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Meet Elisabeth: We'll be following her remission journey

What actions does it take to put type 2 diabetes into remission? What are some of the daily rewards and challenges of taking this on? How do you feel along the way and what are some of the tips and tricks that help make the process easier?

Over the next year we will be following Elisabeth, 69, as she shares her journey to put her type 2 diabetes into remission and improve her health.

“I am really excited to be a guinea pig. I love experiments, and if sharing what happens to me over the coming year can help other people, all the better!”

In late March of this year, her doctor told her that her fasting blood glucose and HbA1C  — a measure of her blood glucose over the past three months — had just crossed over into the type 2 diabetes range. Looking back, she could see her blood glucose had been rising slowing for years. Her C-reactive protein, a measure of inflammation, was also high.

“When I got the news, I felt overwhelmed and scared.”

Like many of us, Elisabeth has found the last few years, especially coming through the COVID pandemic, challenging for her health.

Shock first, then relief

“The diagnosis was both a shock, and then a relief. I’ve been frustrated by my ever-expanding waistline, I didn’t feel great and didn’t understand why. I didn’t make the connection to diabetes at all, so that threw me for a loop,” said Elisabeth.

But as the reality sinks in, I think, how lucky am I to have a diagnosis of a condition where I have a measurable and proven way to improve my health? This is in my power to change and that's pretty great.”

She has always been active and energetic, but in recent years, she has been finding it hard to exercise because of aching joints. She had her right knee replaced in 2016, but now the left knee has become painful and weak, which has been limiting her ability to walk down hills – a definite barrier to easy activity since she lives on top of a hill in Victoria BC.

“If I step out the door, it is literally downhill anywhere I want to go!"

In addition, she has been grieving for more than a decade the loss of her husband, Tony, to cancer, and adjusting to life alone now that her two adult children are grown and gone.

“Tony died in August 2012 and it shocks me that it has now been that long. I had no idea I would be grieving for so long. I still miss him every single day. And it creates the challenges of cooking for one and eating a healthy diet alone.”

Wants to be energetic and healthy

Elisabeth has lots of motivation to make changes. Recently, she welcomed her first grandchild, and that joy has added to her desire to get control of her health to be there for him and to help her daughter and son-in-law. She wants to age well over the next few decades. A talented artist, she wants to get back to her painting, too.

"I have so much I want to do, and I need health and energy to do it. "

Elisabeth has decided she will do a low carb, whole foods diet. She is not sure yet whether she will make it a very low carb, ketogenic diet. “We will see how it goes.”

She has started by taking her weight, measuring her waist, and noting her lab results. She is not yet on any medications for type 2 diabetes but does take a diuretic for high blood pressure.

Starting weight: 172 lbs

Waist: 37 inches

HbA1C: 6.4%

Blood pressure average: 130/85

"I am feeling excited about finally taking charge of my health at last. I feel empowered and hopeful.”

Join us each month as we follow Elisabeth in her remission journey.

Coming next: Elisabeth tries a continuous glucose monitor and reports on her first few weeks of her dietary changes.


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