Colchester slimmer lost more than seven stone and reversed type 2 diabetes
- Credit: Archant
Just over years ago Peter Crowe weighed more than 20 stone and was taking several tablets every day to control recently-diagnosed diabetes.
Just over two years ago Peter Crowe weighed more than 20 stone and was taking several tablets every day to control recently-diagnosed diabetes.
He’d been overweight for much of his adult life, in large part due to a likeness for takeaways and a few pints of beer, but his wake-up call came a little while later, when his daughter told him he needed to slim down or he’d have a heart attack and die.
“That was the push I needed,” says Peter, 66, who overcame his nerves and joined his local Slimming World group, leading to a radical overhaul of his lifestyle.
Eighteen months later Peter has lost more than seven and a half stone and managed to reverse his type 2 diabetes in the process.
“My blood sugar levels used to be in the 130s and the last time they measured me it was down to 36, well below diabetic levels. I’m still on one tablet for diabetes as my GP is a bit cautious but I’m hoping to come off that too soon.
“It was about six months into the diet that my blood sugar levels really started to come down. My doctor was amazed. When I started the diet I never expected it to reverse the diabetes. I’d read various articles about other people who had done it and thought it would be lovely if I could do it too, but I never really expected it to happen.”
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Peter’s experience backs up the findings of a new study at Newcastle and Glasgow universities, which showed that a radical low calorie diet can reverse type 2 diabetes, even six years into the disease.
Nine out of ten people on the trial who lost two and a half stone or more put their diabetes into remission.
Professor Roy Taylor, from Newcastle University, lead researcher in the study funded by the charity Diabetes UK, said: “These findings could revolutionise the way type 2 diabetes is treated.”
The results have huge implications as the number of cases of type 2 diabetes is soaring with rising obesity levels. Fat accumulated in the abdomen prevents the proper function of the pancreas, affecting the production of the blood sugar-regulating hormone insulin and leading to diabetes, an illness which carries the risk of life-threatening complications.
Type 2 diabetes affects one in 10 UK adults and costs the NHS about 14 billion annually.
As for Peter, he says joining his local Slimming World group in his home town of Colchester was the best decision he ever made.
“I must admit I found it difficult to start going,” he says. “I imagined I’d be the only man there but that turned out not to be the case. I absolutely love it.
“I now eat properly but I don’t go hungry. People don’t believe me when I say I eat as much as I’ve ever done, just different kinds of food.
“I still have takeaways now and again as a treat but that’s all and I eat fruit and vegetables, whereas before I didn’t really. And I hardly have any sugar or cheese.
“I feel great too. I go to the gym four or five times a week – I went today and ran 10 miles on the treadmill. I’ve also done a 10K run, which I set myself a target to complete in one hour 20 minutes but I achieved one hour 14 - quicker than I’d thought I could manage.”
Peter still goes to his local Slimming World group too but these days it is more about socialising than losing any more weight.
“I’m at my target weight now and it feels fantastic,” he says.
Evidence about the dramatic effect diet and lifestyle changes can have on diabetes also comes from Lynn Jackson, who lives at Briston, near Holt.
As reported in Health and Wellbeing several months ago, Lynn overhauled her lifestyle after discovering she had raised blood sugar levels and was almost at the stage of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Although she wasn’t classed as overweight, Lynn had a family history of diabetes and a closer look at ingredients of pre-prepared supermarket foods she was buying revealed her diet contained more sugar than she’d realised.
So she started swapping foods she thought were not doing her any good, those with high sugar or carbohydrates, for more healthy options.
In less than a year she had lost more than two stone in weight, her mood was better and she had managed to reverse her impending diabetes diagnosis, as well as a host of other health niggles
“In ten months I got my blood sugar level down by ten points,” she said at the time. “It’s now normal. I’ve effectively reversed type 2 diabetes.”