14 November 2012

Good stuff

The Egyptologist Howard Carter once, on peering through a tiny opening into the tomb of Tutankhamun, was asked if he could see anything. He very famously said "Yes, wonderful things", and I'll second it. Wonderful things are indeed in my sight.

I'll begin with last Friday, when my darling lovely hubby went to see his GP to get the results of blood tests at the end of a three-month no-meds trial. The bare minimum I will say to begin with is that he came away beaming. As to me, when he told me how he'd got on I was practically dancing in the street!

Why? Now, where do I start?

Because... whilst still Type 2 diabetic (with the best will in the world, this can be held at bay but not 'cured'), he does not have to return to medication to control his blood glucose. His HbA1c is better (I'll repeat that - BETTER) than it was when he was taking Metformin. And that's purely down to diet.

Because... having been on two forms of medication to control elevated blood pressure, he now needs nothing (I'm going to say that again - NOTHING) to lower it any longer. In fact, it's lower and more stable than any of us can believe.

Because... despite having been diagnosed with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease several years ago, the markers which flag-up this problem have disappeared (yep, I'll repeat this too - DISAPPEARED) entirely. Er, to the extent that his GP thinks making an appointment for a scan to confirm the change would be a "waste of time" and very happily reported that he once again has a "fully functioning liver".

Are you grinning yet? Well, there's more good news.

Because... his blood lipids are great. For the final time, I'll repeat myself - I didn't just say good, I said GREAT. They include improved HDL, lower triglycerides and a much better (CRR) ratio. Is the additional fat in the diet (and I'm talking saturated fats, like butter, nuts, olive oil, chicken with skin, eggs and cream here, amongst other things) doing any harm? Nope, not one teeny bit!

What's more, his GP not only isn't even slightly disapproving of what he is doing in terms of a ketogenic diet to achieve these great results. He positively supports lovely hubby and told him to carry on doing what he's doing. I couldn't be happier about this - from bitter previous experience, supportive medical teams can be as rare as hen's teeth.

That in itself is a HUGE thing as low-carb high-fat flies in the face of NHS dietary guidance (closely seconded by Diabetes UK), which exhorts diabetics to, and I quote, "include starchy carbohydrates with each meal.... and to cut down on saturated fat" amongst other recommendations. I've already talked about how that didn't work for my lovely, despite our best efforts.

But it gets better. You'll have picked up already how anal this fat lass can be. Well, we've kept detailed records of food eaten against blood glucose levels over the three month trial period, with my darling testing five times each day (and occasionally more often). These show very graphically the effects of firstly a low GI diet (keeping in line with the 'official' guidance), then the conversion to a LCHF (ketogenic) diet.

Just as an example - these are the blood glucose results across three months from tests performed two hours after our main meal every evening. The date on which his diet changed to from low GI to LCHF is marked in yellow. Bear in mind the aim was to control blood glucose to minimise peaks and troughs, in other words to get it as stable as possible, by choosing the right foods for him to eat. Notice anything?

Hmmm, so did his GP. In fact, his GP asked whether lovely hubby had any objections to his printed results (and all the bloods as well as our own records) being used in teaching (our practice is a training practice for newly qualified GPs). Quite a compliment, eh?

Oh, and there was not even a mention of my lovely hubby being 'too thin' or any of that nonsense. The GP is more than satisfied with where he is so all the 'don't lose any more' doubters can just shut the... er, heck... up now please! Do you detect a note of sheer frustration here?

OK, so am I happy enough yet? Well no, things get even better. Once we'd celebrated with a small glass of red wine and a nice low-carb dinner, we packed to go visit my mother.

It was lovely being with her but then, on Monday, we took her to see her consultant. I was dreading it, as it's always really hard for her, so I'd girded my loins to argue against various pointless (in my opinion) things they usually ask her to do. It wears her out completely (well, she is in her nineties), and I just can't see the benefit to her. This time I was primed to ask 'why', and keep doing so until I got some darned good, clear answers.

My worst fears were raised when we saw the physio, who started talking about an interventive 'trial' of new medication and mentioned possible side effects. Well, stoopid here could see this trial would not have been practical for a lady of my Mum's age so I went in to see the consultant ready for the full 30 minute argument.

It didn't happen! In fact, he was an absolute sweetie, and treated her like a person, not just a 'condition' to be treated. In fact, is so happy with how her particular condition is being managed at the moment that he shelved the trial before I'd had chance to raise any objections, on the basis that she's 'stable' and happy and it makes no sense to 'fix what ain't broke'. Score another gold star for the NHS.

So, I'd say good stuff about covers it, wouldn't you? I now intend to bask in the positive vibes for as long as I can. Onwards ever...


Nikki said...

Great news about your husband's health! Love that graph. Nice to know that there are supportive and understanding doctors out there.

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