Perrine Insulin Resistance

Case Study: Learn How Perrine Reduced Her Insulin Resistance by 471% in 4 Months

 

 

Meet Perrine.

Perrine was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes 15 years ago, at the age of 15. For many years, she has complained of low energy, waking in the morning and feeling an irresistible urge to fall back asleep. In fact, often times she was too tired to muster up the energy to inject insulin at mealtime, resulting in high blood glucose multiple times per day. She recounts:

“My diabetes was a mess. I was too tired to even give myself a shot right after a meal, and ended up with high blood glucose all the time. The roller coaster of highs and lows would begin right after sunrise.”

 

I had the pleasure of working with Perrine at the Conquering Diabetes Retreat in the middle of September 2015, and helped her understand the importance of a plant-focused diet for optimal blood glucose management. She came with an open mind, ready to embrace a new way of eating – and a new way of thinking – in order to reduce her A1c value, exercise more, and integrate new nutrition and fitness tools into her arsenal for long-term health.

 

Before the Conquering Diabetes Retreat

Problems

Unpredictable blood glucose, extreme lethargy and frequent constipation.

What Foods Did Perrine Eat?

For breakfast, Perrine usually ate a piece of toast with butter and jam, accompanied by hot chocolate or a cup of tea. At lunch time, Perrine ate a serving of meat or fish served with cooked grains and a side salad. At the end of lunch, she would snack on a few pieces of fruit. For dinner, she ate cooked vegetables, soup and more cooked grains, followed by a fruit dessert once again.

Metrics of Insulin Resistance

In order to determine Perrine’s level of insulin resistance, simply divide the total number of grams of carbohydrate by the total number of units of insulin over a 24 hour period. Before the retreat, her insulin resistance metrics were as follows:

24-Hour Carbohydrate Intake: 275 grams per day

24-Hour Fat Intake: 80 grams per day

24-Hour Lantus Insulin Usage (Long-Term Insulin): 20 units per day

24-Hour Humalog Insulin Usage (Short-Term Insulin): 30 units per day

Total Insulin Usage: 50 units per day

Sensitivity Index: 275 grams carbohydrate / 50 units = 5.5 g/U

Hemoglobin A1c: 10.0%

 

After the Conquering Diabetes Retreat

Results

Weight loss, clear skin, no more smelly breath, stronger nails, faster scar healing, improved mental clarity.

“I now have an incredible sense of mental clarity. My mind feels clearer, as if a big cloud has disappeared. I remember things more easily and can articulate my ideas better.”

 

What Foods Does Perrine Now Eat?

During the retreat, Lauren ate nothing but uncooked fruits and vegetables. In a closely monitored environment, her fat intake was decreased to below 20 grams per day.

When she returned home to Lima, Peru, Perrine stopped eating meat, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy products. Most of her diet now comes in the form of fresh fruit, with less than 10% vegetables. She admits that she is trying to eat more vegetables, but that her progress is slow.

Energy Levels

Perrine now feels that her mind is clearer and it is easier to start her day. Throughout the day, she also experiences much more energy and no longer feels the need to take an afternoon nap.

Metrics of Insulin Resistance

During the retreat, Perrine significantly increased her carbohydrate intake and has continued to increase it since returning home to Lima. It is not uncommon for her to eat more than 700 grams of carbohydrate per day, accompanied by less than 20 grams of fat per day.

Following the linear diabetes model, we would predict that by doubling her carbohydrate intake, Perrine would require double the amount of insulin. However, Perrine has observed that the exact opposite effect has happened, and her insulin usage is now lower than it has been since she was diagnosed 15 years ago. Her insulin resistance metrics are as follows:

24-Hour Carbohydrate Intake: 725 grams per day

24-Hour Fat Intake: 20 grams per day

24-Hour Lantus Insulin Usage (Long-Term Insulin): 8 units per day

24-Hour Humalog Insulin Usage (Short-Term Insulin): 20 units per day

Total Insulin Usage: 28 units per day

Sensitivity Index: 725 grams carbohydrate / 28 units = 25.9 g/U

Hemoglobin A1c: 7.5%

In fact, Perrine was so eager to share her results, in a recent interview she commented the following:

“Blood glucose management has become my game! My blood glucose is now very predictable and often times I actually experience hypoglycemia more than I expect, so I have to keep decreasing the amount of insulin I inject. The highs are very rare now, and it feels great.”

 

Perrine Poncet Diabetes Results

Perrine Change in Insulin Resistance Perrine Change in Hemoglobin A1c

The Best Part

Weight Loss

“I am now 25 pounds lighter than I was in September – it’s a whole new world.”

 

Simply stated, Perrine lost 25 pounds effortlessly. When we first started working together, she mentioned that over the course of the past decade, she watched as the scale read larger and larger numbers. As is the case with many people eating a refined diet, she became increasingly aware that her inability to control blood glucose was directly tied to weight gain.

But what could she do about it?

Many people attempt a low-carbohydrate diet as a method of losing weight unsuccessfully, and lose more energy in the process. Perrine chose to do the exact opposite, and decrease her intake of fat while increasing her overall plant intake, and the weight fell off of her without a concentrated effort.

Improved Fitness

“I no longer feel exhausted after a workout. I enjoy exercise – it feels like my body asks for it, so now I look forward to doing it more.”

 

In September, Perrine considered herself largely inactive. Not only did she suffer from low energy during the day, she felt like the act of exercising was frustratingly difficult. Because of that, she chose to workout infrequently, even though she intuitively that exercise was extremely important.

Fast forward 4 months. As a result of changing her fuel, she can now exercise more than ever before, and actually looks forward to her exercise sessions. She finds herself having more motivation to exercise, which started a cycle of increased movement and motivation that now feeds on itself continuously.

 

The Worst Part

Let’s be honest, it’s not all peaches and cream. When I asked Perrine what the worst part of her low-fat plant-based transition was, she was very introspective, and mentioned the following:

“Eating a plant-based diet has made my emotions raw. Previously, I would drown my frustration in chocolate. Now I take it out on other people, which is not my favorite thing to do. The experience has made my emotions more powerful.”

 

Now that chocolate is no longer her emotional outlet, she has been experimenting with ways to incorporate more chocolate substitutes like cocoa into her plant-focused regimen. As her food preparation skills improve, I imagine that this problem will fade away (even if slowly).

 

Perrine’s Words of Advice

Given that Perrine has now been eating a low-fat plant-based diet for more than 4 months, she wanted to share some words of advice to anyone thinking about migrating in the same direction:

“The major difficulty for me was at the very beginning. The cravings for grains and chocolate were hard to deal with. Every time I would fall off the wagon, I would feel my body begging for more crap food. So now I keep that in mind if I ever feel tempted to have a small amount of food from somebody else’s plate. It’s just not worth it anymore.”

 

 

About The Author

Cyrus Khambatta

Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 22, I have spent over a decade learning the fundamentals of nutrition at the doctorate level. My goal is to share my knowledge of practical nutrition and fitness with people with prediabetes, type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is an OPPORTUNITY to attain excellent health. Reversing the effects of insulin resistance can be a fun and enjoyable process if the right system is in place. That's why I've spent over 10 years developing a rock solid system that can minimize blood glucose variability and insulin resistance.

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