Diabetes sufferer’s journey to freedom explored

From 100 to zero in two weeks flat

J.J. had a choice. Continue to consume a daily cocktail of diabetes medication or change the way he eats.

For the Vancouver Island resident, it was a no-brainer. He opted for the latter and joined a new clinical trial offered jointly between UBC’s Okanagan campus and Pharmasave.

The study is testing whether a low-carbohydrate therapeutic nutrition intervention can help patients with Type 2 diabetes get their blood sugar levels under control and reduce their medications.

“My story has been incredible so far,” says J.J. “I’ve gone from 100 units of insulin to zero in two weeks and I’m slowly reducing many other medications for everything from high blood pressure to cholesterol.”

But what does this story mean for others suffering from Type 2 diabetes or prediabetes? Is a change in diet the silver bullet?

Jonathan Little is an assistant professor in UBC Okanagan’s School of Health and Exercise Sciences and the lead researcher on the study.

RELATED: SMALL STEPS FOR BIG CHANGES

Why is J.J.’s story so interesting as a researcher?

The idea that you can “reverse” Type 2 diabetes, or at least get the disease into remission, is a novel and intriguing one that goes against the current dogma that Type 2 diabetes is a chronic progressive disease. Anecdotes and personal stories are valuable in science because they give us an indication of what might be possible, where to go and what to try next. Stories of personal successes like J.J.’s have led to our research team working on a much larger study, in collaboration with Pharmasave across BC, to see whether it is possible to reverse Type 2 diabetes on a larger scale.

Is this proof that diet or lifestyle can cure diabetes?

No. What this tells me is that reversal of Type 2 diabetes is possible with a dietary approach and that we need to look at a much greater number of people. We need to apply thoughtful tests and proper study designs to produce Grade A evidence. While this individual result is exciting and should be celebrated, it is important that we continue to conduct rigorous clinical trials to determine whether the results are repeatable, robust, and sustainable across most or all individuals who have Type 2 diabetes.

Does his story mean that others will get the same results?

Maybe or maybe not. That’s why we’ve designed the study. It’s important to keep in mind that anecdotes may be very powerful but that doesn’t mean that the results apply to everyone. Every person with Type 2 diabetes has a different genetic profile, different environmental exposures, different background so may not respond the same way. We conduct a randomized control trial, such as ours, to help determine if the results apply, on the average, to individuals in spite of all of these factors.

What are the next steps?

We are aiming to recruit 200 participants across 13 sites in BC within the next year. Engaging more people interested in reversing their Type 2 diabetes is our most immediate next step and will help us better understand this disease.

For more information about the study and how to participate, please contact: therapeutic.nutrition@ubc.ca

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.

Just Posted

Your Saturday story catch-up

Every Saturday, read our popular stories from the week

Friends of Gable Beach concerned with District of Lake Country’s proposal

Carr’s Landing residents oppose the district’s latest solution to Gable Beach

Greyhound stop in Oyama gets cut

Expanded regional transit replacement option for Lake Country

Heavy snowfall for Coquihalla

Kelowna - Snowfall is expected to continue on the highway until Sunday

Lake Country budget approved

Lake Country’s 2018 Operating and Capital Budget was approved Tuesday night

VIDEO: What you need to know today at the B.C. Games

B.C. Winter Games athletes work for gold in the last full day of competition

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Looking back at the 1979 B.C. Games: Good memories, even better jackets

39 years later, Kamloops is hosting the Winter Games again, with some volunteers returning

OLYMPICS 101: Oldest and youngest Canadian’s to reach the podium

This year, Canada sent its most athletes in Winter Games history, here’s a look at record breakers

BCHL Today: Cowichan Caps play spoiler and Nanaimo wins 10th straight game

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Federal budget to unveil incentive for 5-week second parent leave: official

Goal behind the measure is to give parents more incentive to share child-rearing responsibilities

Notley says Alberta watching B.C. court bid closely, will get no free ride on it

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley ended the three-week ban on B.C. wine, calming the trade war

Trudeau ends troubled India trip in his comfort zone of hockey and youth

The players, 18-25, came to New Delhi from Ladakhi in northern India, as part of outreach program

OLYMPIC ROUNDUP: Kim Boutin named Canada’s flag bearer for closing ceremony

Two more medals for Canada, including the bronze in men’s hockey

Most Read