My friend, Dave Schofield, dancer teacher extraordinaire and all round top bloke, has kindly given his permission to share his inspirational story concerning his management of his diabetes type 2 with you. As I’m sure you are aware, diabetes type 2 is a life-long condition that causes blood sugar levels to become too high and can cause numerous symptoms including fatigue, unquenchable thirst, excessive urination and weight / muscle loss.
Since 2015 Dave was taking four Metformin tablets a day – medication designed to manage the symptoms of type 2 diabetes by lowering blood sugar and improving the absorption of insulin into cells. Unfortunately, the side effects of this medication can cause unpleasant symptoms such as nausea and diarrhoea.
At a routine diabetes check-up he was given, in his words, ‘a severe arse kicking’ by the nurse as his HbA1c level was ’77 mmol/mol’. This measure is more comprehensive than a blood glucose test and indicates how well a patient has been managing their blood sugar levels over weeks and months. A diabetic patient should aim for a level of 48 mmol/mol and a person without diabetes would have a reading of 42 mmol /mol – so Dave’s reading was sky high and was told he would need to take Gliclazide as well as Metformin.
Dave has always been active; he’s a dance teacher and I’ve had the pleasure of dancing with him on many an occasion, so he needed to look at other aspects of his lifestyle in order to reduce his blood glucose. He adopted the Mediterranean diet, known as one the healthiest diets in the world, and stopped drinking alcohol. The result was losing 6 stones in weight, coming off Metformin completely, and this week he had a HbA1c level of ’33 mmol/ mol’ – well under what is concerned ‘normal’ levels of blood glucose.
I’m sure Dave’s journey will have taken a lot of determination and dedication; at times it probably seemed a lot easier to take a pill. He now has Type 2 Diabetes in remission; his lifestyle changes don’t ‘cure’ diabetes and if he reverted to his old lifestyle the diabetes would return, however, he now feels healthier and has also avoided the ‘slippery’ slope of two other pathologies that accompany diabetes – high blood pressure (now 125/77) and high cholesterol (now 3.8 – lower than mine!) and has avoided the threat of strokes, amputations and heart attacks.
I, for one, would like to congratulate Dave for achieving such a life changing goal – it just shows what we can achieve when we put our mind to it. Well done, Dave, and keeeeep dancing!!
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