Primal Case-Studies: Phil’s story about diabetes on a low-carb diet
Phil is a friend of mine who has switched to a low-carb life-style to manage his diabetes.
Phil started his new life-style a mere 7 weeks before this interview. But as you will see, his early results are nothing short of spectacular.
We will check in with Phil periodically. This is the first instalment of his story.
What was your health situation before you decided to change your diet and life-style?
I have had type 1 diabetes for the last 5 years. After the initial shock, I had settled into a reasonable routine. The Doctors were reasonably happy with me. I was doing most things right.
But I was gradually putting on weight, was finding exercise hard to do, and was finding it hard to maintain my sugars at the right levels. Almost every day I would have times where I was low (hypos) or high (hypers) and each had its own problems.
What caused you to suddenly make changes in your life?
I read the book that you recommended. Suddenly everything made sense.
What have you learned about diet and health you did not know before?
Just how linked they are. I always thought that diet had an influence with health, but I just assumed it was purely down to keeping your weight down and eating enough vitamins/minerals to be healthy. I didn’t realise just how important to the body’s health everything we put into it is.
What changes did you make in your life and what pace and order did you make them in?
I went straight in and cut out all bread, pasta, rice and potatoes. With immediate effect. And then I cut right down on fruit. That was the hardest as I am addicted to fruit. I still eat it occasionally, but in moderation.
Then I set about finding all the things I can eat that I like and eat them as much as I want. Eggs for breakfast. Meat, fish and more meat and fish.
What challenges did you have in putting your new life-style into practice?
There are some moments where I have nothing that I can eat. That is hard. And shopping for the family is hard. I can’t force things on them but I don’t really want to make lots of things that I can’t eat.
What changes have you seen so far and what difference has it made to you?
I lost over a stone (7Kg) in the first 3 weeks. Since then my weight has stabilised. But the main change is in my sugar levels. I still feel I am calibrating my body, so I am not yet perfect, but generally my sugar levels have been fantastic.
Apart from the odd mistake, I can now keep my sugars within the normal range pretty much all day. I don’t have the high sugars after a meal which made me drowsy, and I am pretty sure this is going to be help me avoid problems in the future.
What changes do you expect to see in the future if you continue following your program?
I think I should lose a bit more weight, and I am hoping to be able to build up my exercise levels. Exercise is the only area that I still can’t quite manage properly. At the moment exercise seems to put my sugars up and I can’t seem to predict it. But it will come.
What challenges do you think you will have going forward in sticking to the program?
I have already noticed my wife and family are getting bored with the meals I have been preparing so I think I will have to get more imaginative. And I think Xmas is going to be difficult.
The book Phil refers to in this interview is “Diabetes Solution” by Dr. Bernstein.