‘My symptoms have disappeared and I’m medication free all thanks to a little education and the GI Revolution’ – Karen
‘It was about 18 months ago, at the age of 28, when I was diagnosed with PCOS. I’d been overweight for most of my 20s and had a history of irregular periods (not to mention a family history of diabetes). It had been 6 months since my last period and I knew I wasn’t pregnant, so I had my doctor run some tests. At my next appointment she broke the news. It was polycystic ovary syndrome in combination with insulin resistance. It was a real wake up call. My father is a type 2 diabetic and I was heading in the same direction. The doctor’s suggestion was a drug called metformin, to help with my weight and regulate my periods, the same medication my father was on for diabetes. To me the concept of being on daily medication for the rest of my life, just to combat my symptoms, was unacceptable. So, I began to educate myself on my condition and other alternatives to medication. I learned about the concept of ‘low GI’ and the importance of regular exercise in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Then I set about changing my life, by incorporating both and surprisingly it wasn’t that hard to do. I was already eating mostly the right foods just in the wrong way and the GI diet taught me to balance it out. Now, three weeks away from my 30th birthday, I can honestly say I am the happiest I’ve ever been. I exercise most days, eat a healthy low GI diet and have a normal regular menstrual cycle. Not to mention I’ve lost over 13 kilos!’
‘Diabetes is not a diet it is just a health change’ – Louisa
‘I was only diagnosed with type 2 diabetes on the 14th Febuary this year, after bringing up six healthy children, and always having lots of fruit and vegetables. It was a shock. I soon realised I could still enjoy a great variety of foods, and I bought an exercise bike which became part of my daily routine. I read anything and everything I could about diabetes, shopping took forever as I was determined to find good food that I could make. After 6 weeks I visited my doctor, and he was very pleased, but not as much as I was – I lost 9 kilos! Diabetes is not a diet it is just a health change. I hope to see many more foods with the blue GI Symbol on them.’
‘Thank god for the Glycemic Index. I think it is a major component of my successful diabetic management’ – Toma
‘In February 2005 I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and my labs were so bad my doctors and nurses at the Seattle VA hospital told me if I was close to death. My A1c was 20.5, triglycerides were 1517, I was starting into kidney failure, necrosis had already set in, potassium was severely depleted, I was badly dehydrated, my eyes were blurry from sugar in my lenses and a few other things. I was diagnosed by a doctor in Canada but since I was not a Canadian resident I did not have the out of pocket funds to pay for treatment and the doctor told me not to drive to Seattle. When I arrived at the Seattle VA Emergency room after a 24-hour bus trip my blood glucose was 570 mg/dl. I suspect they had been higher since I was not maintaining my normal high sugar diet while on the bus which normally included lots of Dr. Pepper, candy and other high glycemic carbs. During the first 4 days in intensive care I was given insulin injections, 15 liters of potassium IV drip and constant monitoring and tests. I was given a glucose meter and taught to use it and was taught to self inject insulin. After the first four days they decided not to put me on insulin but to try oral medication with metformin. I saw several other patients at the VA who had recent amputations because of diabetic neuropathy. I became very motivated to learn about type-2 diabetes and how to control my blood glucose.
The dietitians and diabetic trainers started me on the standard ADA recommendations for diet. There was improvement but I was unable to get my glucose under the 200–250 mg/dl range. Canada Immigration would not allow me to return to my wife in Canada so I went to Denver where I met a nurse who started me on a different track and an internet search. The two most important things I found were software to help me manage my diet and the GI Database and the low GI concept as outlined on www.glycemicindex.com.
Through a combination of very targeted meal planning using the software, greatly improved nutrient goals and low GI food selection using the Glycemic Index Database I started seeing dramatic results. Where I was having trouble getting below 250 mg/dl with the ADA methods and heavy medications, I soon started seeing glucose readings between 80–100 mg/dl, and a dramatic improvement of my A1c. In May of 2005 my A1c was down to 5.2. I was taken off all medications and have been off medications since.My diet strategy includes a PCF ratio of 20% lean protein (mostly skinless chicken breast, fish, nuts and legumes), 50% low glycemic carbohydrates and 30% good fats such polyunsaturated fats, monounsaturated fats, and a good supply of omega 3 EPA/DHA. In addition I also include stevia as a sweetener, ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon, buckwheat and other foods that help control blood glucose. Thank god for the Glycemic Index. I think the Glycemic Index is a major component of my successful diabetic management.
I acquired a Canadian doctor in July of 2006. He said, based on my labs and intake physical there was no indication I was diabetic. He questioned whether my original diagnosis was correct. I think after two weeks in the hospital they probably got it right. I know from experience, if I go off my diet with things I know I should not be eating I do see a quick rise on my glucose meter. I think when we find something that works very well we have a responsibility to share what we learn with others. I have taken what I have learned over the past two years and put it on a website in hopes of helping other diabetics and you can read it HERE. Understanding low glycemic index carbs is an important part of what is on my site.
We’ll send you a free copy of The Low GI Diet Cookbook or The Low GI Vegetarian Cookbook if your story is published.