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Teresa Reversed Her Diabetes!

 

I am VERY honored to introduce y’all to a very special friend of mine.  I have known Teresa since our children were in kindergarten together, about 25  years ago.  She recently reached out to KetoNurses, looking for something different.  Here is her story in her words.

Teresa Toten, July, 2017

 

My name is Teresa, and I live in rural Mississippi.  I am a wife, a mother of four boys, and a grandmother to four.  Over the years, I have worked and taken care of my family, but I really did not pay attention to my health.  My weight slowly continued to creep up on me; after the birth of my children, I never really did go back to my pre-pregnancy weight.  I accepted the “fluffiness” as my new norm.  I worked, I came home, and the cycle repeated itself daily for years, leaving little time for exercise.

 

I have worked as a legal assistant for almost 17 years, during which time most of my work surrounded workers’ compensation claims and social security disability claims.  Little did I know, that I would also be injured on the job.  On February 20th, 2015, I underwent a multi-level anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF).  Recovery was slow and painful; in addition, I suffered another injury just weeks after my ACDF surgery – this time to my sternoclavicular (shoulder) joint and collarbone.  The doctor felt that the best course of action would be to undergo steroid injections along with trigger point injections.  Over the course of the next two years, I underwent many of these injections with little to no relief.

June, 2017

In July, 2016, I noticed that I was losing weight without trying; my hair was thinning and falling out in clumps; my face was red and splotchy; my vision was rapidly blurring, and I just all-around did not feel good at all.  I assumed that I was having an issue with my thyroid as thyroid problems do run in my family.  So, in August, 2016, I decided to see a doctor about my concerns.  He ordered the usual rounds of blood work and said he’d get back to me within a few days with the results.  Two days passed, and I received a call from the doctor’s office and said I needed to come in immediately to discuss the results.  I just knew it was my thyroid but at least I had an answer.

 

Day 1 of Keto Nutrition, April, 2017

I went in to the appointment the next morning, and he asked me if anyone had ever talked to me about the big “D”.  I must have looked confused so he patted me on the knee and said that it was diabetes.  We discussed my family history of diabetes (grandmother was diabetic; mother was hypoglycemic).  We discussed my personal history, my eating habits, my lack of exercise, my weight (200 pounds) and my recent surgery and ongoing injections.  He was concerned that my workers’ compensation doctor had not disclosed to me the dangers of rising blood glucose levels while on the injections, and I had been getting them for two years. He told me that my A1C was 12.8.  He explained to me that my blood was telling him the average blood glucose over the last three months was around 375; he also told me that those numbers were not good at all.  He immediately started me on Metformin ER, 500 mg twice a day but also wanted to test my kidney function before beginning.  The results came in… kidneys were okay.  So, he started me out on a long acting one called Tresiba.  I started out at 10 units.  My numbers remained high.  The next week, he added 2 units.  My numbers continued to climb.  My fasting blood glucose levels remained above 200.  My afternoon glucose levels barely dropped.  Insulin dosage increased.  So, after months of trying to stabilize my blood glucose levels, he added Novolog at mealtime.  This addition of mealtime insulin helped my afternoon blood glucose numbers come down a bit, but not where they needed to be.  So, he increased my Metformin to 2000 mg a day.

 

May, 2017

I attended every class that this small town offered to help me learn to manage my diabetes.  I followed the ADA guidelines to the letter.  My numbers continued to rise even though I was eating the way a diabetic is instructed to do.  I just did not understand why I could not get a grasp on my health, and this diabetes was trying to take over my life.  I meticulously kept a log of what I would eat on a daily basis, making sure that I had the proper amounts of protein, carbs and vegetables per the ADA recommendations.  My numbers continued to rise.  Yes, I managed to lose a few pounds in the process but was still grossly overweight at 188 pounds.
So, in frustration and heartache, I reached out to a friend of mine here at KetoNurses for advice on lowering my numbers.  She sent me links to articles on the blog, and she added me to a Facebook group whose main goal is to educate people on methods to use nutrition to help lower glucose and reverse diabetes.  I mean, what did I have to lose besides 2000 mg of Metformin, 30 units of Tresiba, and 16 units of Novolog (per meal) three times a day.  I was ready to get my life back in order, take control of my health, and come off of the medication I was on.

 

So, in April 2017, my keto food list in hand, I made my way to the grocery store to start my new way of eating.  I loaded my cart with items from the meat department, and produce department.  I did not shop down the center aisles for anything.  There were no foods in packages, boxes or bags.  There were no cereals, pastas, rice or potatoes.  There were no fruits, candies, cakes or cookies.  The only thing in my cart was good, wholesome and keto approved foods  I was ready to tackle this way of eating.

On day 1, I took a full length photo of myself.  I weighed in at 188 pounds.  And, I ate.  And, I ate.  I cooked using bacon grease.  I added fat to my vegetables.  I made a cinnamon apple butter tea.  I tracked everything that I did.  I measured all of my food so that my logs were precise.  Day 2 was more of the same.  On or about the 4th or 5th day, keto flu kicked in.  My friend advised me to drink salted broth.  I did and I muddled through the aches and tiredness.  Weeks went by, and I continued to count, to log, to experiment with my foods and my fats.  I got the hang of it.  However, it was not until my first doctor’s appointment after I started this way of eating that the realization kicked in.

My doctor made note of my weight.  He made note of my leaner appearance.   But what really got his attention was my blood glucose numbers; they rapidly fell and stabilized.  So, he had me decrease my insulin dosages and instructed me how to decrease it on my own so that I could do it by myself.  This visit was the first positive appointment I had with him since my diagnosis in 2016.  I was impressed.  So, I continued this way of eating.  I began to notice that my pants were looser, my acne was disappearing, my face was losing its puffiness, my energy levels were increasing, and I just felt better.  I discontinued my Novolog (3 injections a day) and my numbers did not go back up.  I was consistently getting blood glucose readings in the 80’s and 90’s which were a far cry from the 250-300 I was used to seeing.  So, I cut back on my Tresiba.  My dose was 30 units and I am down to 14 units per day.  I also saw my doctor this past week, and he said that he was proud of me.  He said that with the way I am going, that I should be off of my medications (blood pressure meds included) within the next 6 months.

My most recent A1C was done last week and the results are in…..  Last year it was 12.8…  Last week, it was 5.2.  What a tremendous drop!  My cholesterol was a little high at 205 but all other numbers were fantastic.  I enjoyed a great checkup, a great prognosis, a resounding “I’m proud of you” and a “keep up the great work” from my doctor.  He said to keep doing what I am doing, it obviously works. So, I will keto on and continue this way of eating.  It has saved my life, one buttery delicious morsel at a time.
As nurses, we recognize that diabetes has always been considered a progressive condition that always worsens, but we are here to offer another perspective and a totally different outcome for Type 2 Diabetes.  While diabetes may remain on your medical chart as a permanent diagnosis, it IS possible to reverse the condition to a point where complications are minimized or completely eliminated. 

diet, insulin, insulin resistant, keto, ketogenic, lifestyle, low carb, NAFLD, nurse, nurse practitioner, paleo, PCOS

Joining forces…

I’m currently working as a family nurse practitioner part-time in a family practice and part-time as a nursing professor. One of the physicians with whom I work is a certified lipidologist. He is a physician who specializes in the metabolism of fat. Two years ago, I had 40 pounds to lose. I had tried everything. Nothing worked. I decided to try the low-carb, high fat way of eating and lost all the weight and have kept it off. I found this plan is a very sustainable way of eating! I was warned by many of my medical colleagues that this “diet” was very unhealthy and would skyrocket my cholesterol. I found just the opposite! Two years later, I continue to eat this way, have maintained a healthy weight and my cholesterol readings are perfect.

I work with many who suffer from type II diabetes.

Cholesterol, diabetes, diet, Fat, gluten-free, Grain free, insulin resistant, keto, ketogenic, lifestyle, low carb, NAFLD, paleo, PCOS, Recipes

Grain-Free Fake Ziti

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After seeing an awesome segment on “Rachael”, I wanted to try making a low carb & grain-free Ziti. So I began with her simple recipe and tweaked it a bit.  Full of vitamins, nutrition, & healthy fats, it was an amazing dish to finish out the holidays with a bit of convenience and delicious twist of flavor.

KetoNurses Easy Fake-Ziti Recipe

2-3 tbsp olive oil or avocado oil

5-6 cloves of garlic (1 bulb is fine)

nutmeg, freshly ground (optional)

10-12 oz thawed, drained & chopped spinach (can use 1 lb.)

2 -3 medium-sized zuchinni, sliced thinly

16-24 oz full fat ricotta

16-24 oz grated parmagiano-reggiano

16 oz shredded fresh mozzarella

salt & pepper to taste

Start by turning oven on 350 degrees to preheat, & oil or butter your baking dish.   Heat 2 tbsp. oil in medium skillet over medium heat and stir in garlic.  Add drained spinach and break clumps of spinach up as you stir it into oil/garlic. Stir over medium heat for 1-2 minutes to heat thoroughly. Turn off heat.

Fold in the thinly sliced zucchini  & a bit of nutmeg. Salt & pepper to taste.   Fold in the ricotta & parm  & mix well.

Turn out into baking dish and cover with shredded/grated mozzarella. Bake smaller dish (8×8) for about 30 minutes; if using larger quantities, you will need a larger dish, approximately 9×13.  Larger pans will require longer cooking time.  I used the largest quantities & baked my ziti in a 9×13 pan, so baking time was about 45-50 minutes.  It is done when mozzarella begins to appear golden brown. Let stand out of oven for about 15 minutes prior to cutting & serving. It makes a great leftover dish later in the week or works well even as hor d’oeuvres when cut into small squares.

Options:  Brown a pound of fresh pork sausage or hamburger meat and add to mixture prior to baking. I did use ground beef in my version because my husband refused to eat it without some kind of meat.  LOL

This meal has it all! Loads of protein, iron, & vital nutrients for improving health can be found in the ingredients.  In addition, it’s a very filling meal, meaning you can eat smaller portions.  Served with a small green salad, it is a great meal for entertaining or even carrying to a pot-luck dinner.

Rachael recommended a nice white wine for accompanying her Ziti.  I’m not much of a wine chic, so I’ll take her word for it.

This Fake-Ziti is a very flexible base of ingredients & I hope to try a few other twists to it over the next few months!

I have really enjoyed learning to cook with zucchini as noodles in a wide variety of dishes; zuchinni makes a terrific substitute for grain-based noodles & contain significantly more nutrients than any processed noodle manufactured today.  Using “zoodles” as they are called, can also be a great way to get your kids to eat more veggies!

If you try our low carb Ziti, please share photos and let us know how you like it; find & follow our Facebook page – KetoNurses.