Jim’s doctor told him that it was impossible to reverse his type 2 diabetes on a keto diet, and that even trying was very dangerous.
Jim tried it anyway. Here’s what happened:
Dear Dr Eenfeldt,
My name is Jim Jenkins and I am 59 years old. In 2015, I lost my partner of twenty years to a virulent and incurable form of gastric cancer. My whole world came to a standstill. I was consumed with grief and spent the next year with the drapes closed, barely getting off of the couch and eating to mask my fear and sorrow.
I ate three heavy meals a day and drank coffee loaded with refined white sugar throughout the day. I snacked often and usually ended the day with a pint of Häagen-Dazs.
I was struggling with the fact that my blood pressure was through the roof and I was allergic to several common blood pressure medications. In November of 2016, I had a couple of things happen that would change my life drastically and irrevocably. First, I woke in the night screaming in pain. I had felt what seemed like a crunch in my neck. An MRI revealed that two of my cervical vertebrae had collapsed. I was scheduled for surgery on December 18.
The second piece of bad news arrived shortly after the first. My doctor informed me that my test results showed that I had full blown type 2 diabetes. This terrified me. I had known a woman who had lost both of her feet to diabetes and a man who had gone blind. My doctor told me I needed to begin taking metformin and insulin but that he wanted to wait until I had had the surgery. I was at an all-time low.Still grieving, in constant pain and now facing a very serious health crisis, I turned to the internet to see what my options were. By chance, the first couple of sites that I visited mentioned that diabetes could be reversed and I immediately latched on to that hope. I weighed 210 lbs. at this point.
One of the sites that I visited in those early days was Diet Doctor. I had about two months before my next scheduled appointment with my GP so I determined that I would put everything into reversing the diabetes before being put on medication.
I radically changed my diet. Reducing my carb intake drastically. I didn’t follow a specific diet, I simply researched high and low carb foods and eliminating as much as possible.
Cold turkey, I stopped using sugar all together and began putting a good amount of whole cream into my coffee. I cut out honey, all fruit and fruit juice. I did not have so much as a bite of potato or a grain of rice, or pasta or bread. I ate a lot of omelets with bacon, sausage or ham and cheese cooked in butter. I also made sandwiches by rolling meat and cheese in leaves of romaine and slathering it all with mayo. For snacks, I stocked up on pecans, macadamia nuts and brazil nuts. I began eating one meal a day in the evening with nuts in the afternoon.
In the meantime, I had a very successful spinal surgery and woke up in the hospital pain-free. I was religiously monitoring my vitals. I took my blood pressure, checked my blood sugar and weighed myself regularly. My doctor had referred me to the local hospital diabetes education program. The young woman that ran the program told me that although my approach was not officially sanctioned by her office, she believed that I was doing exactly the right thing. She set up an appointment with a nutritionist to help me on my quest. She was the one who first referred to what I was doing as ketogenic.
I will mention here that the only negative aspect of this for me was a bad taste in my mouth that persisted for some time. This was a worthwhile trade off as I began to lose weight rapidly. I was still unable to exercise at all. I had to wait for the spinal fusion to knit. So all of the weight loss was directly related to the ketogenic diet.
I ran into my doctor while out and about and mentioned my rapid weight loss and my determination to reverse my diabetes and he did not react as I thought he would. He told me that I was losing weight much too fast and that it could have very serious repercussions for my health even lead to organ failure. He accused me of not following the advice of the diabetes counselor he had sent me to and was shocked to hear that she actually approved of my approach. He urged caution and assured me that that with my numbers, it was impossible that I could get rid of the diabetes and said he would see me at my next appointment.
At first I was crestfallen. I had worked very hard and was quite pleased with the results yet it meant nothing if I was just a slimmer diabetic. I knew that I still had a month to go before my appointment and decided that it couldn’t really hurt to carry on.By the time of my Dr.’s appointment, I had been on a ketogenic diet for almost two months and had lost 35 lbs. He did a full exam and noted that I seemed very healthy, had great skin color and was impressed that I had maintained the weight loss. The moment of truth came when he went out to get the results of my blood work. He was astounded. He informed me that according to my A1C test, that I no longer had diabetes. He also said that never in his years of practice had he seen someone overcome diabetes with numbers like mine.
This time, he congratulated me and told me to keep up the good work. He said that as soon as I got the green light from my surgeon, he wanted me to begin a regimen of cardio and strength training.
A month ago, I got the all clear from my surgeon and because of the weight loss, I had the energy and because of the success, I had the confidence to begin a very serious exercise routine. I currently do strength training on Mondays and Fridays, aqua fitness on Wednesdays, yoga Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and hike in the mountains and or play tennis on the weekends.
My entire life has changed for the better. I am happy and healthy and ready for whatever comes next. I want to thank you for the work that you do and for getting the information out there that all is not hopeless for people dealing with obesity and diabetes.
James W. Jenkins
PS: I neglected to mention that about a month ago I stopped taking losartan and my blood pressure is now within the normal range. I take a multivitamin and a low dose aspirin but otherwise I am now free of all medication.
Congratulations, Jim! And thank you for sharing your story.
Do you want to try what Jim has done? Sign up for our free 2-week keto low-carb challenge!
Do you have a success story you want to share on this blog? Send it (photos appreciated) to firstname.lastname@example.org, and please let me know if it’s OK to publish your photo and name or if you’d rather remain anonymous.
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