Around four years ago I became a type two diabetic. It completely changed my life. Call it skill, luck or fate, but I have almost always turned a bad situation around. So often when a situation looked bleak and unsolvable the remedy was so close to hand. Almost any problem can be resolved with the correct information, I went looking for good information. I found it at diabetes.co.uk. The man with the information was Fergus Craig. A type one diabetic for around thirty years. So many diabetics thirty years in are suffering serious complications, many have died. Fergus had no complications, in fact he was stronger and fitter than most non diabetics of the same age. He was regularly running marathons and competing in 100 mile plus bike races and competing against non diabetics half his age. Most importantly, he had reached the holy grail of all diabetics, HbA1c in the fours. He still holds those numbers four years on. He still runs and still rides his bike, and is a drummer in a band. In short, he is a shinning example for what can be achieved with some good information, dedication and self discipline. These fact are even more remarkable when you consider he had spent many years in the diabetes wilderness.
Overweight with very poor control of BG numbers, and the start of diabetic complications. Fergus had discovered the way back to good health, discovered the way back to a long and active life. He could have got on with his life and kept the information he had learned to himself. Thankfully for me and so many others including our little team he taught us how to get to non diabetic blood numbers, how to return to a healthy weight, how to get far better lipid numbers without the use of statins. He taught us how to substitute foods that raised BG numbers to highly dangerous numbers, with foods that were not only far better from a nutritional point of view, but kept our BG numbers in the safe zone. It all sounds so simple, almost far too easy, too good to be true. Most things that sound too good to be true, usually are, but not in this case. With a change of diet and some modest physical activity, type two diabetes could be reversed. Reversed but not cured. A return to the old diet with only a modest increase in carbs for many would almost certainly result in dangerous BG numbers. This lowcarb diet was not a quick fix, it was for life.
The forum in those days was fairly new with only a few thousand members. Many were newly diagnosed. Like me they new nothing about controlling diabetes, but it was a place to hang out. It was the first forum I had ever joined, and I thought it may help to talk to others in the same boat as me. I certainly did not expect to find a way to total diabetic salvation, from a man I had never heard of. It was a total bomb shell. It was totally beyond my comprehension that the diet recommended to me by my healthcare team was so far wrong it bordered on the comical. Not that I was laughing. Two weeks after I was diagnosed, I buried my Father. He had died riddled with diabetic complications. The last ten years of his life had been blighted. By following the NHS diabetics diet, he had swiftly progressed to injected insulin and ten different types of drugs. Pill taking had become a part time job. All this could have been avoided, if he had heard from someone like Fergus, around the time he was diagnosed. He was of the old school that believed Doctors always knew best, I now know that is certainly not the case.
I have great respect for the medical profession and the people that work in the NHS, but have come to learn most are generalists not specialists. They deal with thousands of different diseases and medical conditions. They cannot be expected to be diabetes experts. The huge problem for diabetics here and in other countries, few of us ever get to see a diabetes expert. As is common knowledge, many type two diabetics can’t even get a test strip on prescription. Many people of modest income cannot afford to by their own testing kits and are so often discouraged from testing. A recipe for guaranteed diabetic complications and a foreshortened life. For so many a lowcarb diet is the answer. What other chronic disease can be reversed in days with a change in diet, non that I know of. Surely a lowcarb diet would be embraced by all, minimal or no medication, many pain free years added to our lives, and little financial cost. It never entered my head, not everyone would feel a sense of wonder and elation, that this chronic disease could become a life sentence and not a death sentence so easily. How naive and stupid was I, never in my life had I got something so wrong. Carb wars at diabetes.co.uk had begun.
To be continued...................
In praise of Fergus Craig. Eddie and Graham have often alluded to the help we all owe to Fergus. One of the great misfortunes to befall d.co.uk was when Fergus called it a day (after countless posts patiently explaining to the members of the clique the mechanisms of BG control).
Still one of the best articles on d.co.uk is the topic written by Fergus
Low carb seems so obvious, on diagnosis I went straight on Atkins, way before I found DCUK. never looked back. The answer is soooooo bloody obvious, isn't it?
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