Type 1 diabetes: Heart surgeon cures condition

Image copyright Mike Lewis Image caption Mike Lewis took part in the challenge and filmed his journey

A cardiac surgeon has cured his Type 1 diabetes in a dream-like journey of health and self-discovery.

Mike Lewis, 46, of Sandwell, West Midlands, has been battling the disease since his teens, and received dialysis for it in 2016.

The medical professional, who took part in a nine-week challenge called Diabetes Reset, hopes the disease has been successfully re-engineered into the body.

Mr Lewis joined a group of 15 competitors to improve insulin intake.

“I woke up to feeling fantastic,” he said. “It’s like getting a new lease of life. I can run outside, enjoy exercising – I used to exercise for just 30 minutes a day – I feel like I’m running a marathon.

“I’ve always felt a little bit like an alien – but now I feel really at home.

“My sugars are back to normal, I’ve got a new love of cooking, cooking is an incredible part of my life.”

So strong is the transplant that it left Mr Lewis no longer needing regular dialysis.

A typical day for the Coronation Hospital heart surgeon

Image copyright Mike Lewis Image caption Mike Lewis recieving his transplant

“My diabetes was always a big issue for me. It was my life,” he said.

“In the weeks before my transplant I found it hard to get out of bed in the morning because I had to eat breakfast and then breakfast, lunch and dinner – it was a big headache.

“I spent three months on anti-insulin drugs – it took over your life.

“I wanted to have a transplant and change my life completely and get out from under the wheel.”

James Findlay, associate medical director at the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice), said medical opinion was still divided about the potential effectiveness of this treatment.

“Type 1 diabetes can and does affect the type of medication people take and while this approach is not a new idea, it is a new approach, and the data is not yet in to be definitive,” he said.

“Most studies do show that people who undergo the same type of treatment as the race participants do can experience weight loss and the feelings of vitality which they feel.

“It’s really interesting, like that head of state highness, this medical technique could prove to be the answer to the prayers of people suffering from this devastating disease.”

He added that not all studies had confirmed the effect of the procedure, but said some like the Duke hospital study had seen positive results.

Image copyright Mr Lewis Image caption Mr Lewis receiving his first blood glucose test

Mr Lewis joins a growing community of people who had a transplant. According to Cancer Research UK, more than 7,000 patients are on dialysis waiting for a transplant.

Diabetes, which affects more than 3 million people in the UK, is the most common chronic disease. Diabetes occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, a hormone that clears sugar from the bloodstream.

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