Pete's Success Story

The following is a great success story by our newest registered user Pete.   The following is an small excerpt:

My first symptom of diabetes occurred during the summer of 1995 and I remember telling the doctor during my physical exam that year of my enduring thirst.  He asked me what I did about it and I said I drank a lot of water.   His response – that’s good.  That fall my doctor left the area and I went to see a new doctor in December to establish a new doctor/patient relationship.  He asked me to have blood work done before my appointment.  When I arrived at the appointed time, he looked at me, stuck out his hand and said “Welcome Mr. Diabetic to my practice!”  I looked around to see if he was talking with someone else but he said “No I am talking to you.  Your fasting blood sugar was 248”...

 Summary: 72 year old, Male, Type 2 diabetic, diagnosed 12 years ago

I was born in 1935 and spent my youth in good health until I began to smoke cigarettes my first year in college and continued that habit for 25 years.  I was always in shape in high school and college but gained 30 pounds after graduation.  I must have lost that 30 pounds several times over the years. 

My first symptom of diabetes occurred during the summer of 1995 and I remember telling the doctor during my physical exam that year of my enduring thirst.  He asked me what I did about it and I said I drank a lot of water.   His response – that’s good.  That fall my doctor left the area and I went to see a new doctor in December to establish a new doctor/patient relationship.  He asked me to have blood work done before my appointment.  When I arrived at the appointed time, he looked at me, stuck out his hand and said “Welcome Mr. Diabetic to my practice!”  I looked around to see if he was talking with someone else but he said “No I am talking to you.  Your fasting blood sugar was 248”. 

He didn’t tell me what it should have been but recommended a low fat, high fiber diet and gave me my first diabetic book, DIABETES by Dr. James W. Anderson.  The diet in that book recommended low fat, high fiber diet and about 209 carbohydrates a day!  By rigorously following this diet, my fasting blood sugar reached 128 six months later and I thought I was “cured.”  So for the next 10 years I followed this diet (somewhat) until my fasting blood sugar began to exceed 160.  Then one afternoon in April of 2006 I checked my bgs and it was 240!  (I used to record only my fasting bgs with an occasional check during the day.)  That was the day I pulled out another book I had just purchased, “Diabetes Cure” by Dr. Vern Cherewatenko that claimed the plan would “even cure type 2 diabetes.”  I frantically read the book but was filled with unease since I was pretty sure you could not “cure” type-2 diabetes.  I went to my computer and signed onto Amazon.com to check out what readers said about the book.  The comments ranged all over the scale.  I was disappointed but happened to look at another book cover displayed on the lower left of my screen, “Diabetes Solution” was the title. That title seemed pretty reasonable so with little delay, I put in an order for the book by a Dr. Richard K. Bernstein.  Four days later, the book arrived and I began reading.  I was impressed with the clarity of Dr. Bernstein’s writing and his instructions as what to read next depending on whether you were a type 1 or type 2 diabetic.  On 1 May 2006 I began Dr. Bernstein’s way of eating, the so-called 6-12-12 (6 carbs for breakfast and 12 carbs each for lunch and dinner) and within a month my fasting blood sugar was in the 85 – 95 range.  I was only going to try this particular way of eating for two weeks but the results were so promising I have continued to this day.  In the first six months I not only brought my fasting blood sugar reading close to normal (85) but I lost 32 pounds and my waist shrunk from a 44 to 36 inches. This method of eating also minimized the swings in my blood sugar levels throughout the day.

I find the 6-12-12 way of eating most satisfying.  It is not difficult for me because my motivation is strong, knowing I was just a few years away from poor vision and kidney problems and ultimately the ravages of a life with diabetes.  I joined Dr. Bernstein’s Web Forum and have become quite knowledgeable about the disease thanks to the information and web site links provided by the thousands of members of the forum. 

My energy level is much higher than anything I have experienced in the past 10 -20 years.  I exercise two to three times a week by walking and lifting weights.  I can have an occasional light beer or glass of wine without affecting my blood sugar levels.  I stay away from carbohydrates and attempt to make the portions I eat relatively small. 

In summary, most of the advice in Dr. Bernstein’s book is sufficient in keeping my diabetes under control.  I do see my doctor every 6 months and he is quite interested in my progress. 

My biggest disappointment since becoming better versed in the management of diabetes is the failure of the American Diabetes Association to address the lower carbohydrate way of eating in a positive way.  I believe every diabetic should at least be given the option of using the low carb method to control their diabetes.  I was never given that opportunity until I stumbled upon Dr. Bernstein’s book.

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