Let’s call him Antonio. He came to see me in the fall of 2019 accompanied by his daughter. Even though he migrated here many years ago, he continues to speak with a delightful Italian accent. He explained that all his life he has been healthy, working hard, and eating “good food, nothing from a box”. He was upset that now at the age of 79, he had suddenly become diabetic. He was unhappy to be on medication for his diabetes and his cholesterol. His goal in coming to me was to improve his health and get off all medication.
I asked for copies of his labs before he started his medication and ordered some new blood tests to get more updated information.
Seeing Antonio’s blood work it was clear why his GP insisted on medication for his cholesterol and blood sugar. The numbers were not good.
Total cholesterol 260
Hdl cholesterol 39
Ldl cholesterol 210
Fasting blood sugar 130
In our second visit, I told him that if he was serious about getting off his medication, he could obtain his goal, but it would require some changes in his eating habits. I explained Intermittent Fasting and its benefits. He was interested and by the end, expressed his commitment to try it. He committed to a 16 hour daily fast with an 8 hour eating window every day. Breaking his fast at lunch time with a meal that was low carb (protein and veggies ) . I also recommended some supplements to assist with blood sugar control and to support his heart health. He started on Fish oil, Chromium and Vitamin D3 .
I made sure he understood that with this diet change he it was critical that he consistently check his morning blood sugar and that his first meal of the day should be low carbs like a Frittata (baked omelet with lots of veggies). The other meals suggestions were for lunch salads with protein and for dinner protein (fish, chicken, grass fed beef) and veggies. Our goal was to start to get the body with a limited carb diet, drop his insulin and help his blood sugar.
His two week follow-up found Antonio right on task with his diet and supplements — he even increased his walking to 20 min every day. He was supper motivated. He did not need any hand holding. I gave him a lab slip to check everything but not for until he was doing this daily for 3 months. We would review then and see where to go from there.
After 3 months, Antonio lost over 20 lbs and felt great! His labs registered amazing change blood sugars and cholesterol were well within normal range. I instructed him now to talk to his primary doctor to request to come off the medication so we could see if his routine would be enough to support these changes.
And indeed, off the medication, we found that these changes were sufficient to keep him right where he needed to be. He is proud to have accomplished his goal. And I was proud of him as well.