[Not Andrew in the picture.]
When Andrew went on his routine type 2 diabetes check-up earlier this year, he found that he was now a type 2 diabetic. He had long felt that his health was not on top with battling persistent brain fog and fatigue. But adding the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, he wanted a real change.
He found the Diet Doctor website and with the encouragement from his doctor, he started a low-carb diet. This is what happened:
Dear Diet Doctor,
I am 48 years old from the UK. I’ve had a good life but it was half a life. Aside from feeling tired and sluggish most of the time, I had permanent brain fog, I just couldn’t think clearly. As a barrister who lives on his wits, it threatened to compromise my career.
When I went for routine type 2 diabetes monitoring in May this year, my readings were off the scale. The doctor wanted to medicate me straight away but I convinced her to give me a few months to get it under control myself. She was supportive: having found the Diet Doctor website I put forward the idea of low-carb, high-fat. She encouraged me, though was a bit worried about the effect on my heart.The change completely transformed my life. I don’t take breakfast, preferring to stay within an 8-hour eating window each day. Carbs are low, usually below 20 g per day but sometimes up towards 30 g. I eat fat to stave off hunger and get plenty of greens. The first improvement I noticed was mental clarity, as though a fog had been lifted from my mind. I was more alert throughout the day, and finally free from energy spikes and crashes so I can rely on being together when I need to be. A nice side-effect is that I have dropped weight steadily, from 118 kg (260 lbs) in May to 90 (198 lbs) today.
My biggest challenge so far has been that in the past month my weight has stabilised. Around the low 90s (198 lbs). This was pretty frustrating but as I have been quite overweight for around three decades now I wasn’t too surprised. I referred back to Diet Doctor and saw a list of measures to take in case this happened, and the idea of combining 5:2 fasting with my existing regime appealed. I now fast after Sunday evening’s supper through to Wednesday lunch, and the weight has started to come down again. I was a little worried about not having enough energy to work efficiently during Day 2, but that hasn’t happened. My work is quite sedentary so I am in no danger of becoming physically exhausted. As for mentally, I haven’t noticed any dip in clarity. If anything my moods level out during the fast.
Before starting the diet, I wish I had known that eyesight might be temporarily affected during adjustment to ketosis! Around week 3, for nearly a month, there was a dramatic change to my vision from slightly short-sighted to quite long-sighted. It was quite frightening as I thought I may be going blind, but I read online that this can happen sometimes. Eventually, my vision returned to its original prescription, but I wish I had known what was going on at the time.
Today, I was declared not currently diabetic, yay! I’m well below even pre-diabetic, entirely healthy for the first time in years.
My HbA1c reading in May this year was stratospherically high at 123 (13.4%). Today it is 32 (5.1%). That is below even pre-diabetic. It’s not just ‘good for a diabetic person’, it is good for someone completely ‘normal’. The doctor couldn’t believe the turn-around in someone unmedicated and unsupported. I’m delighted, so please forgive the brag.
If interested I did it by following ideas on Diet Doctor:
- Only eating between 1pm and 9pm
- Keeping carbs under 20 g per day
- Satiating on fats (btw my cholesterol has dropped during this time)
- Eating as much as I like
- Drinking at weekends only, confined to wine and neat spirits
- (More recently) fasting Mondays and Tuesdays
As mentioned before, when I ran this past my doctor, she wasn’t against it. In fact, she has been very encouraging so perhaps the word is getting around in the UK now.
I feel great. Today is a good day.
Well done Andrew, those are very impressive results. And it’s always encouraging to hear of more and more doctors being open to lifestyle interventions that work, even when we’re talking about low carb.
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