A “grassroots revolution” is changing the medical approach to dealing with diabetes in the United Kingdom.
Fed up with the failure of the traditional high-carbohydrate, low-fat advice, patients are turning toward low-carbohydrate diets with amazing results. Some have even reversed their type-2 diabetes, much to the surprise of their doctors.
One surprised doctor is now on a crusade to get other docs to wake up…
In his first 25 years as a general practitioner, David Unwin had never seen diabetes go into remission.
In fact, Dr. Unwin didn’t think there was much that could be done about the high blood sugar disease. It seemed largely to be a matter of prescribing a drug and then, over time as the condition deteriorated, adding more drugs or increasing dosages.
Then, one day in 2013, his outlook changed.
She Reversed Diabetes—Naturally!
Dr. Unwin met a patient who’d lost so much weight he didn’t recognize her, and blood tests showed she’d reversed her type-2 diabetes. And all of this despite coming off her diabetes medication!
How had she achieved this? Upon learning her low-carbohydrate diet secret, Dr. Unwin tested the approach on his other diabetic patients.
Over the last seven years, 46 percent – 73 patients – have put their type-2 diabetes into drug-free remission. As for the other patients who were still suffering from diabetes, all of them experienced some improvement in their blood sugar levels. And for those with prediabetes, 93 percent returned their blood sugar to normal.
Dr. Unwin went on to design an e-learning course for medical professionals which has been widely taken up by his colleagues, one of whom is Dr. Peter Bagshaw.
Doctors Frustrated by Conventional Approach
“I was frustrated at the standard National Health Service diet advice,” explains Dr. Bagshaw. “And diabetes medication didn’t seem to work. My patients never really lost weight and needed increasing doses of medication. So, the success and simplicity of low-carb has been a revelation.”
Dr. David Oliver is another who reported, “Helping our patients adopt a low-carb lifestyle in the last year has helped us love the job again. It’s so joyful to have a patient coming back with a smile on their face and know your advice has had a positive impact on their health.”
And it’s not just doctors who are seeing the light. A diabetes patient told practice nurse Catherine Cassell about her success lowering her blood sugar with a low-carb diet. Ms. Cassell was so impressed she organized a conference, spreading the news to 200 other primary care workers.
“I was upset to think I hadn’t known about low carb as a treatment before,” says Ms. Cassell, “but filled with hope I can help patients change their lives now.”
Patients don’t just shed the pounds and become diabetes-free. They typically enjoy lower blood pressure, improvements in liver function, and have significant reductions in blood fats – cholesterol and triglycerides.
Studies Prove it Works
Many studies support the positive impact of a low-carb diet on patients with type-2 diabetes
A review of nine studies in 2017 involving 724 patients concluded that the diet improves blood sugar and blood fat levels.
Two years later, a larger review of 36 trials with a total of 2,161 participants agreed, finding that a low-carb diet lowered blood sugar better than a low-fat diet.
Even the American Diabetes Association has altered its previous position to acknowledge that “reducing overall carbohydrate intake with a low or very low carbohydrate eating pattern is a viable option.”
Steve Cox, M.D., a professor of general practice, also became a convert saying, “I’d seen type-2 diabetes patients who had improved their health after going low carb. They’d researched it themselves, lost weight and come to see me to reduce their medication.”
He felt a sense of excitement after listening to a lecture by Dr. Unwin. “Suddenly my own experience with a handful of patients fell into place. The science behind it was also sound.”
Going Low Carb is Easy
Patients love the fact that they don’t go hungry when eating a low-carb diet and also report a greater enjoyment of what they eat. Plus, they often notice a reduction in their appetite, are able to maintain the diet – seeing it more as a lifestyle choice – and take pride in being in control of their health.
A low-carb diet works for people of all ages. One of Dr. Unwin’s patients was able to lose 56 pounds and come off insulin at the age of 81. Another lost 20 pounds and put her diabetes into remission, at the age of 91.
The diet typically involves eating less than 130 grams (4½ ounces) of carbohydrates a day. The bulk of the diet is made up of meat, fish, vegetables, full-fat dairy, eggs and berries. Sugar and starchy carbohydrates are the main foods to avoid or severely limit.
To help stick to the diet Dr. Unwin created special charts which make it easy to see what foods to avoid by showing how each food item affects blood glucose compared with a teaspoon of sugar.
For instance, a small bowl of rice is the equivalent of ten teaspoons of sugar. You can see the charts for yourself at https://phcuk.org/sugar/
A new, easier to use blood glucose monitor is also available. The FreeStyle Libre monitor automatically measures and continuously stores glucose readings day and night through a sensor worn on the upper arm – no needle required. Details at https://www.freestyle.abbott/us-en/home.html. Green Valley has no affiliation with FreeStyle.
In addition, Dr. Unwin teamed up with top chef Giancarlo Caldesi and his wife Katie, a food writer, to publish The Reverse Your Diabetes Cookbook.