Elena Versus Standard Medicine: An Adult Onset Diabetes Case History

AODM-blue-circleElena managed to substantially improve her AODM by finding a good diet. In twelve years the medical profession accomplished little beyond making her miserable.

This is the first in a series of true stories of people overcoming not only their diseases but also misinformation from healthcare providers.

Elena was in her mid 40’s when she was diagnosed with Adult Onset Diabetes (AODM). She was already familiar with the disease as her father had AODM as well, and her mother Type, 1 Diabetes.

The doctors at first prescribed metformin, which is standard treatment. There wasn’t any dietary advice, which is strange, because diet is a major factor in control of AODM. Doctors would usually refer her to nutrition advisers. Nutrition advisers would typically advise 50-70 grams of carbohydrates at every meal. This is a lot of carbs. Elena knew there was something wrong with this advice.

In 2005 Elena tried the Atkins diet. At first this worked. Sugar was controlled. However after a few months, glucose control was lost. Plus, she found the diet difficult to stay on as well as inconvenient.

Later in 2009, long acting insulin was prescribed. This helped, but did not completely work. Then in 2010, additional short acting insulin was added. Not only did this fail, it seemed to Elena that it was quite dangerous as well, and with this drug, her glucose would sometimes plunge to very low levels. The doctors also put her on statins due to elevated cholesterol. Elena had a lot of trouble with these, and pushed back hard. The medical response was to try different types of the drug, even though she experienced muscle pain and weakness while on three different statins. She finally stopped taking a statin drug and recovered from the muscle weakness and pain that she was experiencing.

Elena Takes Control.

After this, Elena lost faith in the medical system. She would see doctor after doctor and be given pill after pill. She felt she was on a medical merry-go-round, that the doctors just wrote prescriptions, and weren’t treating the disease.

In May of 2015, she read Whole30, by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig, who are nutritionists. The book has a very simple logic: Certain foods may be hurting you. Cut them out for 30 days and see. They then follow with a list of foods they believe are likely to cause problems. Top of the list is sugar, followed by alcohol and grains, including whole grain. They also suggest passing on nuts, beans, cheese, milk, and yogurt. Elena decided to try this one.

Things started to happen.

First, her sugar control improved tremendously. She cut the short acting insulin completely out, and cut the dose of the long acting insulin in half. But there’s more. Various other problems, likely inflammation driven ones, disappeared. Joint pains went away. She felt more energetic, in her words “I am at the best place I have been in 12 years, and this diet is sustainable, unlike Atkins.”

Elena does not find it hard to stay on the diet, but it’s not particularly convenient. The foods she needs aren’t the usual restaurant fair, and she has to prepare them and take them to work. But she has worked out a system for this too.

The Medical System’s View of the Progress.

Elena’s new diet plan was entirely her own. She did not consult doctors first. One would suppose that the doctor’s would be keenly interested in the substantial progress she made after a decade of floundering and would want to know all about this amazing result. The following transpired.

  1. The doctors had never heard of the Whole30 plan.
  2. One doctor suggested she cut out egg yolks. Why this? Elena was sure this advice was known to be bogus, but went along with it. For now.
  3. Another doctor suggested a “plant based” diet. Veganism apparently now has a code name. How do doctors come up with this? Here Elena has made huge progress in a disease they couldn’t put a dent in, largely by finding a good diabetic diet and sticking with it. And a doctor not only wants to change the diet, the doctor wants to increase the carb content too.
  4. And endless urging to get back on statins.

What’s Reassuring About this Story?

Elena was able to figure out that the standard treatment for diabetes was very flawed. She was persistent enough to discover and implement lifestyle changes that worked, and stubbornly defended them in spite of the continuing misguided medical advice.

What’s Scary About This Story?

Most people aren’t like Elena, and will blindly follow the MD’s advice. For instance:

  1. Prescribing statins: This is known to increase instance of diabetes 50%. Why would you give these pills to a diabetic?
  2. Dietary cholesterol. (Egg yolks.) It has been known for at least two decades that dietary cholesterol has no effect on circulating cholesterol.
  3. High carb diets. Any “plant based” diet is high carb, almost by definition. High carbs cause adult onset diabetes, and low carbs reverse it. This was known 100 years ago.

All three of these have the net effect of making diabetes worse. This is even generally known at some level.

Elena’s advice: “Take control of your own health, and use your common sense.”

Well, common or not, Elena showed a lot of sense in the face of very senseless advice. She is one of our medical heroes.

  2 comments for “Elena Versus Standard Medicine: An Adult Onset Diabetes Case History

  1. EY
    January 27, 2016 at 3:45 pm

    Just wondering what would be the outcome if Elena had followed the diet recommended by Quantitative Medicine?

    • January 28, 2016 at 8:40 am

      We do too. But the beauty of the story is her courage, and that her courage was rewarded. Dr. Mike

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