29 August, 2009

My Story: Diabetes

I was born at the end of 1942. My mother prepared good meals for us according to the traditions of her family. Meat, potatoes, pasta, milk, eggs, cheese, and some fruits and vegetables, mostly canned were the standard ingredients for our meals. What we know of nutrition we generally learn from our parents. Our eating habits are the result of many generations of traditions. We had desserts on occasion, and a “treat” was just that -- something we had rarely and was really special – usually ice cream. Treats were not something we had every day, and cookies were not a staple in the pantry to be eaten whenever we wanted.

What I have learned in the last few years is that each generation takes the nutrition level down a notch or two or three … and then pays the price.

When I raised my family, in accordance with the traditions of my ancestors (and taking it down a notch), we had a lot of meat, potatoes, pasta, milk, eggs, cheese, and some fruits and vegetables, mostly canned… We had desserts more often and ice cream was always available in the freezer. And served in large portions. And so it goes.

My only sibling was diagnosed in his 30s with type-2 diabetes. He died at age 51. I was diagnosed in 2005 with type-2 diabetes. But I was determined that this disease would not define me. I would not refer to myself as a diabetic. I am Donna, and I have diabetes. I had been a diet counselor about 28 years before, and thought I knew something about a good diet. So my doctor agreed that I should try diet and exercise to “control” my blood sugar. That didn’t work. So I was placed on an oral medication. This did not help much, either.

I was praying for a solution, and constantly searching for information.

In the spring of 2007, I attended a meeting where a diabetic gentleman, much worse off than I was, had improved his diabetes, and was sharing information he had gleaned primarily from a book,
The China Study, by T. Colin Campbell. This book was the turning point for me and has changed my life.

I changed my diet drastically. I planned to transition over the course of a year or so … pescatarian, ovo-lacto vegetarian, then vegan. But the more I studied – both from books and online sources, I learned that a raw-food diet is very effective in nourishing and strengthening our bodies, and provides everything we need to heal from even the worst of diseases.

Someone once told me that I was able to change faster than anyone she knew. My reasoning is – if you find out you are doing something wrong, that is the time to make the change – why dilly-dally when you learn that you need to change? So I did just that – no transition for me. I just did it. I stopped eating animal products, and stopped cooking. Period.

My dear husband was very tolerant during this time. I was learning a lot at a very rapid rate. And he enjoyed pretty much everything I prepared. I was gathering “uncook” books and trying new recipes, some worked out, some didn’t. But I was learning.

Then that summer, I took a series of classes put on by Sandra Ellis, “Dr. Mom” who is a Master Herbalist, Midwife, Microscopist, and Mother of 14 children. She has written a book,
Dr. Mom’s Healthy Living, which is an account of her adventures in helping to change people’s lives naturally. On page 58 she writes about her diabetic husband, Steve, who was on the same oral medication I was taking:

"He was told that it helps the pancreas to produce insulin. When the nurse saw he was taking eight of these per day, she told him he should never take more than four because tests have shown that more than four are ineffective and it will kill the pancreas faster. Steve said, ‘What do you mean Faster?’ She told him this medication forces the pancreas to make insulin and to work much harder than normal. This is why the oral medication is only good for a couple of years because it will eventually burn out the pancreas and then you will have to go on insulin. Doctors know this when they prescribe the medicine, but it is used as an effective way to stall off taking insulin for a couple of years.

“Steve was furious when he left that lab. All of those months he had been trying so hard to rebuild his pancreas, only to find out he had been unknowingly killing it. He walked out of the lab and threw all of the prescription drugs away. He has not taken them since.

“The glandulars are also something I would never recommend to anyone. The fact is the tissue in these glandulars is dead – there is no vibration to them and, if there was, it certainly would not match the tissue of a live person. Not to mention the fact, I would be real concerned about what animal it is being taken out of and what condition the animal was in when it was taken. … I used to believe a vegetarian lifestyle would take care of this problem; I was wrong. This condition literally takes a lifestyle change! The system has to be alkalized and rebuilt with live food. Again depending on what type of diabetes you have and how far it has progressed – you must be as aggressive as what you are dealing with or it will win.”
This had an enormous impact on me. It was July 9, 2007, and I knew that this was not a road I wanted to travel. I tossed my meds. I do not recommend that anyone chuck their meds without consulting with their physician. However, that is just what I did. It’s just how I am; I take full responsibility for my own actions, whatever the outcome. It was the choice I made. And for me, it was the best choice I have made in a very long time. My blood sugar has steadily improved from that time until today, June 24, 2009, when my fasting blood sugar this morning was 85. Sometimes it’s even better. No meds for over two years, now. I am Donna and I do not have diabetes.

I have read a lot of books over the past couple of years, that I can highly recommend. Among them are: Dr. Norman Walker’s book on Juicing. Professor Arnold Ehret’s books on the
Mucusless Diet. Dr. Christopher’s Family Herbalist course, Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s Eat To Live, Dr. John McDougall has a website and newsletter; I just finished Dr. Robert Young’s The pH Miracle, and I am currently reading There Is A Cure For Diabetes by Dr. Gabriel Cousens, of the Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center, where they filmed the documentary, Raw for 30.

I am not a follower of any single “guru,” but there is a common thread with all of these authors – Meat and Milk are culprits in this and many other diseases. I am not so strict on the raw thing any more, either, but I do eat mostly raw, probably about 90 percent, (the goal is to get back to 100%) and cook sometimes for my dear husband. He says he is a vegetarian – “I only eat animals that eat vegetables – hahaha.” Cute, but he knows he won’t get meat or dairy at home, so when he travels on business or the rare occasions when we go out he gets to eat his vegetarian animals. However, the truth is, he is actually making better choices more frequently, and he is releasing weight and feeling healthier, too.