Apart from being a mum, a partner and passionate nutrition and functional medicine practitioner, I am what many refer to as a LADA, which is just another name for a Type 1 diabetic, who was diagnosed as an adult. Some say it is a slower onset diabetes, but I disagree.
I think adults are screened more frequently, such as I was during a routine screening during pregnancy, which meant it was detected very early on in the disease progression, years before any symptoms. It was 8 years after that that I started to need the help of endogenous insulin. I don’t know many who last that long, and I know that in my case it was because I did many dietary and lifestyle interventions to slow the progression down. Although I do sometimes require some insulin for meals, I still produce a little of my own insulin. I am a rare case, because for many, the progression is far quicker. And for young kids who aren’t routinely screened for blood sugar abnormalities, they usually end up in hospital very sick, but there is no way really of knowing how long they had detectable antibodies. So I am a type 1 diabetic who was fortunate to have lived half her life without it. I am also fortunate that I am trained in nutrition and functional medicine because without this knowledge I know for sure I would have ended up in hospital with DKA many years ago. My training gave me the knowledge and tools to intervene early on, with a low carbohydrate diet, along with looking at all the factors which could be driving my autoimmunity.
I feel empowered to live the healthiest life possible, without fear of diabetic complications, without fear of developing other autoimmune diseases, and the assurance that I will live a long, healthy normal life.
As a nutrition and functional medicine practitioner, I believe in personalised health care that supports the person, not the condition, predominantly through natural mechanisms allowing for bodies innate ability to be healthy.
I want the same fate for you!
As a diabetic we are lead to believe and accept that because of our condition we are condemned to a whole list of associated complications, and less likely to live a long healthy life.
Well I’m here to tell you that’s nonsense, and you do not need to accept that fate.
We can live long healthy lives without diabetic complications such as neuropathy, kidney failure, glaucoma, impotence, etc.
My Back Story
My father died of diabetic complications at the age of 77. I don’t know how well his blood sugars were managed, I was too young to understand anything, and I myself did not have diabetes at the time. All I remember is my dad’s hypoglycaemic events, and then his eventual decline into kidney failure, toe amputation, cognitive impairment and death. He spent his last year or so mostly in hospital. My parents had to move from South Africa, back to the U.K so my dad could have access to better health care.
Fast forward a year or so and I received the devastating news that I had gestational diabetes. Everyone said don’t worry it’s temporary, it goes away after you give birth. But I knew this was different, I knew that because my father had had Type 1, that because I was slim fit and healthy, that this wasn’t the usual gestational diabetes that many women get, that was more like type 2 diabetes. And sure enough, they did some tests and found I was GAD antibody positive. I was told you may or may not get Type 1 diabetes, and there is nothing that can be done about it, just come back every 6 months to get your fasting blood glucose measured. So I did. I knew very little back then. And every time I was tested my fasting blood glucose results all came back normal. I felt I had escaped it.
Why I Chose This Path
I was never that close to my dad, but over the years of coming to terms with my diagnosis, I have wished he were still around. I know he would have been heartbroken, as a kid if I ever got up in the night to pee he’d worry and ask how many times I’d been getting up in the night…..I now do the same with my own child…I now understand how he felt.
I have felt anger towards him too, for passing on these genes, even though I know that makes no sense, genes only load the gun, the environment pulls the trigger and I cannot blame him for that. But when dealing with and coming to terms with it, you need to blame someone, something. Of course, I don’t wish he was still here just so that he can know I have diabetes because I wouldn’t want him to feel the pain of knowing his little girl has to live with diabetes, but darn it would just be so nice to talk to someone who understands. No one understands what it’s like to deal with something, unless they are dealing with it, or have dealt with it themselves. After years of resisting specialising in helping others with diabetes, purely I think because I was still in denial and didn’t want to be dealing with it in any way, I had my first Type 1 diabetic client, and the experience convinced me that it is what I should be doing. I had personally seen many practitioners on my own health journey, and I wished for someone who knew and understood my journey. And now I was being that practitioner for my first type 1 diabetic client, and it felt amazing.
If you are looking to upgrade your health, and want to learn how from the caring support of someone who knows the life of a Type 1 diabetic, you’ve come to the right place.