When I started out, I was led to believe this myth that type 2 diabetes is largely a hereditary disease and there is no cure. It’s just a manageable condition and medications are inevitable.
Even at university, the pathophysiology of diabetes was quite rudimental, so I only had this vague understanding of what caused it. The focus was always on the blood sugars, never on the drivers of insulin resistance and insulin dysfunction. And to be honest, I think most health professionals still don’t truly understand it and that’s why their recommendations are so generic and not particularly helpful.
No one was getting better, we were just delaying the disease. I started to question everything. What is actually driving the high blood sugars? Diabetes rates are skyrocketing so clearly there are lifestyle and environmental factors involved and if that’s the case, these are modifiable.
I wanted to understand it better so I could help my clients treat and reverse their diabetes. I became obsessed and the more research I did two things became apparent to me
- How much I didn’t know, even with a University degree and a post-graduate certificate in diabetes management.
- How much we were doing it all wrong!
The high blood sugars are a sign of the underlying pathology which is insulin resistance and insulin dysfunction. Working as a pharmacist, I could see that the medications only help to manage the blood sugars to slow the progression and without addressing the root cause, it WILL progress. Patients didn’t seem to understand this.
I truly feel like we are doing you a disservice by just prescribing medications because it gives you a false sense of security. Everything appears to be under control but as time goes by your opportunity to reverse the diabetes goes down as the underlying disease pathology progresses and the pancreas becomes irreversibly damaged. Then it appears as though the medications are not working but they were only ever a temporary fix.
On my search to find a better solution for my clients, I came across Lifestyle Medicine which fit perfectly with my mission as it focuses on the root cause and promotes patient empowerment. I was really amazed at the amount of literature there was on Lifestyle Medicine and it is all overwhelmingly positive. The benefits you see from specific lifestyle behaviours are often more effective than medications, without the side effects, and when you combine all these lifestyle behaviours the effects are even more profound!
It really put things into perspective for me. Pharmaceutical companies spend billions of dollars developing new drugs which reduce your blood sugar by targeting one specific molecule – it’s so reductionist! Lifestyle Medicine, on the other hand, is holistic and has this beautiful flow on effect, benefiting every other aspect of your health. I now feel like I am truly helping people and it is incredibly rewarding to be working in this space.
It’s not very often that I would meet a client who hasn’t already tried to make changes in their life. Most people I come across really want to lose weight and get rid of their diabetes, but they are struggling, feeling frustrated or fed up. It’s also hard to stay motivated when you don’t have any symptoms, except maybe feeling tired, which makes everything feel like more of an effort!
I wanted to upskill in behaviour change so I could better serve my clients by helping them to make and sustain healthy behaviours, so I became a Certified Health Coach. The skills I have developed and now teach have been incredibly helpful not just with my clients but also in my own personal life. Change is hard, especially when your environment and instincts are working against you but once you master it, anything is possible. I put the control back in your hands.
After working with me many of my clients would say ‘I wish someone had told me all of this when I was first diagnosed’. This would make me so infuriated and sad because had they been given the information many years ago, things would be very different for them. I thought to myself, I need to get this information out there and thus created an online program and online platform.
I love my work and what keeps me going is my client’s success. I hate seeing people struggle and lose confidence in themselves, especially when I can see the fighter in them, and I know they can do it – they just don’t know it yet. There are tonnes of weight loss books and programs for people with diabetes but none with such a personal touch. I support and guide my clients on their journey offering advice, support and encouragement every step of the way. I only want to see you succeed.