When Kirk found out he had type 2 diabetes, he thought his poor health was at a point of no return. He’d been following his doctor’s advice to a tee. Still, his metabolic health had deteriorated over time.
After the shock passed, Kirk started searching for answers online. The first hit was Diet Doctor. There, he learned that you could reverse type 2 diabetes by going on the low-carb, high-fat keto diet. He was ready to try anything and decided to jump on board.
As little as 18 months later, Kirk had fully reversed his diabetes, shed 100 pounds (45 kilos), and enjoyed much more robust health.
Keep reading to find out what Kirk ate to get his health back and how he’s now paying things forward as a moderator in the Diet Doctor Facebook group. His story has been lightly edited for length and clarity.
Kirk’s keto story
Dear Diet Doctor,
I wanted to write to share my success story and thank Diet Doctor for the informative resources that have taught me a lot.
My name is Kirk. I’m 56 years old and live in Canyon Lake, Texas, USA. I was diagnosed with pre-diabetes in 2010. My doctor told me that it was reversible as long as I changed my diet and started an exercise program. At that time, he also prescribed 2000 milligrams of metformin per day. He suggested that I go to the American Diabetes Association (ADA) website and follow their guide for eating with type 2 diabetes. ‘I can do this! ‘, I thought.
I ate more fruits and vegetables and a good dose of carbohydrates and lean meats, as suggested. As the years progressed, so did my diabetes. I managed to keep my hemoglobin A1C (HbA1c), a measurement of blood sugar levels, in the pre-diabetic range for several years, but each time I would be tested, my number slowly crept up. I didn’t understand why the regimen I followed wasn’t working.
In addition to this, my cholesterol was out of whack, and my triglycerides were through the roof! I felt horrible most days and had no energy. My doctor had been diagnosed with cancer and was out of the office for most of 2018. Once he came back, one year later, I went in for my regular testing. My HbA1c had soared to a whopping 10%, which is in the diabetic range! My triglycerides, which were already high, had jumped to over 400 mg/dl (22 mmol/L). I was in total panic mode!
Enter Diet Doctor. I was so scared that I had really ruined my health. My father had had type 2 diabetes and heart disease, which eventually killed him. I figured that this must be the way for me also. But I started researching how to reverse type 2 diabetes on Dr. Google. The very first hit was Diet Doctor.
I immediately started reading that it was completely possible to turn type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome around, but I had been doing the exact opposite of what Diet Doctor suggested. How could this be true? Why had my doctors told me to continue to eat carbs and stay on a low-fat diet? This had to be some voodoo medicine!
At this point, I was ready to try anything! I signed up for the two-week Get Started Keto Challenge! I told my wife that I was serious about this and that we needed to make a huge change in our eating habits as a family. Of course, this wasn’t the first time I had said this, so it was met with deaf ears. But I was dead serious.
I cleaned out the cabinets of all refined sugars, pasta, rice, flours, and starches. I printed out the meal plan, went shopping, and started prepping our meals for the week. The most surprising thing was that these recipes made absolutely no sense: they were all high-fat meals! I had such a hard time getting around that because I was always told that low-fat diets were healthy. But I am so glad I did. Not only that, but the recipes were delicious. I had no problem what so ever eating bacon and butter. Who would have thought!?
I also bought a cheap blood glucose monitor and started testing my fasting blood glucose and blood sugar levels before lunch and after dinner. Each day I would watch and wait to see if things changed.
To my surprise, I started to see a major difference in my blood glucose in just four short months. Not only that, I had lost a total of 65 pounds (29 kilos)! What was happening? This was the most amazing thing that had happened to me in years. People were asking me if I was sick because I had lost so much weight. I was so happy to tell them about Diet Doctor, and the new science taught and how what the doctors had been telling me for years was making me sick. I was actually getting better! I was healing.
At my doctor’s appointment, I let him know that I had started this way of eating. He wasn’t happy. I told him that what he had me doing wasn’t making me very happy either and that I was ready for a change! As suggested on the Diet Doctor website, I asked him to watch the video course for physicians. I also brought him a copy of Dr. Jason Fung’s book, The Diabetes Code. I asked him to give me three months, and if my way wasn’t working, I would do what he advised. He agreed. The blood test taken that day also floored him as my HbA1c had come down to 5.8% from 10% in just four months. Also, my HDL went up, and triglycerides came down. Not perfect, mind you, but certainly in the right direction.
Three months later, I came for retesting. At that time, I was down another 20 pounds (9 kilos), at a total of 85 pounds (39 kilos) lost. My HbA1c sat at 5.6% and triglycerides down from 265 mg/dl (14.7 mmol/L) to 173 mg/dl (9.6 mmol/L). HDL up from 35 mg/dl (1.9 mmol/L) to 48 mg/dl (2.7 mmol/L). He couldn’t believe it nor deny that this way of eating was doing exactly what it said it would. He still had his doubts as he said this way of eating was not sustainable.
Ha! I’m am a year and six months in at this point. I’ve lost 100 pounds (45 kilos) and no longer have type 2 diabetes. My doctor has made me the poster patient! Since he and I have taken this journey together, he is now recommending Diet Doctor to his patients.
Since my journey began, I also didn’t realize I had a tumor growing on my left kidney. This was a recent turn of events and was quite shocking! I wanted to make sure that I didn’t bring this on by changing my eating habits. So once again, I dug in and researched everything I could. It turns out that renal cell carcinoma can take years to develop to the size of the tumor I had. This thing had been growing in me for at least ten years, and I had no idea! So no, it wasn’t keto that did it.
In fact, most studies will show that we don’t really know what causes kidney cancer. I can tell you this, though, had I not lost 100 pounds (45 kilos) and reversed my type 2 diabetes, I’m not sure I would have survived the surgery, much less the recovery. My urologist and oncologist have given me the thumbs up to continue with this way of eating. I’m so happy! Actually, they are both in agreement that I may have bought myself some extra years to enjoy my family and friends.
How did I do it? I simply followed the meal plans. I never was much for breakfast even before I started, so that was easy to skip. After becoming fat-adapted, I just fell into a regular intermittent fasting style of eating. Most days, I follow an 18:6 or 16:8 intermittent fasting protocol and throw in a couple of 24-hour fasts per week. I’ve even started prepping meals for a few ladies at church. I’ve loved being able to be a part of this wonderful way of life! Every day I’m so excited to help and tell everyone I can about the keto lifestyle!
I’m honored to have been selected by Diet Doctor to help moderate the Diet Doctor Facebook group. It’s been a pleasure to wake up and share all that I have learned and support all of you and those who are just beginning their journey. I look forward to many more years of great health and delicious foods! All without worrying about diabetes and my cholesterol.
Finally, I want to say: Don’t be afraid of change. Let’s get healthy together. You can do it!
Congrats on your amazing success Kirk! I especially appreciate how you engaged and educated your doctor about your methods for success, and how you give back to the community through our Facebook group. You are a shining example of how one person’s success can influence hundreds of others! Keep up the great work
/ Dr. Bret Scher
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