Success Story – Man vs Diabetes

I’ve known this person for a long time really and here are some things about him you need to know about his diet and activity level…

  • He was always health conscious.
  • He ate per the guidelines he was provided i.e. high carb with lots of whole grains, low fat, low protein
  • He is and always was vegetarian (no meat, no seafood, no eggs, milk OK).
  • He had his blood lipids and blood sugar tested very frequently and monitored it closely.

Then this happened…

  • In 1990, at the age of 36,  he started feeling tired for no reason. Slowly but steadily the tiredness crept up on him and it became a daily occurrence. It affected his work life to a point that everyday after lunch he had to drive away from work and crash for about 2 hours in his car (in some random alley) before he started work post-lunch.
  • In 2002 his tiredness was termed as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and he was prescribed testosterone injections in order to balance out his hormones. When he learnt that the side effects of this was cancer he quit taking the injections. Though there was some improvement the syndrome continued to exist.
  • In 2002 he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. In spite of his following the ‘diabetes diet’ and walking regularly, in 2004 he was prescribed 1 diabetes medicine a day which was increased to 2 tablets by 2009.

I had heard about this a few times but didn’t know it was affecting his life to this extent. Mid 2010 I came to know that this was taking over his life and I thought it was time. I spoke to him and his wife and explained to them the perils of such an unhealthy life and how his life may end much earlier than it should if he continues to live like this. By Sept ’10, we agreed to change his diet. I designed a completely customized nutrition plan for him and put him on a real food, high fat, high veggie, no grain, moderate protein diet.

Just to keep this very real, this post will mostly be a compilation of email exchanges between me and him. Note: Anything that is red colored italicized and within parenthesis was added by me.

His first email after starting the diet…

Great and thank you…. today I started with your diet…. for dinner say a bowl of boiled veg with cheese… some curd… that is all… may take a cup of milk later…

What is Whey protein…

A couple of days later…

Today I am extremely tired… dont know why… just for your info…

Two more days later…

Today also I felt very tired… bought Whey Protein… had a scoop with cold milk.. tell me what amount of sugar it contains.. as am a diabetic…

Consuming only veg,nuts and curd does not excite my appetite… boring and bland.. any advise to make it tasty?????

Sleep is good… sleeping for more than 9hrs..may be due to tiredness???

A day later…

My blood glucose level as of today (with medication) has no change compared to before the no grain diet..  fasting 108 and PP 141…. FYI. But the tiredness persists.

My response…

Thats fine. It takes 2-3 weeks for the body to balance out and adapt to the change. That might explain the tiredness. Like I said my guess is that you need to eat more calories. Try that and see if you feel any better.

My advice would be to stick to the diet for 2-3 weeks atleast. There is generally a fall before the rise and this is due to the change in macro nutrient composition your body is dealing with.
A day later…
Today my fasting blood sugar has came down to 99 (PP 108) and random sugar at 2.30pm was 98 (PP 141).
Note I took 4 iddlies (indian rice cakes) last night.
My response…
I very strongly suggest that you do a grain free diet for at least 30 days. Your body is trying to balance things out and throw out all the unwanted toxins etc. Reintroducing rice (or wheat or any grain) will only make this task harder for your body.
His response to mine…
Will keep you posted on the progress…. actually day before I was so weak I could not even talk… and my legs were so weak I felt like I just recovered from Typhoid…
Considering his age, I had to make his transition more gradual.
I understand. A gradual change works better in some cases. Read this article below. It tells you how to gradually transition into eating clean. This should be very helpful.
https://hbfser.wordpress.com/2010/08/24/transition-to-clean-eating/
This was approximately 2 weeks into the diet. Following this, the frequency of check-ins/updates reduced as he had gotten a good handle on what to eat, when to eat and how to make delicious recipes. Then on the 18th December ’10 I receive an email from him…
After adopting a near no grain diet for the last 95 days, I am happy to say that my energy level is increased so much. Now a days I don’t crave for rest in the afternoon. I really want to thank you for this. Hope more protein and good fat will  make me more energetic.
Now my diet is as follows… Breakfast – one cup of raw vegetables with cheese toping, one cup of fruits, one cup of boiled veggies with beans and nuts… milk… may be 2 iddlies… then for lunch mostly 2 cups of raw veggies… fruit.. tea and evening 2 vadas (indian lentil doughnuts) and may be coffee… for dinner… boiled/fried veggies, milk, ‘cottage cheese curd rice’, etc., now a days I dont like rice, sambar etc., only iddly I like with podi or chutney…I will stick to this diet…   A BIG THANK YOU FOR YOUR GREAT HELP IN MANAGING MY ENERGY LEVELS AND HEALTH.
Obviously this was awesome news and I was stoked! My diet program helped this person cure chronic fatigue syndrome from which he had been suffering for over 20 years! Better still he seemed to enjoy the diet and did not fear the inclusion of some grain based items. Awesome stuff!
In another 20 days (9th Jan ’11) I receive another email titled ‘Glucose Level’…
Accidentally I skipped my sugar tablet on 5th and felt very worn out in the evening… so I tested my glucose level with a expectation that it could have jumped to 200+… but to my great surprise the random sugar level was amazingly 95… night also I skipped tablets and the fasting sugar on 6th is slightly higher … 126…6th also I skipped the tab in the morning and the random sugar in the evening was 97. Today morning the fasting sugar level was 121… and PP was also 121… quite surprising… just to share am mailing this… I will continue my diet without medication for a week and will watch the sugar level.As am dropping the medication after say 5 years, the body’s response is violent… am very tired and sleepy as if the sugar level is 300+…will keep you posted…

A day later…
Today my fasting sugar level was 133….. but the tiredness has gone and the Random Glucose was 130… so tonight I reduced my dinner by 50% and will test the fasting sugar tomorrow… 4th day… no medication and my glucose level is amazingly very much under control and the tiredness also gone…Even if the fasting glucose does not come down tomorrow, I will take my dinner by 7pm and go for a walk at 8pm and test it day after. I got the confidence I can get rid of the medication and control my blood glucose level by diet and exercises(only emphasis added by me)Thank you da… mavane (means ‘son’)

Am now reading your blog regularly and have subscribed to it also… only one advice… mind your language…

with all the love

appa (means ‘dad’)

It’s one thing to prescribe a diet for a client… it’s a whole different thing to put your dad’s life on the line. And yes, I did stop dropping the F-bomb in my blog posts after this email!

This is the latest from him…

Thanks and today the fasting level is still 127 …. but just now at 3.15pm I tested for Random .. it is only 105… my breakfast is one tumbler (cup) coffee, one bowl of fruits and 2 bowls of veggies and paneer and in the noon one tumbler of protein shake …

All day my glucose level is very much under control without medicine… today I will have my dinner at 7.30pm and go for a long walk and test it tomorrow…

Note that with medicine also the fasting glucose level was always between 110 to 125. So i wont say it is any higher now (without medication).

Sure these are not perfect numbers and he’s still a work in progress. But the man understands his body now and I’m confident we will figure out the rest! Words can’t express how proud I am of him!

And just so you understand the extent of awesomeness this is, let me summarize. About 4 months of eating right…

  • cured the chronic fatigue syndrome he was suffering from for the past 20 years!
  • helped him give up diabetes medication which has been controlling his life for the last 6 years!
  • helped improve his lipid profile – Triglycerides dropped significantly, HDL increased and LDL dropped minimally (still in work in progress)

Now your turn – Are your parents diabetic or obese or have high blood pressure or have cardiovascular complications? Are they following the ridiculous grain dominant ‘diabetes diet’ provided by their doctors and dietitians? Are they popping pills everyday to just stay alive?

Don’t you think its time to put an end to the madness? Don’t you think its time you, as their son/daughter, step up and help extend their lives? If this is not a priority I don’t know what is. Do it before its too late!

Real food rules!

Peace out.

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26 responses to “Success Story – Man vs Diabetes

  1. Sukanya January 25, 2011 at 6:38 am

    very very impressive!

  2. skp January 25, 2011 at 6:51 am

    Good narration of the experience of mine… no exaggeration… what this blog says is a fact… I am hopeful of making my pancreas work better and not becoming inactive by medicines… or addicted to the medicine… am really thankful to my son who made me to follow the rich diet and made me understand what we were eating was only for taste and not for health…

  3. Arun January 25, 2011 at 7:43 am

    AWESOME!!!

  4. Prabhu Jagannathan January 25, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    Am very proud of you man!! keep it up. 🙂

  5. Cupboard Love January 26, 2011 at 10:48 am

    Oh wow, that is amazing. And being Indian myself and knowing how stubborn Indian parents and dads especially can be, I’m especially amazed!

    In fact, I’ve been eating grains on my cheat days, but after reading that, I think I’m going to do the 30 days without any grains to help reset my system.

    • RG January 26, 2011 at 11:40 am

      Goodluck… I’d greatly appreciate it if you can let me know what changes you felt during/afetr the 30 days!

  6. Sri January 26, 2011 at 11:10 am

    Amazing progress right there!

    I cant even begin to tell you the ongoing drama between my husband and his parents over their diabetes and diet. We’ve tried tough love, books/awareness, gradual transitions – they work for a while and then fall off the wagon. Our biggest hurdles were – the fact that they think our suggestions are “new-agey” and they want to stick to what they know ie rice & curries and – no amount of blackmail of “dont you want to be around for your grandkids” seems to be working with them (for longer periods of time).

    We really have run out of options at this point so let me know if you can help with an indianized plan of somekind, if there is such a thing 🙂

    • RG January 26, 2011 at 11:41 am

      Common problem with most Indian parents.

      There is always an Indianized everything. Shoot me an email and we’ll talk more.

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  8. Rahul January 27, 2011 at 5:26 am

    Great work dude ! Keep it going.

  9. Rahul January 27, 2011 at 5:37 am

    Raj, the nature of exercise that your dad is doing seems to be limited to walking. Was there any strength training or other exercises involved ? Am asking since you normally stress a lot on that and it can be quite difficult for older people to start on strength training.

    • skp January 28, 2011 at 10:00 pm

      My minimum exercise is 45mins fast walk and 45mins breathing exercise and yoga.(This too in the last 8 years) No strength training or exercises… just for info… and also am not that old… hehe. the reasons am not doing strength exercise or other gym materials is due to laziness and i wasnt introduced to that and lack of info at that time and did not want to torture my body….

  10. Sundar January 27, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Super post Raj. very impressive.

  11. Contemplationist January 29, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    Great work, man.

    However, I feel that if he ate meat, his recovery would be much quicker and much better. Instead of all those beans and yogurt and cheese, a bunch of steaks and roast chicken would be much better. But yes, you’ve shown that its possible to do it while being vegetarian as well.

  12. Bubba29 February 4, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    very inspirational story. thank you for sharing. i hope you don’t mind but i linked to it from my blog. http://escapetheherdblog.blogspot.com/2011/02/another-convert-throws-away-rx-bottle.html

  13. GSL February 17, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    How sweet..am so happy to see such fitness goals/motivation/right information extend to our parents and what better joy than this success. Congrats Raj..you made him (and us) proud and healthy. I laughed at him last comment and agree with it too….I get your blogs now and still trying to keep up with all this information.

  14. Madhu March 19, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    Excellant post!
    I need to transition to the kind of diet you have precribed to your dad, in order to be an example to my dad.
    I am following your blog regualarly and have been successful in avoiding grains to some extent.But I have been including eggs in my everyday meal plan.
    Thank you so much for the detailed analysis and research on various aspects of diet.Your blog does motivate me to lead a healthier life.

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  16. Nigel Lindermann May 24, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    RG,

    Since this finding on eliminating diabetes could have far-reaching implications, are you intending to take it to the millions of diabetics in the world who are waiting for a permanent cure?Do you plan to get an authentication from the medical bodies?
    Is your dad showing the same positive symptoms even on a sustained basis? If yes you could be at the doorstep of a huge medical miracle!

    • RG May 26, 2011 at 9:44 pm

      Nigel – Thank you. And FYI a lot of folks like Robb Wolf, Mark Sisson, Dr. Davis, Dr. Eades have bee doing this for decades. Check them out.

      • Nigel Lindermann June 6, 2011 at 2:45 am

        Thanks RG for the feedback. I am also keen to know whether your dad has been able to keep diabetes away in a sustained manner like you indicated as also other parameters like blood pressure, heart health etc. It would help me then for recommending to some people close to me also.

  17. Kusum Rohra August 11, 2011 at 8:27 am

    Wow, this is really impressive, Kudos to you and your dad for his will power. Also Just like Nigel here asked has your father been able to maintain his new found freedom from diabetes till now?

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