My diabetes was diagnosed by chance in 2009, when my GP asked me to have a fasting blood test due to raised BP. This came back at 7.1, I was asked to have another one which came back at 9. I have since found out that another blood test in 2006 showed a fasting level of 6.6, but for some reason I was never informed I was pre-diabetic. Knowing what I know now my sugars would have been running wild during that time. I had been overweight for many years but always active, people often said I should have been skinny as I was always busy, but at the time of diagnosis I weighed more than 16 stone and whatever I did, it didn’t seem to shift. I also ate lots of fruit; sometimes seven pieces a day, granary bread, pasta and rice, plus fruit juice. I was literally welcoming diabetes but didn’t know it at the time, had I known I was pre-diabetic I might have done some research and avoided becoming a fully paid up member of the club no one wants to join. Just before diagnosis I remember having a really ‘carby’ day when I felt so sleepy and my feet were burning, as if on fire, couldn’t get rid of it for over a day, I am sure these were the effects of very high sugars. Looking back I often felt sleepy after lots of carbs, but put it down to a demanding job and life.
I had no real advice on diagnosis, just told to ‘eat a healthy diet’. I have a friend who has been type 2 for a long time and I knew you were supposed to check your blood sugar. I asked for a meter and was told I would be given one by the diabetic nurse when I saw her eventually. Meanwhile I did some reading online, was devastated to find out the implications of uncontrolled diabetes and felt my life was over. However I was lucky that within less than a week I had found this site and also Fergus who I emailed about his lowcarb bread. That was the beginning of hope for a healthier future for me. I cut out carbs drastically, when I got my meter I found that just one piece of Burgen bread sent my blood sugar to double figures, as did one weetabix and a drizzle of milk. That was it; I knew that there had to be something odd about the standard dietary advice if I wanted to get good bs control.
At my first hba1c, after 2 months of strict lowcarbing, it was at 7.2, I know it would have been much higher if it had been taken at diagnosis. My hba1c has since dropped gradually, my latest being 5.4. My bloods are good, kidneys perfect, my hdl cholesterol is 48% and triglycerides are 0.5. I eat cream, butter and cheese etc. I have also lost more than 4 stones in weight. I feel much better and look it too. People always ask how I did it and can’t believe it sadly when I say I don’t eat many carbs but I do eat fat. I was always a keen cook and after initial despair at what was I going to eat, I now relish the challenge of adapting recipes and inventing new dishes which fit into my new lifestyle.
My GP says that he can’t remember a diabetic in the practice with such a low hba1c for a long time, but is very evasive when I ask about the madness of the standard dietary advice, and I am just told the famous mantra....’If it works for you...’ If it works for me why not for others? I know that ‘we are all different’ but the present dietary advice to eat lots of carbs, particularly when many are also told not to test is madness, testing is essential for everyone, only then do you find out what you can or can’t eat.
My family has a history of glaucoma and I have an annual eye check to ensure my eye pressure hasn’t increased. My job involves working with children with a visual impairment and I am well aware of how precious sight is. Interestingly my eye pressure had risen the year before diagnosis, but after 3 months low carbing it had dropped and earlier this month when I saw my optician he couldn’t believe how much further it had gone down. I told him that I was convinced that it had gone up due to high blood sugars and that it was now much improved due to good bs control, which he thoroughly agreed with, another bonus.
Who knows what is around the corner, but all I can say is that at the moment life is good, I am healthier than I have been in years and have made some wonderful friends who I am convinced have helped to save my life.
More good news here.