Just watched "The Blood Sugar Solution" on PBS TV, and read Dr. McDougall's Vegan approach to diabetes.
Both Dr. McDougall and Dr. Hyman have patients who claim to have reduced their glucose levels to the point that they have either reduced or even eliminated the needs for medication. While it's difficult to believe that blood sugars can be reduced by eating more starch, I for one am tired of being sick every day from the side effects of Metformin and Victoza in return for marginal improvements.
Has anyone had or know of any experiences with those or other diet based alternatives to diabetes meds?
Hi Mike, I don't really have any experience with vegan diets but I do know that a reduced carb diet is of great help to a lot of people. Low carb diets such as recommended by Dr Bernstien do work. If you haven't read his book I highly recommend you do so.
Vegan diets to me are a morale choice rather than the solution. You can be successful either way but lower carb is the key.
There is the Paleo Diet. All Meat, fruits, vegetables, nuts & seeds. as a Type 1 I have much better glucose levels.
Just to clarify, the show you post about applies to T2 diabetes, not type 1. A type 1s need for insulin is absolute, regardless of what diet is followed (the only difference is that some "diets" will result in needing a bit less insulin than others). I just like to clarify this in case some newly-diagnosed person stumbles across this thread.
I have tried the Vegan life style and worked in a Vegan community for several years. It was extremely hard to maintain good BG control and I found that a low carb diet is a superior solution for me. I would say that the Vegan life style is good and their diet is far superior to what many PWD's are eating when first diagnosed, and probably better than a diet recommended by the mainstream diabetes industry.
I have to tell you, any diet that comes from the PCRM or PETA groups raises my concern. I know very well McDougall, he is an avowed animal rights activist and a board member of PCRM which is significantly supported by PETA. Hyman, I know less about.
I've looked extensively into the published research and the vegan diets have virtually no evidence supporting their effectiveness and safety. Sure these doctors have had patients who have improved, but that says nothing about whether these diets work. On the other hand, diets like low carb have numerous high quality randomized, controlled intervention trials showing that they work. Many of these studies can be read in the Nutrition and Metabolism Journal.
If you wish to choose to place animal welfare as the most important priority in your life, above your blood sugar control, then these doctors can help you. But this stuff is not for me.
The dietary recommendations that most helped me were from Richard Bernstein, his book "Diabetes Solution" is widely available. Although he recommends a very strict low carb diet, if you can reduce your carbs well below the ADA recommendations you may well find improvements dramatic enough that you can reduce your medications.
I"m following Diane Kress' Metabolism Miracle, it's a three step program, and for the first 8 weeks, you don't eat any potatoes, rice, things like that. And no fruit. It's working for me, although this is my second try at it, first time in 8 weeks, I lost 14 1/2 pounds, 4 1/2 inches off my waist. Now, in my first week on the program, I've had to cut my glyburide dose in half, and probably in the next few days will discontinue it (with doctor's approval, of course).
I second bsc's comments & also have found no research to support these claims. In order to get sufficient protein on a plant based diet, it has to be quite high carb. We all know well what high carb does to BG. Starch is not the answer. Though not vegan (I ate eggs & cheese occasionally), I was vegetarian for around 30 years before diagnosed T1. Despite my best efforts, I had no control eating vegetarian.
I also recommend Dr. Bernstein's approach & his book Diabetes Solution. I've been following Dr. B's recommendations for close to 4 years.
I don't need a study about other people, I've done my own experimenting. Low carb works great for me for my blood sugar. I don't lose weight on that diet, but my numbers stay consistent. Most low carb vegetables work fine for me, I don't eat much fruit. It defies logic that eating more starch would give you lower blood sugar, doesn't it? Luckily, you can easily find out for yourself.