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Sunday, 29 November 2015

The British Dietetic Association and other health hazards.

I apologise for the length of this post, but believe background information is required. It is my opinion, and that of many others, the BDA is a health hazard for UK diabetics. Please indulge me and read this post. Thank you.  

I was diagnosed a type two diabetic in March 2008. My HbA1c was 12 and blood glucose meter showing 26, extremely high and highly dangerous blood glucose numbers. I was prescribed Metformin and given a guide to diabetes control by my appointed diabetes nurse. The guide was sponsored by Takeda the largest insulin manufacturer in Japan. My nurse informed me I must cut out all sugar, as did the guide. The mainstay of my new diet was to be starchy carbohydrates. Rice, bread, pasta, couscous, potatoes etc. according to the Takeda guide. At that time, I did not know what a carbohydrate was, I did not know, that when digested they would have the same effect on my blood glucose as sugar. I tried the diet for a few weeks, my blood glucose numbers improved, but never got better than 12 mmol, an improvement, but still highly dangerous numbers. I was acutely aware of the very serious complications of highly elevated BG numbers. Two weeks after my diagnosis, I buried my Father. He died riddled with diabetic complications. He had followed the NHS advice including diet to the letter.

I decided to research type two diabetes, I was very eager to avoid the grim complications if at all possible. It seemed logical to me, if I could get my blood glucose numbers to non diabetic, I could avoid blindness, kidney failure and amputations. A few weeks later, I received one of the greatest pieces of luck of my entire life. I met via a forum a man called Fergus Craig. Fergus has been a type one diabetic since his teenage days, for many years his diabetes control was very poor. Running high BG numbers and well over weight, in short, a disaster waiting to happen, and it very near did. Driving one day he suffered a serious hypo (dangerously low blood sugar) he passed out and crashed his car into a lamppost. Mercifully no one else was involved and Fergus suffered no serious injuries.

After years of denial and poor diabetes control, Fergus realised he had been very lucky and changes had to be made. He went looking for sound information, and discovered the work of Dr. Richard Bernstein, considered by many, including Fergus and myself, as the world's leading expert on blood glucose control for diabetics. Fergus adopted the Bernstein diet of 30 carbs per day spread over three meals. Within a short time he lost over 40 lbs in weight and for the first time in his diabetic life, was maintaining non diabetic HbA1c numbers. He took up marathon running and competing in 100 mile plus cycle races. In short a completely changed man. He has held non diabetic BG numbers for the last ten years or more, and his insulin use reduced to a third of previous requirements.

As for my story, I adopted the Bernstein approach, 30 grams of carbohydrate per day. I dumped the breakfast cereals, toast and orange juice. Eggs, bacon, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes became my start to the day. Fish with a salad my lunch, and meat and three veg my dinner. Within seven days my fasting BG numbers ranged from four to six. Three months after my diagnosis it was time for a check up with my Doctor and more blood work. Results, 50 lb weight loss, HbA1c 5.5 and vastly improved lipid panel. My Doctor was amazed in the changes, I told him how I had achieved the transformation. I then heard the words so many like me have heard “well if it works for you stay with it”

If it works for me, it will work for almost all diabetics. I was so outraged regarding the lamentable treatment, and dietary advice dolled out to diabetics, I set up a website to demonstrate the massive benefits of the low carb lifestyle and posted many posts on a forum encouraging diabetics to follow my way of diabetes control. At that stage it should have been plain sailing for me, and other diabetics on the forum, to stay safe and take control of their diabetes. How wrong I was, heavy duty negative comments came in almost immediately, from a high profile BDA dietitian, Chris Cashin using a pseudo name. Cashin hounded low carbers around the clock, we could be setting ourselves up for scurvy, osteoporosis, bowel disorders and worse, with our low carb lifestyle. That was my first communication with a BDA dietitian, it would not be my last.

I should state at this stage, I have been helped by excellent dietitians, some have become friends, none from the BDA. It is my opinion the BDA is a major health hazard for diabetics. They appear to have no sound policy for the safe control of diabetes, and their dietary recommendations are lamentable. I have informed BDA dietitians of my views on numerous occasions. Unsurprisingly, my words fell on deaf ears. On twitter they blocked me, straight questions never received a straight answer. They were the dietary experts, how dare this mere blogger, this upstart, have the temerity to question their supreme knowledge. Meanwhile the BDA and other dietary organisations have done absolutely nothing to stem the epidemics of obesity and the often linked type two diabetes. In fact the situation gets worse by the day.

That being said, the BDA has become world class in passing the buck. Nothing to do with us they bellow at every opportunity, blame the others. Well, who are the others you may be thinking. Regarding the BDA dietary information for diabetics, it's all down to Diabetes UK according to high profile BDA dietitian Catherine Collins. The dangerous and misleading information on the BDA website regarding "ideal HbA1c" is the fault of NICE, according to another high profile BDA dietitian Paul McArdle. Another very high profile BDA member Dr. Duane Mellor appears to be distancing himself from the mainstay of the BDA for many years, the awful Eat Well plate.

So, there you have it. I suspect the BDA will stay cosy in their smug little world, while pleading, almost begging, with their motto "Trust A Dietitian" Hiding behind other organisations, who incidentally, are getting nowhere fast in the fight against diabetes, as the NHS audited diabetes statistics prove year after year. High profile dietitians will continue to hang out on places like twitter, rubbishing highly qualified and respected Scientists and medical professionals, who are proving to be the salvation of countless diabetics and people wishing to lose weight. It does not require much thought to understand the stance of the BDA, they have been very wrong for decades. In the real world they are becoming increasingly irrelevant. The mainstay of their message to diabetics "reduce saturated fats and increase starchy carbs" has failed totally.

Over seven years ago I stated on my website "Be very careful when being advised by a dietitian. If you are being told to base your diet on starchy high carbohydrate foods and drop the fat, drop the dietitian, if you want to stay complication free and keep medication to a minimum" That advice still stands, and increasingly, all around the world, enlightened and informed medical professionals are in agreement. I welcome the opportunity to debate the issues outlined in this post with BDA dietitians. I doubt that will happen. They will continue to block me on places like twitter, for them it will be business as usual. It will be business as usual for the NHS, the amputations will continue, the wheel chairs and white sticks will be issued. And £billions spent, much so unnecessary, because so many so called health care organisations, are clearly not fit for purpose.


From the BDA website today. Link to information here.

The "ideal HbA1c" is not ideal by a long way. Long term these numbers will lead to serious complications for many and are above the levels organ damage starts.

"People with diabetes should eat a healthy diet the same as somebody without diabetes" This information is so wrong it borders on the criminal in my opinion. It is one of the major factors why the annual NHS audited statistics prove on an average year, 93% of type one diabetics and over 50% of type two diabetics never obtain safe HbA1c number.

Note the high number of highly refined carbohydrates and junk including a can of cola. Following this Eat Well plate of food, it is highly unlikely a diabetic will ever maintain safe and stable blood glucose numbers.

Some recent screen shots from twitter.


chris c said...

Dieticians are the medical equivalent of the Taliban. They have their Rules, and no matter how often the Rules fail, it must be because the patient is "failing to comply".

"Trust a dietician!" I'd sooner trust a fart, pace Billy Connolly.

"People with diabetes should eat a healthy diet the same as somebody without diabetes"

but if the diet was actually healthy where did all the diabetics come from in the first place? They weren't there before low fat diets. Nor were all the obese people - and obese dieticians, how do they explain that? Do they accuse themselves of "failing to comply" with their own diet?

There ARE some clueful dieticians, mainly in other countries, and a few in the UK NOT working for the NHS, who keep up with science. Just to prove it can be done.

I suspect after Tim Noakes ans Jennifer Elliott they have Aseem Malhotra and Rangan Chatterjee lined up for show trials, or will they just take out a hit on them?

Anonymous said...

Oh Eddie! I can't stop laughing after reading your posts and Chris C's comment!!!! That's a classic! I have first hand experience having previously trained in the field. I must forward you website link to many a friend in the field! This website has truly made me chuckle! :-D

Anne O'Neil said...

Love it Eddie!

I suspect we have a long way to go before we show them the error of their ways. for now they have to justify themselves somehow and if that means passing the buck, then why not indeed!

Not my fault, I just did what I was told... I think that was the mantra of the SS following WWII.