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At the heart of general practice since 1960

9. Dr David Unwin

Low-carb pioneer

The ‘low-carb GP’ is the figurehead of a movement that is exerting a considerable influence in healthcare.

This influence was demonstrated by the number of people who nominated Dr Unwin for the Power 50. And it seems groups that issue nutrition advice are being persuaded to change long-held beliefs.

In 2017/18, Dr Unwin’s practice saved £57,000 on drugs through his ‘passion for offering patients the alternative of lifestyle medicine and support’ instead of initiating lifelong medication for conditions such as hypertension or diabetes.

These results came as his Merseyside practice celebrated the fifth anniversary of its patient-centred low-carb group for obesity and diabetes, which has resulted in one young patient losing seven stone, and empowered patient ‘experts’ to support newcomers to the group.

Among Dr Unwin’s cohort of 207 people on a low-carb diet, followed up for an average of 21 months, 52 patients have achieved drug-free remission of their diabetes, while five have come off insulin completely.

He started a group for like-minded doctors, nurses and dieticians in the UK, which now has more than 300 active members, swapping good practice and inspiring each other to help people with diabetes.

He was awarded the Diabetes UK Primary Care Poster prize in March of this year for his work on helping people with pre-diabetes start a low-carb diet, and as an RCGP clinical expert on diabetes he helped develop the 2018 dietary guidelines for Diabetes UK.

And following this, Dr Unwin’s e-learning module ‘Type 2 diabetes and the low GI diet’ was made available to 52,000 GPs via the RCGP.

He has appeared across most well-known national news channels and stations, speaking about his work. He even took part in a BBC documentary, in which he rolled out his approach in the poorest practice in Merseyside.

And Dr Unwin has also been working to spread his message to patients across the globe.Through an online course, more than 275,000 type 2 diabetes patients around the world have signed up to learn about how a low-carb diet can help them.

Dr Unwin has gone as far as to say that he has ‘probably done more good online than in 32 years of face-to-face medicine’.

Why influential

His passion and support for diabetes patients is reaching the global population

What others say

‘I asked my family: ”Caring, dedicated, obsessed”!’

Random fact

‘I am terrible at parking anything larger than a Mini. Sometimes I get out and let my wife Jen park the car for me!’

 

 

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