I found out about Chris' amazing journey to being free of type 2 diabetes and had to share it with you. I hear about so many people who cure various conditions by going vegan e.g. migraines, cancer, ear, nose and throat issues, Crohn's disease and more. What would you do for better health?
Below you'll find an interview style article where Chris explains what life was like before and after shifting to a vegan diet.
How old are you?
I'm 41 years old.
What kind of foods did you consume before shifting to a vegan diet?
A true Omnivore, I always liked to cook so experimented a lot with different foods.
What made you shift to a vegan diet?
I discovered I had acquired type 2 Diabetes, which seems to be a late-onset hereditary thing in my family. Everyone who has it, were diagnosed with it within the last 10 years. The initial response from the Doctor was to prescribe a drug called Metformin, but it's associated with side-effects and after trying it I felt like I was in a shell, lethargic bloated and whilst it works for some people I decided to look into the reasons behind the condition, its causes and effects and how some people had sent it into remission with diet. It was this approach that appealed to me most.
Did going vegan have a positive or negative impact on your health?
I adopted a plant-based diet and after a few months of self-testing, I noticed that my sugar and cholesterol levels began to come down. Moderate exercise and eating plant-based foods were the key to me coming off all the medication that I had been prescribed. This happened within six months. I was also feeling much more healthier than I was before and I looked better for it.
Are there any other reasons that veganism appeals to you?
It was about a year ago that I first came across the subject of Veganism, I researched it and realised that I shared many of its core values and principles. I was practically more than half-way there. I love nature and the environment and I thought to myself, 'I am reaping the benefits from a diet perspective, but I can give something back?' Two prime examples were reducing my carbon-footprint and saving lives. I fell in love with cooking healthy, nutritious plant-based foods that have real colour, flavour and diversity and I endeavour to prove that a Vegan diet doesn't limit choice - it's an enlightened one.
Can you identify anything, which have caused the diabetes?
Diabetes is a degenerative condition of the pancreas and the symptoms can vary from person to person. There are two variants, which are known as type 1 and type 2. Personally I had felt lethargic, wasted even. I was eating processed refined foods, including meat. This is important, because some research suggests that a damaged food-chain has made the cells in the pancreas resistant to insulin, preservatives, chemicals and Monosodium Glutamate, which is a pre-cursor to diabetes. Therefore, bringing on the condition with such vigour recently across the world. I identified that as the main reason for me, because I wasn't obese, didn't smoke and considered myself moderately healthy.
What is the difference between the two forms of diabetes?
I have type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes (also known as diabetes mellitus or insulin dependent diabetes) is what you get when your pancreas stops making insulin. It is an auto-immune disease in which your body's immune system attacks your pancreas by accident. Your pancreas then stops making insulin, and your body can't control the amount of glucose in your blood. If you have type 1 diabetes, you need injections of insulin to make sure you don't get hyperglycaemia or hypoglycaemia. In type 2 diabetes (also diabetes mellitus) your body becomes resistant to insulin. Being overweight, inactive or having an unhealthy diet can stop insulin from working. If this happens, your body can't control the amount of glucose in your blood.
When were you diagnosed as having diabetes?
It's been 3 years since my diagnosis. I continue to have (by choice) 6 month cholesterol and Hb1ac tests with the doctor as an insurance policy to maintaining as normal lifestyle and health as I possibly can.
Before now, what have you done to reduce the effects of diabetes?
I tried LOTS of herbal supplements at first. Currently, I only take a multi-vitamin. The plant-based diet has proven to have way better results for me. Veganism was logical, and what I consider to be a holistic way of improving my health.
Did you have to see the GP about it or other health professionals?
Initially you are sent to a dietician to learn the do's and dont's of sugar. This was helpful but lacked any reference to a plant based diet. It was something of a textbook, which left me none the wiser, other than knowing what a carbohydrate is. I don't accept defeat from Diabetes and my approach with any subsequent visits to professionals has been the same: I will show you I can eat amazing guilt free healthy food and live a healthy lifestyle and be conscious that I'm making a valued contribution to society and the environment - not depriving someone who has a greater need than myself, of NHS treatment.
What have the medical professional said?
Interestingly, I have experienced a mixed response. I saw one doctor recently who praised the approach very highly, whereas others have been pretty non-descript. None of them have told me to stop though, and have they responded with 'whatever you're doing...carry on.' I've found a few Doctors who simply wish to prescribe medication and send you on your way. That's not good for me or the NHS.