Currently, 70% of people with Type 1 diabetes lose 100 days of life yearly because of suboptimal blood sugar levels. Dr Ian Lake is a Primary Care Physician in the UK who has been living with Type 1 Diabetes for the past 27 years and is here to challenge that statistic.
After living with diabetes for 20 years, Dr Lake discovered the ketogenic lifestyle by chance, and its effect on his life was profound. He drastically reduced the carbohydrates in his diet, and after several weeks, he halved his insulin doses and the number of hypos.
For the last seven years, Dr Lake has had normal non-diabetic blood sugar levels, which up until now is considered an impossible feat by most clinicians around the world.
‘The main problem is diet.’, he says. ‘In type 1 diabetes, the body cannot make insulin which is critical for processing dietary carbohydrates. They raise blood sugar. Balancing the carbohydrate and insulin injections is so difficult that few people can do it well. Reducing carbs in the diet is the logical solution to this’. He now feels so healthy and vital that he has had the confidence to resume sports that he had to stop because of diabetes.
Carbohydrates are not essential in the diet, but protein and fat are. A ketogenic diet is based on green vegetables, nuts, full-fat dairy, meat and fish, berry fruits, and eggs.
It is not dull or complex, and thousands of recipes exist online. The dietary modification gives the most benefit, and adding time-delayed eating, physical activity, plus good sleep habits makes diabetes so much easier. ‘I have a continuous glucose meter and honestly forget about diabetes most of the day. Having normal blood sugar reduces the risk of hypo’s and long-term complications. It is also beneficial for mental health. This is a lifestyle, and it works!’ he says.
Many clinicians are wary of keto diets, but evidence shows that it is safer than current care.
Realising the need for quality information about ketogenic lifestyles, he has developed accredited training courses for ketogenic diets in type 1. He believes that people with type 1 and their clinical teams should have access to the same quality information. Then care can be collaborative rather than top-down.
‘There is a lot of misinformation out there, and people are getting confused. Therapeutic nutrition is a new care paradigm, and we must get the message out. My goal is for all people with Type 1 diabetes to know their treatment options so that they can make informed choices supported by their clinical teams. The ketogenic diet is one of the options, and training needs to be provided urgently. It is a chance for a new start for some people, and I hope they, too, discover the benefits of this lifestyle very soon. When I know that all 40 million people with type 1 worldwide have this information, I can relax!’
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