Frank was an Italian businessman in his early fifties. He considered himself healthy, though I could see he was overweight and his blood pressure was elevated. His lab work revealed high cholesterol and very high blood sugar (an indicator of type 2 diabetes).
“Frank,” I said, “the first treatment for type 2 diabetes is dietary change and exercise, but your blood sugar is so high that people with these numbers often need medication to bring it down.
Frank seemed to understand. He was quiet and calm. I continued, “Unfortunately, with these high levels, oral medications often don’t work. Then we have to use injectable Insulin.”
I realized this was no time to argue. I waited for him to calm down. Then I thought of something I had just read. A scientist from UC-San Diego had published some interesting research about something called “Insulin Resistance”. He concluded that it appeared to be reversible.
After Frank settled down, I proposed a deal: I wouldn’t talk about Insulin or other medications if he did exactly as I instructed, AND his blood sugars were trending down. I still remember how he punched the air with his fist as he said, “Ok, Doc, I’ll do it!”
Frank listened carefully as I taught him the importance of exercising every day, and eating a healthy, whole food plant-based diet. My staff taught him how to use a glucometer to monitor his blood sugar, and away he went.
Ten days later, I saw him again. His blood sugar was still terrible, but better than it had been initially. He was starting to do all the things I had prescribed. He told me, “Doc, the first morning, I waddled out fifty feet from my front door, then slowly I increased. Now I’m walking almost a quarter mile in the morning before breakfast!” He was beaming, and I was also proud of his efforts.
I saw Frank multiple times that year, but with decreasing frequency because his numbers continued to come down. Not only his blood sugar, but his weight and blood pressure, too!
I kept up my end of the deal and never said anything about medication, including Insulin.
One year later, when I walked into his exam room, I asked him, “How’s it going?”
He indeed was a new man! He shared with me that he now actually enjoyed his morning and evening walk, and healthy diet plan. Amazingly, his weight was down 60 pounds, blood pressure and blood sugar were normal, energy level was up. His A1C (a lab measurement of average blood sugars over three months) was now within normal range. And all with lifestyle changes alone, no medication! His only complaint was that he had had two custom suits made and when he brought them home they were both too big for him.
He was the first person I ever observed who basically had what we call “metabolic syndrome”—a combination of type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and obesity—and made it go away. This was revolutionary. In the years that followed, I was thrilled to see him living a healthy, disease-free life.
Frank’s story made such a lasting impression on me that it influenced the course of my career and gave me a passion to help other people get well through lifestyle changes.
What about you? Would you like to join Frank on your own journey to health and wholeness using the same successful lifestyle plan he followed?