“Diabetes needs to be treated like a food intolerance to carbohydrates.” ~Sharon's story
Weight loss: 4 kg
In Remission: Ongoing
Sharon Fox developed gestational diabetes in both of her pregnancies. About 50% of women who experience gestational diabetes will develop type 2 diabetes later in life, so it wasn’t a huge surprise when aged 46, she was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. After living with type 2 diabetes for six years and increasing medication levels, she had almost lost hope; until a change of doctor saw a very different medical approach that she credits with saving her life.
“I was diagnosed with severe gestational diabetes in both of my pregnancies. In the first, we attempted to control my blood sugars following the dietary guidelines, but when this didn't work, I was put on insulin injections.
"When I was again diagnosed with gestational diabetes in my second pregnancy I was put on insulin immediately. However, my diabetes gradually got worse, until I was on four injections per day and had to re-dial the injection pen for additional dosage whilst the needle was still in my skin. My diabetes specialist at the time advised I would probably develop type 2 diabetes later in life as a result of developing gestational diabetes, but I carried on with the standard diet of most adults and was clear for 16 years.
A type 2 diabetes diagnosis
“So, it was a shock but not surprising when I received a type 2 diabetes diagnosis in 2016. I was put on metformin, and within a year, I was on the maximum dose. Everything was kept under control with medication, and I adjusted my diet to avoid sugar while still eating carbs.
“In 2021, my HbA1c started to increase gradually, and my GP at the time was concerned. By mid-2022, I had been prescribed gliclazide (an anti-diabetic medicine used to increase the amount of insulin your pancreas makes) and referred to a diabetes educator. Under her instruction, I began a very low calorie diet, limited to protein and above-ground greens, with no dairy, nuts or seeds, just a small amount of milk in tea or coffee, and an even smaller amount of oil for cooking.
“I lasted three weeks, was miserable, and felt really unwell most of the time. However, it did have the desired effect. I lost 6 kg and was taken off gliclazide. My HbA1c had improved, and the GP was happy. However, I could not sustain the way of eating, and by January 2023, my HbA1c was back up at 6.9.
“My GP advised me to see the diabetes educator and go back on the diet to bring things under control. I couldn't face this and thought there had to be a better way for my health to improve, so my research started."
A new way to treat type 2 diabetes
“Firstly, I needed a new GP who could provide better care and understanding than I had been receiving. BEST THING I HAVE DONE FOR MY HEALTH!!
“My new GP is amazing. She took time to discuss all my blood test results and ordered extra tests that hadn't been done before. She advised that I was also entitled to a diabetes care plan involving exercise classes, podiatry and, most importantly, a dietician. My GP also told me about the Defeat Diabetes research study, which is measuring how a low carb approach can help people with type 2 diabetes, and she encouraged me to enrol.
“At my first dietician appointment, the magic words were said to me: "Diabetes needs to be treated like a food intolerance to carbohydrates". Everything clicked into place after hearing those words and I went straight into carb restricted eating. I'm loving the food and trying new recipes. I've always got great pleasure from cooking, and now even more so knowing that what I'm cooking positively impacts my health."
How low carb reversed my type 2 diabetes
“On the first morning of starting keto, my fasting glucose was 10.6. I've been on keto for 17 days, and my fasting levels are down to low 5s every morning. I've even had a few days where my levels were in the 4s. To say I'm delighted is an understatement!
“I've lost 4 kg and 4 cm from my waist which I am thrilled with. I've been overweight by about 10 kg most of my adult life.
“So, that's my story so far, and I know it will keep improving each day. I feel like I'm healing.
“Thank you so much, Defeat Diabetes, I genuinely believe you have changed and extended my life.”
More success stories