A CHEF from the Lothians has told how he was stunned to discover his diabetes had been reversed simply by undergoing an “intensive diet”.
Sandy Boggon from North Berwick was one pf several patients from NHS Lothian who took part in a UK-wide trial aimed at combating the disease.
It is believed to be the first trial in the world that has successfully reversed the effects of type 2 diabetes.
The project involved patients undergoing a diet which was closely supervised by researchers led by the Universities of Glasgow and Newcastle.
Tha patients were put on a “soup and shake” diet for three months before being gradually introduced to food again building up to a daily diet of 1600 calories.
Mr Boggon, 60, said: “The trial was really tough but worth it – I’m fitter than I’ve been, I have more energy and I no longer have to take medication to counter the effects of my diabetes; I’m delighted.
“I’ve been a chef on oil rigs for 30 years and when I was told I had diabetes six years ago I was really worried about how it would affect my job – you get regular medical tests on the rigs to see you’re fit and I was petrified they’d tell me I couldn’t work anymore.
“Fortunately that wasn’t the case, though it certainly could be for jobs designated as safety sensitive.
“I still needed to do all I could to tackle it because diabetes can make you feel very lethargic and tired.”
The successful trial comes at a time when the number of cases of type 2 diabetes is soaring.
The epidemic is strongly related to the obesity epidemic.
Fat accumulated in the abdomen prevents the proper function of the pancreas. It can lead to serious and life-threatening complications, including blindness and foot amputations, heart and kidney disease.
Alison Diamond and Laurie Eyles are Leads for the NHS Lothian Weight Management Service. Ms Diamond said that they were delighted with the progress of all their patients who took part in the trial.
She added: “Type 2 diabetes is often seen as a less serious type of diabetes because you don’t need to take daily insulin injections, however it is a serious condition which can have a huge impact on people’s lives.
“We were delighted to be able to take part in this national trial – we put forward around 25 patients and we have had some real success stories so there is a real opportunity here for the trial to be developed so that it helps more people with this condition.”
Mr Boggon was lucky enough to be put forward for the trial during a routine visit to his GP in North Berwick.
He said: “I was overweight and they know this is a factor in diabetes – the doctor asked me if I wanted to be put forward for the trial and I jumped at the chance.
“The diet involved having an intensive soup and shake diet for three months – the soup and shakes were supplied by the researchers.
“After the end of the three months over a few weeks I was gradually introduced to food building up to a daily diet of 1600 calories and started exercising regularly, which I’m still doing.
“I was around 15 stone and I’ve lost around three stone. I feel great.”