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Regular exercise got me off insulin

When 64-year-old Eddie was told three years ago by his GP that if he didn’t stop smoking he risked amputation, he went home and had a think. 

Diabetes doesn't stop you working out

I'd had a series of mini strokes and problems with walking turned out to be peripheral vascular disease.  I had smoked all my life. Some time earlier, I was showing all the symptoms of Type 2 diabetes, but I did not know I had developed the condition at that point.

I gave up smoking and then I went back to my GP and said ‘I know what I can’t do, but what can I do?’ 

man-at-the-gym-300-x-200.gifI was offered a gym membership free for three months. At first it was hard but then I loved it. It was a case of lie on the couch all day or do something. I chose to do something. 

My brother who is Type 1 did not believe I was off insulin as he thought once on it you were on it for life and to tell the truth so did I.

I had been checking my blood sugars once a week and handing them in to my GP and everything was fine. I was then told I did not need to do this anymore.

Everything was fine for about a year then I was taken ill with some sort of virus. After this cleared I went back to the gym as normal.

Then one Friday I was at the gym, but everything seemed more difficult than usual and one of the staff commented that I looked grey and my wife also commented on this. I went straight to the GP who took some bloods. I got a call about 5pm the doctor said he had handed in a new prescription for me to collect on the next day (Saturday).

By now I was terribly thirsty and was drinking anything I could get my hands including sugary juice - coca cola and lemonade - which I knew I should not do, but did not by this time care. I was so thirsty I didn't want to swallow. I just wanted to pour it down my throat also at the same time. I lost my voice, my penis had become swollen and cracked and it was painful to pee. (I later found out I had thrush).

However, my GP phoned me at 4:30pm on the Saturday morning saying he had been awake all night and could I go to A&E and he would phone and tell them I was coming down. 

At the hospital, when the blood test came back from the lab I had a blood sugar reading of 66. At this point i was admitted and put on an insulin drip and another drip because I was dehydrated. The staff commented they thought I should be in a coma. However after three days I was released and started insulin injections twice a day. 

Coming off insulin

As I gradually got better I returned to the gym and resumed my exercises. About a year later I was taken off insulin and reduced the metformin tablets from four a day to one.  

My brother who is Type 1 did not believe I was off insulin as he thought once on it you were on it for life and to tell the truth so did I.

The diabetic clinic are over the moon with my progress. I now inject lixisenatide once a day which I’ve been on for about a year and I’m feeling great. I don’t worry too much about what I eat as I am doing regular gym session, sometimes five days a week. I don’t take sugar in my tea or coffee and am not a big sweets/cakes/crisps eater, nor do I like sugary drinks, but the hospital have told me I am doing great due to the regular exercise. 

I’ve had high blood pressure for years, but at my last reading about two weeks ago, it was 117 over 73 (normal range).

I can’t run and have trouble walking due to vascular disease, but at the gym there’s plenty of variation in my exercise programme. The gym staff will help you.

I want to let people know you can help yourself and it’s not impossible or expensive to do.

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