I thought I’d post my story as reduced/low carbing was the only way forward for ME despite what the current guidelines from the NHS and DUK state.
Around October 2011 I noticed things were ‘Not quite right’ and I was falling asleep at the drop of a hat,my gums were bleeding heavily when I brushed my teeth,I was peeing like a racehorse,boils and abscesses were popping up everywhere and I had more ‘Thrush’ than a songbird chorus with the added nasty complication of ‘Balintitus’,my vision was often blurred,I could drink litres of water but still felt as dry as the desert and had to carry water with me EVERYWHERE which was a right pain. .BUT, I put it down to just getting on a bit and being under stress from another illness in my life.
After a search on ‘Dr Google’ my symptoms were showing consistency with a condition called Diabetes although I wasn’t sure which type as I didn’t have a clue and I asked a friend who was a Type 1 since aged 4 if I could borrow his spare optium xceed meter. Well a random test many hours after my usual breakfast of 2 weetabix came back with a reading of 19. Well this was a mistake surely? Tested again and it recorded just over 20.This can’t be right I thought, I’m eating a healthy diet of low fat with heart healthy whole grains,cereals and I don’t take sugar so this MUST be wrong…SURELY?
Well I thought I’d better rule this out with an appointment with a HCP. Well the day came and I got to see the practice nurse who after ordering a fasting blood test and HbA1c asked me in for my results and told me I had something called Type 2 diabetes, my fasted level was over 12 and I had an HbA1c of 7.5% BUT no worries I was told, 7.5% is good control and I should make sure I eat plenty of whole grains,fruit,vegetables,low fat spread,skimmed,milk avoid fatty foods etc. Well this was going to be a piece of cake….wasn’t it?
Well, not quite! Apart from still always feeling hungry and ‘ill’ all the time my sugars continued to get worse. I’d already joined a support forum just after diagnosis and I was advised that something called ‘Carbohydrate’ as the main factor in raising our BG levels. I didn’t know what a carb was to be honest except that I believed they were healthy and I thought to myself “This can’t be right or healthy surely???” (The irony I feel now!)
Anyhow, things continued to get worse and I kept reading the forum and saw there was fierce debates between low carbers and another much smaller group that advocated low GI, low carb-low fat-low calorie and me being confused ended up trying all of them, yet my BG’s continued to climb, I was starving hungry, never felt satiated, was as weak as a kitten and was losing fat AND muscle at an alarming rate. My GP, realising my HbA1c was now 14.1% gave up with all the oral meds he had tried me on which did nothing and packed me off to the Endo who ordered tests which revealed I had Type 1 diabetes although it was a slower onset form and I might get away with Byetta for a while…that failed and Insulin it was to be…by this stage I’d been reading the forums for a while and I noticed something big and that was all the success people were enjoying on a low carb high fat diet,weight loss,normal BG’s,blood pressure,lipid panels the lot and I thought to myself ALL these people can’t be wrong and they’re all eating great grub that we had been told to avoid….I then read a link which told a story of another Type 1 diabetic called Fergus who had transformed his health and reduced his insulin requirement way down on a Low carb high fat regime and I’d also heard about Dr Richard Bernstein,a long term Type 1 diabetic who was fighting fit and advocating the very same through his books and his own lifestyle.
Out went all the low GI cereals,skimmed milk,low fat spread,bread,spuds etc and in came full fat greek yoghurt,blueberries,blackberries,strawberries,real butter, eggs, cream,coconut oil,lard,olive oil,meats,green veggies,salads and bacon,sausages,mushrooms and eggs were back on the menu for breakfast,that filled me up until teatime and I no longer felt the need for lunch and if I got peckish I would nibble on some mixed olives from the deli,or I’d have a few pork scratching or walnuts and I rediscovered mini salamis were handy snacks, too all of which had little or no effect on my BG’s. Dinners are DEAD easy too..meat and 2 veg,chicken salads with plenty of cold hard boiled eggs,roast dinners without the spuds and with some mashed swede,shepherds pie but with a topping of mashed cauliflower and mashed swede mixed together with lots of butter,Indian takeaway without the naan bread and rice but bulked out with spicy lamb kebabs and salad and many other combinations and recipes I’ve learned off the internet have been great!
My meter was showing great results as an upshot of this and at my diabetic review last year my tests revealed my HbA1c was down into the 6’s despite my insulin use being very low on just 2 injections a day, my BP was down and my lipid panel had all improved to a good level despite being told by the NHS that sat fats will push them through the roof..well they were wrong! I have continued since then with this lifestyle,my weight is the best it’s been in years and my last HbA1c was 31 (4.9%).