Here’s an example of what all the studies on LCHF mean in real life. I received an e-mail from Maria Persson, who lives in Kansas, USA. She’s had severe diabetes for a long time and wanted to share her experiences with LCHF:
My name is Maria Persson.
I started my diabetes career with gestational diabetes 15 years ago. Then it just moved along. Five years ago I had to start taking insulin, and as a very insulin resistant person the doses were increased to very high levels, which led to rampant weight gain. I thought that this couldn’t be OK – insulin wasn’t working, as I didn’t get any better. I started reading up on the subject and switched to an LCHF “lite” diet. (No bread, rice, spaghetti etc. and no low-fat products). I was able to go off the insulin within 4 days!! (I also lost 22 lbs (10 kg)).
I continued and got sloppier with what I ate, but in comparison with others I still ate very low-carb. (Two reasons for my metabolic syndrome are stress and a genetic background that simply don’t tolerate carbohydrates). I have kept my weight off, was a size 8-10, but also had the typical insulin midsection.
Right before Christmas 2012, I started to feel worse (I was taking a full dose of Metformin and a full dose of Victoza), so I went to the doctor, who ran all the tests. The results were; fatty liver, long-term blood sugar at 8.2, high blood pressure (have been on medication since I was 19 years old) bad liver and kidney numbers, high levels of protein and blood in my urine etc. The doctor’s advice was as usual, more insulin and more medications. I asked the doctor to give me six months without any changes in my medication.
I decided to make a radical change. My question to myself was – how could I, who have children, allow my health to be this bad at age fifty. Following a new crash course (I’ve known it all in my head, but have had difficulty implementing – a LCHF “lite” diet isn’t enough here), where I went through the web and the Diet Doctor in particular, but also the leading American doctors (I’m currently living in the U.S. for a three-year period), I set off.
In early June this year I went back to the doctor’s office and this is what happened in 5 months on a gradually stricter LCHF diet:
- Long-term blood sugar 6.8 (I experience the dawn phenomenon, so my blood sugar is always higher in the morning than it is for the rest of the day, and often good in the evening. Would be interesting to hear your take on this). No insulin is needed. I’ve got a little bit longer to go before I can go off Victoza in the future.
- Cutting the dose of blood pressure medication in half
- No protein or urine in the urine
- Liver and kidney numbers normal
- Lost another 18 lbs (8 kg) and am now a size 6-8
- Trimmed my waistline – lost 4 inches (10 cm) !!!
- No digestive issues (used to suffer from daily diarrhea attacks in recent years)
- Less wrinkly (I’ve received many comments that I look so much younger than my 50 years)
- No mood swings (my husband and children are very happy)
- Not a sick day (except one)
A scary event was when my sister came to visit and brought two bags of Swedish candy. I couldn’t help it, but ate both in less than a day. The day after I was bedridden with pain throughout the body and could barely move out of the bed.
Today, it’s easy to live on LCHF. To me this is not a diet, but a way to live a normal life free from disease. I now say to people who ask why I eat the way I do – “I’m allergic to carbohydrates and get very sick when I eat them”. It’s also gradually becoming easier to be stricter. I do understand that I’ll have to decrease the protein amount and increase the fat amount even more if I want to have perfectly normal blood sugar levels, and I will get there, but in my own pace, because what’s so great is that the cravings for food decrease more and more. Earlier, I “had to” eat a snack and always had to plan for bringing “snacks”, but now I can forget to eat, yet don’t see any kind of mood swings. I’m so much freer. I learn more and more and this is great fun. My life isn’t as focussed on food and planning anymore.
I wish all diabetics would give LCHF a chance for six months. The changes are so amazing that I think it’s criminal not to try it.
Great Bend, Kansas
Congratulations on all your health improvements! And I agree that it’s close to criminal that more people with diabetes don’t receive support and advice on LCHF.
The positive changes that Maria Persson has experienced are typical for people who have had diabetes type 2 for a long time and then try a strict LCHF diet. If you start earlier, at the time of your diagnosis, or already when you’re prediabetic, people often experience even better results. It’s not uncommon for all symptoms to go away completely.
Hopefully, soon more and more people will experience this.
Do you have a success story you want to share on this blog? Send it (photos appreciated!) to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please let me know if it’s OK to publish your photo and name or if you’d rather stay anonymous.