S.R. followed the government’s ‘healthful eating plate’, just what the doctors recommended for her type 2 diabetes, but her blood sugars kept getting worse.
She decided to look for more information on the internet, and found Diet Doctor and Diabetes.co.uk. She wasn’t completely sure that the low-carb diet which these sites recommended would work, so she started monitoring her blood glucose, and apparently she’s had quite some success:
[The type 2 diabetes] diagnosis came around two years ago, I was expecting the diagnosis as I had looked into symptoms, but I was not expecting the impact on my life from there.
Over the first few months, there were blood tests, doctors appointments, a training/educational day (DESMONDS) and medication.
I was instructed at that time to follow ‘the healthy eating plate’, never to eat white bread again, pushed to join a weight-loss club and that testing my blood sugars was a waste of time and only the HbA1c was of any use.
So I followed the advice except I refused to join a slimming club as I know for me they have never worked and I have tried just about all of them over the years.
After nine months and a new HbA1c test I was informed by my doctor that I was not doing very well and he doubled my medication and added another one… And again pushed really quiet forceably for me to join a slimming club – I still refused!
At this point I started to look on the web for information.
Yes I found Diet Doctor and I found Diabetes.co.uk
I started to try Low Carb High Fat but not trusting whether it would really work I only did it by reducing my carbs by a small amount and I purchased a testing kit and began to test before and after meals – I saw slight improvement in my blood glucose and realised it was working.
This is when I decided to try the challenge – it was not easy and I was not totally successful – mainly because I am a fussy eater and a lot of the food options did not really fit my personal choices – but I kept at it and saw even greater improvement in my blood glucose readings which really helped me to persevere.
During this time I had yet another doctors appointment and had to see the ‘Diabetic Nurse’ as well – neither the doctor or the nurse were happy with me when I said what I was doing and I came out of that feeling like I did not know where to turn.
This is where Diabetes.co.uk really came into it’s own – I took the step to post my story and thankfully the very kind caring people replied to me and gave me some encouragement and some really good advice. I decided to continue to do what I was doing and to basically ignore my doctor and the diabetic nurse at the surgery.
Now two years down the line my last HbA1c was back down to pre-diabetic levels – I have gone from 16.2 to 6.0.I have learnt so much but it came in dribs and drabs and it would have been really good to have known it all from the start.
For me the things that would have really helped would have been:
- Buy your own testing kit if your doctor will not prescribe one.
- When to test and how often and why – such as before eating and 2 hours after taking the first bite.
- An explanation of what makes each type 2 diabetic individual and why what works for one does not work for all.
- An explanation as to why the NHS has not taken fully on board the low carb high fat way of life for diabetics.
- How any exercise can have a large impact on the improvement of blood glucose levels.
- How the medication actually does very little in the way of controlling the blood glucose levels and it is far better control wise to alter your eating habits.
- Recipes that give you alternative flour options and amounts of sweetener to replace sugar for those of us that love to bake.
Right now I can say I have made some major changes to my way of life and it is paying off.
Yes I have lost weight but I was already losing weight prior to diagnosis so cannot say how much just from the change of diet – what I can say is that over the last 3 years I have lost just over 25 kg (55 lbs) in weight – I have done this my way, small changes, one at a time until I felt I was happy with that one and then added another one – since diagnosis many more changes to food choices but the weight has continued to drop. The weight loss has been very slow but this was my intention from the out set, lose the weight slowly and maintain the weight loss. It is working for me and I am therefore sticking to it.
No the change in eating has not come easy – but I am more able and more active than I was – because my blood sugar levels are now in pre diabetic range my doctor seems to have dropped me off his radar (not a bad thing in my opinion).
I still struggle when eating out as options are really poor – but I have accepted this is a change for life and I still stumble along the way but I simply get back to eating better as soon as I can. I am now very aware when my blood glucose levels are too high because it has the effect of knocking me out for around an hour – I would say it puts me to sleep but it is not really like going to sleep.
The biggest challenge is dropping the carbs from the diet to such a low level and it continues to me the biggest challenge although I seem now to tolerate slightly more now that I have lost as much weight as I have but I do have to keep an eye on my food choices every day.
What I have taken from my road so far – low carb high fat is what works for me – the weight loss was an integral part as is the amount of exercise you do.
I still struggle to find recipes for baking and of the ones I have found I have yet to make them successfully – the best so far are the Parmesan Crisps as an alternative to potato crisps.
Life now is to keep up the good work – to hopefully reach a point where I can reduce my medication and to take on board my doctors words ‘we only advise it is the patient’s disease and it is up to the patient to own it.’
Sorry a long story but hoping some of what I have written can be used to assist newly diagnosed to get results quicker than I did and to fully understand type 2 Diabetes.
Congratulations S.R.! We are happy we could be of help to you.
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