A Journey Begins
I started my health journey in October 2018, when my wife asked me to order The Obesity Code for herself. So I ordered it and saw that Dr Jason Fung had written The Diabetes Code. Since I’ve had Type 2 diabetes since 2004, I decided to order it and see if it could help me.
About the same time, I had to find a new primary doctor, and had to get updated lab work. My first visit with him didn’t go well. My blood glucose was in the mid 300s that morning after breakfast, and my A1C was 11.2. My doctor referred me to see a kidney specialist, but I didn’t understand why. He also put me on long acting insulin at bedtime, and I tried to refuse it, but ended up feeling defeated and agreed to take it. I was already on the max dosage of metformin and a regular dosage of glipizide. My diet for many years was eating three meals a day, with snacks per ADA guidelines, although I did have a lot of sweets, fruit and baked goods.
The books arrived, and I promptly skipped the science and went straight to what to do and how to do it. I was shocked and disappointed that the ADA had given diabetics the wrong guidance. I was very skeptical to go against the ADA and my doctor, but decided to try low carb high fat. I was really motivated to get off of the insulin, as I hated injecting it in me.
At this time, I saw my kidney specialist, and she said I had Stage 3b chronic kidney disease (CKD), and to start thinking about dialysis and a kidney transplant in a couple years. What?!?! I was shocked and scared. I had nothing to lose, so I tried reducing my carbs and snacking. In three weeks, of gradually lengthening my fasting hours from 8 to 16 to 18 to 24, my blood glucose had dropped enough to stop the insulin! My A1C had dropped to 8.5. That was a major milestone. I did another kidney test right after Thanksgiving 2018, and my CKD was worse, now at mid Stage 4. Strange, but I still had hope that it would improve, and a month later, right after Christmas 2018, my CKD went back to Stage 3b and my A1C was 7.7. By that time, I had done 42 and 48 hour fasts, but not consistently yet.
Taking Control of Change
At the end of January 2019, my primary doctor said that the metformin and glipizide could be affecting my kidney function tests, and to stop them since my bg was still decreasing. So in March 2019, my CKD slightly improved to borderline Stage 3a/3b, and my A1C was 6.5.
I did have two periods of struggling, once in 2019 and once in 2020. Both times I felt burned out, and started again making new goals. I also had to change my mindset, and that’s where I thought of fasting as healing, and feasting as rebuilding. Fasting sounded like deprivation, a negative feeling to me, so I needed to make this a positive word, so healing was what I chose to use to reframe it. Feasting sounded like I could eat anything whether healthy or not, so I chose rebuilding as my word to remind me to rebuild my cells with healthy foods. So, I did get back to intermittent fasting after being burned out, by eating low carb 2 meals a day, eventually doing 24 hour fasts, then the 16/30 protocol, and then back to 42s. This took around 3 months each time.
Since 2019, my CKD is stable at Stage 3b and my kidney doc said I don’t have to worry about dialysis or a kidney transplant at this time, but I will work on decreasing my protein intake a little. My A1C has slowly improved, and in October 2020 it is now 5.6. My long term goal is under 5.0, so I have more work to do, and this goal keeps me motivated.
In conclusion, Dr. Fung’s fasting method really works, and with all the awesome support of Megan Ramos, the coaches and members, you’ve all saved my life. I’m so grateful to all of you.
Thank you so much!
Top tips: My biggest tip is to constantly work on your mindset.
Figure out your Why. Trust the process. Reframe problematic foods and negative thoughts. Learn to see the positive in every effort. Share your story with others. Enjoy your health journey
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By Jason Fung, MD
Jason Fung, M.D., is a Toronto-based nephrologist (kidney specialist) and a world leading expert in intermittent fasting and low-carb diets.