Diet & Weight Magazine

“I Thank My Diabetes for Teaching Me to Live a Sugar-Free Life”

By Dietdoctor @DietDoctor1

Julia Nelly was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Unfortunately, after having followed the advice from the healthcare system about the food pyramid she felt worse than ever.

She searched for how to feel better and read about low carb. She changed her diet and here's what happened:

In July 2016 I went to the hospital because of an inflammation in my hair follicles that had made them as big as a tennis ball and I also asked them to check my blood sugar as I had researched symptoms and the answer was always "could be diabetes". The symptoms came in waves and I suffered from an unquenchable thirst, needed to visit the bathroom frequently and suffered from blurry vision for over a month. It really didn't feel right.

They measured my blood sugar and I was right, it was at 22.5 mmol/L (405 mg/dl) and they told me that I had type 1 diabetes and that I would have to live with it for the rest of my life. The doctor advised me to keep eating according to the food pyramid, take insulin and learn as I went.

That day, I was sent directly to the pharmacy to get what felt like a million syringes and machines and gadgets. I really didn't understand anything and I really wish I'd known that it would be enough to just stop eating sugar and start with LCHF or paleo straight away. If I had known this from day 1, I could have lived the first few months without being afraid of amputations or coma. All these sleepless nights, my worrying soul and the fear that I wouldn't wake up the next day. Unfortunately, this wasn't the case because I chose to listen to my doctors instead of my own body.

I fought every day with learning how much insulin I needed to use to match the same type of meals as before the diagnosis, because that was what I thought was the right thing. I just listened, like I said, to what the doctor told me and I felt worse than I ever had. At that time, I just wanted all the pain, worry and anxiety to disappear. I started to research a way to feel good again, I opened my eyes and ears for advice about an alternative way of living. If I would have to feel as I did with the food pyramid I'd rather have given up completely.

I play music and this was a big reason that pushed me to keep going and fighting for feeling good again. At last, after months of fighting, I suddenly had a revelation where I realized that if I'm allergic to sugar, then it should be enough to completely exclude sugar from my diet to feel good again.

The first step towards a life free of sugar was not easy, as there is sugar in almost everything. My creativity was very small for a stressed out student like myself, but with support from my family and paleo and LCHF cookbooks it became easy, easier that I could have ever imagined. And eating out where there is excessive sugar on every plate was horrible, because I ate it anyways and felt very bad afterwards. I didn't understand why, I took my insulin, but I was very wrong. So, a month into my sugar-free life I feel better knowing that I can sit here with my salad and care about my body and refuse to ruin it with the poison we call sugar. I will never eat it again.

I feel stronger than I've ever felt in my life, everything that I needed to do was two simple choices, to work out and not eat sugar - something everyone should do to feel good.

I feel stronger than I've ever felt in my life, everything that I needed to do was two simple choices, to work out and not eat sugar - something everyone should do to feel good. I am young, and I know that there will be devastating consequenses if I don't take care of myself already now. I will never let the diabetes take over, or rule me, I see it as a part of me now and choose to see that I have gotten diabetes so that I can live a long and healthy life.

I want to make our voices heard and spread this, I believe in this diet for diabetes (LCHF and paleo). It's what makes me feel good and I want to inspire everyone from the young to the elderly who get diabetes to learn to listen to their bodies and do what makes them feel good. Now I know that a sugar-free life is probably what will get me the furthest. Life is good again, after many months of darkness.

Diabetes, my dear diabetes, I want to tell you that you are a part of me now and this is something I have accepted. I have accepted that you have become my little baby that I care for from the moment I wake up until I fall asleep and that is how it is going to be for the rest of my life on this Earth. Sometimes you'll be annoying and sometimes I won't have the energy to deal with you, but I now know better than so because you are a part of my body and my body is the most important thing that I have. Without my body I won't be able to live.

Therefore, I thank my diabetes for teaching me to live a sugar-free life and take care of myself in a way that I probably wouldn't have done otherwise. My disease became my strength, I learned not to try to win or compete with it, but fight together with it. And together we are strong. We're undefeatable.

Julia Nelly

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