I was experiencing severe headaches and low energy for a few months, and that’s when I decided to see the GP. He did a blood test and confirmed that my blood sugar was very high. It was a great shock to me! I didn’t know much about type 2 diabetes before my diagnosis and didn’t think it would be something I’d have.
My first thought when the doctor told me was, “This can’t be true—are you sure?” At first, I didn’t believe the diagnosis and didn’t even bother with the treatment recommended by my GP. After a few months, however, the headaches became even more intense and frequent, and I felt really tired all the time. So, I began taking metformin.
My diagnosis meant I had to scale down on my jogging, walking, DIY, and chores at home.
I also had to be aware of what and how much I ate and drank—even when I shopped for groceries, I had to scrutinise the packets to ensure they were suitable for me. Over the past decade, I’ve learned that food that contains wheat products, such as bread, cakes, chapatis, and rice, as well as coffee and sugar, all spike my blood sugar levels—these are all the foods I love the most! As well as watching what I eat and drink, and taking metformin, I also have blood tests every 3 months to monitor my blood sugar levels. It’s this constant monitoring and taking of medication that I’ve found the hardest about living with type 2 diabetes, and I’ve had to learn to accept and adopt my new lifestyle.
I’m fortunate to have been surrounded by my friends and family, who have been a great source of strength and support over the years, whether its keeping a watchful eye on what I eat and drink, or making positive comments. In fact, it could be said that my diagnosis has had a positive outcome as I have become more aware of my health. I’m happy that my diabetes was detected at an earlier stage.
The start of my Habitual journey
It was only 5 years ago when I first learned that type 2 diabetes could go into remission. I saw several remedies and programmes on social media that claimed to lower blood sugar levels and put type 2 diabetes into remission. I was excited but also cautious because I wasn’t sure that it would help me to reverse my condition. I’d tried some natural remedies in the past such as bitter melon, cucumber, ginger, and other herbs, but all of them had a very minimal effect.
It was January 2022 when I first came across Habitual—on Facebook in fact! As another company promising to put diabetes into remission… I was nervous that it wouldn’t work but by this point, I was starting to worry that I may have to go on insulin to keep my blood sugar levels under control. I was desperate to put my diabetes into remission so decided to submit my eligibility. I received a taster box of meals and opted to start the programme immediately!
From the very beginning of the programme, I was able to stop taking metformin, which for me was such a positive. As I was going to be eating four Habitual meals each day, I told my family, friends, and colleagues so that they were aware and could support me. I had to explain what the programme was all about but everyone was very understanding.
The programme was very challenging at the beginning having to survive on four small portions of liquid meals. But as it progressed, I grew accustomed to the meals and could not wait for meal time! Also, I started to see a drop in my weight and with this, I started to feel better and was able to be more active.
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Adapting the programme for Ramadan
This year, Ramadan started on 1 April. I was still on the programme and didn’t want to stop, but I also didn’t want to give up on Ramadan. I contacted Patient Care and got their advice on adapting the programme. For that month, I started my fast in the morning with porridge and at iftar I had soups and fruits, followed by some normal food a bit later on. After Ramadan, I resumed the programme as before and continued on the food reintroduction phase. At first, this part of the programme was hard—I’d got used to the liquid meals and now had to return to solid food. I was apprehensive in case the change in diet affected the progress I’d made so far but thanks to the guidance of the team, everything went smoothly and it feels normal to eat whole food again now.
Despite having to modify the programme for Ramadan, my blood sugar levels have improved naturally over the course of the programme. Before starting, my blood sugar levels were 64mmol/mol (8%) and my latest HbA1c at the end of June came back as 42mmol/mol (6%)—and this is all without taking metformin! Diabetes UK define remission as an HbA1c level that remains below 48mmol/mol (6.5%) for at least 6 months. I’m so pleased with this result and am hopeful that in just a few months time, I will be able to confidently say my type 2 diabetes is in remission.
Habitual really does what it says on the tin and all I can say is, give it a go! The meals are tasty, you’ll get to stop taking metformin, and the team are a great support. Get the taster box and then thank me later!
Habitual's quick-fire round:
🥤What’s your favourite Habitual meal?
The porridges and shakes! They are all easy to prepare and very tasty.
😖 What do you do to deal with stress?
I take long walks and do some light exercise.
Best tip for overcoming a slip-up?
Dust yourself down and keep going.
🌭 What’s your favourite food?
Steak and loads of vegetables!
 What is diabetes remission and how does it work? Diabetes UK. Retrieved 1 August 2022. Accessible here.