Book: How I got rid of diabetes and also lost over 20 kg. weight !

A personalized account how I, Aneesh Bhanot, was able to get rid of my 25 year old diabetes without any medicines or major exercises and was also able to lose over 20 kg weight.

Strange, but true.


Disclaimer: Kindly note that this is a personalized experience of the  author and there is no  guarantee, express or implied, that the techniques  used by him will work and have the same results with any other person, anywhere in the world. All are hereby informed and warned that they must consult their doctor before trying anything written in this book and strictly follow the doctors advice. The personal experiences given in this book are for information only.


Diagnosed with Diabetes

It was 1983 and I was 25 years old. I used to work in an advertising agency in Mumbai and one of our clients, Medinova, had opened the first-of-its-kind computerized diagnostic laboratory in Hyderabad. Today, these computerized labs are in every nook and corner across India, but at that time it was a big thing. We decided to take a team of journalists to Hyderabad for them to take a first-hand look at the facilities (and, hopefully, write about them).

At Hyderabad, the client decided to do a free whole body check up of everyone and I also joined the bandwagon. We were all advised not to have anything to eat or drink after 8 pm, so that the tests could be conducted on an empty stomach next day morning. But did I listen to that diktat? No way. Those were happy, carefree days where I, like most people my age, thought I was invincible. So party time it was – Old Monk Rum (half soda, half water and a slice of lime!), Tandoori Chicken, Hyderabadi Biryani, Lachha Parantha, Ras Malai and what not!

The next day, the blood and urine samples of all of us were taken and the results came a few hours later. I remember, there was an asterisk/star (*) sign against each test which was not as per the required parameters. I got a five star rating ! High blood sugar, high cholesterol, high triglycerides and two other tests which I don’t remember now.

Who? Me? Worried?

 You think it got me worried? No way, again. When things go wrong, we try to justify it to ourselves. “Oh, it was not on an empty stomach.” “Oh, this is new technology, may have errors.” “Oh, forget it, this medical industry is just trying to make money by getting us on to medicines.” We can find enough ‘reasons’ to ignore the problem. Another thing is, that we always feel that nothing will happen to us. “Yes, I know that that other person ran into major problems. But I am different. My body is different. Nothing will happen to me,” you say to yourself.

That is what I did and kept on merrily enjoying myself. Beer in the afternoon at Leopold at Colaba Causeway or at Mocambo at PM Road followed by a sumptuous lunch at Olympia or Mutton Dhansak at Mocambo itself.  In the evening, Old Monk of course and Strawberries and Cream at Brothers in Chowpatty. Slurp ! Life was good!!

Or so I thought.

Whatever people may say to you, warn you, advise you, you never tend to listen. Then, life starts giving you kicks on your backside.

Getting kicked on your backside

 The first kick I got was when I got pancreatitis in 1989. I remember, the good doctor at Holy Family Hospital in Bandra West, Dr. J P Jadwani,  looked at my Ultrasound, glared at me and said, “You have been drinking a full bottle of liquor every day!”

“No, no,” I squeaked, “I have only 3 pegs (180 ml)!!!”

But who listens to you at such a time? In fact, the whole family pounces on you.

Fortunately, further tests were asked for by Dr. Jadwani and he came to the conclusion that I had ‘uncontrolled diabetes’ for the last few years and that was the reason for the pancreatitis. He put me on the right medicines and I was discharged from the hospital a few days later.

As I left the hospital (and when my family members were not around), I asked Dr. Jadwani the all important question: “Can I drink alcohol from now on?”

He looked at me with contempt clearly visible on his face and said, “Well, ideally you should not, but you can have an occasional glass of beer.”

An occasional glass of beer! How do you stop at one glass? I stopped drinking … for quite a few years but resumed it 20 years later, in 2009.

The medicines for controlling sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure started. ‘Small’ dosage tablets. Once in the morning. Then it became once in the morning and once in the evening. Then the dosage increased. And kept on increasing.

Till one fine day, a few years later, I found myself on insulin for controlling the sugar levels.

Becoming blind

Then I got another kick on my backside, this time in 2006. The retinas of both my eyes got detached and I was well on my way to becoming blind. Fortunately, I was staying in Chandigarh then and I went to Dr. Amod Gupta at the PGI who is a gem of a guy and a highly respected eye specialist/surgeon worldwide. Two surgeries later, I could see again.

Meanwhile, the sugar levels, and my insulin dosage,  kept on advancing and I found myself using a device called an Insulin Pump.

An insulin pump is used for the automatic administration of insulin. Basically, you fix a ‘cannula’ on your body and through a thin tube, its gets connected to the Pump (which you can keep in your pocket) which then keeps on injecting insulin into you at regular intervals as programmed by you in the Pump.  For example, I had set it up to give me 3 units of insulin every hour from 7 am to 10 pm and 2 units every hour from 11 pm to 6 am. You can easily change this as per your requirement.

The Pump has a reservoir which you keep on refilling with insulin.

Heart problems

In 2014, I suffered a ‘silent’ heart attack and underwent a triple bypass surgery. I am alive today because of three doctors – Dr. T S Mahant, Dr. K P Singh and  Dr. G S Kalra, all three of Fortis Hospital, Mohali. All the ‘junk’ you hear and see on Whats App and other social media that doctors ‘jabardasti’ put you on the operating table is precisely that – junk.

Weird thing

Then a very ‘weird’ thing happened.

Sometime in October 2107, my friend Haren Durgabakshi came to visit us. Haren works in Baddi (around 60 km from Chandigarh)  and would sometimes come over on the weekends to Chandigarh and we would then meet up. He had come after quite some time in October (2017) and, my word, he was looking absolutely slim and trim. Looking at my questioning face he said, “Let me tell you before you ask me, for the past couple of months I have been on a totally raw vegetable and fruit diet. I eat cooked meals very rarely now.”

Haren never had any medical problems – no diabetes, no high cholesterol etc. but then what he said next got me interested in listening carefully.

“I have two friends in Baddi who are diabetic and also used to be on Insulin. They started following what I was doing and now they do not take any Insulin any more …” he said.

You know, over the years, I have heard many such stories…you eat this powder, that medicinal plant etc and your diabetes will go. While they may work on marginal cases of high sugar, people like me whose sugar would shoot up to 400+ if we don’t take medicines, we just can’t risk to try all this.

Which is why I said, a ‘weird’ thing happened. I decided to try it out for a week, without disconnecting my insulin pump of course. My reasoning was that all I was doing was changing the way I eat, not taking additional medicines.

So from the next day (which continues till today), my dietary menu was as follows:

9 am: Breakfast: A large bowl of fruit with some curd and some nuts. Fruits, I am told, have fructose which is good for you. The curd is for Calcium, Vitamin A and Vitamin B12, while the nuts are for the natural oil in them.

12 Noon: A large glass of Vegetable Smoothie which is my lunch. Basically, I take any 2-3 raw vegetables, chop them into small pieces and put them into a mixer-grinder, adding a little bit of water. Once this is done, I pour it into a large glass and have it without sieving it. In the beginning it tastes really yuck but you start relishing it after a few days.

3 pm: A vegetable salad with some seeds sprinkled in it. These could be seeds like Flax, Sesame, Hemp, Pumpkin, Sunflower etc.

5 pm: This is when I have my cooked meal of the day. Basically 2 vegetables, dal, curd and papad. I have chapatti or rice every alternate day, not daily. The idea here is that your food gets digested before you lie down and go to sleep. Remember, our forefathers also used to eat before sunset?

That is it. Oh, how can I forget? I used to have two small (30 ml) pegs of whisky at 8.30 pm. Nothing to eat with the drinks. No snacks. Nothing. After 5 pm, my mouth gets zipped up as far as food is concerned.

Is this simple to do? Not at all. The first 15-20 days are horrible. Cravings all the time and even more so in the night.

But if you have the willpower not to succumb to the pressure of your tongue and your stomach, the human body is amazing and adjusts to everything. Today, a year later, I just can’t eat anything at night because … I just don’t feel hungry.

What sort of exercise do I do? I just walk, not anything drastic too … just about 30-40 minutes, 6  days a week.

The sugar levels

 So, what happened to the sugar levels? They started dropping from the second day itself. It was then that I went to my doctor, who is really positive in his approach in everything. He said, “Sounds good, but for the next 15 days you give me your sugar reading at 7 am, 11 am, 2 pm, 5 pm and 8  pm. Make a chart and show it to me. Meanwhile, keep your Insulin Pump on and if you find that your sugar has dropped drastically, give me call before you change anything. After 15 days, we will see what course of action to take.”

I have a Glucose Monitor at home and religiously followed the testing routine. After 15 days, I showed the chart to the doctor and he smiled and told me, “OK, you can get off insulin and start taking this tablet, once in the morning and once in the evening around 7 pm. Keep on checking your sugar regularly.”

I started on the tablets. After about a fortnight, I forgot to take the evening tablet. It was at about 11 pm that I remembered. However, just for the heck of it, I checked my sugar at that time. It was 114. I decided to skip the evening dose. Deliberately, I ‘forgot’ the evening dose the next day also. It was 123 when I checked at 11 pm. Unilaterally, I dropped the evening tablet after that.

A similar thing happened to the morning tablet. I had gone for a meeting in the morning and, in the rush, did not have my medicine. I came back around noon and tested my sugar. It was 126. That was it. After that, I took one tablet each on just two days in the next 2 months when I found escalated levels on checking my sugar. That was in December 2017. Nothing after that

Even today, I check my sugar twice a day. Am doing well on the sugar front with HB1AC levels around 6.5 without any medicines. These used to be around 7.5 even with the Insulin Pump.

I was 91 kg in October 2017. Today, in December 2019, I am around 69 kg. That’s  20 kg plus  of weight loss. I don’t know whether they are being nice and polite or plain honest, but a lot of people have commented on this and say I look younger. Aaah!

One thing I have learnt. When you go out to a restaurant with friends or to their house… out of their good nature they will want you to eat something or the other. When you say no, they will say “Just try a little bit, I have specially ordered/made it for you.” The answer to that is NO. Because, if you taste it, then you are gone. One bite leads to another and you say, ‘Ah, this is tasty’ and very soon you will find your plate full again. Zip your mouth and keep it zipped.

So, what, in a nutshell happened to me? Sugar levels went down to the point I gave up diabetes medicines totally. I lost weight and am on the correct BMI now. And I actually feel more energetic all day.

In fact, I find it very funny. When I stopped buying insulin and other diabetes tablets, my chemist asked me why I had stopped buying from him, thinking that perhaps I had started going to some other shop. When I told him the full story and how I did not need to take medicines for diabetes, he said, “Good you have done it, these medicines actually create more trouble in your body with their side effects.” This is the same guy who had been selling me these medicines for many years!!!

So, if you think you want to try this, consult your doctor first and strictly follow what he advises. After all, this has worked on me, may not work on everyone.

Check your sugar regularly. Smile, be happy and live well.

Disclaimer: Kindly note that this is a personalized experience of the  author and there is no  guarantee, express or implied, that the techniques  used by him will work and have the same results with any other person, anywhere in the world. All are hereby informed and warned that they must consult their doctor before trying anything written in this book and strictly follow the doctors advice. The personal experiences given in this book are for information only.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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