Actively helping people in Thanet to live happier and healthier lives

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 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 affected my 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 be 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, which 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:

1. “Diabetes can lead to sudden premature death”.

2. “Diabetes complications increase as we age”.

3. “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 good 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.

Summary

I took my own steps to reverse Type 2 diabetes with a strong focus on reducing sugar. I reached HBA1C levels of 4.2, This is classed as pre-diabetic. My goal is to maintain this 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’. Despite the massive weight loss of 17.5Kgs illustrated below I feel so much better. To my surprise I sleep better, feel refreshed with improved memory, ability to concentrate with mental clarity on important business projects. I spend time close to nature and have sufficient energy to walk daily and garden when the weather is suitable. Tranadental Meditation twice daily keeps me grounded and calm.

Thank you for reading.   Brian Urwin