"Mastering Diabetes" Author Robby Barbaro Talks Fruit, Fat, & Insulin Resistance
"Mastering Diabetes" Author Robby Barbaro Talks Fruit, Fat, & Insulin Resistance
This week, a look at a way of eating for all types of diabetes that sounds – frankly – really hard to do. But the guys behind it say it’s the key for lowering insulin resistance for all types of diabetes. Robby Barbaro is the co-author of a We’ll talk about what he actually eats now and why he’s so passionate about this. He has a pretty compelling story. In TMSG – when an avid scuba diver is diagnosed with type 1, she finds a way to get back in – and under – the water. Plus, a little bit of a control iq update for us – we’ll tell you how it’s working out. This podcast is not intended as medical advice. If you have those kinds of questions, please contact your health care provider. ----- available to Diabetes Connections listeners! ----- Get the App and listen to Diabetes Connections wherever you go! Episode transcription Stacey Simms 0:00 Diabetes Connections is brought to you by One Drop created for people with diabetes by people who have diabetes, by Real Good Foods, real food, you feel good about eating, and by Dexcom take control of your diabetes and live life to the fullest with Dexcom. Announcer 0:21 This is Diabetes Connections with Stacey Simms. Stacey Simms 0:27 This week, I look at a way of eating that sounds frankly, really hard to do. But the guys behind it say it's the key for lowering insulin resistance in people with all types of diabetes, even so, it seems a little extreme. Robby Barbaro 0:42 And I come down to the Christmas Day meal and I literally have a pyramid of bananas. We're talking four bananas on the bottom and three then to the true pyramid of ripe bananas. And that's how the practice was done. They were just shaking their head like this. They were kind of laughing and thinking this is not And Alas, there's no way because they've seen me try out different diets over the years. Stacey Simms 1:03 Robby Barbaro is the co author of a new book called Mastering Diabetes. We'll talk about what he actually eats now and why he is so passionate about this. He has a pretty compelling story in Tell me something good. When an avid scuba diver is diagnosed with type one, she finds a way to get back in and under the water. Plus a little bit of a Control IQ update for us. We'll tell you how it's working out. This podcast is not intended as medical advice. If you have those kinds of questions, please contact your health care provider. Welcome to another week of Diabetes Connections. I'm your host Stacey Simms, so glad to have you along. We aim to educate and inspire by sharing stories of connection when it comes to type one diabetes. My son was diagnosed right before he turned two and that was 13 years ago now. My husband lives with type two diabetes. I do not have Diabetes, but I do have a background in broadcasting in radio and television local news. And that's how you get the podcast. A lot to talk about this week, we will get to Mastering Diabetes in just a moment. But I want to give you a quick update on our experience transitioning over to tslim X2 insulin pump along with a Dexcom G6 continuous glucose monitor. And then the Control IQ is the software that is in the pump. If you're not interested in this, if you're not using this kind of pump, or if you are on MDI or, you know, just skip ahead a few minutes. I do have time codes as always in these newer transcribed episodes for this year. So you can open the episode homepage, open the notes, and you can skip right ahead to the interview. But if you want to know about our control IQ experience, here's how it's going. We were able to get the new software very early On we got it I want to say the third week of January, we did not get it without issue. Benny's pump was one of the few that could not be updated by plugging it in. There was some issue with the software update that was already in the pump. And even everybody who had that version of the software, only a very small percentage, my understanding couldn't actually plug into the computer and update. Anyway, tandem sent us a new pump with Control IQ on it. And of course, I was to send the old pump back. So we updated immediately it started doing its thing. I will go into more detail about after a month of using it, we're going to sit down and talk about it. But Wow, it really made a difference right away. The problem was that it was tanking him he was going low, overnight, every night. And I try to not make changes until about two or three days. Right. We have to kind of see how things go. You don't want to overreact. So he went low the first three nights. And then of course we changed it because I'm talking down to 40 you know for extended periods of time. We cut way back on basal. We also cut insulin sensitivity, which really shouldn't affect it when it's in that sleep mode because the sleep mode doesn't give boluses. But we cut back on that anyway because it seemed to be having some issues with corrections during the day really making him go lower than he should have been having to suspend insulin. After that. It really smoothed out. He was using less insulin. He was in range in a very much increased amount of time. You could see his numbers were coming down. It was really cool. Even on a day where he completely forgot to bolus for a big brownie in the afternoon. He went way up, but he didn't stay up. And if you've done that, you know that at least for us, you know if you have like, I mean really, let's be honest, 50 uncovered carbs 40, 50 uncovered carbs. You're going to go up to 300 and stay there for a while. But Control IQ. He did have to bolus but Control IQ brought him down really quickly. It was great. But unfortunately, it didn't stay great. About two weeks in his pump, the brand new pump that they had just sent us with the update, gave us one of those alarms that you can't reset. Oh my goodness. So I was actually on my way out of town. That was the weekend I was heading to Maine. And Benny was going to be leaving that afternoon for the two day wrestling tournament. So again, he could have done shots, but we were just like, oh, my goodness, you know, what are we going to do? Well, I hadn't actually sent that other pump back yet. It was on my list of things to do, I promise, but I hadn't gotten around to it. So luckily, he put on the old basal IQ pump, the previous software, my husband called tandem, and you know, they went through the troubleshooting is this an alarm that can be cleared? It could not. So they overnighted another Control IQ pump, and I put return the pump on my list of things to do yet again, but then, okay, so then he is at a two day wrestling tournament. It was supposed to be one day, unless they won, which they did, which meant they went to the state championships which spoiler alert, they won. So it was two days of travel and crazy food and then celebration food. parties. Oh my goodness. And as you know if you've been listening while Benny's not actually wrestling this season, he's actually more like the manager because he hurt his knee. So he's doing great, very exciting to be a freshman and have the first school state championship for the wrestling team was very, very cool. But anyway, alright, so back to the pump situation. So then on Sunday, he's home. He's got the new control, like pump on and then early Monday morning, I want to say five o'clock in the morning, transmitter failure. Not you know, we're not sure not sensor error, not sensor failure, transmitter error for the Dexcom. So Benny turned it off. I didn't even know he just kind of clicked off and went back to sleep until six. I mean, he got one more hour of sleep. That transmitter was two weeks old. It's not supposed to crap out that early, of course. So we had to pull the sensor the transmitter put a whole new set on. Of course I called Dexcom. They replaced everything. But then we're another day really a day and a half between everything that was going on with that. Control IQ so I can say what it's working thumbs up when the technology's not working, which will happen, right? He's fine. I mean, we could always go back to shots, certainly, but who wants to do that? So little frustrating, but we moved forward. The only advice I have if you're about to start Control IQ, if you're thinking about it, if you haven't made the switch over yet, is, I would highly recommend and please talk to your endocrinologist before doing this, make the change for insulin duration, change over to five hours now, because that's not negotiable on the Control IQ system. And most of us have it set frankly, incorrectly, because we're making up for it in other ways. A lot of studies have been done in this I'm sure if you're familiar at all with Control IQ, you've heard this, but if you haven't, one of the things we did was set the insulin duration to five hours several weeks before starting. And I think it really helped us in the transition. Something to think about something to talk to your endo about and then you just Gotta be patient, make changes slowly and let it do its job. It's so hard when we're used to managing these dumb pumps, right and do this, do that and stay on top of that. To let it do its thing is very difficult. Okay, let's get to Mastering Diabetes in just a moment. But first Diabetes Connections is brought to you by Real Good Foods and new brand new from them stand alone crusts, so you can create your own pizza but whatever toppings you want, but this is a cook and serve pizza crust, grain free. It's made with cauliflower. I mean, you know Real Good Foods. They're delicious. high in protein, low and carb grain free gluten free. Lots of varieties. I mean, they have the pizzas that have great toppings on them. They have stuffed chicken, they have breakfast sandwiches, huge variety. I like it because it's really easy to find in my grocery store freezer, but you can go online and order the whole shebang. Find out all the different products that they have and mix and match. Find out more go to diabetes dash connection. dot com and click on the Real Good Foods logo. My guest this week is one of the authors of the new book Mastering Diabetes. These guys also have a podcast, Robby Barbaro and Dr. Cyrus Khambatta say, focusing on lowering insulin resistance through food is the key to living well, with all types of diabetes. Robby lives with type one. And I promise he's really not saying anything out of bounds here, like, you know, this is going to get you off insulin or this is a cure, but there are some unconventional thoughts that he shares in this interview. As always, when I talked to people who are focusing on a particular way of eating, and I do this all the time, we've talked to people who eat low carb people, you know, high fat keto, people who are making these claims on the podcast. This is not something that I verify or confirm during the interview, and do my best to give you all the information. But again, before you make any changes, please talk to your endo. I really did enjoy talking to Robby. Here's our conversation. Robby, thank you so much for joining me. I am so intrigued by everything I have read and heard. Thanks for coming on, Robby Barbaro 10:09 Stacey. It's really an honor to be here. I love your show. And the fact that I'm getting to be on it is just really exciting to me. Stacey Simms 10:15 Oh, thank you so much. We have so much to talk about. I have so many questions for you. But I want to start at your beginning. You had a fairly typical from what I seen onset of type one diabetes as a teenager as a tween, really, but you were diagnosed by your brother. Robby Barbaro 10:31 Yes, it truly is a fascinating story. So I'm on January 26. That'll be the day that I have lived with Type One Diabetes for 20 years. So I was 12 just about to turn 13 and I complained to my mom, I said, Mom, I am thirsty all the time. I'm going to the bathroom all the time. I think I have diabetes, just like Steve so I have two older brothers. The middle one Steve was diagnosed with Type One Diabetes eight years prior to me and I was pretty sure I had diabetes around said no, no, I don't think you do. Don't Don't be silly. I said, Okay, fine. And then eventually, she went out of town to go look at homes in Florida where we eventually moved. So it was just myself and my middle brother at home. And she called the check in and she said, Hey, how are things going? I said, Mom, I couldn't sleep last night, I was cramping. She said, Okay, go upstairs. Use your brother's bug because meter test yourself. And I was well over 400. And my brother said, right there in there, okay. You have Type One Diabetes pack, your bags are going to be the hospital for a few nights. So we went to the regular general doctor, they ran a few tests. And I remember the doctor coming in said, Yep, you have type one diabetes, we're going to send you to the hospital. And that was the first time I had seen my brother crying, as you know, as an adult. And he said, Oh, man, just sorry. You have to experience this too. And my parents flew home the next night. And this mother thing that really stayed with me as my dad saying, Don't worry, it's just an infant. convenience, you can still do whatever you want in life. And that was really the mentality that my parents had. And really, they were very, very supportive, very encouraging. And really let myself and my brother really take charge of our diabetes care. And, you know, we were we were both already, you know, type a people that really were on top of it, and we had good medical care from the Mayo Clinic. So it didn't really crush me. You know, I really had a really supportive environment had the tools I needed, and it just began a new life with Type One Diabetes. Stacey I'm really intrigued by your brother's reaction because on the one hand here, you have a brother who's nine years older than you you look up to him, I'm sure and you see that he's probably doing pretty well with this. So on the one hand, it's okay I'm gonna be fine. But then he gets emotional. And he says for you, so that's the had to have been tough to digest as a kid, like I'm going to be okay but there is the sadness too Robby Barbaro 12:55 play the sure the whole thing was honestly it kind of like, I can I sort of remember certain bits and pieces. I remember driving in the car and talking to my parents on the phone. And just it didn't really, it didn't hit me like I didn't kind of fully understand what was going on. But I guess I just ease into it. And at some point, I guess you just you don't really have a choice. It is what it is, you know? Yeah, Stacey Simms 13:19 no doubt. So the years go on, I assume that you were treated more traditionally in terms of you start on insulin, you're eating particular diet, you know, your parents are keeping you busy in school. But you had other health issues as a teen Robby Barbaro 13:35 I did. I had plantar fasciitis, which was frustrating. I was a competitive tennis player. So that's really a painful, painful feeling in your feet when you're walking and trying to run so I would wear these big blue boots at nights to try and help with passive stretching to do plantar fasciitis. I had chronic allergies are all the time, so I took Nathan x and Claritin. D and I would still get sick. As a teenager. I had cystic Acme, which was really frustrating and I tried everything microdermabrasion treatments, laser treatments, oral creams, like oral medical or eye creams for my face and oral medications. Eventually, they put me on Accutane. And that's one of the most serious drugs you can take for acne, your parents actually have to sign a waiver, because some people have committed suicide and that drug. So I also had warts on my feet. So these were just a collection of you know, frustrating, I think, standard symptoms that a lot of people have. Wow. Stacey Simms 14:33 So when did all the fruit stuff start? When did you decide? Robby Barbaro 14:38 I mean, I'm sorry. Yeah. I mean, I'll tell you the journey to get into the fruit stuff. So growing up, this is when I was living in Minnesota, you know, doing standard diabetes care. I went to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota with a Vincent cloud, and we would go there and they just had a great team. We had an endocrinologist. I had a dietitian, I had a psychologist. So it was a team effort. There. And the key thing I remember learning from them was like using a log book and actually got quite good at that. But I had standard care. And my dad was into selling supplements through a network marketing company and getting exposed to what they were teaching and some of their educational material was the very beginning of me really considering Okay, wait a minute, there's something to nutrition there's something to diet outside of just following a standard American diet, not really thinking about it. So that was the beginning. And it was a slow evolution of learning. Okay, wait a minute, you know, trying to avoid additives or foods like MSG, like that's good. That's a good idea for your overall health. And I slowly progressed. Eventually, I came across many different lifestyles. But as I was on this journey of learning as much as I could, I came across a book called natural cures they don't want you to know about by Kevin Trudeau. Now, I'm not recommending this book. This guy ended up in jail. Yeah, there's, there's some things I'm not recommending it. But I came across this book, and it planted a seed in my mind that you know what, maybe it's possible to reverse type one diabetes. If I just eat as healthy as humanly possible and I take care of my body. Maybe I can put myself in such a healthy state that my body will regenerate new beta cells. And now it's just it was the theory the hypothesis. Okay, wait a minute. Like, I know other people haven't done this. But hey, somebody has to do it first. You know, for example, Roger Bannister was the first person to run four minute mile. And before he did, the smartest people in the world said that's impossible, your heart will explode. And once he did it, other people started doing it. So I do think we're gonna we're gonna figure this out at some point some way how to get beta cells to work again. Naturally, I do believe that but that's not happened. So I go down this mission of Okay, I will do anything and everything to give my body the best chance of healing itself. So I started learning about the concept of fasting. So fasting is when you when you go to bed at night, you're doing like a mini fast and you in the morning you eat breakfast you're breaking your fast and healing and regeneration happens over that time. So it's okay, you know what type of dietary habits can I do to increase the chance of my body healing itself. And this led me to try summarize, the first thing I tried was a Weston a price foundation diet, and that was eating a lot of grass fed beef. They advocate for raw milk, I remember going to farmers markets, and I would buy milk for cats because you can't sell raw milk to humans. And again, I did see some improvements as I cleaned up my diet and got rid of any sort of junk and processed food. There was definitely some improvements but I didn't see anything specific happen to my diabetes health or my insulin intake or my blood glucose control. So I continue to learn more and learn more, and eventually, I came across a dive by the name of Dr. Gabriel cousins and He was in a movie and he produced a movie called raw for 30 days. And in this movie, he showed how people following his protocol, which is essentially a plant based ketogenic diet. He didn't call it that at the time because ketogenic diets weren't really popular, but that's what it was. I would eat lots of nuts and seeds,...