The low-carb diet: “I came off the insulin within five days”

Image of pan fried salmon nicoise dish, salad, eggs, lemon

Can you improve your type 2 diabetes in a very short while on low carb? Yes – and here’s more anecdotal evidence of its effectiveness:

The email

Hi Andreas,

I will be sixty years young this year and thought it might be good idea to see if I can actually do something to improve my chances of being able to celebrate my seventieth birthday in ten years (wifey says being married to her should be enough…)

I was first diagnosed with diabetes (MODY) around forty years ago. In those days things were a bit different because 19/20-year olds didn’t get type 2 diabetes. Funnily enough though, the prescribed treatment was a low-carb diet and advice from a dietician.

There was no home blood testing in those days; I was given a kit to test my urine which was a bit cumbersome and so I only used it for about a week. I did make some dietary changes but, in general, I probably didn’t take the diabetes as seriously as I should have. I also smoked a pack of cigarettes a day.

I continued this way of living, not really paying attention to the fact that I was diabetic, for a good number of years. I felt fine and so didn’t see the need to visit my doctor unless I was unwell. With a heavy dose of hindsight, I now regret this.

I carried on with this way of living for a good number of years until I was about 33/34 years old. I was visiting my GP for a totally unrelated matter and he noticed from my medical records that I hadn’t had any blood tests done to check my diabetes for a very long time.

The blood work was done and within about two weeks I was attending my local hospital diabetic clinic. They started me on Gliclazide, advised me to eat a balanced diet which included drinking less alcohol and to stop smoking.

I did most of what I was told but just couldn’t stretch it to the ‘no-smoking’ bit. A pattern did seem to start to emerge from my clinic visits, it would either be they were pleased with my control or the diabetes was not in good control and they needed to up my medications. This trend carried on for a great number of years.

You go to the doctor and the best you can hope for is that you are maintaining good control, but as in my case, more often than not it was a case of things are not working OK and we need to up or change your medications.

I ended up being on insulin which was for me a nightmare! I don’t think people realise how hopeless and depressing this vile disease is.

However, a ray of hope did come though about ten years ago, when my eldest son, then nineteen, was diagnosed with diabetes. We were both being treated at the same hospital so we were both tested for Monogenic Diabetes and I was re-diagnosed as Monogenic and my eldest son was correctly diagnosed as well. My youngest son was also tested for the defective gene as well and, unfortunately, he has it as well.

Two good things happened because of this, firstly, I was able come off insulin and my eldest son didn’t need to go on it. But, for me, within a few years though that old pattern re-emerged of losing control of the Diabetes and a need for medications to be increased. This culminated in having to go back on insulin (Lantis) about two years ago.

At the start of this year, a friend of mine who works for the NHS told me about LCHF. She advised me to Google it and I was totally astonished at how much information was out there and how the existing dogma of low-fat/balanced diet may not be the best way forward.

I found all of this was a bit of an epiphany and so decided to give the low-carb/high-fat lifestyle a go. First of all, I got some blood work done, I needed to know where I was starting from. They were probably quite typical for a diabetic – HbA1c 9.5%, triglycerides – too high, HDL cholesterol – too low, LDL cholesterol – OK (I’m on a statin) and my liver function tests showing I may have a fatty liver… all not good and quite depressing.

So, the very next day after the blood tests were done, I started the low-carb diet with a great sense of determination. The improvements started fairly quickly and I came off the insulin within five days with no adverse reaction. After being low-carb for about 7 weeks now, I feel great and I’ve lost 9 lbs (4 kg) in weight.

All I can say at the moment is so far so good…



Congratulations Simon, and best of luck on your continued journey!

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