Diabetes is a disease in which the body either does not make enough or cannot effectively use insulin, which is a hormone that helps cells to absorb and turn blood sugar into energy. In type 2 diabetes, the body’s cells do not react to insulin as they should, which is known as insulin resistance. The pancreas — an organ that produces insulin — tries to compensate by producing more insulin, but eventually, it cannot make enough, and blood sugar levels go up.
There is evidence to suggest that diabetes complications can be reversed if strong diabetes control and a healthy lifestyle are followed. Usually, when diabetic complications are mentioned it’s almost always said that the development of diabetic complications can be slowed rather than reversed.
However, in theory, the body can do some healing of the damage from complications as long as the right conditions are met. The first-year results of a clinical trial have shown that almost half of people partaking in an intensive weight management program delivered through primary care achieved remission of their type 2 diabetes without medication.
Can we reverse the effects of diabetes?
Diabetes is a progressive disease however it CAN be reversed. Bariatric surgery results have proven that losing weight in morbidly obese patients with Type 2 Diabetes reverses the disease state. Bariatric surgery outcomes have been studied over 10 years with lower rates of mortality and morbidity. Bypass surgery patients normalize blood sugars within days of the procedure. Other factors may play a role in this disease reversal such as; less food intake, hormonal system changes such as the incretin system, possible malabsorption of nutrients and others are being researched besides weight loss.
If T2D is a disease where our body can’t eliminate the heavy load of sugars from our diet effectively it stands to reason that the way out should be simple enough. Reversing type 2 diabetes without medication isn’t easy but it certainly is achievable with the right amount of discipline and a positive attitude towards health and life.
- Don’t put the sugar in (change your diet)
- Burn off what’s already in (exercise and fasting)
- Stress Less, Sleep More (create an anti-inflammatory internal environment)
In order to do this, we need to understand where the sugar comes from. Yes, we all know that the sneaky chocolate bar, soft drink, and cookie contribute sweetness and sugar, but what we forget about (or don’t know) is that all the starchy food you consume during the day – bread, cereal, rice, crackers, pasta, potatoes – also breaks down into glucose (sugar). It’s actually these processed carbs that contribute to most of the sugar load in your diet leading to increased blood sugar and weight gain. The optimum strategy is to eat little or no refined carbohydrates. But Then, What’s Left to Eat?
What happens if you remove the blood sugar-raising foods? What’s left then?
For starters, all this:
- Lean proteins: meats, fish, nuts, seeds, eggs, legumes
- Vegetables: any and all
- Fruit: not too much due to its high sugar
- Healthy fats: fish, avocado, olives, oils, seeds, nuts
- Dairy foods: good quality cheese, butter, milk, yogurt
- Whole grains: Brown rice, quinoa, millet, buckwheat
- Pure Water or herbal teas
Put very simply, Type 2 Diabetes is a disorder where our body cannot adequately process the sugars we cram into it. Though some of us, more genetically predisposed to this condition. Our heavily, processed Standard American Diet, jam-packed with processed grains and sugars, places a massive strain on our pancreas and cells.
Eventually, the sugar-processing systems of our body give up, resulting in high insulin resistance and high blood glucose. Then begins the lifelong struggle of “managing blood sugar levels” with medications. Unfortunately, these medications do little to fix the sugar overload problem – all they do is mask it. Type-2 Diabetes is an environmentally-driven condition – only diet and lifestyle will reverse it, not medications which only treat the symptoms. So, can you reverse type 2 diabetes? Yes, you sure can!