My name is Justin, and I’ve been a type 1 diabetic for nearly 15 years. When I started out, I was told by my doctor that I could eat whatever I wanted, as long as I take insulin for it. And so, as a kid, I did exactly that. The results were disastrous. I was on a blood sugar roller coaster that stunted my growth, curbed my capacity to remember, and have caused untold damage beneath the surface from constant high blood sugars.
For many years, I struggled with managing my diabetes. To the point of giving up, to the point of suicidal thoughts and depressed nihilism. And, worse yet, the doctors provided no useful advice. I lost all hope, convinced I was going to die before 40 with no eyes or feet. With an A1C above 9, I fell deeper and deeper into despair. I felt like there was no way out, that me failing my health was simply the way it had to be.
Everything changed in October, 2016, when I found a message from a stranger online. All this man knew about me was that I had Diabetes. He asked me if I knew who Dr. Bernstein was, and what he teaches. I did not. He gave me some links to videos, and out of curiosity I dove in. What I discovered shattered everything I thought I knew about Type 1 Diabetes.
I was exposed to what many diabetics would consider a unicorn. An elderly Dr. Bernstein, who has had type 1 diabetes for over 74 years. 74 YEARS! And yet, he was still alive, without tons of complications. No blindness, no kidney disease, no amputations. How could this be? I thought I’d be gone by 40, yet here’s a diabetic, alive and well, who has been dealing with diabetes 3 times longer than I’ve been alive! How did he conquer this terrible disability? And if he can do it, why can’t I?
“No blindness, no kidney disease, no amputations. How could this be?”
How did this man cheat death? His secret was simple; attaining and keeping normal blood sugars. Before this, I didn’t know normal blood sugars, the same that non-diabetics enjoy, was even possible for me. I was told that my high blood sugar was normal, that my lack of control was average, and that I should simply settle. Yet, this man, who had beaten all of the odds, was saying the exact opposite.
He explained that the guidelines we are given, goals such as having an A1C of 7, are exactly what lead to the complications that we are told are inevitable. By eschewing those guidelines, by going against the grain and defying the mainstream gospel, he was able to avoid the complications that plague long-term diabetics everywhere. He was even able to reverse some of the ones he already had. By achieving truly normal blood sugars, the same as everyone else, he had been able to live a long, healthy, and prosperous life.
“I didn’t know that normal blood sugars, the same that non-diabetics enjoy, was even possible for me.”
If normal blood sugars truly are possible, then how do you achieve them? Clearly, what I was doing wasn’t going to get me there. Turns out, the way Dr. Bernstein tamed his type 1 is far different than anything I’ve ever heard. Everything, from his way of eating to the insulin he uses, was completely new to me. But, through his unique techniques, ones that my doctor failed to mention to me, he was able to keep his blood sugar stable and at normal levels.
These techniques involved changing what I eat, changing my habits, and truly working hard to achieve good blood sugars. It all seemed impossible at first, but I realized that if I wanted to live a long time, this is what I had to do. Inspired by his incredible story, I dived in head first. I threw out all the bad foods, embraced new approaches, and passionately researched everything to do with diabetes and health. I bought his book, Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution, and implemented his teachings in my own life. The results were incredible.
Almost instantly, my blood sugars started to look much better. I quickly went from jumping between 300 and 50 to 150 and 60, and as time went on I improved more and more. It took effort, and there were plenty of bumps along the way, but now I can boast numbers between 70-100 most of the time. Normal blood sugars, without tons of highs, without tons of lows, and without tons of insulin. 4 years ago, I would have considered the numbers I have now to be impossible. But now, it’s my new normal.
Finally, I have hope again. I’m no longer in a state of gloom and despair, believing that this disability will be my end. I’m no longer in fear of complications, of going into a coma, of living a short and unhappy life. That burden has finally been lifted off me, and I have taken control of the diabetes that once had a stranglehold on my life. And this newfound joy didn’t come from happy lies, in false beliefs and low expectations that would allow me to settle. It came through perseverance, hard work, and most importantly, learning the truth about diabetes and how to truly control it.
“I’m no longer in a state of gloom and despair, believing that this disability will be my end.”
The most amazing thing about this approach wasn’t even how good my numbers became.. It was how much sense it made! Why didn’t I know about this sooner? Why did my doctor never mention this to me, when he knew his standard advice wasn’t working? I realized that all the suffering I went through, my stunted growth and memory loss, didn’t have to happen. This whole time, I could have had normal blood sugars, if only I knew HOW to get them. I was angry. I felt cheated, like the last 12 years had been stolen from me.
That anger subsided, and was replaced with a passion. A drive to make sure that no other diabetics had to endure what I went through. To make sure that type 1 diabetics around the world get the chance to learn what I wish I knew 15 years ago. To show others the right way, and help them achieve what I once thought was impossible. Dr. Bernstein had this same drive, and dedicated his life to spreading the message. I aim to do the same, through Tame Type 1.
“This whole time, I could have had normal blood sugars, if only I knew HOW to get them.”