I was diagnosed as a type 2 or non-insulin dependent diabetic in September of 2009 with an average blood glucose of 355 mg/dl. I met with the “Certified Diabetes Educator” that afternoon. She showed me how to use my meter, gave me a copy of the American Diabetes Association approved food pyramid, three prescriptions and doctor’s orders to also take aspirin every day. Near the end of the 30 whole minutes she spent with me, she asked if I had any questions. Having no time to digest what I was just told I only had one. “Is there a way to manage Diabetes through lifestyle and maybe reduce the drugs I had to take”? Her response… “NO ONE GETS OFF THESE DRUGS. As a matter of fact, this is just the starting point. Diabetes is degenerative and over time you will need more drugs and you will need insulin”.
Don’t get me wrong, I do not believe all drugs are bad. Some have wonderful uses to improve your quality of life. However, I believed then (as I do now) that it is always better to try more natural methods to improve one’s own health. If those fail, then the drugs become an option.
Anyway I was an emotional wreck! How could I be diabetic? What the hell went wrong? Needless to say, not only was I a new diabetic, but I was SERIOUSLY depressed. I have to rely on pills and someday even shots, just to stay alive. I went to bed every night with a bleak outlook of the next day, thinking my “Good-Times” were all behind me.
I made significant lifestyle changes the next very day. I modified my diet, watching my fat intake, and limiting my carbohydrate intake to 75 grams per meal. I continued to have wild spikes in my blood glucose after meals.
At my next blood test, my average blood glucose had dropped significantly to 150 which made my Doctor happy. But I wasn’t happy. I was taking Metformin, Simvastatin, Lisinopril and Aspirin every day. And after meals I was having BG readings in the 160’s.
I started doing research online and kicked myself for not looking sooner. I found a couple of wonderful, motivating books discussing a LOW-CARB diet to manage Diabetes. After hitting Amazon to place my order I logged in to Face book to brighten my evening. After checking things out for a while I did a Face book for search and came across a profile for Steve Cooksey.
Here was a very fit guy in the picture looking back at me. His profile said he was a Type 2 diabetic like me, but he had found a way to kick all the drugs and he was even taking Insulin at one time. I had to know more so I sent a friend request. He responded with a message thanking me for the request within an hour.
I started to read his posts. Pictures of his meals, descriptions of his workouts, and countless links to studies on Paleolithic Diets, Ketogenic Diets, Cholesterol, Vitamins, etc. I was freaking amazed. This man had accomplished what I was told could not be done!
I started communicating with Steve, asking a million questions and he always responded quickly with thorough answers, many times including links to studies backing up his statements. After a week I decided to “go Primal” as they say. It was weird. I ate meat again, I ate eggs again, and I even ate bacon again. Usually every meal included a good size portion of green leafy veggies. After just a couple days I noticed a trend in my BG results. After meals I was no longer in the 160’s. Actually, my two hour post prandial test results were rarely above 130. My fasting results also dropped from the 140’s to the 110’s and I even saw my first sub-100 fasting number! My BG looked AWESOME to me, but I was worried about my Cholesterol. Steve sent me study after study along with his personal success story urging me to just keep it up until my next lab test which was just under three months away so I did.
I stayed Low-Carb (under 25 grams daily) for three months and enjoyed my Eggs, Salmon, Steak, Pork and veggies. My BG numbers stayed well controlled and kept trending down as Steve helped me refine my meal choices.
Three months seemed to fly by. I was eating like a king, my BG was much closer to non-Diabetic levels and my outlook on life improved significantly! I wasn’t depressed any longer! I felt like my old self. I was taking action in improving my health and THAT made all the difference!
I had blood drawn and waited for word… My average BG was 131, DOWN from 150. I expected that! What I did not expect was an LDL of 39, an HDL of 68 and Triglycerides of 53. I was THRILLED! Within minutes of receiving the results, I had fired off an email to Steve. Then I emailed my Doctor and told her I no longer needed the Simvastatin, Lisinopril or the Aspirin. She agreed. I was on my way to dropping ALL my prescriptions. Steve had WONDERFUL words of congratulations and encouragement which only helped add fuel to my Primal / Low-Carb flame!
I just keep doing what I have been doing, LOW carbs and exercise. By the way, at my last official lab test in July, my average BG was 114. WITHIN NORMAL LIMITS! Not just acceptable for a diabetic, but NORMAL!!! I’ll go back for another round of lab tests in September and WHEN they all come back normal, I will be emailing my Doctor to let her know I’m no longer going to be taking the Metformin.
I am ALWAYS encouraged by Steve! He freaking walks the talk!! I have bad days, but somehow Steve is ALWAYS motivated and PASSIONATE about helping others succeed! Though I’ve never met him, I consider him one of my closest friends. Steve’s encouragement and motivational support has enabled me to take action to save my own life!
Couple of editor notes…
Brian is truly a “Diabetes Warrior” … he is always very inspiring and motivating, often leaving kind and encouraging words for me and many others. Thank you Brian for the kind words and for telling your story about your own “diabetic diet” experience,very compelling indeed! …. “caring and sharing” is a wonderful thing. Hopefully, if we can share with enough people, some day the American Diabetes Association will change their high carb diabetes diet.
Lastly, Brian was gracious enough to compose a post relating to diabetic supplies, an A1C Test~Steve