vegan, no meds, type 2 diabetes

By gmagigi Latest Reply 2012-04-15 14:51:48 -0500
Started 2012-04-11 16:28:36 -0500

I am a recently diagnosed diabetic 2 and REFUSE to go on meds. I read about and am trying a vegan diet to help with my problem. Has anyone else tried this diet successfully? Also, my cholesterol has gone down, but my DR said I still have to stay on meds as "diabetics need that med (a statin) to prevent strokes, even if the cholesterol numbers are down." I'm not a big proponent of the pharmacutical companies.

With the vegan diet, I've lost weight —though I'm not overweight — and can eat almost everything I want — within limits.

29 replies

suziesgirl 2012-04-14 19:55:24 -0500 Report

I totally agree with you. I refused to take any of the meds until I had a shot at it myself. I am happy to say I succeded. A1C from 10.4 to 5.5. The statin drug was definately out of the question for me. I knew if my BS came down, so would all the other readings that were not good. Vegan seems good, but I am still a bit of a carnavor. I don't eat allot of red meat, but I do induldge about 1 x per week. I buy grassfed beef and only chicken with no harmones or antibiotics. Free range eggs and as much organic veg. as possible. It seems to be getting easier to purchase these items at a better fee. I sure hope it is because people are catching on to the big food processors.
Best wishes to you

gmagigi 2012-04-14 22:24:42 -0500 Report

Thanks for your reply and support. Sometime I feel like I'm the only one doing this and the DRs don't know what they're talking about. Very frustrating. So far, since them end of January, I've avoided mieat all together. However I use real eggs when I bake and have had some cheese on brocolli (in the package, all ready made that way), but am trying to avoid voth eggs and cheese most of the time. Numbers are good and not so good. The last 13 days numbers have ranged f rom 104-119. The 10 days before they were 91-110. Have not gotten fasting numbers into the 80's yet, but hoping! Cholesterol is down to good numbers, but I still am taking 10 mg simvistatin.

suziesgirl 2012-04-15 14:26:01 -0500 Report

Food for thought, if you are eating any packaged foods read the ingrediants carefully. They often contain hiddent sugars and hydronated oils which are not so good for diabetics. They are so sneeky. I'll bet you can get those numbers down even lower. Did you ever read the book Diabetes without drugs? I may have mentioned it before, but it is a powerhouse of great information.

gmagigi 2012-04-15 14:45:17 -0500 Report

No, haven't read that one, but did read Neal Barnard's book as well as The China Study, Engine 2 Diet and several others. Have also gone to Dr John McDougall's advanced weekend conference. Would like to go to his 10-day conference, but $$$ right now is in the way. I'll begin reading the ingredient list on foods, but am making more and more things from scratch.

suziesgirl 2012-04-15 14:51:48 -0500 Report

Good for you. Sabbatage is not out of the question with the FDA these days, just check out how good they thing Pink Slime is. My goodness, our kids don't stand a chance unless we get ourselves educated. I read Neal Barnards book, and it was interesting with good information. I do however want to read the China Study, Thanks for the info. I am also a dental nerd. CDA for about 20 years now.
Have a great weekend

lucydreams 2012-04-14 03:46:46 -0500 Report

Why does a vegan diet makes you loose weight?

gmagigi 2012-04-14 11:47:47 -0500 Report

i think it's because fruits and veggies have lower calories, yet make you full faster, than meat protein. Don't know for sure, but ilosing weight easily has been my response and others I know.

locarbarbie 2012-04-12 13:26:59 -0500 Report

Welcome…I did try a raw vegan diet for about 2 weeks after seeing the short film, I believe it was called, "Simply Raw". Very inspiring. I am basically on a low carb, highish protein, don't worry about eliminating fats at all but do eat healthy fats such as coconut oil, olive oil, grapeseed oil and butter. I eat lots of veggies, cooked and raw and occaisionally some berries.

When I did raw vegan I was eating quite a bit of fruit that I do not normally do since they are high in carbs. I also spent a fortune buying tons of raw organic veggies, kombuca, kimchi, raw chocolate, crackers etc. Surprisingly my blood sugar was very good, averaging in the 80s if I am remembering correctly. I think it would be a very healthy plan and good for diabetics however…even though I did not cook (everything raw) I was spending an eternity in the kitchen chopping and prepping tons of produce!! When I wasn't yearning for an excaliber and a VitaMix, I was salivating at the thought of a cooked brussels sprout! Just don't have that kind of time…but I do believe that eating a good selection of raw veggies is a wonderful way to get the most nutrients.

As for the statins…My cholestrol is very good but my Dr also wanted me to go on simvistatin just because thats what is prescribed for diabetics. I think I took them for about 2 days when the lightbulb went on over my head and I thought, how crazy!. I told my doctor at my next appt that I refused to take them. I have even had the Dr say that my cholestrol is even better than hers and she very rarely sees patients with such good numbers. If she only knew how much coconut oil and butter and cream I eat!! Read up on statins, to my mind (and many professional opinions) they are more harm than good. I am not a Dr, this is just my opinion.

I believe that Drs are pushed by the pharms to push drugs as their first response…I believe so much can be reversed or controlled by food, supplements, herbs and exercise. You sound as though you are on the right track.

suziesgirl 2012-04-14 19:49:13 -0500 Report

Girl, I am proud of you. You are telling it just how it is. I told the Doc. to keep the Statin Drug. My cholestrol was great in just 3 months. I thank God I had the courage to say NO. You are getting so diabetes smart Barb!!
Luv ya

gmagigi 2012-04-12 20:41:34 -0500 Report

Thanks for your response. You and I seem to think alike in what the pharms and Drs are doing. I have cut (at the Dr suggestion) my simvistatin in half. When it runs out… I eat both raw and cooked veggies and make lots of fruit/green smoothies. I try to keep my oil intake low also. For now I'll continue on the vegan/vegetarian lifestyle. I would like my numbers to be a bit lower (in the 90's) but am happy when they're under 110. My A1C is still showing that I'm running in the 140 range on average, but hope, too, that will go down. I'm not ready to go on a med to increase my pancreatic output, when I really need one that will make the insulin receptors act better. Next lab visit is the end of May to check my cholesterol and thyroid as the dose on both meds have been lowered.

suziesgirl 2012-04-14 19:57:12 -0500 Report

Sounds like you have been doing some great research. I believe we can heal those beta cells are at least create new ones. I am hoping for this.

Caroltoo 2012-04-14 20:00:35 -0500 Report

If you check out my discusion of Aloe Vera, one of the studies sited says that Aloe Vera is the ONLY treatment they have seen that actually encourages growth of new pancreas and other organ cells. Other treatments only claim to treat symptoms.

Lizardfan 2012-04-12 12:07:18 -0500 Report

Sounds like you are on the right track! I was diet and exercise controlled for two years before I had to start medication. You certainly have the right attitude and I wish you every success.

red flower lady
red flower lady 2012-04-11 22:34:54 -0500 Report

If eating vegan, then you should be able to get bg down to a good number, just remember portion control is very important. Get the exercise in as well to help keep weight under control. By doing this you may be able to stay off meds or put it off for awhile. Is your BP numbers good as well as your cholesterol? Diabetics have a higher chance of having problems with both of these which could cause other issues. Do you see an endocrinologist, as they are better at treating diabetes then a general dr.

gmagigi 2012-04-11 22:50:57 -0500 Report

Thank you for your reply.
I have Kaiser, so just my regular MD. My cholesterol is now down to very good numbers. My fasting BG is usually in the 100-115 range, but has gotten lower (91 and 94). BP is usually around 120/65. The BG number has never (when I've taken it) gotten over 250 (at night before bed), and is usually in the 110-120 range. I walk half hour every day. My weight is 132 and I'm 5'5" tall, so I'm not overweight. I am also a weight watcher, so am very used to looking out for my portion control. My A1C is 6.5.
Kaiser gave me a course in "eating right" as a diabetic, but the portions were just way too much food all together. I know they mean well, but are too quick to prescriobe a pill rather than look at diet. I was immediately prescribed metformin, but refuse to take it till I determine if the vegan diet is not working.
I was diagnosed in October of last year and have been eating vegan since January.

red flower lady
red flower lady 2012-04-11 23:08:38 -0500 Report

I was diagnosed at an early age and have aways used insulin so can't say how pill works. In order to know that you are always staying in range, you must check the level daily at least in the am and pm. You don't want those high bg, not even before bed. The bp is good and the bg seems to be good and the walk is great. You still want to try and get the A1c down, although good compared to others, the high bg is showing up in the A1c still. Bg should be for me 80-125 and not higher then 180 after a meal and then back down to within range a few hours later. Kaiser used to have it at 80-130 when I had that insurance years ago.

Good luck with your plan:)

Caroltoo 2012-04-11 22:33:24 -0500 Report

Hi, gmagigi. I am also a type 2 and do NOT take any medications. I am not vegan, though I eat many, many vegetables and fruit. I also use animal protein because I find protein is the easiest way to control my BGs. I am also gluten intolerant, so can't get protein from the usual grain sources. Caro

gmagigi 2012-04-11 22:55:45 -0500 Report

Thank you for your reply. How long have you been diabetic? My fasting numbers at the dr — that started this whole mess — were 133 and 125.
Can you use quinoa? That is one of my main sources of protein. Giving up meat was not a problem, so far, for me. I have to force the fruits into my diet, but veggies are no problem. I make a lot of smoothies to get in the fruit. A big salad is usually my lunch and with this colder weather, I make lots of soups. Tonight it was lentil soup with veggies.

Caroltoo 2012-04-11 23:49:01 -0500 Report

Good grief. I just typed a message for you and it didn't post. Well, here's a recreation.

I was first diagnosed in 2003 while on a business trip from Hawaii to Canada. I stopped in WA state to visit my son on my way home and saw his doctor because my big toe was infected and bleeding. His doc thought "ingrown toe nail" and offered to remove it for me. I said well last week it was the other foot. She thought a moment and then wisely decided on a blood glucose test. My BG was at 396 that afternoon.

When I got home, my own doctor wanted to start me on 4 shots of insulin per day. Like you, I declined. I told him I wanted to try dietary changes and exercise; he told me there was no way I could do enough that way and recommended visiting a diabetic educator. I put that appointment off for two months and read everything I could on dietary changes and began to walk 2 miles per day everyday to reduce my insulin resistance.

I was frustrated to discover there was no "diabetic diet," so decided to do my research and figure it out. When I got to the d.ed., my BGs were just above where yours are and so we talked about diet and nutrition for 3 one hour sessions instead of how to use insulin. Doctor agreed once he found out what I had done. I did use actos 15 mg tabs once daily for a while, but quickly started cutting them in half so my dose was 7.5 mg/day.

I haven't used meds now for at least 3 years and am doing very well. My average BG range is 80-120. I do occasionally throw a spike of 135-140 and, when I do, I go take a tablespoon or two of vinegar in a cold glass of water. That's usually all it takes. My A1c is 5.7.

Because I am gluten intolerant, though not Celiac, I do not use wheat, rye, barley, or oats. I miss the rye — nothing takes the place of a good slice of toasted Russian rye with butter on it — but that's a small price for being healthy! I use quinoa in place of rice and barley; quinoa flakes in place of oats. I like the red and beige varieties; haven't found a source for the black.

Today I started a discussion on Quinoa and, in it, I posted my lunch recipe as an example of how to use the grain. I find it fascinating that this was such a protein filled staple for the Incas who were such hardy folk living at those high altitudes.

Love lentil soup, lentil stew, lentil curry, madras lentils, etc. Really yummy.

Of the food "remedies", I use a strictly low carb diet with lots of protein. I add lemon juice to my water to help stabilize my BGs; also use vinegar in water for the same reason. My salad dressings are usually balsamic vinegar (only); I like cucumbers marinaded in vinegar and continue to look for other ways to use it. Just purchased a book of Filipino recipes because the cuisine uses more vinegar than most recipes I am familiar with.

I also use Psyllium husk capsules. They are usually recommended for constipation, but are also good to reduce BGs and general cholesterol as well as LDL cholesterol.

Why don't you follow me back and I'll send you some more information on food choices? They may not work for you, but it's something else to consider. I feel like the more information we have, the better decisions we can make.

Caroltoo 2012-04-11 23:19:55 -0500 Report

I was diagnosed in 2003 after my BGs went up to 396 during a trip from Hawaii to Canada. I was diagnosed by my son's doctor as I stopped in WA state to visit him. Quite an eventful trip. Doc first thought I had infected, ingrown toe-nails because my toes were bleeding freely and the wounds were so infected. When I told her it had moved from one big toe to the other just in the last few days, she decided to test my blood glucose level. Turns out it was a good choice.

Currently my BGs are running 80-120, though I occasionally throw a spike of 135-140. My A1c is 5.7. I've not taken any medications for the last three years. My doctor (at the time of diagnosis) wanted me to start with 4 insulin injections per day. Like you, I declined and said I need to go learn about dietary changes and start exercising. He said it was an impossible goal, but by the time I got to the diabetic educator about two months later (I kept putting her off), my BGs were down to where you say yours are. I did use actos for a while. Was given the 15 mg lowest dose which I promptly cut in half.

Since I am also gluten intolerant, though not Celiac, I do use lots of quinoa since I don't use wheat, barley, rye, or oats. In fact, I started a discussion today about quinoa and entered my lunch recipe on the discussion as an example of how to use it. I really like it because it is so versatile. I use it where ever I would have used rice or barley. I use the flakes in place of oats. Rye, I do miss. Just love a dark Russian rye. Oh, well, one thing to give up, my health is worth it!

Just yesterday, I made a smoothie with aloe vera gel, pomegranite juice, and yogurt. It was a good way to use the aloe vera which helps keep BGs down. I am currently sipping on a glass of aloe vera and pomegranite juice on ice. Will check later to see how the BGs are since I usually don't drink juice, but do use fruit which has more fiber.

I also use vinegar and lemon juice in my meals more than I used to as both of these also bring my BGs down.

Another thing someone on the site recommended to me a few weeks ago is psyllium husk. While usually prescribed for constipation, it is also increase BG control and lowers total cholesterol and LDL levels. That's a good thing for us too.

And, yes, I love lentil soup and stew and curries and …

Harlen 2012-04-11 18:19:35 -0500 Report

Hello and welcome
Hope it works for you
Best wishes

gmagigi 2012-04-11 18:30:46 -0500 Report

Thank you. Are you a vegan? Have you tried different types of diets to control your numbers?

Harlen 2012-04-11 18:34:33 -0500 Report

I have tried a lot of diets and no I am not a vegan
I just cant give up my stake lol lol
some worked better then others lol
Best wishes

red flower lady
red flower lady 2012-04-11 22:27:28 -0500 Report

I love a steak as well, but don't like touching meat, will if I have to:( Thank goodness my husband is a chef. I think I would be a vegetarian if I had to do all the cooking. And I don't know a guy who doesn't want to throw a steak on! Just add the veggies with it.

jayabee52 2012-04-11 16:47:13 -0500 Report

Howdy gmagigi. WELCOME to DiabeticConnect! Sorry you qualify for our little family but since you do I am glad you are here.

There are several vegans (I am not one of them) on the site and it is often discussed on the discussion boards. I searched for "vegan" on DC and found this list here ~

You'll need to sort through this list to determine which is useful to your purposes. (To find the search function on DC click the "Discussions" link at the left, and when the discussions page comes up you'll see a text box on the left. Type your search term in the box and click the [search] button.)

I just started following you. please follow me back and we can become friends. I know someone in Concord CA and wanted to inbox you about whether you know her and her family. Only friends can email one another using the DC system.

Blessings to you and yours gmagigi

James Baker

gmagigi 2012-04-11 18:11:41 -0500 Report

Thanks for the welcome. I went to the website and have been reading. Lots of information.
How do I become your friend?

jayabee52 2012-04-11 18:24:13 -0500 Report

click on my screen name or profile pic when my profile comes up you'll see a button to the right of my profile pic which says [follow]. click that and we will be friends.

Glad you are getting a lot of info here. That is one of the great things about DC: the info, and another is the support we give to one another.