Diabetes Type 2

Nicky - Interview 18

Female
Age at interview: 46
Age at diagnosis: 42

Brief outline: Diagnosed 4 years ago. Nicky was taking metformin but having established very good control through diet and exercise she no longer takes any medication for diabetes. She also has hypothyroidism.

Background: Nicky is an IT software designer and is married with two teenage children. Ethnic background/Nationality: White British.

Audio & video

Nicky found out by chance that she had diabetes. She went to see her GP with a urinary infection; a urine test indicated she had diabetes. Her GP told her to lose weight (she wore size 22 clothes) and take up sports such as squash - advice she felt was inappropriate for a woman her weight and size. She found herself further at odds with her GP when he said that the diabetes would shorten her life by 15 years and implied that there was little she could do about it. 

As a physicist and IT consultant, Nicky knew how to use the internet to investigate diabetes and find out what other people were doing. She refused to accept that her life would be curtailed and her response to her GP and diabetic nurse, particularly to their dietary advice, was to question it, read up on it and test it. If something didn't work for her, she wouldn't do it. 

Having looked at US websites, she decided to test her blood glucose levels systematically after every meal and work out precisely which foods and in what quantities raised her levels. She wanted to learn how to control and manage her glucose levels herself. She discovered that, contrary to most UK diabetes dietary advice, carbohydrates (e.g. oatmeal, pasta and bread) raised her glucose levels. She read what others with diabetes (mainly in the US) had written about cutting carbs, and decided to work out a diet that suits her. She avoids certain carbs and has enjoyed experimenting with alternative foods such as linseed and almond flour for baking instead of cereal. 

Nicky has also approached exercise scientifically, testing her glucose levels to find out the best time to take exercise - which for her is about 45 minutes after eating. She is now in a routine, manages her diabetes well, and no longer takes metformin or any other diabetes medication. She has also lost 75 kilos in weight and is now a size 14. She goes to weekly karate club with her daughters which she enjoys. She does weight training, walks regularly and feels young, fit and content with life.

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