Beating the odds feels AMAZING!
In February 2016, I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. Here in the UK, the normal non-diabetic range for a HbA1C blood test is between 20-42 mmol/mol and when I was first diagnosed, my reading was at 60 i.e. Definitely above the normal range and therefore my GP wanted me to start taking medication straight away. However, when I read the side effects of the prescribed medication, I decided to do some research before I started to take them.
YIKES – here’s a summary as detailed on drugs.com of the side effects:
Commonly reported side effects of metformin include: lactic acidosis, diarrhea, nausea, nausea and vomiting, vomiting, and flatulence. Other side effects include: asthenia, and decreased vitamin b12 serum concentrate.
If the rest of the effects weren’t off-putting enough, the thought of increased ‘flatulence’.. (ladies just don’t .. do they!!) was my deciding factor!
Now I’m no expert so please do your own research and make your own choices, but my choice was to try managing Type 2 Diabetes by changing my lifestyle. I’d come across the Newcastle University study, which was showing that changing to a Low Carbohydrate diet, was starting to evidence some great results for controlling Type 2 Diabetes.
In agreement with my Doctor, I decided to give myself 3 months of healthy eating and exercise and see whether this would start to reduce the HbA1C blood test reading, before deciding whether to start on the Metformin or not…
My new healthier lifestyle began (you can read more about the start of my journey here: How to be Positive about a ‘ Positive Diabetes Diagnosis! ) and I was delighted when I returned for my 3 months check up, to find that not only had I lost weight, but more importantly, my blood test reading had reduced from 60 down to 45, which is classed as pre-diabetic.
Since March 2016, I’ve been following a low carbohydrate healthy eating regime. Swapping foods such as potatoes, pasta, rice and bread for low carbohydrate alternatives, meant I could still enjoy some of my favourite recipes but with a slight twist and in most cases, I actually prefer my low carb version, to the original high carb version.
You can find some of my favourite low carb alternative recipes under the Health and Fitness tab on my blog: https://brilliancewithin.com/category/low-carb-recipes/
One of the advantages of following the low carbohydrate diet is that I can add a drop (or two) of cream to my coffee and to lots of the low carbohydrate recipes too. I was really surprised when I did my research to find that for diabetics, higher fat milk and cream contains less Lactose, which turns to glucose in the body, therefore the less lactose there is the better and as a result, cream is a healthier alternative to skimmed milk!
Making chicken with a cream and mushroom sauce is no longer forbidden – for years, I’d previously avoided full-fat milk and cream and suffered those pangs of guilt if I dared to add cream to my coffee! Now though, adding cream to recipes really does help – I feel fuller for longer and psychologically, I don’t feel deprived. The creamy flavour is so delicious that I don’t miss things like potatoes and rice at all.
Mousakka with sweet potato and aubergine is definitely one of my favourite low carbohydrate recipes!
However, for some reason, because I actually enjoy my new healthy eating options, I began to think that I couldn’t possibly continue to maintain the pre-diabetic blood test readings and found myself wondering if the 3-month ‘test’ had been a fluke. Although I continued to follow my new diet, my doubts about the effectiveness of the low carbohydrate diet were increasing and I kept putting off returning to my GP for repeat blood tests.
At the insistence of my GP, I realised I couldn’t bury my head in the sand any longer, so in February 2018, exactly 2 years after my original diagnosis, I returned for a long overdue blood test…
While waiting for the results, my mind continued to work overtime, worrying about what I would do if the levels had increased (which I was certain in my mind would be the case!!).
I ran the scenarios over and over.. What would I say to the Doctor and horror of horrors… how I’d face my family and friends with increased FLATULENCE if I had to start taking the Metformin….. I’d be known as ‘Windy Wendy’… OMG – I’m going red at the thought just writing this!
It’s funny isn’t it how we play those ‘worse case scenarios’ and as a result, we often put off doing things we know we should do or we’d like to do, because we allow our imaginations to run wild. Oh, I know the theory and I spend lots of time coaching other people how to keep that negative committee in their head under control, but occasionally the theory flies straight out of the window (maybe it’s the wind blowing.. oops – couldn’t resist) and this was definitely one of those occasions.
Once again though and as is often the case, that Negative Committee got it wrong!
- I’m delighted to report that my fears were once again completely unfounded and yep, I can justifiably tell the negative committee in my head, that they were out of order!
Lesson learned – I’ve given my negative committee their marching orders!
My HbA1c blood test has come back at 45 once again, which means I’ve sustained the pre-diabetic reading for exactly 2 years, without having to resort to taking medication.
For me, the Low Carbohydrate diet has proved to be a tasty and extremely worthwhile shift and long may it continue.
- I’m not saying this would be the case for everyone and if you’re already taking medication for Diabetes, I hope you’re not feeling overly flatulent!
- Don’t take my word for it, but maybe with support from your Doctor, you could consider the Low Carb shift to your diet, as a possible option which may enable you to reduce your medication too (under the guidance of your GP of course).
I’ve been able to beat the odds and avoid the need to take medication.
- This is a change for life, which I can honestly say has enhanced my life and indeed the original diabetes diagnosis was my catalyst for massive lifestyle changes.
All my worrying was for nothing – gosh what a waste of my time and energy when I really have got so many better things to think about. Life is about learning lessons, isn’t it?
- The lesson I’ve learned is to sack the Negative Committee because I really do know best after all!
What have you buried your head in the sand about.. maybe your avoiding making some changes in your life or the negative committee in your head is shouting far too loudly? Maybe you’ve been diagnosed with Diabetes recently and you’re worried about the long-term impact.
If so, leave me a comment and let me know what’s concerning you and maybe I can offer some words of encouragement, that can help you tell your negative committee to shut up and ship out once and for all too!