My mother is a diabetic, and she could not keep her blood Sugar in the norm by using medicine only. But she didn't want to go on insulin. Once she started Dr. Bernstein's diet (which is essentially the same as the Atkins diet but includes no carbohydrates ever) she was able to manage her blood sugar! This diet is easy to follow because you never go hungry, and your blood Sugar doesn't go up and down so much. Dr. Bernstein is also a diabetic, and he himself has been on this diet for a long time and lived a much healthier life than before he started the diet. As far as the protein damaging your kidneys, he recommends taking a calcium supplement. My mother feels a lot healthier now, and has a lot more energy!
If interested, read Dr.Bernstein's Diabetic Solution. Great book!