Dr David Cavan
I am a consultant endocrinologist with international experience, specialising in all forms of diabetes and related metabolic conditions. I am experienced in all areas of diabetes management, and specialise in prevention, management and reversal of type 2 diabetes and intensive management of type 1 diabetes, including insulin pump therapy.
My aim is to reduce the impact of diabetes for individuals who have, or are at risk of developing diabetes, as well as supporting community-based diabetes services. I generally recommend a lower-carbohydrate approach balanced with lifestyle initiatives.
My focus is to support people with diabetes to achieve their goals in respect of their health, and to recommend lifestyle changes where appropriate to help meet those goals. I have been closely involved in the development of diabetes education programmes and have written five practically-oriented books on both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
I qualified from Southampton Medical School in 1985 and after junior hospital posts, spent three years as a Medical Research Council Training Fellow at the University of Birmingham, undertaking studies to help unravel the complex genetics behind type 1 diabetes. This led to the award of a Doctorate in Medicine (MD) from Southampton University in 1994. I then worked at St Thomas’ Hospital in London for three years, before moving Bournemouth in 1996 to work as a Consultant Endocrinologist at the Bournemouth Diabetes and Endocrine Centre, now part of University Hospitals Dorset. I was awarded the Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians in 2000.
Over the course of my career, I have learned that treating Type 2 diabetes as a progressively worsening chronic disease is not the correct approach. In 2010 I became interested in the potential of a lower carbohydrate diet and have supported many people in reversing type 2 diabetes and the accompanying symptoms with dietary and other lifestyle changes. I believe that while prescription drugs may be appropriate, they should never be presented as the main solution to type 2 diabetes. I have also seen great benefit of reducing carbohydrate intake for people with type 1 diabetes.
By 2013, I was ready for a new challenge and left the UK to work for three years as the Director of Policy and Programmes at the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) in Brussels. The IDF is a global federation that represents over 240 national diabetes associations. In this role, I was responsible for overseeing a range of projects and programmes that addressed the needs of people with diabetes at a global level.
In 2014 I published my first book, ‘Reverse Your Diabetes: the step-by-step plan to take control of type 2 diabetes’, aimed at providing people with type 2 diabetes with the information they need to make lifestyle changes to achieve better control of their condition, and potentially to reverse it. This was followed in 2016 by ‘Reverse Your Diabetes Diet’, providing 60 recipes to help people better manage type 2 diabetes. In 2018 I published 'Take Control of Type 1 Diabetes' and, together with Emma Porter, 'The Low Carb Diabetes Cookbook'. My latest book, 'Busting the Diabetes Myth' was published in 2022 and provides practical advice on reversing type 2 diabetes and prediabetes, backed up by the latest evidence from around the world.
I am based in Dorset on the south coast of England and divide my time between clinical work (at the private London Medical clinic and the University Hospitals Dorset NHS Diabetes Clinics), international project work (currently in Bermuda and Kenya), professional training and writing.