A Type 1 Diabetes Solution Decades in the Making | Kelly’s Success Story

Article written and reviewed by Cyrus Khambatta, PhD
Published July 25, 2023

Kelly has been living with type 1 diabetes for over four decades. Despite her best efforts, she struggled to keep her A1C levels below seven and had also gained weight over time. In 2019, Kelly read the Mastering Diabetes book, attempting to change her lifestyle independently but faced challenges. 

However, nine months ago, she decided to take a more serious approach, seeking help and guidance to transform her health. This blog post chronicles Kelly's inspiring journey to better health through the Mastering Diabetes program, embracing a plant-based lifestyle, and the positive impact it had on her diabetes management.

Finding a Sustainable Solution

Recognizing the need for assistance, Kelly turned to the Mastering Diabetes coaching program, where she found support, guidance, and accountability. With type 1 diabetes, Kelly understood the value of having a coach and a peer group who understood her unique challenges. Surrounding herself with like-minded individuals proved to be a pivotal factor in her success.

Embracing a Plant-Based Lifestyle

One of the core principles of the Mastering Diabetes program is adopting a whole-food, plant-based diet. Kelly decided to give it a serious try and noticed profound changes in her health. Eating plant-based not only helped her manage her blood glucose levels more effectively but also contributed to a remarkable 60-pound weight loss. This lifestyle shift was accompanied by a significant improvement in Kelly's A1C levels, dropping from 7.4 to a remarkable 5.7.

Thriving in Physical Activities

As Kelly's health improved, she found herself drawn to more physical activities. Walking became a regular routine, and she even participated in five-kilometer walks with her friends from work. Engaging in sports like pickleball, which she never thought she would try, brought newfound joy and excitement to her life. Physical activity became an integral part of her journey toward optimal health.

Breaking Free from Medications

The positive effects of Kelly's plant-based journey extended beyond her A1C levels and weight. With her health steadily improving, she successfully eliminated her cholesterol and blood pressure medications. Kelly's lipid profile showed significant progress, with her LDL at 80, HDL at 41, and triglycerides at 103, painting a picture of enhanced cardiovascular health.

Navigating Insulin Pump Technology

Throughout her health journey, Kelly remained open to exploring different diabetes technologies. Mastering Diabetes encouraged her to try different insulin pumps and sensors, leading her to discover a preference for the Dexcom continuous glucose monitor. After experimenting with different pump options, Kelly decided to transition from Medtronic to Tandem, drawn by Tandem's Control-IQ's ability to provide better control compared to Medtronic's auto mode.

The Power of Support and Accountability

Kelly's success story highlights the value of support and accountability in achieving health goals. Having a type 1 diabetes coach and a group of peers who understood her experiences made a significant difference. Kelly appreciated the encouragement and camaraderie within the group, finding motivation in knowing she was not alone on her journey to better health.

Kelly at COC's transformative journey with Mastering Diabetes demonstrates the profound impact of embracing a whole-food, plant-based lifestyle and receiving tailored coaching support. Through dedication and openness to trying new technologies, Kelly not only achieved remarkable improvements in her A1C levels, weight, and lipid profile but also discovered a renewed passion for physical activities. 

Her story serves as an inspiration to others with type 1 diabetes, emphasizing the importance of seeking support, making dietary changes, and staying open to exploring advancements in diabetes management. With the Mastering Diabetes program as her guiding light, Kelly's triumphant path toward optimal health reminds us all of the potential for transformation and a vibrant, fulfilling 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.