The whole journey to conquer type 2 diabetes took about five weeks. Today, it’s a success story. I’m excited to share the story which I’m hoping may inspire and empower others, so let’s dive right in.
I can admit that I never cared about my health in any way. I just did what I liked and ate what I felt like eating. What about diabetes? I didn’t know a thing about it and I never bothered to know. However, towards the end of 2014 I began to notice some frequent urination and increased thirst and hunger, but concluded that it was just good digestion. So, I did nothing about it.
On Sunday, January 4th, 2015 after church service, some fellow members told me that it appeared I had lost considerable weight. Do you know my response? “It’s good to not be overweight!” And so, I did nothing. Crazy, isn’t it?
Then, the fateful day
Receiving insulin drips: 05 January 2015
On Monday, January 5th, 2015, I woke up to notice that my vision had become blurred and I was feeling a sense of weightlessness and felt like I had no strength.
Luckily, my young daughter called 999 and within ten minutes, an ambulance arrived with the emergency medical team. The medical team checked my blood pressure, heartbeat, blood sugar, and other critical vitals. What they discovered was my blood sugar was 37 mmol/L or 680mg/dL !!!
Over-the-roof level! Do you why? When you see many diabetes control charts, the worst and most dangerous level you find is 21.1mmol/L (380 mg/dl). Evidently, having a level of 37 mmol/L simply meant I was simply “dead alive”. Speedily, I was rushed to the intensive care unit under diabetic emergency conditions for aggressive intervention. On arrival at the hospital, my blood sugar had risen to 43 mmol/dL. That I was still alive at that stage was a miracle.
Long story short, to react urgently and properly in this type of condition, I was placed on insulin drips to save my life. Fortunately, and probably being a man of miracle, the blood sugar gradually started to go down.
Can you believe that by Wednesday (just 3 days in hospital), my blood glucose had dropped enough to discharge me from the hospital (thanks to the efficacy of insulin)? I was discharged from the hospital the following day, to continue with insulin injection at home.
The hospital diagnosis was that I had “late start type 1 diabetes” even at my then – close to 70 years. Hence I was prescribed a daily self-injection of 20 units of insulin.
Guess what? Events proved that I had been misdiagnosed – I actually had type 2 diabetes. See later how we got to know.
Steps that were taken: Dietary Interventions (Goal was to come off anti-diabetic medications)
The following were my thinking process and strategies:
- I must cut down on all sugary foods and drinks. No table sugar at all – after all almost all foods contain sugar to a varied extent.
- I needed to research about diabetes – knowledge is power, and the quest for knowledge knows no boundaries.
- Everything is possible in life and there are testimonies from those who overcame their problems eventually through determination and focus. So I can and will. There was therefore a firm resolve to tackle this disease, whatever it takes.
- I had a glucose meter, so whatever I did the meter would decide its success or otherwise. So, I had the right and powerful tool.
- Essentially, everything I did or plan to do was under the supervision of the diabetes nurse assigned to me by the hospital.
Eat to the meter
As I mentioned earlier, the power behind all I did in making changes to my dietary habit lies in the glucose meter. Two hours after taking any food, I checked my blood sugar to see if it was out of a healthy range (abnormal blood sugar spikes). Again, no sugary foods and drinks.
The Turning Point: Hypoglycemia experience
While I continued with the insulin injection as recommended as well as making dietary changes, I kept on noticing a steady drop in my blood sugar daily. Then the magic happened after one week.
I went out and became hungry at some point, so I found one eatery where all manners of food were sold. I then ordered “diabetic food”. Thankfully, they had it. And what was the composition?
- No added-sugar
- Low carb, non-starchy vegetables (spinach, carrots, steamed pepper, onions)
Then I got home, injected my insulin when due.
Some 30 mins later, I was shivering, almost fainting. I sensed hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)!
So, I immediately phoned the diabetes nurse, and she advised having some regular Coke (sugary drink) so as to overcome the low blood sugar incident. It worked – I was relieved.
Indeed, I had this low blood sugar experience 3 more times within 2 weeks, even with a reduced dosage of insulin injections as directed by the nurse.
What did I reason out of these incidents?
The combined action of insulin injections and dietary interventions appeared to drive my blood sugar to lower than normal levels, resulting in hypoglycemia. Therefore, one of the interventions had to give way, preferably a medical one. Because dietary changes were helping my situation, it appeared that I did not have Type 1 diabetes in the first place but Type 2 diabetes.
What should I do next?
- I must suggest to the diabetes nurse my discomfort with insulin injections
- I needed to suggest an immediate downward review of my insulin injection for her approval. She gave her consent to reduce it by 75% to just 5 units a day
- I had to make healthy choices on what to eat or drink, compatible with diabetes and on a permanent basis. Can I actually do away with insulin and have my health back without medical interventions? I was interested to have an answer to this question
I simply took inspiration, to a large extent, from this blog post:
- No table sugar in food, tea, or coffee.
- No donuts, nothing sugary.
- Breakfast would be oats of less than 1% sugar and 2 boiled eggs. Sometimes some bread plus egg omelet. Tea was green tea.
- Lunch would be dominated by vegetables, very little basmati rice, beans, fish.
- Dinner could be a vegetable salad, with tomatoes and onions and then the green tea.
- Snacks (if any) including almonds.
- No high-carb foods.
- No processed foods, no junk foods.
- Strictly ensuring only low glycemic foods were eaten
After 8 pm, no food was taken and every morning my fasting blood sugar was measured. There was a steady downward trend.
Withdrawing Insulin medication with the approval of the senior diabetic nurse
At the start of week 5, my fasting blood sugar levels were in the prediabetes range (5.6 – 6.9 mmol/L or 100 – 125 mg/dL).
I was aware of research findings that pre-diabetics need only to make dietary changes (without medication) and can reverse prediabetes. What was I doing with insulin injection again? And so, in a true and determined sense, I proposed to the senior diabetes nurse that I would by choice withdraw insulin with immediate effect, based on the favorable blood sugar results I was getting. Of course, I own my life and I was prepared to make decisions in my own interest.
That’s how I stopped taking any anti-diabetic medication precisely on 25 February 2015! Since and up until today, I eat healthily and avoid anything sugary and my blood sugar levels are now steadily in the normal range! At a later date, I am going to discuss what further steps were taken that enabled me to attain an hb1c level of 6.4 recently. My healthcare providers were full of praises for this success without any medical interventions! They simply told me: “Good work, Keep it up!” Can you see that this wasn’t just type 2 diabetes reverse, but a remission?
That’s it! The inspirational story of how the diet-disease called type 2 diabetes was not just reversed in 5 weeks but later on put into what is known in medical parlance as “prolonged remission”. That is to say, getting my blood glucose into a normal range steadily for at least 5 years without medication.
Clearly, anyone with a strong will and determination can do it. Of course, you cannot be a slave to addiction, finding it impossible to break free from the root cause of the disease. I am hoping my story will empower any type 2 diabetes patient. Figuring the root cause of the disease, and then killing the root so as to ‘kill’ (reverse or put into remission) the disease.
Educational background: BSc (Hons) Chemical/Biochemical Engineering. Blogger: Health and Fitness, currently focused on Diabetes, sharing with my audience helpful curated information from trusted sources. Had a serious encounter with type 2 diabetes, was able to reverse it and put it into remission, withdrawing anti-diabetic medication after 5 weeks.