Getting Off the Type 1 Diabetes Rollercoaster | Dana’s Story

Article written and reviewed by Cyrus Khambatta, PhD
Published May 22, 2023

Living with type 1 diabetes can present numerous challenges and anxieties about the future. However, Dana's life took a positive turn when she discovered the Mastering Diabetes Method and joined the Mastering Diabetes coaching program. Through implementing the program's principles and receiving personalized guidance, Dana experienced significant improvements in her blood sugar management, energy levels, weight loss, and overall well-being.

A Roller Coaster Ride

Dana, who has been living with type 1 diabetes since she was three and a half years old, struggled with the unpredictable nature of her blood sugar levels. She frequently experienced drastic fluctuations, causing frustration and uncertainty about her future. The anxiety surrounding potential complications and the challenges of managing diabetes while starting a family weighed heavily on her mind.

Discovering the Mastering Diabetes Method

In June of the previous year, Dana stumbled upon the Mastering Diabetes program while browsing her organization's Facebook page. Intrigued by success stories she encountered, she purchased the book, dived into its contents, and began implementing some of the ideas. However, she soon realized that she needed additional support and accountability to fully embrace the program. Thus, when the opportunity arose to participate in a six-week blood sugar challenge with a dedicated coach, she eagerly signed up.

Support and Accountability

During her journey, Dana found immense value in having a coach, Linda, who understood her struggles and provided unwavering support. Linda was readily available to answer questions, offer guidance, and ease any anxieties Dana experienced. Their regular interactions fostered a sense of camaraderie as they walked the path to diabetes mastery together. Dana appreciated having someone who could share her successes, explore recipe modifications, and offer practical advice based on personal experience.

Health Improvements

Implementing the Mastering Diabetes Method brought about remarkable changes in Dana's health and well-being. Her blood sugar levels became more stable, evident from her husband's observations of the improved Dexcom readings. Dana's average fasting blood glucose dropped from 170 to 130, contributing to a greater sense of confidence in managing her disease. Furthermore, her A1C improved from 7.6% to 6.8%, a significant milestone that positioned her closer to the recommended range for a healthy pregnancy.

Weight Loss and Energy Boost

Dana's journey also resulted in unexpected weight loss. Though her initial focus was not on the scale, she noticed a significant difference during the six-week challenge. Shedding 12 pounds, she reached a weight of 145 pounds, relieving her of body image concerns. The emphasis on nutritious foods and lifestyle changes propelled her to feel healthier and more energetic.

Dietary Adjustments

Prior to embracing the Mastering Diabetes Method, Dana's carbohydrate intake fluctuated considerably, ranging from 100 to 300 grams per day. However, with the program's guidance, she established a consistent carbohydrate intake of 250 to 275 grams per day. Remarkably, despite consuming more carbohydrates, Dana experienced reduced insulin requirements and improved insulin sensitivity. This change was further complemented by a decrease in fat intake, from 20-55 grams per day to an average of 10-12 grams per day.

Time in Range and Future Outlook

One of the most significant improvements Dana observed was her increased time in range, soaring from 51% to 79% during the coaching period. Achieving time in range percentages as high as 95% was something she never thought possible for a person with type 1 diabetes. This newfound stability brought her immense joy and reduced her anxieties about future complications.

Getting Off the Rollercoaster

What’s been most impressive to Dana, and the reason she’s planning on staying on this method permanently, is that she knows how her body works and will respond to different foods and activities. When she’s having a good day, she can point to why. When she’s having a bad day, she understands what to fix. 

And that information is invaluable for a lifetime of living your best life with type 1 diabetes!

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

Price, John C., Cyrus F. Khambatta, Kelvin W. Li, Matthew D. Bruss, Mahalakshmi Shankaran, Marcy Dalidd, Nicholas A. Floreani, et al. “The Effect of Long Term Calorie Restriction on in Vivo Hepatic Proteostatis: A Novel Combination of Dynamic and Quantitative Proteomics.” Molecular & Cellular Proteomics: MCP 11, no. 12 (December 2012): 1801–14.

Bruss, Matthew D., Airlia C. S. Thompson, Ishita Aggarwal, Cyrus F. Khambatta, and Marc K. Hellerstein. “The Effects of Physiological Adaptations to Calorie Restriction on Global Cell Proliferation Rates.” American Journal of Physiology. Endocrinology and Metabolism 300, no. 4 (April 2011): E735-745. https://doi.org/10.1152/ajpendo.00661.2010

Bruss, Matthew D., Cyrus F. Khambatta, Maxwell A. Ruby, Ishita Aggarwal, and Marc K. Hellerstein. “Calorie Restriction Increases Fatty Acid Synthesis and Whole Body Fat Oxidation Rates.” American Journal of Physiology. Endocrinology and Metabolism 298, no. 1 (January 2010): E108-116.