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It's now 10th December and I'm starting the Newcastle diet tomorrow - this afternoon we have a Christmas meal and I don't want to miss it. I'm writing this as a way of monitoring progress and to reinforce commitment. I live in rural Spain and my current GP is not supportive. I follow a low carb diet but my levels have been rising in the last six months despite being put on insulin last Summer. He is reluctant to offer additional medication and suggests I eat more fruit. Other GPs have the same view, lacking modern training, and there is little or no access to specialists except privately. So for me, he is at best a neutral contributor to my treatment and I need to address my condition more radically. The Newcastle Diet seems to offer some hope.
I was diagnosed T2 in 2004, when I was fifty, and for several years I was on metformin. It kept me around 7.0 - 7.5 and my GP at the time was satisfied with that. Having moved to Spain in 2008 it was clear that GPs here still regard diabetes as the inevitable result of obesity and that the answer is to eat less and exercise more. Despite being on a diet of around 1300-1500 calories I am still overweight, currently at 106kg. My weight increased 10kg within three months of starting insulin and has stayed at that level for the last two months. Around five years ago, I consulted a specialist privately because I could not persuade the GP to change the medication and my numbers were rising. The specialist recommended Icandra (a combination of vildagliptin and metformin) which the GP accepted and then promptly halved the recommended dose - only corrected when I brought my numbers back to him and complained. My dose of insulin (Toujeo) has now been steadily increased from an ineffective 10 units to 56 units. To say it has been difficult getting effective treatment is an understatement but it would be wrong to blame the GPs here. There have been savage cuts for almost a decade and their in-service training is almost non-existent. They are under severe budget pressure to restrict medication and referrals. I wouldn't want their job for anything.
So... my options are quite restricted. I can plod along and accept the more frequent neuropathy pain and watch the numbers creep up and increase the insulin, or I can try to do something about it.
I have a background in biochemistry and I have studied the research (including the excellent material from Ivor Cummings in Ireland) that I can get hold of though many publishers keep the research behind paywalls. Roy Taylor's theories provide a powerful explanation of everything that I've observed in myself and offer some hope. I hope that although I was diagnosed over thirteen years ago, I'll still have some recoverable beta-cell functionality but in any case, the drop in weight and recovery of liver function is certainly worth the eight weeks of struggle.
I've been able to get hold of the shakes, SlimFast, here in Spain though it's clearly a highly profitable product line... I intend to post my weight and FBG each day with any comment I think might further motivate me or help anyone else reading it. Even if no-one reads it, it'll be useful for me.
FBG this morning 5.3 (unusual - it's typically 6.5+)
Last HbA1c 9.4
And we're off...
Day 1 11th Dec FBG: 7.7 Weight: 104.8 kg
And a big surprise. After a half-hour hilly walk late afternoon which I often take, my blood was at 4.1. I haven't seen that level in years with the one exception of a hypo. I hope it's a sign of more to come.
Day 2 12th Dec FBG: 5.6 Weight: 104.8kg
Woke up feeling tired and I have a cold and cough, neither of which is going to change anything. Feeling quite positive and glad I've actually started. Keeping strictly to the 800 limit. Am I skeptical? Maybe a little (I've tried and stuck to other diets) but definitely hopeful too.
Saw the doc this afternoon and told him what I was doing. His advice? Diets are good but need to be 1500 calories of which between 40 and 50% should be carbohydrate. Eat plenty of fruit... He is decades out of touch with the research and the data but no matter. He did say "buena suerte" (good luck). I hope to have some good news for him in due course.
Moved this to the forum where more people have a chance to see it and contribute.