Historical Events

Cantani says that he has "73 cases published above, 52 other cases cured by others than by me, which would make 125 successes obtained in 4 years" and he asked Dr Primavera for his data and ideas on the use of the all meat diet to cure diabetes.

Diabetes Mellitus and its dietetic treatment

I do not wish to speak here of the patients whom I am treating at present, although in all these cases there are a great number in the process of perfect recovery, and several patients have already returned for some time to the use of carbohydrates: but enough time has not yet elapsed, and I cannot regard them as fully healed. In addition, there are many cases of diabetes cured by my method, by other doctors: so that today we can count diabetes among the most curable diseases. To pretend that a man cured of diabetes could not get it back, even under the conditions in which he contracted it the first time, would be nonsense: just like to claim that one can no longer contract pneumonia, acute catarrh or rheumatism, when you are cured of a first attack, or several. Just as it would be unwise to claim that it is the same disease which recurs after several years, it would be incorrect to maintain that a man, cured of diabetes for one, two or three years and eating everything, experiences a "Relapse" if they contract the disease again after further abuse of mealy or sweets, and under the influence of debilitating conditions. Should it therefore be that the treatment procured future immunity, and that the patient had acquired impunity with regard to the abuse of starchy foods and fruits? It would really be asking too much of a treatment to require such immunity before declaring it effective. Quinine and mercury are not required as much as they are said to be specific, and which do not always even prevent recurrence of morbid manifestations. I cannot cite here the names of all those of my colleagues from Italy or abroad who have obtained success with my treatment: but it would be necessary to add to the 73 cases published above, 52 other cases cured by others than by me, which would make 125 successes obtained in 4 years (1), a figure not to be despised in (1) I asked Professor Primavera for notes on the cases of diabetes treated by him alone . He replied to me by the following letter, which I publish without comment: 

Naples, January 25, 1874. 

Very honored Professor Cantani, 

You ask me for notes on diabetics which you have not seen, but which I have analyzed urine and disease monitoring. Strictly, I don't and which do a disease previously regarded as incurable. Moreover, this cure has become popular in our southern provinces, where everyone orders it, even pharmacists, priests and former patients. Success is assured provided that the treatment is not started too late, provided that it is followed with all the necessary rigor and for a sufficient time. The high frequency of diabetes in these countries means that its beginnings do not escape attention as easily as it once did, and still happens in countries where diabetes is rarer, and therefore is often recognized too late, if the patient does not watch himself, or if he comes across a doctor who does not pay attention then say the exact number, but I can assure that they are roughly twenty in number: some from outside were treated according to your method by foreign doctors, others treated in the same way by Neapolitan doctors, some finally absolutely wanted to be treated by me, always according to your method, henceforth known to all. 

The first piece of information I must give you is this: I have never seen a single one of these patients not being cured, and if four of them seemed to resist the treatment, it is because they were not following it, not with enough rigor; but warned by me, they did it, and also came to a complete recovery. This fact is certainly very consoling, I do not explain it by the practice of other doctors who have also administered to their patient several therapeutic agents unrelated to your medication, such as a decoction of quina, strychnine, opium and the like; but, on reflection, let me explain it to myself because the diabetics of the civilian clientele, that is to say rich or at least well-off, do not allow their disease to age: on the contrary, the poor diabetics who resort to hospitals when they really cannot take it any longer, must necessarily provide a contingent of incomplete healings. My second piece of information, which I guarantee to be correct, relates to this fact: patients who do not strictly follow the meat diet often emit in their urine, along with a little sugar, lime oxalate; so that the presence of this salt is very useful for me to deny those who claim to adhere strictly to your treatment, and transgress it more or less, by eating a little bread or fruit (often out of ignorance). 

As for the return of diabetes, I have observed several cases of it after eight months and more, up to two years; but I have always seen the sick recovering again with the same treatment. So much so that it can be said, with great probability, if not complete certainty, that any diabetic, once cured by your method, could secure lifelong cure, if he had the patience to repeat the rigorous treatment for two months every semester, and this for a number of years. If I were diabetic this is how I would act, with the firm conviction that I would never die from it. Finally I noted in all these patients, as a constant cause, the usual abuse of flour (bread, pasta in general): only once was this abuse lacking, but there was, on the other hand, abuse of cane sugar (sweets, sorbets, jellies, sweet coffee, etc.). 


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