How the NHS failed me and mine.
What it did, to the most important person
in my life and how it could happen to you unless
we do something about it!

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

And There's More !

In my last post, I explored the wrongs that have been perpetrated on Type 2 diabetics by 'Big Pharma', and Doctors, on the very significant cohort in the population that they comprise. What I did not do, was to proffer suggestions as to what to do in the absence of the drugs one may be given, other than diet and exercise.

Well, those protocols are likely to yield extremely good results, even in isolation. Type 1's and 2's will improve their well being, reduce drug intake, or even be able to eliminate them, in the latter's case. It is very dependent upon the degree of beta cell loss and insulin resistance, so close monitoring of blood sugars is an important element of this method of diabetic control. This would be especially the case in the early days of attempts to reduce carbohydrate intake. It would also be useful to recruit your Doctor or Health Care Professional and get them on side, but it may be difficult. You are challenging some of the core values of the protocols that many have practised for most of their careers. Some will have no understanding of the mechanisms, as they have learned by 'rote', not by grasp of the science involved, (this is the depth of 'dumbing down', of the NHS).

Diets that eliminate carbohydrates will be alleged to be 'dangerous', as glucose is needed for brain function. Well that's untrue, as any Inuit can demonstrate, and I have not heard of Atkin's dieters losing their 'marbles' from eating fats and proteins. All changes should be gradual and controlled, with checks on blood sugar, postprandial, to ascertain degrees of success, or otherwise. Exercise between one and two hours after eating will help to burn off excess glucose by reducing insulin resistance. We only store enough in our blood generally, for about fifteen minutes, so there is no need for a marathon, and if fitness is poor, increase from a low level, very gradually until an hour or two half hours can be managed per day. Find what works for you.

There are in addition some supplements that help. Magnesium is generally deficient in most diabetics so 250mgs a day helps in glucose disposal. CoQ10, is useful, especially for the over 50's to help with muscle strength and general well being and is especially good if you are on Statin's or have been, 60 to 100mgs per day improves this greatly.  Alpha Lipoic Acid and Evening Primrose Oil are both 'insulin mimetics' and if taken at the rate of 300mgs of the ALA to 500mgs of the oil, glucose disposal is further enhanced. They are relatively long lasting so need to be taken three time a day.  But, none of these supplements has any profound effect and will not work without a low or carbohydrate free diet. But, these supplements are largely benign. They are often taken, for general well being by many who are not diabetic, so are unlikely to be challenged by Doctors as being dangerous or ineffectual.

One thing that has delayed my venturing down this road is the long delay my J' and I have experienced in obtaining test results from the GP practise. As indeed we have with all services, since the emergent Government of the 'LibCons' have abandoned targets. It seems the NHS have grasped the metal of this protocol, or rather the lack of it, with unparalleled efficiency (sic) and have consigned any idea of a timely delivery of services as something they no longer have to fulfill. However, I digress; the test for HbA1c has come back at 6.3%, which is an excellent figure for a type 2 diabetic, utilising the protocols outlined before as the sole means of control. That is mainly diet with exercise, not drugs.

 Barry Groves  has one of the best plans, and his advice, would be that which I would advocate to anyone contemplating this way of handling Type 2 diabetes. His views on weight loss are also embodied in this and are extremely effective, as are those of The Atkins Diet , although there are some detractors of this diet for diabetics. All, however are low carbohydrate in content, or rather lack of it (carb's that is). Information is the key, together with healthy scepticism about the current outmoded thinking about diabetic control, or even weight loss.

The science is there, and has proven to be sound. The studies are done and all it needs is for the NHS to 'catch up' and stop this is insane waste of precious resources for drug protocols that expose diabetics to risk for the enrichment of 'Big Pharma' and the Doctors that peddle drugs as the only means of treatment. I well remember the first GP appointment for J' after the diagnosis. The prescription for Metformin had already been written before we had said a word ! And even when we had, any thought of diet and exercise treatment was swiftly consigned as being too difficult, too arduous. So much for informed consent !

An HbA1c of 6.3%, down from 6.6%  a year before and from a start of 8.5% 20 months ago, is the proof that it works. It can be hard; there are carbs 'hidden' in many foods, especially 'low fat' products which is the food industry staple these days. There are setbacks when you get a cold or 'flu, and the 'dawn phenomena' can be a bugger to control. But it works and it's drug free and it costs the NHS sod all !

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