Thursday, March 27, 2008

Why a Guy Named Kurt Tyson Should Start Apologizing

(child injecting insulin)

Several months ago, I stumbled upon this video on raw food diets: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtvFpF-3B5Q&feature=related

I originally found it on http://www.naturallivingmarket.com/rawlifestyle.html, but it seems to have been taken down (??).

A little less than halfway through the video, a guy name Kurt Tyson, who is narrating, says "Hi my name is Kurt Tyson, and I was diagnosed with type I diabetes. I was chosen out of hundreds of applicants to be one of six people to participate in a unique opportunity. For thirty days, we ate nothing but raw, live foods, and took supplements under the direction of Dr. Gabriel Cousins here at the Tree of Life. Since then I have returned to the real world, and I am excited to say that I have been diabetes free for over a year and a half now. Currently, I am attending Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine, where I am studying to become a naturopathic doctor because I want to help people live healthier lifestyles."

Here is why you should be disturbed by that statement, and why Kurt Tyson should start apologizing:

Type I diabetes is not the same as type II.

Type I diabetes occurs when your pancreas does not have the ability to produce any insulin. The islet cells in the pancreas are permanently destroyed in the pathological process of type I. This can't be cured, at least not yet, and there is no diet to save you from a type I diagnosis.

If you have type I, you have to take insulin via injection or insulin pump in order to live.

It is NOT at all like type II, in which the body just has reduced ability to use the insulin it produces (or produces less of it)...in which case I could certainly see that a raw food diet (which would significantly reduce fat and carbohydrate consumption) "making a type II better."

This video looks like a pretty big production. It is hard to imagine that the guy could have simply misspoke. There seem to be two plausible possibilities here:

1. This guy was either misdiagnosed with type I, or

2. He is misleading the audience (I noticed he said, "I was diagnosed with type I diabetes" rather than "I had type I diabetes.")

Either way, this claim destroys any shred of credibility in the video. This type of misinformation can make people dangerously ill. It can KILL people. Worse yet, on the video Mr. Tyson says he is studying to become a naturopathic doctor. Really??!! Would you want this guy as your doctor, naturopathic or not...this man who can't distinguish between two distinctly different medical conditions that happen to share part of a name, this man who purports a cure to an incurable condition?!?

You know who really ought to be concerned is the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine. This is not good for their credibility, and if they are letting this guy go on believing this stuff, they are promoting irresponsible "medicine."

I have seen someone make himself very ill trying to treat type I diabetes through herbal treatment. This smacks of a new version of the same thing.

Let's hear some apologizing Mr. Tyson. Please. Or if you have misunderstood the condition until now, would you please make a public correction of the dangerous misinformation you spread?

1 comment:

George McFarlane said...

Dr. Kurt Tyson was diagnosed with 1, and he is able to manage it insulin free through a strict raw foods diet. He had stated in an interview with Robin Openshaw that when he is sick he will need to take insulin. The statement that your pancreas is dead or inactive has been debunked for quite sometime. Check out the research conducted by Dr. Denise Faustman at Massachusetts General Hospital. I believe that Kurt caught his early enough and began making the right decision early enough that he is able to manage his condition insulin free for the most part. I do not think that is showing ignorance. Its a shame that someone can have success dealing with their condition naturally. Most type 1's will always least need insulin, but Kurt is a great example how how dramatically ones insulin needs can be reduced. BTW, in the same group with Kurt was another young man who was also type 1since childhood who required 40-45 units a day. By the time the program ended, his needs had been reduced to 5 a day.