The Global Diabetes Community Forum
wallycorker wrote:My name is John I am 65 years of age and I live in the UK. I thought that others might be interested to hear my story regarding the reversal of my Type 2 diabetic condition by self-management.
I'm a Type 2 who was diagnosed nearly nine years ago in the very early stages of diabetes (at that time with a fasting blood glucose level just over 7 and with an HbA1c still in the 5s).
At that stage: FBS 7.4, 7.7 & 7.4; HbA1c 5.7%; TC 7.0; LDL 5.2; HDL 1.07; TG 1.6; BP 164/109; BMI 38.8
My GP prescribed medication to improve my cholesterol (simvastatin increasing throughout the period covered from 10g > 20g > 40g) and also tablets to reduce my blood pressure (bisoprolol and ramipril).
I was given the standard UK advice of "do not test" and "eat plenty of starchy carbohydrate". I'm a good patient and followed that advice!
Despite doing that, my situation gradually worsened over the next seven years with my HbA1c rising slowly and the health professionals continually telling me that things were generally “satisfactory".
HBa1c Progression: 5.3 > 5.7 > 5.9 > 5.7 > 6.2 > 6.3 > 7.1 > 6.7 > 7.4 > 8.2
Eventually, when my HbA1c eventually reached 9.4%, my GP prescribed metformin (500mg twice daily) but he and all the other health authorities still told me to follow the same advice of "do not test" and "eat plenty of starchy carbohydrate".
At that stage: TC 5.3; LDL 2.9; HDL 1.1; TG 2.85; BP 130/80; BMI 39.4)
For a while, the metformin seemed to make my levels a little bit better but after twelve months my HbA1c had climbed back to a level of 8.5%.
HbA1c Progression: 9.4 > 7.2 > 6.7 > 8.5
At that stage: TC 4.2; LDL 2.0; HDL 1.0; TG 2.56; BP 125/75; BMI 38.7
Because of this deterioration, my GP doubled the metformin dose (1000mg twice daily) yet at the same time he and the other health authorities still continued to tell me to keep following the "do not test" and "eat plenty of starchy carbohydrate" advice.
I decided that it was about time that I found out much more about what was happening and started looking for reading matter on Amazon. Motivated by a book that I read about reversing diabetes written by a US doctor called Dr Neil Barnard, I started my improvement programme by initially changing eating to a very-low fat, whole food diet with lots of fruit and vegetables and very low alcohol diet. At the same time, but as what I saw a separate exercise, I started calorie counting to lose weight and because of that inadvertently and unconsciously started reducing my carbohydrate consumption. I also decided to disregard my GP's advice and started testing.
Immediately that I adopted these dietary changes, my blood glucose levels improved remarkably and have continued to do so - my HbA1c readings over the last twelve months dropping from 8.5 > 6.8 > 5.7 > 5.5 and to 5.3% last time. My regular finger prick tests indicate that my present level is even lower today.
This testing also quite clearly showed me that the starchy carbohydrates that I had been eating so enthusiastically on medical advice was, in fact, my worst enemy – especially in the morning at breakfast. I have almost eliminated cereals such as porridge, All Bran, Weetabix, Shredded Wheat etc from my diet altogether. My GP had been encouraging me to try eating porridge for lunch! Whenever I do eat cereal these days it tends to be a nut-based granola. By managing my carbohydrate intake, I have managed to normalise my blood glucose levels to largely achieve the following levels:
Fasting – Less than 6 mmol/l
One hour after finishing eating – Less than 8 mmol/l
These days my fasting blood glucose levels never reach the greater than 7 mmol/l level that is needed to diagnose diabetes – also, my HbA1c is in the normal range and less than it was at diagnosis. By using normal detection methods, medical people would not realise that I was diabetic unless either I told them or they were to carry out a glucose tolerance test.
At the same time, I have gained very significant and quite dramatic improvements in my cholesterol numbers, together with a further lowering of my blood pressure and, in addition, a major weight loss of 30kg to take me out of the obese category.
Today: TC 3.1; LDL 1.5; HDL 1.1; TG 1.18; BP 105/60; BMI 29.8
My blood pressure is now lower than that of my thirteen-year-old, always-active, sports-mad grandson.
I would summarise my current diet as being low saturated fat, reduced carbohydrate with lots of fruit and vegetables and with a very low alcohol intake - any alcohol that I do drink these days tends to be the odd glass of red wine on infrequent occasions. Also, any carbohydrate that I do eat I try to make low GI/GL – brown rice, spelt pasta, sweet potatoes and such like.
My GP who had initially refused to prescribe test strips has been left almost speechless – simply reduced to uttering words such as “amazing, unbelievable, very surprised” etc in a repetitive manner. Moreover, he now prescribes strips for me on a regular basis without my even asking – on the basis that it is cheaper than prescribing insulin. I remind him that was my motivation to ask for strips nine months earlier – and also to keep as far as I could away from the quite horrible complications that can come along with poorly-controlled diabetes.
I consider that what I have achieved to have been quite easy to do and simple. These days, I am in the process of questioning at every opportunity the advice that Type 2s are given in the UK – and, wherever I can, I am campaigning against the quite appalling "do not test" and "eat plenty of starchy carbohydrate" advice that is being given to most Type 2 diabetics.
At present, after nine years, I have no symptoms or complications whatsoever that I am aware of. However, I never consider that anything is forever and I am anxious to interact with others to learn what more is achievable in the long term.
I hope that my story may inspire and motivate others.
Best wishes - John
Pac wrote:Shouldn't the message below - "My expanded story of Type 2 reversal
by wallycorker » September 16th, 2009, 11:38 pm" - be included as a LOW CARB SUCCESS STORY, rather than a non low carb story ?
I would summarise my current diet as being low saturated fat, reduced carbohydrate with lots of fruit and vegetables and with a very low alcohol intake -
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