MDAE E37 – How to Get Rid of Diabetic Nerve Pain Forever

Article written and reviewed by Cyrus Khambatta, PhD and Robby Barbaro, MPH
Published September 25, 2018
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Diabetic Nerve Pain Gone

Podcast Transcript

David Wright: I immediately went all in on the low-fat, whole-food, plant-based diet, and it was within a day or two, that my blood sugars just really started dropping. It was huge. Major impact, where I'm going, “Whoa, I gotta adjust my insulin”. And I just kept moving my insulin down, and moving it down, and moving it down, and moving it down. The grams of carbohydrates were 150, 160 a day, and now it's up over 400. And so, I went from 45 to 50 units a day to now, where I'm consistently average right around 26.

And my doctor looked at me and he said, “What are you doing different?”, and I said, “I'm on a low-fat, whole-food, plant-based diet”, and I said, “I've lost, I've gone from 165 pounds down to 145 pounds. I've reduced my insulin intake by over 20 units”. And I said, “That's what I done”. He said, “You keep doing that!”

The neuropathy, and the issues that I was having with the neuropathy and the nerve pain, and, you know, I take off my shoes, and I couldn't walk barefooted on the floor, without some kind of slipper, or socks, or something on my feet, and I can take my shoes off right now. I can do jumping jacks on the floor barefooted without any nerve pain or difficulty at all.

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 taking time to listen to our Podcast. You have selected a great episode, today we're going to share an incredible testimonial from David.

So, David is living with Type 1 Diabetes. And I just want to give a shout out to our team member Jessica, who is also living with Type 1 Diabetes. But she basically changed his life. And she changed David's life, by simply being an amazing example herself. So, when David found out that she was doing our Program, and that she had a really great A1c, that was inspiring to him. He decided, “Okay, wow, I'm gonna go check out this information”. So if it wasn't for Jessica sharing the information, and being an inspiring example, who knows if David would have ever found this information. So big shout out to Jessica.

I also want to highlight how this is just another great example of increased insulin sensitivity. So, you're going to hear David talk all about this. But I can't highlight it enough, you will hear how his carbohydrate intake doubled, it more than doubled, and his insulin decreased, dramatically decreased, from roughly 45 units all the way down to roughly 25 units. I mean, that is such a big deal, and it cannot be overlooked. And I don't know if sometimes people really understand the significance of this, and really, with type 1 cases. It's so clear for us to show how the Program we teach truly, truly does maximize your insulin sensitivity. So you're going to hear David talk about that today.

We're also going to hear him talk about his eyesight, improving via our Program. How neuropathy completely went away. You’re going to hear him talk about how his brain fog went away, and now he is able to keep up with younger colleagues in the tech industry. And the whole point here is that, as he changed his lifestyle, as he adopted the Mastering Diabetes Program, yes, he achieved his best A1c ever, which is amazing for him, but he also got all these other benefits. And that's the point of the Mastering Diabetes Program, is that we are talking about overall health, long term health. And this program absolutely works.

So I hope you'll get inspired by David's testimonial and want to join our program as well. As you know, we have a waitlist. So, if you're interested, you want to make sure to register and be the first to get an invite when there is openings. So you can do that with the link below this show. And as always, if you're loving the episodes, please make sure to share this, and give us a rating or review that will help us reach more people. Okay, onto the show. Hope you guys enjoy it.

David Wright: I'm 65 years old. My name is David Wright. And I've been diabetic, type 1, for 40 years. The more I lived with it, the more I understood that if I didn't have my health, I didn't have anything else. The doctors said, “Yeah, don't let the diabetes control your life. Still live your life, and still enjoy your life. And if there's an anniversary or birthday, you know, plan for it, and have a piece of birthday cake. And then, you know, go from that perspective and just enjoy your life”. And so, that was sort of the way that I live for the past, you know, 40 years.

I was eating just a regular American diet. There was no diet plan at all. And they said, “Well, you gotta count carbs”, and “Carbs is the big thing. And so, keep your carbs as low as you can”. But, you know, we were sticking our fingers and testing. And you know, if I tested once or twice a day, and saw what it was, then to me that was good. I wasn't like I was monitoring it, you know, 24/7.

And I hadn't had continuous A1cs until about 12 years ago. And I met a doctor, and she said, “You're a one C is over 12”, and I said, “Okay, what does that mean?”, and she said, “That means your diabetes is way out of control, and that you're not doing very good and managing that. And that some of the complications that you're starting to experience now, with neuropathy in your feet, issues with your eyes, is because your diabetes isn't in control, and the way that you're living your life isn't healthy”. And I said, “Okay, well, what do I need to do?”, and she said, “We need to get you on a plan, to get your A1c lower”.

And so, that meant, you know, increasing the insulin, and changing to some different insulin routines, going on a pump. And so, I went on Medtronic Pump. And that helped, and that helped me to be able to get my A1c down between, you know, it was hard for me to get it below step on a pump. And I was always struggling. And really, every quarter I was going to get my blood test, and my A1c, to get it below 7. And it was just a real struggle. Like, I couldn't understand why I was taking 45 to 50 units a day of insulin, and why I needed to take that much insulin, other than it was just a matter of having to control my blood sugar.

I could feel from my toes starting to work up to my knees, the progression of the neuropathy in the foot, nerve pain and the numbness. And it was like, “Oh, man, this is starting to control and take over my body”. And my eye doctor said, “You got macular degeneration, you got swelling, you got bleeding in your right eye. We're going to have to start treating that”. And that was four years ago when they decided, you know, I needed to start that with my right eye. And then eight months ago, I met Jessica and I shared with her that I was diabetic, and she said, “Oh, well, I am too. I'm type 1, and I found a new program that has really helped me to be able to get my A1c under six”. And I went “No way! You cut your blood sugar, A1c under six. How did you do that? Because I've never been able to get close to even six”. And she said, “Well, let me send you the information. They've got a Facebook page. They've got a whole series of videos, it’s called Mastering Diabetes. And the two individuals associated with it, Cyrus and Robby are phenomenal”. And she said, “I've talked with them, they'll interact with you, and help you from a coaching perspective”.

And I thought “That's what I mean!” I immediately went home that day and signed up for the program, and immediately started watching the videos. It was interesting as I went through each of those videos, and I went in sequence, and looked at the breakfast, looked at the lunches and looked at the, you know, the various plans on there.

I hit one that really had an impact on me, which was Cyrus and Robby talking about injecting insulin. And I've been on the pump for a long time. And they talked about injecting the insulin, you know, into the muscle and the effect that had in benefiting and helping them. And I thought, “Whoa, okay, I'm good. Let’s try that again”. So, I'm no longer on a pump. I've taken the pump, totally put it off to the side, and now I'm injecting Lantus twice a day for the longer effect of the blood sugar, and as I need it, when I eat, I inject Humalog, which has really helped me to be able to gain control.

The other thing that's helped me to gain control is, I have a Dexcom continuous glucose monitor. And that has really helped me to be able to focus on what's taking place with my body, and my blood sugar. I realized that I've got, as Robby and Cyrus talked about in their videos, that I've got to get the insulin resistance issue with the cells resolved, and the fats, the salt, oil, sugars, dairy, meat, all of that gotta go to get myself to where I am no longer insulin resistant.

I immediately went all in on the low-fat, whole-food, plant-based diet, and it was within a day or two, that my blood sugars just really started dropping. It was huge. Major impact, where I'm going, “Whoa, I gotta adjust my insulin”. And I just kept moving my insulin down, and moving it down, and moving it down, and moving it down. And so, I went from 45 to 50 units a day to now, where I'm consistently average right around 26.

I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. I love fruit. I used to not like vegetables. And it's like, “Okay, if I have to have, you know, maybe a little bit of this, or a little bit of that, as far as vegetables, and a huge piece of steak, or a huge piece of fish, or a lot of chicken”. That's really what I was eating. The taste of food has just really, just gone “Wow!” It's like, well, I never understood how, you know, I always thought okra was, why would you ever want to eat okra, and okra is just awesome. And all of these other different kinds of vegetables and beans, fruits. It's just like my life has become alive with the variety of food that is out there, that is awesome to be able to eat.

What was really interesting to me was, when I went to my eye doctor, eye specialist who had been treating me for the previous three years for the macular degeneration, and the swelling in my right eye, and the bleeding that was taking place. So, they started doing injections every month and a half, to two months, in that right eye to try and control the swelling, and stop the bleeding. And over three years, they weren't able to do that with those injections. Injections just were not working and helping. Three months after I started the program went back in had the pictures taken again, and the numbers, and you can see, visibly see the swelling had gone down. The inflammation gone down. The bleeding had stopped in a number of areas.

And my doctor looked at me and he said, “What are you doing different?” and I said, “I'm on a low-fat, whole-food, plant-based diet”, and I said “I I've lost, I've gone from 165 pounds down to 145 pounds. I've reduced my insulin intake by over 20 units”. And I said, “That's what I done”. He said, “You keep doing that!”. He said, “What you're doing is making a huge improvement in that right eye”.

The neuropathy, and the issues that I was having with the neuropathy and the nerve pain, and, you know, I take off my shoes, and I couldn't walk barefooted on the floor, without some kind of slipper, or socks, or something on my feet, and I can take my shoes off right now. I can do jumping jacks on the floor barefooted without any nerve pain or difficulty at all.

So, my doctor that I go to for my diabetes, she asked the same question. She said, “What are you doing different? Because your A1c is almost at 6”. And this was after being on the program for three months. She said, “Your A1c, which had been 7 the quarter before, was now almost 6”. And she said, “What are you doing?”. I said, “Well, I'm doing low-fat, whole-food, plant-based diet. And I've eliminated salt, oil and sugar”. She said “It is making a huge impact on you”. And she said, “Please, please, I beg you, continue to do what you're doing”. And she knows, you know, I'm 66 years old. I turn 66 next week. And she goes, “You're the healthiest, healthiest diabetic that I’ve had in my office in my practice”.

So, my life right now is awesome. I enjoy life. I enjoy doing what I'm doing. And I really feel like, you know, the next 20 years of my life will be that that will enable me to be able to do some fun and enjoyable things. My wife and I are looking forward to retiring, and being able to be with our grandkids. And I see a new life and a new hope out there in front of me, for my future. I'm still working at 66. I love my job. I love what I'm doing. I'm competing with millennials at work, who are 40 years younger than me, and I'm in a real high tech job. And I'm producing as good, and as quickly, as what the millennials are.

And the other thing that's helped me is, I noticed the brain fog that I was having, and the ability to not be able to think and communicate is clearly, has gone away. That I’m able to communicate easier, think quicker, and to be able to reason through things, were previous to starting this program, I was struggling with that.

I was taking Lyrica for my feet, I no longer take Lyrica for my feet. I'm eating food for my feet and it has really benefited me. I'm still taking the I injections, but I'm hopeful that within this next year, the eye injections will be able to go away, because of the healthy medicine in the fruits and the vegetables and I’m eating, it's really helping me to be able to gain control of my eye, and not have it continue to degrade, the way that it was before. And so, my life has become better. By following the Mastering Diabetes Program. There is a better way to live your life with diabetes, or to eliminate it, if you have the type of diabetes that you have that possibility to do so.

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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Reverse Insulin Resistance Using Your Food as Medicine

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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.