Table 1

Discovering low-carb as a new ‘tool-in-the-box’—interview excerpts

Reference NoInterview excerpt
1.01 [The patient] came back to see me having gone from an HbA1c of like 90-something, down to 33 I think. And I was like ‘oh wow, well done’, and he gave me Michael Mosley’s book. And that triggered kind of a really obvious connection between food and blood sugar that I hadn’t, embarrassingly [considered]. It’s just so overlooked, isn’t it? (PN03)
1.02 I was a lot bigger [12 years ago]. I was about 20 stone then, so I started low-carb […] and lost loads of weight. And I had polycystic ovaries and insulin resistance, and I did it for that reason as well. (PN16)
1.03 I spent two years just reading as much as I could, going to conferences, listening to podcasts. So just immersing myself. It was the most exciting thing I’ve ever done in my career. (GP17)
1.04 I’ve been diabetic lead for the practice for 18 years. I pushed [patients to manage their conditions] but I watched them get worse, I watched 200 diabetics become 400 diabetics, and I didn’t do a single thing that made a difference. I didn’t reverse a single case of diabetes. Low-fat doesn’t work, full stop. (GP14)
1.05 Before I came to this, I’d been doing the diabetes clinics for three or four years, and it was all about drugs, and I wasn’t that excited about diabetes. […] When patients would ask me ‘what shall I eat, doctor?’, I’d sort of avoid the conversations, because I didn’t have a good answer, apart from ‘everything in moderation’. (GP17)
1.06 It blew me away, because all the science is there, all of the biochemistry about sugar and how it leads to fat storage everywhere. (GP04)
1.07 Before this, I thought there was no way grossly fat people could become slim again. I thought there was no hope, it never worked unless they got their stomach stapled, and even those got fat again. And I also thought there’s no way they can come off all their medication when they’ve been on insulin and so on. [But] you know, people who do this can come off all their medication. (GP12)
1.08 I had another patient who is diabetic, or not diabetic anymore—she’s in remission. She had non-fatty liver disease as well, and arthritis in her knees. She went for a scan, and [her liver’s] completely clear. And the doctor actually said ‘this is not possible!’ She was like ‘yeah, I’ve done it through diet’. So she’s got no fatty-liver anymore, her arthritis has gone in her knees, and her diabetes is in remission. So, and that’s just through food—it’s amazing. (PN15)
1.09 My [GP] partner and I have found that this is a completely and utterly joyful way of doing medicine. We used to joke about our exit plan. […] We now tell people how liberating it is to practice medicine like this. You’ve got people coming into your room saying ‘I can’t lose weight’, that’s a heart-sink, ‘I’ve got chronic pain, irritable bowel, I’ve got reflux, diabetes I can’t control’. Now all of a sudden we have this magnificent tool in the box. It’s completely changed our lives as practitioners. (GP02)