Treating Type-1 diabetes using food as medicine

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Aisha Sheikh reversed the effects by adopting a vegan lifestyle


Can radically changing your diet make a difference to those suffering Type-1 diabetes? Aisha Sheikh, who’s in her mid-20s is living proof.

Growing up, Aisha like most Canadians of Pakistani origin enjoyed a meat-rich diet and stopped eating it 7 ½  years ago.  Four years ago, after she was diagnosed with Type-1 diabetes she started to re-evaluate her eating habits.

Type-1 diabetes occurs when the pancreas does not produce any insulin, so the body is unable to control the level of glucose (sugar) in your blood, which results in a sugar builds up in your blood instead of being used for energy.

“My life changed. My routine changed. Type-1 diabetes affects everything,” she said.

Then she started to seek out information online. At the time she was already transitioning to a mostly vegetarian diet, at this point she actively considered adopting veganism.

Out went dairy, chocolate, eggs along with all things processed and magically she dropped 20 pounds ‘without even trying.’

“I had more energy. I stopped eating all dairy, no eggs, milk, ranch dressing etc, I replaced it with vegan alternatives and a few months after adopting this new vegan lifestyle I found I needed noticeably less insulin,” she said.

Aisha can now go for longer stretches between insulin shots and is bursting with new found energy. She is convinced that the quality of her life has improved. Life expectancy decreases by 10 to 15 years for people suffering Type-1 diabetes.

By being mindful of what she eats and avoiding meat and dairy she is reversing the typical outcome.

“I know that my vegan diet has changed the way I feel because if I eat junk food, my blood-sugar levels spike, that leaves me feeling drained, lethargic and horrible,” she said.

Thousands of South Asians suffer diabetes given that we are pre-disposed to the life changing disease. Radically changing what we eat can really make a difference. A former meat lover turned vegan uses food as medicine and with the result is less dependent on conventional medicine.


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