Man who said his T1D was cured

Not sure if folks remembered the story going around a while back about a man whose T1D was cured in part because of a rare gene and ultra-marathons? An intern at the site where I work (Live Science) did a little digging and actually talked to experts to see what they thought was going on!

What do folks think? Not just about this specific case, but about the takeaway at the end, that a single cure is probably not in the cards given the diversity of the disease?


I agree with this. I’ve read a dozen or so book about the immune system, allergies, autoimmune conditions, and it’s all SO complicated. They don’t even understand exactly what goes wrong to cause an autoimmune attack, and part of that is because there are dozens or maybe hundreds of different genetic predispositions involved, there may be hundreds of differnet environmental triggers, and those triggers need to be around at exactly the right time (i.e., during illness a trigger may cuase an autoimmune attack but not during normal times), and multiple internal circumstances have to go wrong to trigger an autoimmune attack… Given that all of our diabetes were likely caused by different combinations of genes, different environmental triggers, and that scientists don’t even fully understand how everything works yet, I’m skeptical that one cure will work for all people with Type 1 diabetes.


IF I had T1D AND IF this were true AND IF it required running “ultra-marathons”, I’d keep my T1D. :stuck_out_tongue:


But something changed in 2016, when he began training intensively for ultramarathons.

Darkes said his blood sugar began crashing, especially at night.


Love me some Gomer Pyle (Jim Neighbors)!

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So after intense exercise, you say your blood sugar drops at night?

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I definitely thought of @daisymae and your running threads when I read that he began crashing after ultramarathons. But I guess Darkes is not taking any bolus insulin either – and he apparently was for a long time. So who knows…

Also, he doesn’t describe what’s going on with the proper medical lingo, so to speak, so it’s hard to figure out what tests he is describing.

@Eric, are you familiar with running tests that would involve wearing some kind of cap on your head with wires? Is that typical?

It depends on what they are looking for. You could do something like that if you wanted to see the electrical patterns in the person’s brain when under stress or exhaustion.

It’s not a typical type of running test. Generally treadmill tests are geared more to look at oxygen consumption, blood pressure, and heart function. Or looking at the use of specific muscles used in running, or the use of muscle glycogen versus fat. Or the mechanics of running - stride, extension, cadence, ground contact time - things like that.

Wires… Hats… Heads…


Thanks for sharing this @TiaG! It seems so spurious, especially since the author tried and couldn’t find legitimate research or records to support his claim.

I also find the information about MODY to be interesting. I’d never heard of this before reading about it this evening.

And @Jen’s comment about the variety of factors that trigger autoimmune disease echo what I was thinking. So many possible variables that lead up to the malfunction of a system in the body - and how they’re all related to one another (the person in the article didn’t mention any other health issues, but who knows!)

I hope more information is forthcoming!