Figuring out what ails me…

Friends and relations (and, let’s be honest, most people who want to connect with me in any way, shape or form… which, these days, is just Linkedin) will know that I kicked Type 2 Diabetes to the kerb last year through three months on a strict clean keto diet. I had my blood test done and had normal results for everything including liver function so I didn’t need to go on any medication.

Since that time, I have got a bit slapdash with the keto – I got sick of avocados, the cold weather made me crave potatoes and bread, and I had a desperate urge to eat chocolate on certain days of the month. I have noticed an immediate trackback in my health and now I suspect I may have a thyroid problem (going to check with doc tomorrow). There is swelling to my neck, I have a weird rash on my hands and wrists, and I have intense fatigue/sadness. Uncle Google tells me this isn’t just the perimenopause and is probably a thyroid/hormonal thing. It is times like this that I wish I were a trained doctor. Google is not the place to get your health diagnosis.

I have also been made nervous by the first of my annual diabetes tests – eyes at the end of the month and assessment/blood test when I organise it. So it is back to Keto for me. Wish me luck. At least ‘dry rest-of-my-life’ is going well.

Turning to Keto

A couple of months ago I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I won’t lie; it was huge blow. I read medical websites about the disease and discovered what a terrible effect it has on your life expectancy, what uncontrolled diabetes can do to your eyesight, your limbs and your organs. You literally risk life and limb if you ignore your diabetes diagnosis and continue with your previous lifestyle.

I have never felt so obsessed with sorting out my health. I had gone to the doctor because I felt generally unwell. I wasn’t sleeping well. I got out of breath doing basic things such as putting my trousers on. I was tired all the time.

He sent me for blood tests. They came back with elevated sugar readings. He then sent me for a second blood test to confirm his diagnosis and it came back high again. I have type 2 diabetes. He wanted me to have some tablets to begin with, but I insisted he give me three months to try to change my lifestyle instead. That’s the thing with type 2 diabetes; you can make a difference through your own behaviour. Eat well, exercise, and stop stress-inducing actions. I was determined to do this. I had read the websites before my second phone appointment with the doc and they suggested a low carb, Mediterranean diet so I told him I would do that one and put it into remission over the three months.

I then had a conversation that changed my life. I called my friend Marion who is type 1 diabetic. That’s the one that can’t be changed by lifestyle because your body does not produce insulin and requires injections. You will always need insulin, no matter how well you eat or how much you exercise. However, Marion told me something utterly fascinating – she suggested the Keto diet, saying that her blood sugars had levelled out and so it meant she could manage her diabetes much better.

Then my incredible pal, Alex, who had been in on the conversation kindly sent me a mind-blowingly brilliant book called The Keto Diet by Josh Axe. I practically read it in one sitting. In this book I learned that there is a good keto and bad keto. You can put yourself into ketosis (the process whereby your body learns to use fat as fuel instead of sugar from carbs) by eating healthy fats such as avocados and coconut oil or you can put yourself into ketosis by eating unhealthy fats such as butter and processed meats. The distinction is that the first will give you energy, good skin, great health while the latter will not get rid of fatigue or breakouts or any of the other things that you don’t want.

So, to be clear, I am not following this diet to lose weight, but to reverse my diabetes. The food is really good and I can eat like this for the rest of my life. Below are some photos of what I’ve been eating. I will put up some recipes/thoughts/results from this new way of eating for me on this blog as I would like to record my journey here. I’m at the start, but I can see advantages already. I am sleeping well. The fatigue has gone. My clothes fit looser (a benefit in this heat!).

Here are a couple of things I eat now:

Crab, avocado, lime and seasoning in lettuce wraps.
Bone broth with steak strips, mushrooms and lettuce.