Practitioners

Success Story: Jason proves type 2 diabetes can be reversed – even after 20 years

Jason was a busy professional, commuting in and out of London for decades. His high pressured job, lack of sleep due to an early morning train and the stress that came with it all took its toll.

Jason came to us because he wanted to find out whether he could leave diabetes – and the medication – in the past, even though he’d been living with type 2 diabetes for 2 decades.

Find out how he did just that!

jason progress before and after

” Having been a type 2 diabetic for nearly 20 years I have learnt more in 4 months from Natalie than from the NHS in the
last 20 years. “ – Jason

Get curious… Jason did

20 years ago, Jason was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, given medication and sent on his way. There was no discussion of diet and lifestyle, or that Jason could have a chance of reversing the diagnosis. 

 

Back then type 2 diabetes was considered a progressive condition – once you had it you’d always have it and it will likely get worse.

*facepalm*

 

Thankfully, science has moved on since then and the conversations around how we can proactively reduce our blood sugar through food and lifestyle choices are well-known. And this is what made Jason curious.

 

Due to the pressure of work and long days out of the house, Jason took early retirement so he could focus on keeping himself well. As part of this, Jason wanted to see if he could make enough adjustments to his diet and lifestyle that he could come off medication and the next two decades could be a different story. 

 

At this point, I should say that Jason is a trained chef and his love of good food was also wrapped up with knowledge of just how powerful it could be on our health. 

 

How it started

Jason began working with me (Natalie) with a very clear vision – to come off medication. In order to achieve his goals, we needed to work not only on his blood sugars but also on combatting the side effects of the medication he was taking.

 

Metformin is a commonly prescribed drug for type 2 diabetes. Although it can help lower blood sugars, it has some side effects including digestive upset, nausea, vomiting, and a metallic taste in the mouth. It can also deplete B12 levels which is a key nutrient for energy, DNA replication, brain health and nerve function.

 

Statins are another drug frequently prescribed when type 2 diabetes is diagnosed. It is also given for high cholesterol and heart disease (post-heart attack or heart operation). Although they work well to bring cholesterol levels down, in doing so they can also disrupt the body’s natural production of an important antioxidant, Co-enzyme-Q10, as well as the mineral Selenium and vital Vitamin D. 

 

Not only do the nutrients (mentioned above) help with optimal health and functioning of the body but they also help to balance blood sugars too. Side effects of Statins include muscle soreness and weakness, fatigue, sleep issues, dizziness and headaches. A recognised and listed side effect is also hyperglycaemia – aka high blood sugar which can lead to type 2 diabetes. This is likely due to the reduction of such key nutrients that help balance blood sugars.

 

Yes, you read that right. Can you see how it’s easy to end up in a vicious cycle?

 

Medication is not there to ‘cure’ type 2 diabetes but to help ‘manage’ it and slow its progression. 

What’s the best way to address type 2 diabetes with a chance of reversal? Diet and lifestyle changes! And that’s where we started Jason’s journey.

 

Supplement needs

After a blood test confirmed the low nutrients as suspected, I recommended some specific supplements to Jason while medication was still prescribed. The difference in how Jason felt and his energy levels was almost instant -and he saw much better nutrient levels in a future blood test.

 

Food focus

Type 2 diabetes occurs when there is too much sugar in the blood and this means the amount of sugar consumed needs to be reduced. Jason wasn’t consuming the ‘traditional’ sugary foods or drinks – his previous chef training meant home-cooked meals were a masterpiece.

However, sugar is hidden in many things and behind many healthy appearances.

 

Carbohydrates break down into sugar by the digestive system before being released into the bloodstream. Some carbohydrates break down quicker than others – like white bread, pasta, rice and oats – and spike blood sugars as a result. Other carbohydrates break down a little bit slower – brown and wild rice, quinoa, legumes, pulses – and depending on the person these may or may not cause a blood sugar issue.

 

For 4 weeks during our 3-month 1-1 programme, Jason tracked his blood sugars via a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) which enabled me to better support him in identifying the foods that were the biggest issue and what trends could be seen across the day as well. This made modifying meals easier as the decisions were data-led and improvements could be seen quickly.

 

To help Jason reach his goals, we also looked at the following as part of his action plan:

  • Balancing blood sugars with key nutrients from whole foods
  • Reducing inflammation with specific herbs, species and ingredients
  • Supporting the liver with specific vegetables at a daily dose
  • Helping heart health with nitric oxide and resveratrol-rich foods
  • Adding in more fibre to support the gut microbiome
  • Increasing muscle mass with at-home strength training
  • Improving insulin sensitivity with walks after meals

” Working with Natalie was a simple and rewarding experience. Natalie was easy to talk to and explained everything so it was easy to understand and gave reasoning to her approach. ” – Jason

The results

After 3 months, Jason was:

  • 6kg lighter
  • Sleeping better
  • Feeling more energised
  • Successful at reducing his diabetes from type 2 to pre-diabetes range (HbA1c from 50 to 42 mmol/L)

After another 7 months, Jason had:

  • Persevered and lost another 2kg in weight
  • Continued benefiting from better energy and sleep quality
  • Celebrated a normal blood sugar range on his latest blood test (HbA1c 39 mmol/L) !!!

 

After 20 years Jason has proved how type 2 diabetes can still be put into remission with diet and lifestyle changes. 

What’s next?

Jason’s GP has agreed to halve his medication as he continues to prove he can manage his blood sugars. He also had knee surgery to deal with a long-standing issue and is recovering well (helped by better blood sugars) and ready to get more active, walking with the dogs, lifting weights and getting back on the Pelaton!

Huge congratulations, Jason! Keep up the amazing effort. Next step, those medications as a thing of your past.

Want to reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes and
get results like Jason?

Type 2 diabetes is a condition that can be driven by food and lifestyle choices. The good news here is you can do something about it.
Are you ready?

Book a call with a nutritional therapist and get started on turning your health around today.