February 6, 2020

Turning around a diabetes diagnosis

So, I need to start this by saying it’s not usual behavior for me to (as my mother used to say) earwig in a gym changing room but....

A little while back I couldn’t help overhearing an older lady in tears to her friend, having just been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Her friend was consoling her with well-meaning but inaccurate things like “don’t worry, just drink diet versions of your usual favourites” and“there’s a great range of diabetic chocolate”.

That was it, I couldn’t hold back! “I’m sorry but I couldn’t help overhearing your conversation, I’m a Nutritionist and I really think I could help you....” Now the lady lives locally so my offer wasn’t completely altruistic. However, I also couldn’t believe the advice she hadn’t been given after being diagnosed. So I arranged for us to meet for coffee and asked her to keep a food diary in the meantime. (A consultation usually takes an hour and a half in a therapy room, but I could see this situation required a different approach.)

When we met I was able to advise that a few tweaks to her diet and lifestyle could make a huge difference. For example, adding nuts and seeds to the porridge she had been advised to eat for breakfast so that it would balance her blood sugar better and also add essential nutrients. Nuts are a great source of plant protein and seeds are a great source of healthy fats. She told me she drank lots of diet cola, which she then weaned herself off after learning from me that the body responds to ‘sweet’ whether it comes from sugar or sweeteners so just as bad a drinking full fat cola! There were other observations as well, but it wasn’t hard for her to follow.

A year later she is three stone lighter, full of energy and off most of the medication she had been prescribed. I’m sharing this to show how a few changes can really help your health and well-being. This lady is proof. She and I now have lots of conversations in the changing rooms but this time I’m in it from the beginning 🙂

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