My Diabetes Experience


Approx 30 years ago, my husband found me slumped on the sofa at home. I don’t actually recall the events, but my husband tells me he carried me to the car and took me to A and E. My first recollection of this life changing day, was opening my eyes, wondering where on earth I was, and seeing which I now know to be, IV’s in each arm with bags of fluids being infused into my body. The excessive thirst that I had been suffering from began to ease. I could literally see the fluids draining away as my body was pulling in sodium, glucose, potassium and insulin on a sliding scale machine.

I was in intensive care, and felt half dead. I was informed that I had DKA (Diabetic keto acidosis), which was a life threatening condition, and that I was a type 1 diabetic who would need daily injections of insulin for life. My pancreas wasn’t producing insulin, thus causing DKA.

Looking back, I was drinking 11-12 litres of water a day and I had dropped 10lb in weight the previous week before falling ill. I felt rather foolish at not recognising my symptoms, as my father was a type 1 diabetic. It didn’t occur to me that I could be a type 1 diabetic. I simply couldn’t and wouldn’t accept that I was a type 1 diabetic and was in complete denial and sought out a way to cure myself.

Injected Insulin, although critical to sustain life in a type 1 diabetic, is a hormone that causes weight gain and due to the steroid built into both animal and synthetic insulin, it is apparent that over time even more weight is progressively gained.

Being a body conscious young lady and also having a needle phobia, I used to skip injections due to weight gain and fear of needles. I quickly learnt and discovered that my body gained 1lb of weight/fluid per 1 unit of insulin injected. My daily 4-5 injections of 5 units daily, equates to 20-25lb weight gain. As soon as I ceased injecting insulin, my weight would drop the 20-25lb of weight gain. However, this not something that practice anymore or that I recommend to others because this will lead to life threatening DKA -Diabetic Keto Acidosis.

Over the following years, I went into DKA 7 more times, my last being in September 2019. Since then I have accepted that I can be thin and dead or fat and alive – I have of course chosen the latter option (!) and I take my 5 daily injections – albeit begrudgingly – and I am really bemused as to why steroids are built into the insulin. This is a question that I want to ask insulin manufactures.

Interestingly, although treatment for type 1 diabetes has been made easier with micro fine needles, continuous glucose monitors and regular health checks, the actual treatment of type 1 diabetes hasn’t change since 101 years ago when insulin injections were first introduced in 1921. Up until then, one was lucky to live until 40. No cure as of yet has been discovered. There are (or were) relatively few type 1 diabetics as oppose to type 2 diabetics. What I would give to swop my type 1 diabetes to type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes can be well managed with a healthy lifestyle. In my opinion, pharmaceutical companies are more interested in making exorbitant amounts of money and profits from the millions of type 2 diabetics. Why would they want to “cure” anyone and reduce the massive profits they make. Excuse my cynicism.

So I set about “curing” my type 1 diabetes. I travelled to the States to visit 3 different and expensive health clinics on 15 different occasions, all of which helped somewhat, but didn’t cure my diabetes or heal my pancreas. I spent a huge amount of money and finally acknowledged there is no cure for type 1 diabetes. I learnt that type 1 diabetes appears to be an auto immune disease, whereby ones body attacks itself and in my case my body is attacking the insulin producing cells within the pancreas. Genetics play a role as well.

I did learn that one’s diet is very important to aide one’s health. Regardless of what disease one has, avoiding processed food is the key to feeling healthier. I remind myself often that “what I eat today will determine how I will feel tomorrow”, but the easiest rule of thumb when shopping or feeling hungry, is don’t buy or eat anything that is processed. It makes decision making so simple and narrows the window of bad food choices.

Part of my journey has included fasting, high carb diets, low fat diets, calorie counting, over exercising, high protein diets and following a vegan diet and a raw food diet. Believe me, I have tried everything, including vast amounts of supplements, extreme detoxing and mind over matter!

My personal conclusion is that a very low carbohydrate diet with plenty of unprocessed protein and lots of salad vegetables with nuts and seeds and olives (natural unprocessed healthy fats in their natural form, as nature intended) keeps sugar levels steady and satiates the appetite. This in turn reduces the amount of insulin and medications required, which also in turn reduces the side effects caused by such medicines. However, type 1 diabetes will always require the need for daily injections. My dream is to one day be free of type 1 diabetes, but I suspect that will not happen in my lifetime.

I also blamed myself for becoming a type 1 diabetic in the first place, as I did used to have a sweet tooth in my younger years. However, I have forgiven myself for being ignorant in my youth, and I have wondered if the utter exhaustion that comes with diabetes, caused me to reach for sweet foods to give me short term energy just to get through the day.

I do believe that many diabetics are food addicts Much of this is due to the food manufacturers who spend millions on researching and producing the perfect chemical cosh of sugar, fat and salt, to produce the bliss factor that can induce addiction to particular foods – to literally make us crave their brands of “food”. It is a scandal and leaves many of us with “brain fog” when high on ultra processed foods.

Meanwhile, there are a few clinical trials taking place in the USA working towards curing type 1 diabetes including islets of langerhang transplants, TB vaccinations (from a 100 year old vaccine, not the newer synthetic vaccines) and a pancreas transplant. There are others going on as well, so I eagerly read up on the research.

Meanwhile, the most simple and inexpensive way to help millions of diabetics (actually, to help all), is to educate the world and people to go back to eating simple unprocessed foods as we used to.

Might I also point out that I worked in a health store for a few months, and please don’t be fooled by “health” foods. They also are generally over processed and cost even more than standard processed food. I have also spent thousands on expensive supplements being shipped to me from across the globe – they don’t replace a healthy unprocessed prepared meal, enjoyed when eaten slowly and consciously.

Gluten gives me itching skin and aching muscles , aside from elevated sugar levels and bloating.

Our bodies recognise natural foods, but become inefficient with processed foods, including processed and hydrogenated oils, and will often store these toxins in our bodies. An excess of omega 6 found in processed vegetable oils and ultra processed foods causes inflammation which in turn causes pain, illness and disease.

So I have learnt to be kind to myself, to not be judgmental of others, to love our families, friends and fellow beings and to ditch the disease causing ultra processed foods.

Lets eat “slow” food as oppose “fast” food – you really will enjoy better health.


My Diabetes Experience


WAKE UP CALL – Are you Type 2 Diabetic?

My name is Brian Urwin, I am the CEO of Think Healthy Me CIC and Founder/Chairperson of Health and Business in Thanet (HABIT). I am also Founder/Chairman of the Thanet Diabetes Community Support Group and Ambassador for Public Health Collaboration.

My mission is: “to inspire people to live healthy lifestyles in order to achieve their desired life potential”.

If you have been diagnosed by your GP as diabetic (type 2) or pre-diabetic, I am writing this to let you know of the serious health issues awaiting you as you get older. Sadly, my GP did not take the time to do this in 1988 when, following a routine blood test, he looked me in the eye and said: “Mr Urwin, I’m afraid that you have Type 2 Diabetes”. I was 52. As I knew little about what this meant I asked him to explain this. He responded: “It means that you have this disease for life. You are likely to suffer serious health problems such as heart disease and eyesight problems.” I said “I do not understand. I have a good lifestyle; I eat healthily and compete in Marathons and Triathlons and today feel very healthy and fit. What do you suggest I do to address this?” My GP said: “Mr Urwin, it is a lifetime condition, and you cannot do anything to combat it. The good news is that I can help you with prescription drugs such as Metformin and Gliclazide”. I asked how these would help me and the GP responded “Your pancreas is not controlling your blood sugar levels. These tablets will help lower your blood sugar levels.”

If my GP had a crystal ball he might have said:

“In 12 years’ time, in the year 2000, you will suffer a sudden cardiac arrest in a foreign country, followed by a quadruple open heart bypass. Between the years 2000 and 2018 you will have to attend London St Barts hospital frequently to correct a medical oversight with my heart medication (Amiodarone) that will affect your thyroid and good health. The good news is that you will also attend Guy’s Hospital on numerous occasions under the watchful eye of Professor Aldo Rinaldi, who monitor you and keep you in good shape. The worst part will come in 2018. For three years, you will suffer very painful leg ulcers and gout in your left leg and foot. Your life will be full of hospital and GP visits, and this will dramatically affect you and your wife’s quality of life”.

My GP did not possess a crystal ball. Nevertheless, all of the above is true.

Had the GP said to me in 1988:

“Diabetes can lead to sudden premature death”.
“Diabetes complications increase as we age”.
“Diabetes can lead to amputations and sight loss; and more”.
I believe that my inaction for 30 years, between 1988 and 2018, would have resulted in much earlier self-managed action, and subsequently a better quality of life.
Today in 2021, the NHS website states that Type 2 diabetes is a lifelong condition that can affect everyday life, with this condition costing the NHS £10 billion per year. Overall, GP’s simply follow the NHS guidelines upon diagnosis, with no acknowledgment of Type 2 diabetes being reversable. But the knowledge is changing. There are a growing number of healthcare professionals that are helping patients reverse this condition through diet alone; reducing medication usage in the process. This, in turn, not only saves the NHS money but more importantly, significantly reduces the occurrence of complications for the individual such as heart attacks, amputations and sight loss.


As a committed learner for life, I have viewed the last 31 years as a learning experience in health and wellbeing. I hold the medical profession both in the UK and in Luxembourg in very high regard, and I’m grateful to them for helping me to live a long, quality, life. My GP in 1988 and those in the following years cannot be blamed for thinking that Type 2 diabetes is a lifelong condition. After all, this is the statement that the NHS put out there for all GP’s and Diabetics to see. It remains at the time of writing in May 2021.

I took my own steps to reverse Type 2 diabetes with a strong focus on reducing sugar and carbohydrates. This focus, along with the prescribed medication, helped me to reach HBA1C levels of 41; a level classed as pre-diabetic. Despite a massive 17.5kg weight loss, as illustrated in the picture above, I feel so much better. To my surprise I sleep better, feel refreshed with improved memory, and my ability to concentrate on important business projects with mental clarity has increased. I spend time close to nature and have sufficient energy to walk daily and garden (when the weather is suitable). Practising Transcendental Meditation twice daily also keeps me grounded.

My goal is to maintain pre-diabetic status, but how is a different story. Details of how I achieved this desired goal are available, on request. They are included in the February 2021 Think Healthy Me Webinar ‘Changing Lifestyle and the Importance of Strengthening Immunity’. Thank you for reading.

Brian Urwin

My Diabetes Experience


 I have always been a bit overweight but in my 60s my weight rose to around 112 Kg. I visited a friend in Ireland and found he had lost a lot of weight. He told me he had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes a year before and was advised to go on the Blood Sugar diet by Michael Mosley. He lost around 20 Kg in a year and was then diagnosed as non diabetic. When I got back to the UK I asked my doctor to test me for diabetes and it came back positive. I was also advised to go on a diet and referred to a DERIK event in Birchington. The diet worked and I lost 18 Kg in 6 months and moved back to pre-diabetic and now in remission. Needless to say remission does not mean cure and I have to watch what I eat, and exercise is essential. I try to use my treadmill for 40 minutes five times a week, and walk to do the shopping and so on. Swimming during the summer is also good exercise.

A word of warning! Before I went on the Blood Sugar diet I tried the 5/2 diet where you eat very little on two days of the week, restricting yourself to 600 calories. I went too far with this and didn’t drink enough water and ended up freezing and passing out in the kitchen. Luckily I had my mobile and rang my wife who was upstairs and she came down and rang 999 who came very quickly and blue lighted me to the QEQM hospital A&E who revived me.