Unlike type 1 diabetes, which is a chronic condition, type 2 is preventable. Plus, recent studies show that it’s also reversible.
Preventable and Reversible:
It’s these two clinically proven facts that most healthcare systems choose to overlook when prescribing a treatment plan for their patients.
If you have diabetes mellitus type 2, also known as type 2 diabetes (T2DM), your body makes insulin but it fails to recognize it. This is commonly called insulin resistance. It’s this condition that allows the glucose in your body to elevate, causing numerous health complications.
Here’s the trouble with the U.S. healthcare system. It has been taught that T2DM is a blood sugar disease.
T2DM is a disorder of insulin and leptin signaling for glucose regulation. It starts as prediabetes and slowly progresses into full-blown diabetes. Without proper treatment it’s a killer, leading to heart disease, stroke, and more.
Western medicine is failing to eradicate type 2 diabetes because it largely refuses to treat the condition with anything other than pharmaceuticals. With long-term use, drugs often worsen a patient’s condition by artificially increasing sensitivity to insulin.
Our pancreas produces insulin, which is used by our cells as an energy source. In healthy people the pancreas provides the body with the right amount of insulin at the right time. However, certain conditions cause the pancreas to stop functioning properly. Risk factors include:
- Overweight or obese
- Family history of diabetes
- Physical inactivity
- History of gestational diabetes
- Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease
- HDL-C levels under 35mg/dL
- Fasting triglycerides over 250 mg/dL
- Treatment with atypical antipsychotics, glucocorticoids
- Obstructive sleep apnea and chronic sleep deprivation
- Certain health conditions associated with insulin resistance
If you’re diagnosed with one or more of these risk factors, or if your doctor determines that your blood glucose levels are high, you will be checked for diabetes. If you test positive your doctor will write you a script for insulin treatment.
It’s as simple as that. You’re nothing but a cog in the wheel of a machine making Big Pharma wealthier and patients just healthy enough to stay alive and consume more drugs.
Your doctor will likely explain that the purpose of the medication is to bring your blood sugar levels down to a normal level. You might even get a pamphlet or two that explains the importance of regulating your insulin and watching your diet in order to avoid stroke, heart attack, peripheral vascular disease, high blood pressure and a whole host of other nasty health conditions.
None of what your doctor tells you is incorrect. But, listen carefully, because this is very important…
It’s simply not all of the information you need.
A Quick Story About Dee
Dee is a recent friend of mine. She’s vibrant, outgoing and full of life. A checker at a major grocery store, shoppers look for Dee and get in her line because she’s so sweet and nice.
Dee has prediabetes.
Now 51, Dee has been living with her condition for ten years. She’s content taking her daily medication because her doctor tells her that she’s doing good, even though her A1C blood glucose is 6.5 percent.
I look at her in bewilderment when she tells me “the good news”, because the last time I checked that A1C level makes Dee a diabetic, not prediabetic. However, because her blood pressure and cholesterol are both within normal range, her doctor has no concerns.
Did I mention that Dee is also obese and does not exercise?
This brings me to my point. When does it become a doctor’s responsibility to prescribe diet and exercise instead of pharmaceuticals? Where is the slap in the face by doctors to their patients explaining blindness, amputations, heart attack and stroke if they continue the path they’re on?
Doctors know the dangers.
Doctors know the cause.
Doctors know how to prevent type 2 diabetes.
Doctors know how to restore normal blood sugar.
Diabetes Prevention & Reversal is Proven and Possible
Studies show that people at high risk for diabetes can prevent or delay the onset of the disease by losing 5 to 7 percent of their body weight. That’s just 10 to 14 pounds for a 200-pound person, like me.
There are three keys to success:
- Get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity five days a week;
- Eat a variety of foods that are low in fat; and
- Reduce the number of calories you eat per day.
In other words, if you have prediabetes you don’t have to kill yourself to prevent full-blown diabetes.
If you have full-blown type 2 diabetes, your condition may be reversible (e.g., restoration of normal glucose control). Reversal of diabetes can occur after any sharp decrease in calorie intake. This was first discovered in bariatric surgery patients.
Studies show that, in short-duration T2DM patients, fasting plasma glucose becomes normal within days on a Very Low-Calorie Diet (VLCD). Normalization is due to a rapid decrease in liver fat and return of normal insulin sensitivity. Further, normal beta cell function returns over a period of 8 weeks on the VLCD.
The very low-calorie diet study demonstrated that 40 percent of people who went on the diet had a remission of their T2DM that lasted at least 6 months. In these patients, return to non-diabetic blood glucose levels was characterized by improvement in acute insulin secretion, and this was sustained while off all hypoglycemic agents. To permanently return to non-diabetic blood glucose levels after a VLCD, type 2 diabetics must permanently change their diet and exercise habits.
The study concluded that the diet works well for people newly diagnosed with T2DM who are highly motivated to return to normal health and are willing to accept simple, unambiguous advice to lose weight. For people who have repeatedly failed to lose weight over many years, the VLCD is less likely to succeed.
NOTE: I went on this diet myself and in less than a week my blood sugar levels were back to normal.
IMPORTANT: As yet, there are no known long-term studies evaluating the success of patients who make permanent lifestyle changes after the VLCD. However, it seems common sense that patients who continue to maintain a proper diet and exercise are more likely than not to continue normal blood sugar levels.
UNDERSTAND: Reversal of diabetes is not a cure. Reversal simply means that blood sugar levels have returned to normal. High blood sugar levels can and will return if the patient does not maintain a healthy lifestyle, consisting of a proper diet and exercise.
The commentary on BloodSugarBasics.com is meant to supplement your knowledge of type 2 diabetes, its cause, and healthy lifestyle changes that can lead to recovery. All diabetic patients should follow the professional medical advice of their healthcare team, including nutrition, physical activity, testing and medication.