Many thanks to Dr Marcus Hawkins for joining me today from Botany, Auckland.
After training in the UK, Dr Hawkins moved to NZ, and this has been his home for the last 30 years.
Prior to establishing his GP practice he worked as a Senior Registrar in both intensive care and general medicine. He is currently a teaching GP and has worked for the NZ Medical Council as a General Practice Medical Examiner. He is also an Aviation and Seafarers Medical Examiner.
Today we talk about type-2 diabetes and why it is exploding across NZ and the rest of the world. Dr Hawkins described himself as previously being an “expert on prescribing insulin for type-2 diabetics until 3 years ago”.
After researching the evidence and the benefits, he adopted a low carb dietary approach for himself and offered this as an alternative to the patients in his practice. He is now an expert on using low-carb eating to reverse type-2 diabetes.
Type-2 diabetes happens when people are unable to process the amount of carbohydrates they consume in their diet. This differs between individuals. Whenever we exceed our individual carbohydrate tolerance, we develop energy toxicity, followed by insulin resistance and this can progress to diabetes. Because this is a process that occurs over many years we have ample opportunity to reverse this before it becomes a progressive disease with complications.
Dr Hawkins says “the low approach just makes so much sense” and “we don’t give heroin to addicts – so why are giving carbohydrates to diabetics”.
I really enjoyed talking with Dr Hawkins. He acknowledges the slow process of getting other GP’s on board with, and the struggles around making an early diagnosis. He is also realistic that not all patients who are offered a choice of diet strategies rather than drugs, choose the diet and lifestyle. He does remain hopeful and is working hard to help spread the word and educate his colleagues, patients and the public.
Thanks so much for taking the time out to talk to me today and providing some insights into the NZ health care system. Your passion is very evident and I hope people will contact you to discuss alternative approaches to managing their health.
Dr Hawkins can be found at: