Patient Profile – Reyn "Back from the Grave"

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Recently, a reader wrote in about her husband, Reyn. She writes:

My husband, Reyn was diagnosed with heart failure in January 2015 and admitted to the cardiac high care unit for 12 days at a weight of 177kg.

He was discharged from hospital with an oxygen tank, an ejection fraction of 26, a weight of 172kg, of which about 20kg was ascites fluid.Reyn1

A physician that specializes in diabetes treated my husband for diabetes type 2 for about 15 years. He injected 60U Levemir in 2 divided doses per day, together with Novo-Norm 1mg 3x/day, Glucophage, as well as periodically injecting Victoza, with the promise that he would lose weight. This was not true; every year he gained more weight.

I attended the Low-Carbohydrate High-Fat Health Summit in Cape Town co-hosted by Tim Noakes and Karin Thompson in February 2015. The event featured about 15 internationally acclaimed doctors, scientists, researchers, obesity and diabetes specialists. Dr. Jason Fung delivered a most insightful and brilliant lecture about the novel management of type 2 diabetes with special focus of dietary management.

After the convention I listened to Dr. Fung’s lectures on the Internet and read all his blogs, which are most comprehensive and informative for people with diabetes type 2 and overweight problems.

My husband then made the most unanticipated dietary change a heart patient could make by embarking on a low carbohydrate and high fat ketogenic style diet, eating full fat foods, no fruit, no sugar and no grains. Our diet consists of about 75% fats, 15-20% protein and about 4% of calories from carbohydrates. The first thing I did when I arrived home from the Summit was to throw away all condiments that contained carbohydrates.

We learned more from Dr. Fung’s blogs; the body set weight, lowering insulin levels by fasting, fat as energy source in stead of carbohydrates, not only what you eat but also when you eat, eating fat to lose fat, cutting out all sugars and most important; Insulin is a fat storing hormone. This is the scientific fact, and not a religion; it is not what you believe to be true.

Most of my friends, academics and the medical establishment still believe in a normal diet, normal portions, eating ample carbohydrates, low fat, a low calorie diet and exercise (whatever that may mean), disregarding the science which is very comprehensively explained by Dr. Jason Fung. They demonize the LCHF diet, mainly because of the high fat content and/or the nutritional ketosis effect that is supposedly ‘dangerous’. In a step-by step process my husband stopped taking insulin completely.

The cardiologist and internist that treated him for heart failure ridiculed us because just two months later in April 2015 he did not want new prescriptions for statins and insulin; they told us that Dr. Google was going to make them rich.

While my husband was injecting insulin I had to rush home at noon to make lunch to prevent low blood sugar, in the mean time he was carrying more than 350,000 fat calories, which he could not access because he was a sugar burner. About everything we did in the past in our nutritional lifestyle, eating patterns and medical treatment of obesity and diabetes type 2-increased insulin levels.

The recommendations from our dietician with a doctorate degree in blood sugar management, was to have 3 snacks per day between meals, even saying that if he “could divide his meals in minute by minute intake” it would be the best way to stabilize blood sugar (ok, blood letting was practiced for 2000 years, up to the 1940s). Low calorie low fat diets were the go to diets we were familiar with for the last 40 years, it was the most common advice given to lose weight and to be “healthy”. These diets have hundreds of different names but the plan is usually a hunger diet. It always resulted in gaining more than he lost after a few weeks or months.

I could never understand why my husband who was such a meticulous and very mindful person, successful in most projects he embarked on, could not keep the weight off. I could not understand how he would go without food for lengthy periods during the day but then binge an hour or two after a full low fat high carb dinner. I could also not understand how his food intake could make him weigh more than 160kgs at times, while I would sometimes/mostly eat not very much less than him and maintain a BMI of 20.Reyn2

And did he try his absolute best numerous times to lose weight, at times combining the low calorie low fat diet with the most unbelievable strenuous exercise programs. But, constant hunger does not allow you to maintain a low calorie, low fat diet and to lose weight. The outcome would always be the same, lose weight to gain it all back again, and more.

The hope, the effort, stick ability, really trying, with a zero success rate!

After a year of changing his diet he weighs 53kg less, his ejection fraction is 54, his HbA1C 5.9%, from 9,1% in February 2015, his total cholesterol is 5mmol/l, blood pressure 115/72 without blood pressure medicine, he swims for 30 minutes 5x/week. He is not easily irritated and do not have any mood swings. The teeth he has left grew fast, his toenails grew back and he has total neuropathy foot pain relief!

He loses weight while on holiday, during the festive season, over weekends, all the time, sometimes plateauing and sometimes losing the centimeters before your eyes. All without hunger on the most sustainable diet ever.

We do not snack between meals; periodically we do short fasting sessions of 16 hours and well as longer fasting sessions.

We have 2 meals a day which includes all meats with fat, real butter, full-fat cheese, healthy oils, nuts, seeds, up to 20 eggs or more per week, loads of vegetables: covered in different full fat and reduction sauces and herbs and spices from around the world.

The hunger is gone.

We have been lied to for too long!!

Dr. Jason Fung: Indeed, we’ve been lied to long enough. Congratulations of your great results. The saddest part to me is always the fact that patients get better despite of, not because of their doctors. That is extraordinarily tragic.

2017-09-02T11:54:10+00:00 36 Comments

About the Author:

Dr. Fung is a Toronto based kidney specialist, having graduated from the University of Toronto and finishing his medical specialty at the University of California, Los Angeles in 2001. He is the author of the bestsellers ‘The Obesity Code’ and ‘The Complete Guide to Fasting’. He has pioneered the use of therapeutic fasting for weight loss and type 2 diabetes reversal in his IDM clinic.

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36 Comments on "Patient Profile – Reyn "Back from the Grave""

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Nancy J
Guest

Wow, congratulations! I kind of want to punch those cardiologists in the nose.

Esther
Guest

Congratulations Reyn and family! Such a great testament to Dr. Fung’s work! Excited to hear your progress ?

Ann
Guest
Reyn’s story is such an inspiration! I’m so glad to find this blog. I’ve had type2 DM for 12 years and realize the diet my doctor put me on is totally opposite than LCHF. I went to another Endocrinologist and when I asked him, in desperation, about what I could do nutritionally to get my A1c down from 9.4, he actually whipered to me “do very low carbohydrates and eat full fats” that should do it for you. Come in 6 months and lets do the blood work.” I’ve been “wading in” to the LCHF diet combined with the 16/8… Read more »
Tamarah
Guest

Why are you wading Ann,, Take the plunge !!!

Tessa
Guest

Amazing work Reyn . congratulations. And thank you Dr. Jason Fung!!!!! You are amazing . Wonderfulllll!!!!!. Tessa Booysen

Julian Fisher
Guest

Good for you! I couldn’t help but think of Peter Finch, saying: “I’m as mad as h*** and I’m not going to take it anymore!” What Reyn did took a lot of courage and resolve. I am sure that this initiative will continue and be a great story of triumph and redemption! You are pushing LCHF and IF ever closer to a tipping point, and suddenly, or apparently suddenly, the world will catch on. Bravo! A great work in progress. Keep going.

BobM
Guest
Congratulations! That is a great story. By the way, there is definitely a correlation between heart failure and insulin resistance. Now, I do not know if there are any studies where an improvement in insulin resistance means an improvement in cardiac function, but I don’t doubt that’s true. Is your husband on drugs for heart failure? Several years ago, I was diagnosed with a version of heart failure called idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy. Basically, my heart was getting larger but they did not know why. I believe it was many factors, including very high stress level and a very high carbohydrate… Read more »
BobM
Guest

I should note, too, that LC definitely helped, but I seemed to get the most and fastest results using IF and LCHF together. For instance, my blood pressure seemingly plummeted on IF (and I have three years of daily blood pressure readings to prove it). While on LC, I was eating 5+ times per day, and I think that limited repair of insulin resistance. But I didn’t realize this until I found Dr. Fung’s website (after all, we’ve been told that more and smaller meals are better than fasting).

Diane
Guest

BobM, how did the IF and LCHF combination affect your blood sugar levels? The other effects are awesome; just curious about the BS too.

Diane
Guest

BobM, I just noticed that you did say decreased A1C, so sorry for missing that the first time through your post. 🙂

Marlene
Guest

Congratulations on your success! We all must thank Dr. Fung for his work! If it hadn’t been for his book and website I would probably still be gaining weight, not losing!

Joan Day
Guest
I have always been a very passionate person, and this brings tears [of joy]to my eyes. What pleasure to see a picture of you and your family, smiling , looking good. Here is to many many more years. –Thank God for Drs Like Jason Fung– [now we have a way of sharing our good news fast with others on the internet.] Pass on the good news–how many others can be helped by stories of success like yours, and Dr Fungs work–[along with others who work with him]–what a team. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful story, and patient… Read more »
Jill
Guest

Wonderful story. Congratulations!

Barbara Young
Guest

I couldn’t agree more. Low fat high carb multi-snack diet = constant, grinding hunger that eventually overwhelms you. Low carb, high fat diet with a bit of IF = comfortable, hours between meals, reasonable, manageable levels of hunger at mealtimes and feeling of fullness and satisfaction after meals. Plus weight loss too! Only just starting this journey but I feel transformed.

Craig Donovan
Guest

Awesome!! Congratulations and keep up the good work!

Charlotte
Guest
I have been reading this blog and Dr Fungs work for a year and am so thankful to have found it. For the first time in my adult life I finally feel in control of my health. My Dr kept telling me that fasting will not work. I will let me 25 kg in 4 months weight loss and normalized BSL do the talking. In fact I fired him a week ago – I think I can do better on my own and how tragic that I have to find my own path to wellness and when I do not… Read more »
honeycomb
Guest

Fantastic .. simply outstanding.

Wenchypoo
Guest
From one heart patient’s wife to another: Your experience is one more dart in the argument of conventional medicine practitioners–they no longer know what being truly healthy is, so it’s up to us to get there, and TEACH them! My husband is almost as bad (subtract your heart problems–Hubby was born with bicuspid valves, and has gained hypertrophy over the years), and weight loss is STILL a battle in spite of being fat-adapted. I cannot get him keto-adapted no matter what I do: Keto O/S, Adapt bars, MCT oil in the food, a homemade combination of all good fats in… Read more »
Liz
Guest

Have you tried zero carb? http://zerocarbzen.com/

Maureen H
Guest

That is a wonderful account of how a person takes his health into his own hands and confounds the “experts”. Thanks so much for sharing your story. I do wonder though how the cardiologist reacted when he saw the results. Did it change his thinking even a little bit?

Carmen
Guest

Donde puedo comprar el libro? Esta traducido al Español? Gracias

Bernard P.
Guest

Dr Fung’s book is available in english on Amazon. Dr Fung will perhaps tell you if a spanish translation is in the works.

http://www.amazon.com/Obesity-Code-Unlocking-Secrets-Weight/dp/1771641258/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1459731601&sr=1-1&keywords=obesity+code

Moni
Guest

Carmen, ya està traducido al Español. Se llama “El Còdigo de la Obesidad”. Acaba de lanzarlo al mercado la editorial Sirio en España. Lo puedes comprar por Internet. Apenas està comenzando a distribuirse a otros paìses de habla hispana, pero te lo envìan desde allà al paìs donde estès. El segundo libro del Dr. Fung, sobre el Ayuno Intermitente todavìa no se traduce al Español pero estoy segura que muy pronto lo estarà. ¡Saludos!

matt
Guest

Great story. Remarkable recovery with normalization of ejection fraction and weight loss. I’ve had similar success losing weight and getting stronger. As a retired cardiologist, I recognize many elements of the story and how hard it is for health care providers to buck the system. It takes courage to invade new territory – thanks Dr Fung.

Sandra
Guest
BobM, I am a firm believer of “death by medicine”, especially after our experience with insulin. That said I also believe in Hippocrate’s famous quote about food letting be your medicine and medicine be your food. As we have now learnt that health/weight has not so much to do with caloric intake but much more about signalling, I think there is so much information locked up in the foods we eat. Some of his symptoms e.g. bad apnea, totally resolved! since he gave up every molecule of wheat in 2008, but unfortunately he replaced wheat products with sourdough rye bread… Read more »
Kelly
Guest
Thank you, Sandra, for your inspirational and informative post. I just began LCHF five days ago and already i have lost 11 lbs. of water weight, mainly from lower legs and feet. I was diagnosed as diabetic while in the hospital with a heart event in Nov. 2014 and the doctors used insulin in the hospital because they said that was easier to monitor than oral meds while hospitalized. When I was discharged, my primary doctor kept the insulin, added metformin and sent me to a diabetic specialist, who pushed the standard diabetic diet. So many carbs! So few fats!… Read more »
Sandra
Guest

Liz. http://zerocarbzen.com/ This information/website actually was the “tipping point”! in 2015 in my decision to go as low as possible with carbs. Dr. Fung made me aware of fasting and the absolute significant roll it plays in addressing insulin resistance, he is a world expert on the subject. I realised that fasting was something the native populations would naturally do.

Vicky Carrott
Guest
My name is Vicky Carrott. I am 67 years old as of this month of April 2016. I am absolutely blown away with the information that I have recently learned concerning Dr. Fung and his low carb/no carb diet and fasting. I was taking 2-3 pills (500 miligrams) of Metformin and 1 pill of Glipiside (10 miligrams) daily for nearly 7 years. About a month ago, at my annual check up dr. said my A1c was still at 10.5 and blood sugar running 300. Then, he claimed that I had developed a heart murmur and my blood pressure, the day… Read more »
TCM
Guest
What does it mean when blood pressure goes UP after fasting? I completed my first (recent) day of fasting yesterday, and checked my BP this morning. It was 166/94! I’ve been checking my BP regularly. My most recent prior measurement was a week ago, and it was 134/82, which has been typical of the past few months (with 25 mg HCTZ daily). A bit of searching landed me on this thread at the 5:3 fast/diet site: https://thefastdiet.co.uk/forums/topic/high-blood-pressure-caused-by-52/ Apparently I’m not the only person to experience a rise in blood pressure from fasting. My guess is it’s all about cortisol, but… Read more »
jeff k
Guest

i’m not sure you should worry about every blip of your blood pressure. you’ve just started a new way of eating and have yet to see much effect. when your weight drops so will your bp. perhaps you will need to do 16;8 or some other intermittent schedule instead of full days. [did you do a full day? you don’t say.] understand the principles being explained here, and then find a way of implementing them in a manner tailored to your schedule, your life’s demands, your own metabolism.

TCM
Guest

Yes, I did a full day. And, as you’ve suggested, I decided the best way to proceed was to go 16:8 most days, and with a 24 once a week: dinner to dinner, so no calendar day is without a meal. That seems to be working, for the time being. When I’ve lost more weight I can reconsider a more aggressive approach.

Ahmad Luqman Alias Firdaus Bin Ab Patah
Guest
Ahmad Luqman Alias Firdaus Bin Ab Patah

Is it insulin resistance is fully repair?

Sue
Guest

Dr. Fung and Others,

My husband and I are totally on board with LCHF diet, fasting and exercise. But do any of you think that this supplement (Berberine) could be adverse? We are NOT taking any diabetic drugs because we feel it leads to more medication and adds to the progression of this disease. But… if you read this entire article, maybe it’s a good thing? Thanks for anyone’s input.

https://authoritynutrition.com/berberine-powerful-supplement/

Roger Bird
Guest

What is worthy of serious scientific study is how most people keep worshiping at the altar of modern conventional medicine. They rather be right (by worshiping medical authorities) than be healthy (by thinking for themselves).

Sue
Guest

Your story is so very impressive! Would love to see how you are doing! No doubt great…. but would still love to hear an update!

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