MDAE E61 – How to Avoid Chronic Kidney Disease Stage 3 – Sanna’s Story

Article written and reviewed by Cyrus Khambatta, PhD and Robby Barbaro, MPH
Published April 23, 2019

Podcast Transcript

Sanna Skye: My stage three kidney disease is actually in remission.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: Welcome to the Mastering Diabetes Audio Experience, where we teach you how to sit in the driver's seat of your diabetes health for the rest of your life. We'll teach you how to reverse insulin resistance, achieve your ideal body weight, gain energy and get your best A1c following more than 85 years of evidence-based research in the Mastering Diabetes Program.

Robby Barbaro: Our program teaches you how to reverse prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, and how to simplify your life with type 1 diabetes by maximizing your insulin sensitivity, using food as medicine.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: We're on a bold mission to reverse insulin resistance in 1 million people. We're glad to have you joining us.

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Robby Barbaro: Welcome to the Mastering Diabetes Audio Experience, thank you so much for tuning in. Today we have a very important episode. You're going to hear Sanna share her story about putting her stage three kidney disease in remission.

This is a fascinating testimonial, that's really important because people living with all forms of diabetes have an increased risk of developing complications, such as chronic kidney disease.

And Sanna, she used a lot of raw food. She talks about that several times in her interview today, how switching to a diet that was higher in raw food, lead to her feeling better, and has seen her kidney function improve very quickly.

And that's something that is unique to the Mastering Diabetes method in the sense that we teach people how to eat dramatically larger portions of raw food, primarily fruit, for optimal health, and this is something that is just not talked about in the world of diabetes nutrition.

So, this is a great example, and it's just another case where each person gets to choose how far they want to take their dietary approach in order to achieve what they're trying to achieve.

So in this case, Sanna was very motivated. She wanted to improve her kidney health, in addition to just her diabetes health and overall health. So she continued to optimize her diet, and she talks about how that was tough. In making that transition there was like a two week period where it was challenging, but she got through it, and she's very happy she did because of the results that she has achieved.

So for us, in our Coaching Program, when we're teaching people the Mastering Diabetes method, it really comes down to what are your goals, what are you trying to accomplish. And sometimes you've dug yourself a bigger hole, and it's going to take some more dedication and more diligence to get out of that hole, and then what you choose to do long term, as far as maintenance, is totally up to you.

But, we are super proud of Sanna, and I think you're going to get inspired by hearing her talk about her transformation.

Now, there's a couple points I want to cover here, that are in the blog post on our website, that she didn't talk about. And one of the biggest one here is her improvement in insulin sensitivity.

So, before she adopted the Mastering Diabetes method, she was eating 25 grams of carbohydrate per day and injecting 22 units of total insulin, and then, on the Mastering Diabetes method, she started to eat 200 grams of carbohydrate per day, and inject 11 total units. That's a 4x increase in total carbohydrate content, while her insulin dropped by half. 11 units a day versus 22 units a day.

That is insulin sensitivity in action, and anybody living with insulin dependent diabetes, can see their insulin sensitivity improve quickly and dramatically.

Now people living with type 2 or prediabetes, yes, we see improvements in insulin sensitivity, of course, it's happening just as quickly, but because they're not using insulin it’s not as easy to see so dramatically. But it's happening, it's definitely happening.

So, she also saw her cholesterol improved dramatically. So it was 267 in January of 2018, and when she got tested in September of 2018, it was 112. So, her triglycerides went from 106 to 95. That went down a little bit.

Blood pressure improved, her weight went down by 4 pounds. Again, eating more food, the volume of food, the grams of carbohydrate, all increases, and she actually lost a little bit of weight.

So she's just saw an overall transformation, and you're going to hear her talk about how she now can envision her future with her children, and her husband, and that stuff is just so heartwarming for us, and also motivating to get this information to more, and more people, because people just don't know. It's a lot of people that just flat out don't know what to do. They're getting bad information. They're confused. So we're happy to share this.

If you know anybody who would benefit from this information, please share the Podcast, give us a rating, give us a review on iTunes. We're also on Spotify, if you like to listen to podcasts there, check us out. And that's all I got. So, let's get into the show. Hope you guys enjoy it.

Sanna Skye: My name is Sanna, I live in Rovaniemi, Finland. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2007, when I was 16 years old, so I've been living with diabetes for 11 years now.

So, it's been kind of hard here. The last few years, lab work has been very, very bad. I've had for example, albumin/creatinine 290 in this year's February.

That's when I ended up with you guys, Mastering Diabetes, and I started to follow about half raw and half cooked version of it, and in 10 weeks, only in 10 weeks, my kidney disease biomarkers were dropped.

For example, that albumin/creatinine value was 180, which is two and half folds lower than the one that was in February this year.

Over the summer and the fall, I had this intuitive feeling that I need to do more, I just have to do more, so I transitioned to fully raw vegan food, and then it happened, the biomarker I was talking earlier, albumin/creatinine, value was dropped to 37. 37! Which is amazingly low. Actually, it's so low that I don't have to see my kidney doctor anymore. I'm in remission, which is awesome, because I've had this disease almost six years, and there's nothing, nothing that could have helped me. And then Mastering Diabetes came along, and now I'm here. I'm almost cured completely. And I believe it will go that way.

When you have stage three kidney disease, eventually it goes to dialysis, and transplantation, and those are awful things. And some of people who have stage three kidney disease even die from it. So that has been a huge fear in my life, as I am a mother of two little lovely girls.

“Your results are so good that these cannot be caused by any medication. So what on earth are you doing here?” So I told her about my plant-based lifestyle, and the fully raw lifestyle, and she agreed that they are the key factor in healing me and my kidneys.

And the results of the protein in my urine, it was 4.7 grams in February this year, and 1.7 grams in April this year, and now in September, it's 0.5 grams, which is amazing. I've had that low number last time in 2012 before I got pregnant with my first child.

So, feels amazing, and I feel it, I actually feel it in my body, in my spirit, in my everyday life, that I can do things I haven't been able to do in a long time.

The album and creating was 190 in February this year, and now it's 37, 37! I can't stop smiling! I've been so happy. I see that I actually have a future with my family. I was afraid, one year ago, I was afraid that I wouldn't get to see my children grow and to live my happy, amazing life with my husband, and to not have a life. That was my biggest fear. But now, how I see the future is there, coming.

And I saw this comment where someone said that she had been living with a plant-based lifestyle for 17 years, and I thought, “Oh my geez! I will be that. I will get there. I will be the person who says, I've been living plant based lifestyle for 17 years.”

I'm so happy, I cannot believe any other lifestyle I would ever want to live. My stage three kidney disease is actually in remission, and I don't have to see my kidney doctor anymore. So, from now on, I actually have to see my diabetes doctor, once or twice a year, which is awesome.

Because I had the low carb diet as background, I was a little confused. I felt that I was betrayed with low carb things because they say it's a healthy diet, and I actually thought, “I'm eating the food, I should be eating.”

So it was kind of a little shock to learn that everything I had done in the past was completely wrong. Actually, I did low carb diet for six years, which sounds very bad, as you know how this kidney disease went. But then then, I was kind of plant-based because I had some olive oil in my diet during last fall. But when I started your actual program in February, then I learned that I just have to ditch the oils completely, and then started to happen things that I have been dreaming.

I love mango! I'm like mango man, Cyrus! And I love pineapples, and I love salads, and I have even learned to love apple cider vinegar, and all of it. And now that I'm actually raw, I think there's so much more change happened with me, and me dealing with my diseases, and in my in my mind, everything... I think some kind of curtain has been ripped off of my mind and in front of my eyes, and I feel mentally, so alert and happy and excited, and I have even managed to get my mother to do this. I'm so excited about that.

To anyone who is living with stage three, or any other stage kidney disease, I would say do Mastering Diabetes, and I recommend highly this raw version of it. The fully raw is the key that has cured me to this point, and I would say just stick to it.

If I remember correctly, it took about two weeks at the beginning to get used to everything and not to crave bad food anymore, and after I had finished the two weeks, it was all clear. I didn't even want to touch anything that's bad for me.

And this actually happened twice when I started the fully raw diet, and it was a little bit smaller than the first time, but now it's even stronger, the feeling that I don't want to consume anything that's bad for me, or my kidneys, or my blood sugars, or anything in me. And yes, this food is magical, really!

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: We hope you enjoyed this episode, and can apply some of these principles to your personal life. Now, we have an Online Group Coaching Program that has helped thousands of people living with all forms of diabetes, reverse insulin resistance, drop their A1c, lose weight, and gain tons of energy. And also reduce their need for oral medication and insulin using, their food as medicine.

We like to call ourselves the world's most robust, and ridiculously affordable, Online Coaching Program for people with diabetes. And we've helped people living with type 1 diabetes, type 1.5 diabetes, prediabetes, type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes living all around the world.

Now we provide you with three tools that are specifically designed to put you in the driver's seat of your diabetes health. The first is an Online Course that gives you step by step instructions on how to change your diet. Starting with breakfast, then lunch, then dinner.

We teach you exactly which foods to increase, which foods to limit, and which foods to avoid entirely. The course is designed with you in mind. We provide you with relevant information, and we do our best to reduce overwhelm, because we know just how confusing the internet can be these days, when searching for simple ways to improve your blood glucose control.

The second tool is even better than the first. We provide you with access to our online community, with thousands of people that are going through this process with you. You'll be able to interact with our team of coaches, including Kylie Buckner, a Registered Nurse who is brilliant. She also happens to be my wife, and is one of the most kind and compassionate human beings that I've ever met. Adam Sud. He reversed type 2 diabetes. He lost more than 160 pounds and he de-addicted himself from both food and prescription medication at the same time.

You'll also get to interact with Mark Ramirez, who lost more than 50 pounds, reversed type 2 diabetes, and is a certified Food For Life Instructor, through the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. You'll also get the ability to interact with both Robby and myself in the online community. And we guarantee that we’ll answer your question within 24 hours to help you solve problems in real time.

The third tool is a twice monthly Q&A video conference, where you can ask our team of coaches any question that you have about your personal program, and meet others that are going through this process with you. Now, we're proud to say that our coaching program is very popular, and because of that, we've instituted a waiting list to join. The reason we created the waiting list in the first place is because we have more than 2000 active members in our program and want to provide excellent service to our existing members. You can still join the program, but in order to do so you have to put yourself on the waiting list and you'll be notified of when we open next. When we do, we'll send you a personal invitation to join.

To join the waiting list simply go to www.masteringdiabetes.org and click on Coaching in the navigation bar at the top of the screen, or click the link below in the show notes. We can't wait to help you transform your diabetes health from the inside out. We hope to see you on the inside.

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About the author 

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD and Robby Barbaro, MPH

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD, and Robby Barbaro, MPH are the coauthors of the New York Times bestselling book Mastering Diabetes: The Revolutionary Method to Reverse Insulin Resistance Permanently in Type 1, Type 1.5, Type 2, Prediabetes, and Gestational Diabetes. They are the cofounders of Mastering Diabetes, a coaching platform that teaches people how to reverse insulin resistance via low-fat, plant-based, whole-food nutrition. Cyrus has been living with type 1 diabetes since 2002, and has an undergraduate degree from Stanford University and a PhD in Nutritional Biochemistry from UC Berkeley. Robby was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2000, and has been living a plant-based lifestyle since 2006. He worked at Forks Over Knives for 6 years, and earned a Master’s in Public Health in 2019.