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I’m a Doctor, Here's How I Conquered My High Blood Sugar in 6 Months

Jun 28, 2016 | Marlin Gill, MD

More Than 30% of Americans Have Diabetes

Being a doctor means that I treat diabetes, lots of it. Roughly 29.1 million Americans have been diagnosed with diabetes - it’s the 7th leading cause of death in the United States.

Another 86 million people are classified as pre-diabetic - many of whom statistics show will progress to full blown diabetes. Despite the overwhelming prevalence of these deadly diagnoses, most people still don't understand the implications.

Life with diabetes is filled with frustration, and regular visits to see me. Complications can be life altering medical problems ranging from blindness, kidney disease, heart disease, stroke, to painful nerve damage.

Diabetes is very complex, making it difficult to treat and even more difficult to reverse.

Understanding Diabetes by the Numbers

Diabetes is measured using blood sugar levels. There are three primary test used to diagnose diabetes and pre-diabetes, I am only going to discuss two: Fasting Plasma Glucose (or blood sugar) and Hemoglobin A1C (a 3 month average of a person’s blood sugar).

Your results classify you into one of three categories as defined by the National Institute of Diabetes: Normal, Pre-Diabetic, or Diabetic. 


Fasting Plasma Glucose (FPG)



< 100

< 5.7


100 - 125

5.7 - 6.4


> 125

> 6.4  

You probably wouldn't guess by looking at me, but I used to be a frustrated pre-diabetic. 10 years ago during some routine screening labs, I discovered my fasting blood sugar was elevated (111 mg/dl). Couldn't be. Not me. I've never been overweight, actually I’m quite fit, and no one in my family has ever had diabetes. So I repeated the dang test. Same results. So I checked my Hemoglobin A1c, that will be normal and all will be fine. WHAT? It's above normal - 6.0. Okay this is real.

Exercise and Pharmaceuticals Couldn’t Lower My Blood Sugar

So began my personal war against blood sugar. I turned up the exercise intensity. More cardio and weight lifting - 5 days per week. Less food and fewer sweets. My already normal weight went lower and my fitness went higher.

AND.... nothing happened. My fasting blood sugar was still around 110 and A1c stayed at 6.0. The war continues.

I added a low dose (250 mg, twice per day) of metformin, the mainstay of diabetic treatment. A year later my FPG was down to 105 and my A1C dropped to 5.8. Slight improvement, but I’m still in the pre-diabetic range. Infuriating.

New Research Applies Fasting for Natural Healing

New research published in the The Lancet journal found that pre-diabetic patients who had at least one normal blood sugar reading (below 100), even within a short period of time, were 56 percent less likely to progress to diabetes during nearly six years of follow-up after the study.  But, what to do? I have tried everything - genetics are a powerful thing.

Despite my skepticism, I looked into alternative medicine. I started reading about a new solution using an old method - fasting. I came across a study published in July 2015 by the University of California’s longevity institute in Cell Metabolism about what they call a fasting mimicking diet.

The concept is to fast with a very low calorie diet periodically, usually once a month. Then eat normally the rest of the month. The report is mind blowing. I’m not going to get into the details here, but the method has shown amazing results on blood sugar and many other health problems as well as increased lifespan. It was just too promising to resist.

The 6 Month Fasting Mimicking Experiment

I committed to a 6 month plan of fasting 5 days every month. You can find the plan I did here.

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The first week of every month was my week. Five days of fasting Sunday through Thursday. Then Food Friday! The rest of the month I ate normally. Actually I allowed myself more treats than usual (just to really test the method, you know).

While fasting I do my usual workout, go to work, and anything else that is a part of my normal routine. It’s no big deal. I get hungry at times, but it’s a small price to pay. Besides, Food Friday is glorious. If you are interested, here are the specifics of my routine.

Fasting Conquered My Genetic Predisposition for High Blood Sugar

6 months later... 5 days per month of fasting mimicking shifted my blood sugar numbers substantially into the normal range. Compared to the usual very annoying 6.0, my A1C is down to a perfectly normal 5.5! My fasting blood sugar now rests at 90 mg/dl - something that 10 years of exercise, dieting, and medication could not do.

Research continues to validate fasting as a powerful, simple, and natural method - for longevity, weight management, blood sugar stabilization, metabolic improvement, and disease prevention.

True healing starts with the body - and fasting is the greatest way to tap into it.


“Natural forces within us are the true healers of disease.” --Hippocrates



Marlin Gill, MD


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If you have any questions about my personal experience, the effects of FMD on other biomarkers, or any other questions - drop a comment in the box below or send me an email.

Marlin Gill, MD

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