My patient Jim (not his real name) is a retired government worker. He has had diabetes since his mid-40s.
He was managed with the usual drugs – insulin, metformin, and others. 12 years later, at age 56, he was suddenly hospitalized with diabetic ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis is a life-threatening emergency. It is most commonly associated with type 1 diabetes, but it does happen to type 2 diabetics like Jim.
Jim had been taking insulin glargine about 16 units nightly.
Shortly after his ketoacidosis, he switched to seeing a lifestyle medicine doctor. Me. What is lifestyle medicine? Basically any doctor who (1) realizes that diet can be more impactful to our health than drugs, and (2) offers dietary advice that is grounded by the vast majority of nutritional science – to recommend a whole foods plant-based diet.
There are surprisingly few of us out there.
What did I do? Not much. I told him the 1 thing he needed to know.
I told him that his diabetes is reversible if he switch to a whole foods, plant-based diet.
A week later he reported:
I have been on plant based diet since my last visit and have lost 5 LBS in the last week. “How not to die ” has been a great resource and I plan to be aggressive on my diet and exercise – Jim
After 6 months of this, he has
- cut his insulin in half
- reduced his hemoglobin A1c from 6.5 to 5.7
- completely cured his painful diabetic neuropathy
- stopped his anxiety medicines
- had no further episodes of candida esophagitis
I hope to soon stop his (expensive!) insulin, his (expensive!) Janumet, and his (expensive!) endocrinology visits.