Medical Speed Bump: The Trouble with Getting Insulin Prescribed on a Low-Carb Diet

“People wish to be settled: only as far as they are
unsettled is there any hope for them.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Yesterday, Nicole received a call from our new general practitioner’s office. The doctor wants to see her. Monday 10am. No reason given. But we think we can guess…

Our previous GP had closed his clinic to pursue sport medicine in a more holistic setting. Dr. Hart 100% supported Nicole following a low-carb, high-fat diet to manage her type-1 diabetes. When we first went to him, Nicole’s HgbA1C was over 8.0%. Within a few months it was 4.5%.

We found Dr. Hart through the Paleo Physicians Network. Previous to him, Nicole was seeing one of the “top” endocrinologists in the province. But by ominous December 2012 the “end of the world” indeed seemed to be approaching for Nicole. A brain seizure found her vomiting in the emergency room, suffering a severe pain and unable to speak nouns. After that ordeal, we decided we needed to try a different approach. We ditched the insulin pump, the grains and trifle. She switched to old fashioned injections of Levemir, Humalog and Regular on a low-carb diet.

With Dr. Hart now out of the picture, we hoped to continue Nicole’s “radical” insulin regime with a local family doctor. At first, the new doc seemed fine with continuing the prescription… Until she asked why we weren’t still seeing Nicole’s old endocrinologist.

Nicole had a wise and pithy answer: “Personal preference.”

I, however, made the mistake of pointing out that the endocrinologist’s approach was destroying Nicole’s health. I, wrongly, hoped this doctor would like to hear how a low-carb diet, with smaller doses of slower-acting insulin, led to normalization of Nicole’s blood sugar, restoration of her thyroid function, elimination of severe depression, significant reduction in inflammation and other such positive points.

The doctor hardly seemed to register what I said. Instead, she told us she had to talk to “higher ups” before prescribing a radically different insulin approach. Obviously results aren’t important, just opinions of authority figures (who can’t produce the desired result).

While we hope not, we are preparing for a bit of a battle on Monday morning. Nicole’s enjoyed three years of near normal blood sugars, with her HgbA1c averaging about 5%. Why we have to defend this is beyond me. A list of items I’m preparing to bring:

The above shows that our unconventional method balances blood sugars better than the medical matrix’s high-carb insulin pump therapy. The Canadian Diabetes Association actually recommends type-1 diabetics aim for a 7.0% HgbA1C.

Indeed, the endocrinologist’s method is the reverse of what we use. She basically prescribed insulin, and then had Nicole cover it with carbohydrates. She would prescribe large doses of long-acting insulin and then recommend Nicole eat a bowl of ice cream right before bed to avoid going hypoglycemic. How big a bowl? Can we have a prescription in units, please?  And not only that, she prescribed the cheapest form of ice cream specifically because it had so many fillers to slow down the release of sugar over the entire night.

A spoonful of sugar helps the insulin stay down
The insulin stay down
The blood sugar go up
GMO refined corn syrup helps the Humalog stock go up,
In a most profitable way...

Everything appears so inverted. It’s hard to know where to start reasoning with the system. We’ll be polite, present our case and hopefully walk out with the prescription Nicole needs to keep herself alive. If that fails we have other options such as:

  1. Ask Nicole’s nephrologist to write the prescription.
  2. Find a new doc.
  3. Contact Dr. Hart and see if he’ll help us out.
  4. Just buy the insulin ourselves from a different country (we’ve been wanting to try animal insulin, anyways).

There’s another reason why we don’t want to see the endocrinologist. It takes too much time. They are all in the big city about an hour’s drive away with a waiting room that may take just as long. Why would we want to invest that much time to consult with someone who doesn’t know how to control blood sugar properly?

I’m sorry if we’re not supporting the insulin pump industry (with all it’s costly site changes). Nicole’s doing better than anybody I know with one of those $3,000 machines… and we have the tests to the prove it.

  • In the next post, I will relate how the second appointment goes – whether Nicole gets her insulin prescription or not.
  • You may like to check out Nicole’s Blood Sugar Cheat Sheet.
  • If you need help getting your HgbA1C below 5.5% you’re welcome to book a consult with me or sign up for email coaching.

About the Author: John C. A. Manley researches and writes about alternative treatments for type-1 diabetes and its many complications. His wife, Nicole, of 15 years has had type-1 diabetes for four decades. Together they have lowered her HgbA1c below 5.5%, regained thyroid function, increased kidney function and reversed gastroparesis. Read more about their journey out of the T1D matrix or subscribe to their Diabetic Dharma blog..