GP says low-carb approach is ‘shaking up’ the healthcare profession
A GP who has saved the NHS thousands of pounds and put 52 people with type 2 diabetes into remission using the low-carb diet says adopting the lifestyle approach may “literally save lives”.
Last year Dr David Unwin, also known as the ‘Low-carb GP’, handed back £57,000 of unspent money from his surgery’s drugs budget by encouraging his patients to ditch sugary foods, also rice, pasta and potatoes, instead eating more fish, meat, eggs and lots of green vegetables.
The Southport-based doctor is set to present a session on ‘Type 2 diabetes drug free remission: hope for primary care?’ on the first day of DPC2018 this week.
Dr Unwin said: “I’m really interested in empowering patients by giving them lifestyle choices in a bid to overturn their type 2 diabetes. My passion is, at the point of diagnosis, offering people a three-month trial of diet and exercise instead of drugs. Hundreds of people within my practice are taking this up.
“Over the years, I’ve seen an eight-fold increase in the number of people with type 2 diabetes. This is a serious epidemic. But what is brilliant is I’m seeing patients – on a weekly basis – who are putting their diabetes into remission without having used any drugs at all.
“Not only are we saving the state large amounts of money on medication, but we’re literally transforming their lives at the same time. The average patient is losing 19 pounds in weight and is so proud, it’s a win, win situation.”
Despite the positives, the low-carb approach has been deemed by some organisations and high-profile health experts as being controversial. But Dr Unwin said that opinions are now starting to shift.
“There’s been immense progress and more change is coming; the pioneering approach is really shaking up the healthcare industry. We’re seeing more research showing how safe eating a low-carb diet really is and the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) – the Scottish equivalent of NICE – now even supports this dietary choice.
“On top of that, the Royal College of Practitioners has published a low-carb e-learning module which is available to all their 52,000 GPs, and both Diabetes UK and the British Diabetic Association also recognise the diet as an option.”
Dr Unwin said more and more healthcare professionals are contacting him now to enquire about the low-carb diet.
He said: “I’m being contacted by GPs all over the country, who want to see me in surgery and I now have a waiting list. I’m hopeful that by presenting at Diabetes Professional Care 2018 I’ll be able to enlighten attendees and educate them about the huge benefits that the low-carb diet can bring to their patients.”
To attend Dr Unwin’s presentation taking place at DPC2018 on Wednesday 14 November, register here for your free place.