Bill Eykyn was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes while staying at his second home in Spain. Shocked by the news, he set about researching Type 2 diabetes and decided to change his lifestyle. He now believes that he’s got the condition under control by a combination of regular blood-testing after meals, and a low-carbohydrate eating régime.
What comes across really well in this book is a sense of how serious Type 2 diabetes can be and how important it is not to run away from it, but to tackle it head-on. It’s very realistic in stressing that there is as yet no cure for diabetes and to distrust that those who claim to have all the answers. The book also covers the valuable role that medication can play, and the importance of listening to medical advice.
But central to the book is the system Bill has devised to manage his Type 2 diabetes, which he calls his Complications Control Protocol. It seems to be working for him – which is fantastic, of course – but this doesn’t mean it would be effective, or even advisable, for everyone.
Even if you agree with Bill that testing your blood sugar two hours after every meal is vital, it’s impractical – and expensive, unless you can persuade your GP to prescribe free testing strips if you have Type 2 diabetes but don’t need insulin. Standard advice for people with Type 2 in the UK is to take a longer-term view of blood glucose levels by having the HbA1c test every few months, rather than taking a snapshot after each meal.
The jury is also out on whether a no-carbohydrate or very low-carbohydrate diet, such as Bill recommends, is necessary to manage blood glucose levels. There’s no doubt that cutting carbs often results in weight loss, which is super-helpful in controlling Type 2 diabetes if you are overweight. But dietitians are wary about recommending that people cut out carbs – a major food group, which is largely responsible for providing energy – when smaller portions of a balanced diet can do the job of weight loss just as well.
Even Bill admits that the next step on the low-carb route, which is eating lots of fat to provide energy instead of carbs, is more controversial, although again, it is working for him.
I enjoyed ‘I’m Beating Diabetes… So Can You!’ Bill Eykyn is a friendly and amusing companion as he takes you on his journey. But would I follow his directions all the way? No. I’d stop off at the doctor’s first.