Type 2 Diabetes: One Year On
It is hard to believe it has been a year since I last wrote about my journey ‘finding the cure for type 2 diabetes’ There have been significant ups and downs along the way, but at the moment I’m not been taking meds and my glucose reads are now 70% in the pre-diabetic ratio. Good result, but a journey that held a fair amount of frustrations, I’ve had to be absolutely honest with myself and committed, there were no half measures.
When I first decided to stop taking my meds just under a year ago, my doctors were rather horrified. Stopping your meds is not something I recommend to anyone unless you know how to monitor yourself, have a good understanding about how the body works and your health other than the diabetes is good.
From a GPs point of view, what I was doing went against everything they had been taught in medical school, but it was my risk. I needed to take back responsibility for my health, I understood the risks and would act responsibly. I would be reasonable enough to recognize if I was running into trouble and seek advice.
I understood the hesitancy on their part, but the biggest failing in conventional medicine is probably the misconception about what causes it, therefore, the missing elements towards a cure are not recognized or addressed. The whole approach was based on misconceptions about the condition. Conventional medicine focuses on controlling it, not the cure, I wanted the cure.
Typical advice given is to adjust your diet, exercise and take medication. Despite following all of their advice my condition was getting worse, not better. I was convinced there had to be a better way, this is a common approach I take to most things. So I kept searching and as you know from a previous blog, I was at the end of my resolve, was I ever going to find the answer? This is when I came across Debbie Lewis, a functional medicine practitioner, this was my turning point. She gave me sensible advice, we did further investigations, checking the ins and outs of my digestive system, and finding there were a number of things interfering with my ability to absorb the nutrients. The results showed I had Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), gram negative bacteria in my gut. I was totally devoid of any good bacteria… Hard to absorb nutrients under these conditions.
She started things off at a pace I could manage, she didn’t recommend I stop eating all foods known to mankind, consume foul tasting herbal concoctions or take supplements for every possible nutritional lack. We started with cutting out the worst offenders; carbohydrates was the biggest change. She wanted me to eat fermented foods like sauwerkraut, (which I disliked intensely, but time changed that) to help build up the good bacteria in my gut. I did take some supplements but unlike other regimes I had followed, I didn’t feel like I was a pill reservoir. My other lifestyle habits were good, I’m a very active person, I love movement and exercise, I garden, cycle, walk the dog 3 times a day, I ticked all the boxes in that department, that is not where my failing was. My failing came from not understanding my diet and the role this had on my lack of success. Eating less, avoiding processed foods, not eating past a certain time, different types of diets, food combinations, none of them worked, well not in the long term, they had some effect for a few weeks then the weight would start to creep back on and the sugars would start to rise. It was so deflating, so much effort for little or no return, my partner always says, the way I eat most people would consider it a good day, for me it was not the right way.
I do not feel that type 2 diabetes is a genetic condition, but rather I think the research demonstrates it has come about through the evolutionary process of our lifestyle and the biggest culprit is the foods we consume, our diet regime, our concepts about what is a good diet versus a bad one, our relationship with food. Once Debbie and I had gotten my health to a point I could move onto the next step, she introduced me to Dr. Fung, via his webinars, books, videos, I immersed myself in his work. The premise on which he based his work made sense to me, having a medical background as well as a holistic one, it just resonated. What did I have to lose, nothing had worked thus far, I had made so many changes that this one did not feel that difficult, heck, how difficult could a bit of regular fasting be!?
It was liberating, within a week I stopped my medication and followed his advice. I stuck to the letter of it, the weight started to go, I was feeling less tired and all those diabetic symptoms started to fade away. The main differences or changes I had to make were, I do not eat three meals a day, I might only eat one (midday) and have a smaller meal or snack at night, well before 7pm. I avoid all carbohydrates, no bread, no pasta, no rice, no potatoes, this might sound harsh but I have found so many replacement foods that I do not miss them. My meals are freshly made by me, as almost everything in the shops has sugar in it. If it is in a package I don’t buy it; if all I have to do is stick it in the microwave, I don’t buy it; if I cannot understand the words on the packaging, I don’t buy it. Most things I eat are organic and because my food is nutrient dense I buy less as I need less, I am filling my body with the things it needs.
It was common for me to suffer with one illness after another, 12 years plus, each time another condition reared its ugly head the underlying cause or influence always pointed back to the diabetes. I was beginning to think this was my lot in life, but since I have taken back control and implemented Dr. Fungs’ well researched changes I have stopped suffering with GERD, gout, dry eyes and unwanted weight. The need to get up multiple times in the night to use the toilet is no more, so much has changed.
It needs to be said that this was not an easy journey. I’ve had big failures, and big wins. Each time I was being pulled towards a failure, usually while looking at that piece of chocolate cake, I asked myself, do I want the cake more than I want my health back? It is a choice we have to all make, and the one we choose needs to be the one that we live and die by.
So what are my reads today? I am on average between 6-7.8 mmol. I’ve lost 2 stone and have kept it off easily for the past year. I am not on any medications, and the biggest comment I get from people I have not seen over the past year is how much younger and healthier I look. I have taken control and regained my health. It was worth it.
Debbie Lewis Contact Details:
Hereford: 42 Bridge Street, Hereford HR4 9DG
London: 58b Crawford Street, Marylebone, London W1H 4JW
Jason Fung, M.D - https://www.dietdoctor.com/authors/dr-jason-fung-m-d