Why GPs should prescribe a low-carb diet for type 2 diabetes
It seems every week brings a new headline about the catastrophic epidemic of type 2 diabetes that is threatening to overwhelm our health service. But in my view we are largely ignoring the root cause of the problem and taking completely the wrong approach to tackling it – failing our patients and costing the NHS a fortune in the process.
Instead of giving patients unhelpful instructions to eat less – on a diet based on starchy carbohydrate – and exercise more, and then putting them on to more and more drugs, we should be listening to their experience and observing the growing body of evidence that cutting down on carbohydrate intake is the key.
I am seeing astonishing results in patients with type 2 diabetes who themselves chose to reduce their dietary carbohydrate intakes. Having seen the results, and after many hours of research to understand the physiology better, I believe it would be unacceptable for me not to offer advice on using a ‘low-carb’ diet to patients with type 2 diabetes.
At medical school 20 years ago I was taught that type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease. This is not true – turn off the ‘sugar tap’ and the disease begins to reverse. Type 2 diabetes is a problem of homeostasis. Our body uses its various hormones, including insulin, to maintain blood glucose homeostasis of 4–6 mmol/L, which is about 5g in an average adult. But when we constantly consume food that challenges our blood glucose level, the body takes the hit and shifts the excess glucose to fat storage. Eventually, probably as a homeostatic mechanism to prevent ever-increas Continue reading