A Test of Health

During Canvasback’s first ever Diabetes Wellness Program on Ebeye, one of our patients—Oling—undergoing the lifestyle intervention decided to hold a little experiment to see if our dietitian’s lessons on type 2 diabetes management were actually true. During the weekend in the middle of the two-week intervention in February, she deliberately stopped exercising and sticking to a plant-based diet.

These two activities—exercising moderately and eating a high-fiber, all plant diet—will drastically reduce blood sugar levels. While switching from heavily processed to all natural food generates results in a couple days, exercising can lower blood glucose levels in only 20 minutes. This, Canvasback believes, is the simplest and cheapest way to manage type 2 diabetes.

Oling enjoying the fruits (sprouts?) of her Sproutman sprout bag.

Oling enjoying the fruits (sprouts?) of her Sproutman sprout bag.

When Oling reached that first weekend, her blood sugar level had dropped to 183—an improvement after only a week of vegan food and regular exercise. For the next two days, she ate her regular diet of canned foods and meats and didn’t do any extra exercise. Her blood glucose measurement in class on Monday had risen to 244.

Oling sure showed everyone how effective lifestyle is in treating diabetes. This is fitting, too, since she is the Director of Primary Healthcare at Ebeye Hospital. Of course, her classmates could see the changes for themselves; Oling’s cousin, for instance, entered the Wellness Program with a blood sugar level of 411 and lowered it to 175 in just one week.

Now that she’s proven her point, Oling has no more excuses—she has to stick to the diet and exercise!