Success Stories: Carrie Diulus, MD
January 02, 2020
Age 44, Akron, OH. Spine Surgeon, Type 1 diabetic, on plant-based diet
I am a Type 1 diabetic and was morbidly obese in my 20s. Now in my late 40s, I am fitter and healthier than ever and recently ran a 50k ultramarathon. After being diagnosed with diabetes, I initially followed the standard “diabetic” diet recommended and found that I was on a rollercoaster of hard-to-manage blood sugars. However, when I switched to a low–carbohydrate diet, I found that management became dramatically easier. I have been able to achieve an A1c in the normal range, which effectively means that I have reversed my diabetes—so long as I adhere to a low-carb diet.
Surgeons don’t normally provide nutritional advice. However, the vast majority of my patients are obese, diabetic or on the spectrum of glucose intolerance. A large body of data now demonstrates that these conditions lead to degenerative changes in the neurologic and musculoskeletal systems. Some insurance companies simply won’t cover surgeries for such high-risk patients. Thus, for many years now, I have been partnering with patients for dietary and lifestyle changes improving both surgical and non-surgical outcomes.
Too often it is assumed that a low carb diet needs to be high in animal fat and protein. In the past several years, I have been using a plant-based low-carb diet and achieved even greater health benefits and body composition results than I thought possible. I am thriving, so I intend to stay plant based as long as my health markers indicate it is appropriate but also am open to alternatives.