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"I was 56 and taking 4 meds; what would life be like in 30 years if I hadn’t gone low carb?" ~ Verna's story

Weight loss: 10 kg in 12 months
HbA1c: 8 down to 5.9
In Remission: 
In progress
Age: 57

Queensland-based Verna has spent 30 years as an educator, convincing kids to do things they don’t want. Now, she’s using her superpower on herself with incredible results. 

“I’d gone to see a new GP for a routine doctor’s certificate, but all they wanted to talk about was my medical history of high blood glucose. They insisted I was at risk of type 2 diabetes and sent me immediately for a blood test, even though I was sick with gastro. The whole experience with the GP scared me, and as a result, I left my type 2 diabetes untreated for three years. 

“When I changed GP again, they took the time to explain what was happening to my body and why I needed to manage my type 2 diabetes. My HbA1c was at 8, and I finally accepted that I needed treatment. I was prescribed lots of different medications to control my blood glucose, but of course, I was still following the dietary guidelines. Nothing was changing for the better. I wanted to be free of diabetes and feel healthy again. 

“But I was already taking four types of medication that were only just maintaining my HbA1c of 8 at age 56. I have another 30 or 40 years of trying to control my diabetes; how would I do that with medication? What would my future look like? I would be insulin-dependent, and then what would I do? And what about all the other related complications that might be coming my way, like heart disease and stroke? 

“My GP, concerned about my rising blood glucose, referred me to another GP in their clinic who specialised in diabetes management and had seen positive results with low carb for patients with type 2 diabetes. They recommended I start the Defeat Diabetes Low Carb Program immediately. 

“I saw my future disappearing. I decided to give the program my best shot. 

“In the beginning, I was like - WHAAAA? You could eat all this stuff, like butter and cheese, but then all this stuff we should never have eaten in the first place!  The program was a real eye-opener. When I started to read about all the non-truths about diet that we’ve accepted for decades… WOW! There were so many layers to explore in the program. All the facts were at my fingertips; I could read articles and watch videos, try recipes and meal plans, and the Defeat Diabetes community was always available for support. I devoured all the information available; I thought, “You'll never stick to it if you don’t understand why you’re doing this”. 

“At first, I thought it was weird that I could eat as much cheese and tablespoons of butter as I liked if I wanted. Initially, I had some cravings (I wouldn’t have survived without a steady supply of Dr Brukner’s Muesli in those first weeks!), but I spent time figuring out the closest low carb alternative and swapping to that instead. 

“By March 2023, my GP had taken me off two of my four meds, and by September, my HbA1c had come down to 5.9. It’s consistently been under 6 for over six months. I now only take one medication, and If I can maintain this for a little longer, my GP has said I’ll be taken off this medication as well. I’ve almost achieved my goal of being free of diabetes. And although it wasn’t a goal, I lost 10 kg and 10 cm from my waist on the way without really trying. 

“I feel generally much better and am far more optimistic about life. I’m no longer tied to the mental load of constantly worrying about my medicine. And yes, while low carb foods might cost a little more, I’m not paying $120 a month for medications; what I save on meds, I can now spend on delicious food. 

“I was so lucky to find a supportive GP, the Defeat Diabetes Program, and have my people at work and my family with me every step of the way. I ignored the negative Nells. Everything I have learned from the program is now ingrained and has become my way of life. I’m proud of every step forward that I’ve achieved; I’ve learned to love myself again.

“So be proud of every small win -  hopefully, you’ll have a cheer squad alongside you, too - all the way to remission.”

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Neil Manuel – Neil’s type 2 diabetes is in remission – here’s how he did it!
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