor fella/gal coming here for advice probably thought.
Someone else mentioned the rDNA process used for modern insulin production and thought that might be feasible in a SHTF scenario. I want to say that unequivocally, if you can't make insulin through an isolation process, it is extemely unlikely that you will have access to a gene sequencer, and the skill requisite to implant it in the e. coli bacteria. Even then it's not just a matter of making the bacteria excrete insulin, meaning you would only have to keep it alive somehow and pickup it's droppings. It doesn't work that way. What happens in the modern process is that the plasma of the cell slowly loads with insulin, so you have to destroy the cell to get at the insulin and then purify it so you don't inject yourself with a largish amount of e.coli waste material and give yourself a potentially lethal case anaphylaxis.
But all isn't lost either.
What got me on this subject originally is my wife. I love her dearly, but if she were to go without insulin for a prolonged period of time she would suffer a horrible death. Look up "Wasting Disease", for more information.
I want to give you a quick run down of whats working for us.
First off let me state that I've worked as a professional chemist and I am currently working towards a PharmD.
But understand, I am not speaking as a clinician here, and so this is not "medical advice".
There are two types of diabetes, Type 1 & Type 2.
Type 2 diabetics can still produce insulin, but their body is resistant to it.
Therefore you need to find a readily available substance that will increase insulin production and decrease insulin resistance.
If you're type 2, you're actually in luck, there are literally thousands of substances out there including aloe that can help here. But what you might not be aware of is that muscle tissue which has been stressed, does not need insulin to uptake glucose. This means if you work out every day you will reduce your need for meds period.
Type 1 diabetics, like my wife cannot produce insulin because their immune system has gone into overdrive and killed off all of their beta cells in their pancreas. This is much harder to treat.
Insulin is widely thought of as being an animal only thing but it's not.
Lots of plants produce and use insulin too, and recent studies have shown that p-Insulin is AS effective if not more so than bovine (cow) insulin.
What this means to you as a type 1 or someone who loves a type 1 is that when SHTF you can survive, and do pretty well at that.
The problem is that everyone responds a little differently to insulin and insulin analogs, so if you want to make it through you need to prepare now.
The U.S. Pharmacopia is the book pharmacists use to look up drugs, (you didn't think we memorized all that stuff did you?). Go get a copy of it today, read it, study it and memorize it, at least the sections dealing with diabetes.
The USP also has an affiliate that deals with the "health food" and herbal remedy stuff. This is called the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. Unlike most of the quakery out there the NMCD only publishes hard science. The problem is that it costs an arm and a leg to get access to and this can be quite a problem if you are on a limited budget.
They do however allow a single page view from any single page of their database for free. It's a one time thing. The URL for diabetes is http://naturaldatabase.therapeuticre...107&cec=1&pm=5 make sure to print the page when you get there because they only let you see it for free once.
They have a book for sale for $95, it's worth picking up if you can afford it, but it focuses mostly on OTC prepared supplements. I'm more an advocate for using less processed varieties since I assume if something happens the prepared herbal supplements will dry up as fast as the regular meds. Still if you can afford it, it's a good thing in it's own right.
A better deal can be found in the Mosby Herbs & Natural Supplements book which is a standard training material for nurses and is a text book used at most colleges I know of. The point is that these are references.
Finally if you are really cash strapped, another well written book on the subject is published by the United States Government and it's free to all US residents. It's targeted at the layman, it's from the National Institute for Health and it distills the current research on the subject down to an easy to use format.
That guide can be ordered or downloaded for free from, http://nccam.nih.gov/health/herbsataglance.htm
Ok so now you have the most current and up to date research so you're good to go right? Wrong!
What you need to do now is to learn whats there, read the studies, understand the science (wikipedia & google are great for explaining terms that may be hard to understand). Once you've evaluated the research look for the herbs that are available and will grow in your area (not just from a store) and start cultivating them.
You now have the medicine that could save your life, but this stuff is actually more likely to kill you.
Very, very carefully grow and prepare your cultivars in accordance with the studies that have been done previously. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist and explain that you are seeking "natural medicinal analogs", for your current medicines in case something were to disrupt the supply chain. I promise you both of them will think you are crazy, so make sure to have the actual studies in hand and don't be discouraged if they say no the first few times. We in the medical profession are trained to be extremely skeptical of everything, but it's very hard to argue with properly done, hard science. DO NOT DO THIS ON YOUR OWN WITHOUT MEDICAL SUPERVISION, the chance of death is pretty low, but trust me there are things you can do to your body that are worse than death.
If and when they agree, then proceed to very slowly and very cautiously reduce your current meds to find your baseline glucose levels. Then slowly introduce each treatment you have prepared into your regular routine and monitor your glucose levels constantly. You have no idea how your body is going to react to this. This is a gradual process it will take months and you will need to see your doctor frequently and have all kinds of tests, mostly for kidney and liver function but if they are doing it right a heart test should be a regular occurrence and an HbA1C should be performed every 90 days.
If you do this, eventually you will find the sweet spot, the right combination of things that works well for you. There is a good chance you might come off commercial meds entirely, but it's more likely that you will reduce the need for them quite a bit. Don't be discouraged, diet and excersise in conjunction with p-Insulin and/or other analogs will at least keep you alive and mostly healthy should SHTF.
DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor, I am not your pharmacist, I'm not even a pharmacist yet. I am only sharing with you the process that my wife and I went through to get her completely off commercially available diabetes meds.
She is 35 had 2 kids and has had Type 1 diabetes for 30 years. Her most recent HbA1C was 6.7 and this process has taken us 18 months from the first time we talked to her doctor about it until today. Her HbA1C prior to starting was 6.5, so in her case the control is about the same, maybe a little worse, but her BMI has dropped significantly, she has more energy and she feels a lot better. I can tell you point blank that other than controlling the glucose levels, none of the other positive health gains were from the herbs, they aren't magic, just medicinal analogs. It was diet and exercise that got her most of the way.
Additionally you need to be aware that our costs for medicine are significantly higher and it's alot more time consuming to make 'em than to take 'em, but we now have piece of mind that when SHTF, that she's going to survive.
I wanted to share this with you, not to encourage you to go out and experiment on your body, or to try and tout the magical benefits of herbal remedies. In fact my professional opinion is that most of the remedies out there are bunk and based on pseudo-science and superstition.
There are however a few good herbs for very specific things but nothing is a panacea, the herbs that work have hard science backing them and work because they are medicinal analogs, and that is what you need to look for before considering any type of endeavor like this.
Note that I am not recommending any specific remedy, this isn't a scientific study that could be extrapolated to the populace and therefore it would be reckless and unethical for me to recommend any specific medical analog, or combination thereof.
Doing this is tough and demanding, but it is possible, it can only be done with rigor, discipline and acquisition of fact based scientific knowledge.
Also remember, just because something is "natural" that doesn't mean it's good for you. Nature does in fact want to kill you and eat you, so keep that in mind next time you're looking at "natural" remedies.
If diabetes is an issue for you though, you need to start this process now because it takes a long time to do it right and if you do it wrong, you die, it's slow it's painful and it's game over.
I am confused.
Are you wanting people to take p-insulin instead of insulin? Is it injected?
I am not going to sit in front of my fireplace and try to make injectable insulin. There is no way that I could ensure purity, and I will not inject a contaminated substance into my body. I would rather take my chances, sorry!
And, for those who do not know, insulin cannot be eaten in pill form: the digestive juices would destroy it.
I agree, it is a bit much to try & understand in a single sitting.
The P-insulin I mentioned is only a small part of the equation here.
P-insulin is an insulin mimetic that is present in several plants.
The extraction & refinement process varies by source, but generally involves crushing the plant, boiling it, adding a small amount of a common acid, desiccation, adding purified water, checking the ph & titrating (steps are not in order, but those are the essentials).
Purity is somewhat important here, but it's not as though it's going to be contaminated with a bacteria or virus generally speaking which is a real possibility if you went with some of the other options that have been posted.
Furthermore if your life was on the line, this process would be a whole lot easier and therefore more likely to succeed that the previous processes posted for manufacturing insulin mentioned on this board.
Also you are right, you cannot ingest insulin it wouldn't make it through the stomach, and I never implied that you could, however you can take it intra-nasally if properly atomized...
But most of that misses the big picture which was to have people start looking at realistic and viable alternatives to their current regime and show some steps that can be taken to prepare.
For instance, diet and exercise are a major help for diabetics.
Some things when added to the diet can reduce blood sugar, these things are not insulin, and they work either by increasing insulin production, or by reducing carb uptake or in the case of some they do both. Either way, they do survive the stomach.
I remember reading a story about a woman who learned to make pig insulin during WW II and saved many lives with it. She was not a chemist and didn't have fancy lab gear to work with. So there are ways to do it relatively simple. I just don't have any information on them. Might be worth researching though.