How I Crushed Type 2 Diabetes in Solely Weeks and Fully Modified My Outlook on Life

Editor’s observe: We discovered Rey’s exceptional story within the diabetes on-line neighborhood, and requested him if he would share it with us. Rey skilled extraordinary speedy success by following a exact weight loss plan and medicine routine instantly after analysis with kind 2 diabetes. His enchancment was unimaginable, however others making the identical modifications might not expertise the identical success. Please communicate to your physician or caregiver earlier than enacting any main well being modifications of your personal.

This story was initially printed within the autumn of 2021. 

I’m Rey, and I’m a 44-year outdated male with a historical past of hypertension and being obese, however till lately I had no main well being points. Solely this previous summer time I discovered that I had dangerously uncontrolled diabetes. Inside the span of simply a few months, I fully modified my weight loss plan, began after which stopped glucose-lowering drugs, and obtained my blood sugar again into the conventional, wholesome vary. Right here’s my story.

My First Well being Scare

My story is in the end a diabetes story, however there have been some bumps alongside the best way that I believe are value together with earlier than I soar into the diabetes.

My journey actually started in the summertime of 2020. After some tense life occasions, I developed a slightly fixed state of hysteria, which gave the impression to be stopping me from getting good sleep. Even whereas utilizing a sedative, I used to be up no less than 4-5 instances throughout the evening, each evening. I didn’t have a earlier historical past of psychological well being issues, so this was all new to me. The particularly difficult half was that as time handed, mendacity in mattress turned a set off for the anxiousness, which made the sleep even tougher to come back by. I felt like I used to be simply going via the motions to get via life.

Happily, after months of stubbornness and sucking it up the perfect I may, I lastly obtained to the underside of issues. I found it was sleep apnea, and began CPAP remedy. The outcome was actually life-changing, sleep returned to regular, and my anxiousness went away 100%.

Life was nice and I’d survived and dealt with my main mid-life well being disaster…. or so I believed! Little did I do know, however that aid would show to be short-lived as within the coming months I began to expertise a brand new set of signs.

I used to be at my highest weight but and my BMI was creeping in the direction of 30. Some studying this may scoff and suppose “30 is nothing, I’m effectively above that,” however everybody’s physique is a little bit totally different and apparently 30 was my private breaking level.

My fasting blood sugar was over 100 mg/dL, and my physician stated one thing about pre-diabetes, however she didn’t sound too involved about it.

The Signs

I used to be once more experiencing sleeplessness. Now I used to be discovering that as an alternative of sleep apnea waking me up throughout the evening, my bladder was positive filling up and I used to be getting as much as pee a number of instances an evening. Additionally, I used to be fairly thirsty when this may occur. I did discover it was nights that I’d eat pizza or pasta for dinner that have been the worst. Some mixture of stubbornness and maybe denial stored me from taking this too significantly, so I simply stored on with issues. Apart from, this was March 2021 and also you didn’t dare go right into a medical clinic until you have been in your covid deathbed. Certainly, this was no large deal, and getting checked out may wait.

Nonetheless, I sensed one thing was flawed and I diminished the quantity of pizza and pasta I used to be consuming for dinner (perhaps twice per week as an alternative of 5 nights per week), consuming beans with rice and veggies for dinner as an alternative. In hindsight, not nice, however a minor enchancment.

The subsequent main symptom arrived in April: blurry imaginative and prescient. At first, I wasn’t frightened. I’d gotten LASIK eye surgical procedure completed 12 years earlier, and this modification appeared like a light return of my nearsightedness. I used to be additionally in my mid-40s, which I’m informed is a time the place focusing turns into tougher and your imaginative and prescient modifications.

Then it obtained actually dangerous: I used to be on a visit to Florida after I couldn’t learn a menu board that was 8 ft in entrance of me. I needed to resort to taking an image of it with my telephone after which that image to learn the menu. One thing was majorly flawed!

After I obtained again from Florida (after some actual nerve-wracking and sure harmful driving), I went in to get my imaginative and prescient checked and acquired a -2.0 diopters prescription. The optometrist was shocked that I had let my imaginative and prescient get that dangerous earlier than getting glasses and made a remark about diabetes, however was additionally of the impression that my imaginative and prescient would change all through the day as my blood sugar modified. That clearly wasn’t occurring to me (seems it’s extra sophisticated than that).

The final main symptom was that I had been losing a few pounds at a fairly respectable clip (5-10 kilos a month). Clearly, this will need to have been on account of slicing again on pizza and pasta, proper? Curiously, previous makes an attempt at consuming higher had by no means been fairly this efficient, however why query such nice progress while you’re on a roll! At this level, it was late April and the earliest I may get in for a check-up was mid-June, so why not experience out one other month of weight reduction and see how nice my labs come again then?

My Analysis

A bit over per week earlier than the appointment I began researching diabetes on-line, since I used to be beginning to marvel about what my physician and optometrist had stated. However certainly that takes years to develop, proper?

Clearly, my “weight loss plan” was working since I had now misplaced 25 kilos this yr and weighed lower than I did in my 30s. Who knew maintaining a healthy diet was really easy!

After a little bit mild studying, I shortly realized how flawed I used to be, that every thing that had occurred in the previous few months was defined completely by diabetes, and that the load loss might need been diabetes slightly than my new weight loss plan. This was exhausting to course of.

I picked up a blood sugar meter, and on a Friday evening fumbled with the factor sufficient to determine the best way to get a studying. I used to be shocked when the meter learn 567 mg/dL. That may’t probably be proper! My girlfriend tried the meter and her outcome got here in at 77 mg/dL. I examined mine once more and this time it registered 596 mg/dL!

At this level, it was 11 PM on a Friday evening, and my most secure plan of action would have been to go to the ER, however I figured if excessive blood sugar hadn’t killed me within the final 3-4 months, it in all probability wasn’t going to kill me that weekend. I made a decision to learn extra about diabetes, give myself a few days to get my wits about me, and go into pressing care on Monday. I additionally continued to check my blood sugar and it appeared to remain within the 300 to 450 mg/dL vary that weekend, no matter what I ate or whether or not I used to be consuming.

At pressing care my A1c got here in at 13.7%, and my fasting blood sugar was 449 mg/dL. Primarily based on my historical past, I used to be extra prone to have kind 2 diabetes (and extra testing would later affirm that). I used to be prescribed metformin, and suggested to take insulin, recommendation that I wasn’t able to take.

How I Crushed Type 2 Diabetes in Solely Weeks and Fully Modified My Outlook on Life

Rey stored monitor of his blood sugar measurements from the second he started testing, earlier than he was recognized with diabetes. You’ll be able to see his girlfriend’s wholesome studying, 77 mg/dL, on the primary day.

A New Weight loss program

I now understood that the explanation I had misplaced a lot weight so shortly was my uncontrolled diabetes, no less than 3 months of it!

I instantly lower most high-carb meals out of my weight loss plan and subsisted largely on a weight loss plan of full-fat cottage cheese, full-fat plain Greek yogurt, exhausting cheese, nuts, avocadoes, and canned beans with olive oil. I additionally stored some fruit and berries in my weight loss plan initially. All through the day I ate random mixtures of those meals. I didn’t actually put together them or fancy them up in any respect with cooking (apart from heating the beans within the microwave in order that they’d be heat).

I knew I had screwed issues up, and if there was going to be any hope of reversing the harm I feared I had completed to my physique I wanted to focus. Perhaps I’d have the ability to return to consuming pizza, pasta, and all these scrumptious carb-filled meals that I beloved sometime, however it was clear now wasn’t the time for that.

I’d definitely thrown within the towel on diets loads of instances earlier than and gone again to consuming like crap, however this time it felt like there was a gun held to my head, and quitting wasn’t an choice. Maybe I’m being overly dramatic about this, and maybe it wasn’t the healthiest outlook, however it’s how I noticed issues and it obtained me via the primary weeks the place I used to be at my highest degree of motivation.

I wasn’t utilizing a specific weight loss plan system I had discovered on the web or in a e-book, it was simply me making an attempt to consider all of the meals (as a vegetarian) that I usually ate that have been decrease on the glycemic index, and sticking to these. Frustratingly, there gave the impression to be numerous disagreement on-line with reference to what the “greatest” weight loss plan was for a diabetic, however I’ll come again to that later.

The Proper Drugs

With this weight loss plan and metformin, my blood sugar nonetheless ranged from about 250 to 400 mg/dL that first week. My blood sugar actually wanted to come back down because the longer it remained elevated, the higher my danger for diabetes-related issues. Clearly, per week of my new weight loss plan and metformin wasn’t sufficient, and I used to be extra open to exploring what else could possibly be completed.

After I noticed my main physician after that week, she needed to place me on insulin too, with the intention to stabilize my blood sugar. Though I knew that insulin would have quickly introduced my blood sugar right down to regular ranges, utilizing it will have made it troublesome for me to gauge if my dietary modifications have been getting the job completed.

By way of my analysis, I had turn out to be satisfied that SGLT2 inhibitors have been the one class of medication that made any sense for an individual with new uncontrolled kind 2 diabetes to take (along with metformin). Usually in uncontrolled diabetes, your kidneys excrete sugar to your urine as a method of protecting your blood sugar from getting dangerously excessive, however that impact doesn’t actually kick in till your blood sugar ranges are method up there. With an SGLT2 inhibitor, your kidneys are simply doing that on a regular basis, protecting your blood sugar down within the course of. The actual fantastic thing about that is as an alternative of insulin, which causes your physique to retailer that extra sugar (solely delaying the issue), when you pee out the surplus sugar, it’s gone eternally.

I requested my physician for a referral to an endocrinologist and a prescription for an SGLT2 inhibitor as an alternative. She didn’t have a lot expertise with SGLT2s and began speaking about different medicine, however she may see I had a pile of notes with me on totally different drug courses, the analysis I had completed on them. I believe she additionally realized that though she was the one to write down the prescription, that I used to be able to argue my case.

As quickly as I began taking the SGLT2 inhibitor my blood sugar got here down nearly instantly.

On Farxiga, inside days my blood sugar dropped to the 100 to 150 mg/dL vary. I needed to pee a little bit extra at first too, which urged the drug was doing precisely what it was purported to. After just a few days, I discovered I wasn’t peeing any greater than regular, which was in all probability on account of my pretty low-carb weight loss plan.

[Editor’s note: Rey had an incredibly positive experience with SGLT2 inhibitors, but they are not for everyone, and do carry side effects and risks, especially when combined with low-carbohydrate diets. Please speak to your doctor about changing your medication.]

This was a fantastic enchancment over the place I used to be earlier than, however like each newly-minted diabetic I had goals of reversing my diabetes and getting my blood sugar again to “regular.” I clearly wasn’t there but and simply since you need one thing doesn’t imply it’s doable or reasonable, however I used to be holding onto that dream.

Remission is a really controversial subject. Most ADA and official-looking literature I discovered stated that diabetes was a progressive illness. As time passes, extra medicine are required to take care of the identical diploma of management, and a few fairly terrible issues happen because it will get worse and worse. That was a slightly miserable outlook. If all of it falls aside in the long run, why not simply return to having fun with all these carb-rich meals that I really like and luxuriate in no matter time I’ve obtained left? Happily, I didn’t fall into that lure, however I’ve to think about many do.

Intermittent Fasting

I used to be conscious of web docs on the market on the fringes saying kind 2 diabetes might be reversed and folks can handle via weight loss plan alone, with out medicine. Are they promoting false hope, just like new-age healers promoting power crystals to treatment most cancers? Most of them are speaking about low-carb and “keto,” which I’d beforehand assumed to be simply one other random fad weight loss plan. “They’re clearly quacks,” I believed. I figured that American Diabetes Affiliation was most definitely appropriate about diabetes being progressive, simply giving me the chilly exhausting reality. However only for the sake of argument, I made a decision to listen to the quacks out first.

Of the docs on Youtube, the primary to essentially suck me in was Dr. Jason Fung, a Canadian nephrologist. He had a really intuitive mannequin for explaining kind 2 diabetes, and used analysis on treating the situation with gastric bypass surgical procedure (which has been extremely profitable) as a place to begin. He urged a low-carb weight loss plan mixed with fasting in numerous types. Hey, I’m already doing the low-carb factor and it appears to be serving to. Perhaps fasting could be the subsequent nudge I wanted.

I began with 3 set meals a day (consuming between 7:30 AM and seven:30 PM, after which fasting from 7:30 PM till 7:30 AM the subsequent morning). Across the time I began Farxiga, I moved into the subsequent part of fasting, which was to skip breakfast after which eat solely lunch and dinner (eat at 12 PM after which 8 PM). To my shock, I not felt starvation after I wasn’t consuming. I now know that’s a standard profit to the keto weight loss plan, but when somebody had tried to inform me about {that a} yr earlier, I’d have thought they have been loopy. Additionally, I didn’t actually know I used to be doing keto. I used to be simply doing a tighter model of the weight loss plan I’d defined earlier, with much less fruit and no beans.

I accomplished my first full-day quick the weekend after beginning Farxiga. I didn’t eat something in any respect beginning Friday after dinner till round 1 PM on Sunday, for a 40+ hour quick. Once more, Farxiga had gotten my blood sugar right down to beneath 150 mg/dL regularly, however this was the kick that lastly obtained me again beneath 100 mg/dL. All through Friday it was testing 130 to 150 mg/dL, Saturday morning I used to be at 144 mg/dL, however as Saturday dragged on and my quick continued I began getting a number of readings beneath 100 mg/dL. My Sunday morning fasting outcome was 96 mg/dL and, it obtained as little as 79 mg/dL on Sunday afternoon earlier than I lastly broke my quick. To my shock, breaking my quick solely bumped me to 119 mg/dL and 5 hours later my blood sugar was again right down to 82 mg/dL. Seeing this progress felt actually superb and it was solely 16 days after discovering out I had diabetes!


How I Crushed Type 2 Diabetes in Solely Weeks and Fully Modified My Outlook on Life

Rey’s blood sugars improved quickly and remarkably with the best mixture of weight loss plan and medicine.

After all, you don’t eat your technique to diabetes in two weeks and also you don’t undo your diabetes in two weeks both. I used to be taking 2,000 mg of metformin a day in addition to the SGLT2 inhibitor. The week after my large quick, my fasting blood sugar readings would return over 100 mg/dL, however I stored plugging away, solely consuming two bigger meals a day throughout a slim set of consuming hours. I additionally examined the high-carb waters with a 6-inch Subway sandwich – it spiked my blood sugar to 190 mg/dL, which is way larger than a non-diabetic would probably hit from that meal. That helped knock me again down a peg and remind me that I nonetheless had diabetes, in any case.

The subsequent weekend I observed that my blood sugar numbers have been beginning to come right down to beneath 100 mg/dL with out prolonged fasting. I additionally observed that meals that beforehand spiked my blood sugar a fantastic deal have been now spiking it a lot much less. On June 28th (day 24 of understanding I had diabetes and 13 days after beginning my SGLT2) I made a decision to cease taking Farxiga and see what impact it will have. This was not a accountable resolution, as you need to all the time seek the advice of along with your physician earlier than discontinuing remedy, however with my improved blood sugar ranges, I questioned if Farxiga was nonetheless doing something for me. It turned out my guess was appropriate. There was no vital change in fasting or post-meal blood sugar readings within the days that adopted, and my kind 2 diabetes was now well-controlled by way of simply weight loss plan and metformin!

A few week later I began carrying a Freestyle Libre 2 to get a broader image of my blood sugar developments, and for comfort. My readings have been nonetheless within the 80-90 mg/dL vary all through the day, with small bumps up over 100 mg/dL after a meal. After I lastly was due for my appointment with an endocrinologist to debate my diabetes remedy, the texture of the go to may greatest be summed up as “why are you right here?” My knowledge confirmed that my common blood sugar within the earlier 10 days had been 95 mg/dL, which might extrapolate to a 4.9% A1C (in comparison with the 13.7% outcome when first examined). That is, after all, solely an estimate. And my blood sugar had solely been effectively managed for 2-3 weeks at this level.

Blood sugar wasn’t the one enchancment both over final yr’s numbers: complete ldl cholesterol dropped from 238 mg/dL to 172 mg/dL, with HDL (“good ldl cholesterol”) pretty regular from 64 to 62 mg/dL. LDL (calculated) dropped from 141 to 90 mg/dL. Triglycerides dropped from 165 to 102 mg/dL. The endocrinologist agreed that I not wanted Farxiga and indicated there actually wasn’t a motive for me to see her once more, however that I used to be free to arrange one other appointment if issues modified.

My Greatest Path Ahead

Since then, I’ve completed extra studying on the keto weight loss plan and really feel that’s my greatest path ahead to proceed to take care of my well being, each by way of diabetes and past. I’ve improved sufficient that I not put on a CGM or carry out finger sticks to test blood sugar regularly, solely checking perhaps as soon as per week “simply to make certain.” Though I’ve examined out consuming a few of my outdated high-carb favorites and been impressed by how a lot much less they spike my blood sugar now, I’m not thinking about consuming them regularly, which is shocking to me. I’ve additionally discovered I can sleep via the evening simply advantageous with out my CPAP machine because of the 35 kilos of weight I’ve misplaced from my peak of 215 lbs. The sleep apnea isn’t fully gone, so I nonetheless put on the masks most nights, however it seems to be dialed again from extreme to gentle.

It’s a really bizarre feeling: after I first discovered I had diabetes I needed nothing greater than to proceed consuming the meals I beloved and located consolation in. I felt like one thing had been stolen from me and feared that my physique was completely damaged. Why ought to different folks have the ability to eat what they need to, and I can’t? It felt very unfair and I actually needed there to be a drug or a remedy that might let me eat how I needed to. Now that I’ve immersed myself in a greater understanding of simply how dangerous these meals have been for me, I view issues very in a different way.

I share my story to not lord my outcomes over you if you happen to’ve been much less profitable along with your diabetes. I obtained actually fortunate, discovering good dietary recommendation shortly after my analysis. Sadly, a lot of the official steering on the market appears positive to fail. I used to be additionally fortunate with my uncontrolled diabetes “serving to” with the primary 25-30 kilos of weight reduction.

I not have aches and pains after I stand up away from bed or should roll a sure technique to keep away from them, my reminiscence has improved fairly a bit and I’m not struggling to recall issues I used to be simply informed, as I did with excessive blood sugar ranges. I’ve a lot extra power and stamina slightly than feeling torpid or struggling to finish bodily actions. It’s like I’m in my 20s over again (apart from a little bit grey hair)! The draw back is I now know if I am going again to a way of life of having fun with carbohydrate-rich meals, issues will go poorly for me, however so long as I don’t, I get to get pleasure from life a lot greater than I had earlier than. And there are many scrumptious meals that aren’t full of carbs that I’m free to get pleasure from.

I believe diabetes has been a internet optimistic for me, as unusual as that sounds. The me of at present could be very totally different than the me of a yr in the past.

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