How Chris Reversed 57 Years of Diabetes Complications

Article written and reviewed byCyrus Khambatta, PhD
Published November 21, 2017

​Meet Chris.

Chris has been living with type 1 diabetes for 57 years and recently adopted a low-fat, plant-based, whole-food diet, and rapidly began reversing diabetes complications. We chose to highlight his story because of the astonishing results he has achieved in a very short period of time.

Chris was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was 2 years old. Being diagnosed in the early 1960’s, he has witnessed the evolution of insulin, insulin pumps, and continuous glucose monitors.

Despite this, one thing that never ever changed since the 1960’s are the foods he was told to put in his mouth.

Chris' Struggle with Type 1 Diabetes

For the past 57 years he has been instructed by his medical team to eat a low-carbohydrate diet high in protein and fat, (similar to Meghan and Jessica), and he followed this recommended approach.

When Chris watched a video featuring the Mastering Diabetes team and learned about the presence of insulin resistance in people with type 1 diabetes, he was in awe. He was struck by the approach to low-fat, plant-based, whole-food nutrition, and felt that he could finally explain the diabetes complications he had been experiencing for years.

A light bulb flashed in his head, and within 24 hours he began eating a low-fat, plant-based, whole-food diet and joined the Mastering Diabetes Program to learn and receive support from the Facebook community.

Chris recalls that over the past 57 years he has been stunned that the medical community has not updated nutrition recommendations for people living with type 1 diabetes, given that low-carbohydrate, high-protein, high-fat diets have been shown to accelerate diabetes complications and increase your risk for heart disease, high cholesterol, hypertension, cancer, peripheral neuropathy, and all-cause mortality (1-7).

Chris is no exception to this biology.

Since the 1970’s he has struggled with maintaining his weight, and has tried many diets, only to gain weight as soon as he reverted back to his old habits.

In addition to being overweight, he developed diabetes complications, including hypertension and high cholesterol, and developed rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a painful inflammatory condition that affects his joints.

Chris was prescribed a series of medications to treat hypertension, high cholesterol, and rheumatoid arthritis, and suffered the side effects of these medications, including feeling very low-energy.

Chris' 3 Month Results

Since adopting a low-fat, plant-based, whole-food diet, Chris has dramatically improved many areas of his health and experienced noticeable improvements in his diabetes complications.

He is no longer taking any medication to treat rheumatoid arthritis, and experiences zero joint pain, allowing him to exercise and move around with ease. He was not expecting this benefit, it simply came along for the ride.

Chris’ doctor has reduced his medication dependence significantly, and he now takes only a fraction of the medications listed above. The changes he has been able to make in his medication regimen are shown here:

Medication Name

Used to Treat

August 2017 Dose

November 2017 Dose

Sertraline

Depression

50 mg

0 mg

Atorvastatin

High Cholesterol

80 mg

0 mg

Hydrochlorthiazide

High Blood Pressure

25mg

0 mg

Folic Acid

Rheumatoid Arthritis

1mg

0mg

Enbrel

Rheumatoid Arthritis

50 mg

0 mg

Losartan

High Blood Pressure

100 mg

0 mg

Bystolic

High Blood Pressure

5mg

5 mg

Clopidogrel

Blood Circulation

75mg

0 mg

Verapamil

High Blood Pressure

240 mg

0 mg

Chris hopes to be off of all medications within the next 6-12 months.

In addition to reducing his medication use, Chris has lost 32 pounds since August 2017. He has reduced his total insulin use by 39%, from 75U to 44U per day.

Prior to starting this program, his A1C was 6.5%, and within 2 months of starting the program, his A1c dropped to 5.7%.

Chris enjoys having stable blood glucose control, and finds that his blood glucose is significantly more stable than before. His average blood glucose is 122 mg/dL and his post-meal blood glucose is easily controlled.

Chris now has more energy than ever before, and has increased his cycling exercise from 30 to 60 minutes per day without much effort. He genuinely feels great and loves his new found mobility.

He eats his favorite foods every day, including those pictured here:

He considers himself a new man, and is proud to report the following metabolic changes in only 3 months of eating a low-fat, plant-based, whole-food diet:

Biomarker

August 2017 

November 2017

Bodyweight

276 lb

229 lb

Carbohydrate Intake

80g

250g

Basal Insulin

49 Units/day

29 Units/day

Bolus Insulin

28 Units/day

13 Units/day

A1c

6.5%

5.6%

Chris is an avid member of the Mastering Diabetes Private Facebook group and regularly lends support to others. He hopes to share his message with others, and spread the word about the power of this approach in reversing diabetes complications for those living with type 1 diabetes.

Chris is looking forward to getting off of all oral medications, achieving his ideal body weight, maintaining an A1C of 5.7%, and continuing to refine his blood glucose control. He believes that a low-fat, plant-based, whole-food lifestyle will help him meet these goals as he continues to master diabetes like a champ.

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About the author 

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD is a New York Times bestselling co-author of Mastering Diabetes: The Revolutionary Method to Reverse Insulin Resistance Permanently in Type 1, Type 1.5, Type 2, Prediabetes, and Gestational Diabetes.

He is the co-founder of Mastering Diabetes and Amla Green, and is an internationally recognized nutrition and fitness coach who has been living with type 1 diabetes since 2002. He co-created the Mastering Diabetes Method to reverse insulin resistance in all forms of diabetes, and has helped more than 10,000 people improve their metabolic health using low-fat, plant-based, whole-food nutrition, intermittent fasting, and exercise.

Cyrus earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University in 2003, then earned a PhD in Nutritional Biochemistry from the University of California at Berkeley in 2012. He is the co-author of many peer-reviewed scientific publications.

He is the co-host of the annual Mastering Diabetes Online Summit, a featured speaker at the Plant-Based Nutrition and Healthcare Conference (PBNHC), the American College of Lifestyle Medicine Conference (ACLM), Plant Stock, the Torrance Memorial Medical Center, and has been featured on The Doctors, NPR, KQED, Forks Over Knives, Healthline, Fast Company, Diet Fiction, and the wildly popular podcasts the Rich Roll Podcast, Plant Proof, MindBodyGreen, and Nutrition Rounds.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Scientific Publications:

Sarver, Jordan, Cyrus Khambatta, Robby Barbaro, Bhakti Chavan, and David Drozek. “Retrospective Evaluation of an Online Diabetes Health Coaching Program: A Pilot Study.” American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, October 15, 2019, 1559827619879106. https://doi.org/10.1177/1559827619879106.

Shrivastav, Maneesh, William Gibson, Rajendra Shrivastav, Katie Elzea, Cyrus Khambatta, Rohan Sonawane, Joseph A. Sierra, and Robert Vigersky. “Type 2 Diabetes Management in Primary Care: The Role of Retrospective, Professional Continuous Glucose Monitoring.” Diabetes Spectrum: A Publication of the American Diabetes Association 31, no. 3 (August 2018): 279–87. https://doi.org/10.2337/ds17-0024.

Thompson, Airlia C. S., Matthew D. Bruss, John C. Price, Cyrus F. Khambatta, William E. Holmes, Marc Colangelo, Marcy Dalidd, et al. “Reduced in Vivo Hepatic Proteome Replacement Rates but Not Cell Proliferation Rates Predict Maximum Lifespan Extension in Mice.” Aging Cell 15, no. 1 (February 2016): 118–27. https://doi.org/10.1111/acel.12414.

Roohk, Donald J., Smita Mascharak, Cyrus Khambatta, Ho Leung, Marc Hellerstein, and Charles Harris. “Dexamethasone-Mediated Changes in Adipose Triacylglycerol Metabolism Are Exaggerated, Not Diminished, in the Absence of a Functional GR Dimerization Domain.” Endocrinology 154, no. 4 (April 2013): 1528–39. https://doi.org/10.1210/en.2011-1047.