For my diabetes chronicles I meet a lot of type 2 diabetics. It helps me understand the zillion perspectives, struggles and successes that each of them has gone through. I have seen diabetics break all moulds, all patterns and all conventions. People with all the resources and knowledge turn out be contextual failures and people whom we think will never get it come out winners.

Umesh doesn’t fit either of the above. He is knowledgeable, interested, has the resources and has used all these extremely well  to ensure that he will not be a victim of uncontrolled blood sugar levels. Umesh is one of the 9 siblings. All of them are diabetic. His parents too were diabetic. After losing a brother and a sister to diabetes, Umesh made a promise to himself – to beat diabetes. This is his success story.

Umesh is 52 years old. He was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2016. The process of diagnosis started with the need to get to the bottom of acute acidity and a chest pain. During the diagnosis his Doctor, Dr. Javed Shaikh (who was also a very good friend) advised Umesh to get an entire body test done. The result – a  fasting of 228. Umesh’s lipid profile readings were also on the higher side. As Umesh and Dr. Shaikh were contemplating the next steps, Dr. Shaikh passed away. This left Umesh emotionally disturbed , drained and helpless. He had just lost his friend, philosopher and guide.

After a few months Umesh’s desire to live a diabetes-free life helped him console himself and take the next important steps to the road to recovery. This took him to Dr. George Oommen (M.D. Physician) and Ms. Geeta Shenoy (Consultant Dietitian and Nutritionist) and he started his journey with a new prescription in hand.  A few months into it Umesh’s will gave way to another layer of desire – to be medication-free. Seems like a daunting task to so many of us that are struggling to barely keep our HbA1cs in range with medication, insulin or both.

Umesh’s success recipe is very simple and practical. His optimism is contagious, his control unparalleled, his learning exponential. In 3 years Umesh is at an HbA1c of 5.6 without medication. A confirmed case of type 2 diabetes reversal.  I have met many-a-diabetic and can attribute this kind of outcome to 1. His hard work and 2. To the almighty that has been so kind to him.

I would like to share Umesh’s daily routine for your benefit:

  • Diet, yoga and walking are his foundation stones
  • Once Umesh is up he starts his day with a glass of warm water followed by yoga.
  • His breakfast is a concoction of oats, green veggies, moong dal and 2 eggs.
  • For lunch and dinner Umesh and his wife have created their own homemade multigrain atta. It consists of barley, oats, chana, nachni, jowar, rajgira and bajra. Umesh has around 1 to 1.5 rotis made of this atta. Along with it is dal, subji, chicken, fish ect. If its a non-vegetarian dish it is always steamed, never fried. The same atta is used to prepare khichdi,upma, partha etc to escape the monotony in the diet.
  • Evening snack if at all is nuts.
  • When Umesh is not at home and is hungry, he depends on fruits or coconut.
  • Dinner is followed by a non-compromised 60 minute walk come what may.

Seems simple? As a diabetic let me tell you that discipline and discretion have been Umesh’s strengths. Losing control, self-pity, frustration and cheat days do not feature in his diabetic dictionary. He told me “not a single sweet, this Diwali’. These emotions are for the weak. Umesh has been intelligent, smart and brave about the choices he has made in the last 3 years and the results are outstanding.

Having said all this I would like to leave you with Umesh’s words of wisdom –  he told me that his wife does all the cooking for him. He has been able to reverse his diabetes due to this huge pillar of support at home. He is a very happy man and has a family that loves and supports him. He maintains that a good family is the key to successful diabetes management. He also gave me a secret to handle stress. He just sleeps it off and stress like most of us know is a very transient emotion.

I hope all of us take a lesson from Umesh’s story. I am extremely grateful to him for telling the world his secrets to success. God bless!