Diabetes is not a life sentence.
Diabetes type 2 is reversible and it can be healed with certain diet and lifestyle changes. It’s not as simple as not eating sugar or cutting out the rice from your diet. There’s a lot more to the story than just that.
Reversing Type 2 diabetes requires only two things. One is knowledge and the second is your willpower. We will focus on the knowledge first.
Myth or Fact?
Most doctors will tell you that type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease and you are stuck with it for life.
According to the American Diabetic Association:
“When first diagnosed, many people with type 2 diabetes can keep their blood glucose at a healthy level with oral medications. Over time, the body gradually produces less and less of its own insulin, and eventually, oral medications may not be enough to keep blood glucose levels normal. Using insulin to get blood glucose levels to a healthy level is a good thing, not a bad one.” The common belief is that obesity and a lack of physical activity are two of the most common causes of this form of diabetes
None of this is true! I am sure that lot of super brains out there have already cracked the solution to this simple problem long time back. However, since there is no money to be made, the solution has remained at bay for long.
Diabetes is Not a Progressive Disease
How do I prove this to you? It’s quite simple.
Let’s look at the first scenario.
Continue taking all the diabetic medications and eat as the doctor advises – lower your calories by eating a low fat, moderate carbohydrates diet and lose weight, do some exercise, don’t add sugar to your tea/coffee, eat limited amounts of chocolates/sweets.
Then what happens? Your diabetes progresses as the doctor predicted- after all its a progressive disease. The patients become passive recipients of ongoing medical care, after all, they “have” a disease called diabetes.
Now let’s look at another scenario.
A diabetic person follows a healthy diet that removes the primary cause of the disease. He focuses on healing his liver as this is the organ that stores and manufactures glucose depending upon the body’s need. And within just a few months, [this period will vary from person to person], he finds that his blood sugars are under control without any medication and he no longer has a disease called Diabetes!
He is healed from diabetes because he treated the cause and corrected it, instead of just managing the symptoms.
You can do it too. Stop being a slave to the medicine and take charge of your life.
So how do you do it?
You start by understanding what caused your diabetes in the first place. There are a lot of misconceptions about diabetes.
Remember how Galileo, acknowledged now as the “father of modern physics”, was charged with heresy and imprisoned for proposing the idea that the earth rotates around the sun.
We all had learned a few things about diabetes (common knowledge floating around) and it becomes very difficult to change our view. So it’s most important that you keep your mind open as I am going to bust some myths about diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetics – The Basics
First, let’s try to understand what’s type 2 diabetes. It’s a metabolic disorder that causes blood sugar (glucose) levels to go up, primarily because the glucose is unable to enter the cells to be used as fuel. When you consume foods containing carbohydrates and sugars they are broken down into glucose.
Here is a simplified explanation of the process:
The pancreas produces a hormone called the insulin which is proportionate to the amount of glucose in the body. The insulin then gets attached to insulin receptors on the cell which sends a signal to accept glucose into the cell.
In type 2 diabetes, the cells become resistant to the insulin signal. As a result of this, the number of glucose molecules entering the cell reduces. This results in an increase in the blood glucose levels.
The basic symptoms of type 2 diabetes are frequent urination, excessive thirst, weakness, drowsiness, blurring of vision etc. High blood glucose levels can damage the blood vessels and can cause a variety of diseases including heart disease and nerve damage.
The following category of people are predisposed to diabetes
– A sedentary lifestyle and lack of exercise
– Family history
Now lets see how we can reverse type 2 diabetes.
The precondition of diabetes is insulin resistance. When a person is resistant to insulin the body compensates by producing more insulin. This helps to get the blood glucose level down for some time, maybe a few years. But the body cannot keep this up indefinitely, so we end up with high glucose levels in the blood, namely type-2 diabetes.
Elevated insulin levels are the first indication of the onset of diabetes. But how many doctors actually prescribe tests for the insulin levels in our body. We follow the procedure of treating the symptoms rather than the cause.
Do you know that high insulin levels also make us hungry. The food you now eat is much more likely to be stored as fat because insulin is also our fat storage hormone.
Macronutrients and Insulin Levels
Everything that you eat can be broadly divided into 3 categories – fat, carbohydrates and proteins. Now let’s see what happens to insulin levels when you eat these foods.
From the graph above, you can see that carbohydrates cause the insulin levels to really spike high. For proteins, this spike is much lower. What you need to note is that, when you consume fats, the rise is insignificant.
So if you eat carbs, your blood glucose level shoots up resulting in an insulin spike but if you eat fat there is no increase in blood sugar levels or insulin. So it’s time for you to consider which fuel you want to put in your stomach. Remember that fat produces almost 3 times energy than that of carbohydrates or proteins. So you need to factor this in while planning your diet.
“Diabetes is a state of toxicity of excess carbohydrates/sugars and insulin resistance is a state of carbohydrate intolerance”
Type 2 diabetes can be reversed in most cases if not all of them. (maybe not all, since the exact mechanism is much more complex than this and may vary from person to person.)
What you need to do is – firstly, say no to those extra carbs instead of fats. I would recommend reducing carbs as much as possible. My mother loves to eat rice, so she was advised to have only 3 tablespoons of rice per meal and to consume the remaining required calories from proteins and fats.
Secondly, you must have at least seven cups of vegetables a day to get all the fiber, vitamins and minerals, especially the potassium, that are vital for your body functions.
Lets Dig Deeper Now
Now that you know the basics, I would like to touch upon this subject in a little more in detail.
In type 2 diabetes the two most ignored minerals are Potassium and Magnesium. So what’s their role?
Well, Potassium helps in the storage of sugar as glycogen and Magnesium help to lower the blood sugar levels. Glucose is the fuel for cells and the unused glucose is stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen which is made up of many glucose molecules connected together. So, Potassium and Magnesium are two minerals that can help you lower the requirement of insulin.
There is another mineral which plays a key role and that is calcium. Too much calcium in the body (hypercalcemia) can lock up magnesium and may be one of the factors leading to diabetes.
The dynamic duo vitamin D3 and K2 can come to your rescue here. These vitamins help mobilise the calcium and free up the magnesium.
Is it getting too technical and complex? Don’t worry too much about these finer details, all you really need to do is to focus on the big picture and that is ‘low carbs and no sugar.’
Liver – The Big brother
Now let’s get to the mechanism of blood sugar maintenance.
The body has to maintain a certain level of sugar in the body, let’s say 100 mg/dl. This action is executed by two main organs, namely the Liver and Pancreas. The liver controls your blood sugar levels when you are not eating and the Pancreas controls the blood sugar when you eat.
How do they do that?
Well, when you eat the Pancreas produce insulin which lowers the blood sugar. It mainly does 3 things.
– Meet the immediate energy requirement inside the cells
– Store excess sugar in the liver as glycogen
– Store excess sugar in the muscle as glycogen
When you don’t eat, the Liver produces a hormone called IGF (Insulin-like growth factor) which helps to increase the blood sugar levels. IGF gets the glucose from the stored glycogen and puts it back into the blood. It also gets the stored sugar from the fat once the glycogen reserves are used up.
The amount of IGF being produced is about 100 times than that of insulin in terms of work output, which means that liver does most of the work in maintaining the blood glucose levels. So if you increase the workload of the liver by 20%, it will result in a reduction of workload on the pancreas by 80%.
The growth hormone – GH is a major trigger in producing IGF. This growth hormone helps in burning fat, prevents aging and also prevents proteins from breaking down for energy. As you grow old the production of GH is gradually lowered. To keep GH high you need to focus on two key areas – high interval training and sleep 7 to 8 hours.
Vegetables to Your Rescue
To increase the workload on the liver you need to keep it healthy and the way to a healthy liver is by eating enough vegetables.
In order to store sugar as glycogen, you need potassium (daily 4700 mg). So with low potassium levels in the body, the person will store the sugar as fat and start craving for sugar which will make you feel more hungry.
In order to get 4700 mg of potassium, you need to consume up to 7 cups of vegetables, not 2 or 3. Keep that in mind.
Conventional Medication Effects
So what does an average diabetes medication do? They work on the receptors in the cell. Each cell has something like 200,000 receptors. They force the receptors to take in sugar which results in lowering the blood glucose levels. The problem is that even if your blood glucose levels are low, the medicine will make it go further down which will force you to take in some sugar resulting in an insulin spike.
Secondly, the medicine is not treating the cause. which means you will never recover from a type 2 diabetes. Your condition worsens over the period leading to an increase in dosage.
The medications will invariably have many side effects like gas, diarrhea, bloating, upset stomach etc
Knowledge Into Action
Ok, now let’s put all these technical stuff aside and see what actions we can take to reverse type 2 diabetes naturally.
1. First, make a plan of what you are going to eat. Then prepare your meals accordingly.
2. A high fat low carbohydrate diet is recommended. You can also consider a ketogenic diet. Suggestions on what exactly to eat at each meal is a whole topic in itself which I will be covering later on in another article.
3. Eat 7-9 cups of vegetables a day.
4. You need to record everything you eat, including the timings and the quantity.
5. If you are on medication don’t go off it immediately. You need to wean off slowly as your diet improves and your body heals.
6. A diabetic person has to monitor their liver condition and take necessary actions to detoxify and regenerate a healthy liver. [That is another topic I will publish soon]
7. Check your sugar at regular intervals initially to record your pattern. Based on how long you have been taking the medicine, the positive effects will take time.
8. Continue reducing the carbs content till you see your sugar levels are being maintained within limits.
9. Though diet is the most important part, exercise plays a vital role in regulating blood sugar. So exercise on a regular basis – cardio and strength training – do some of both.
10. Strength training does not equate to bodybuilding. Working out different muscle groups [with simple dumbbell exercises] is extremely important as you age, especially as you enter your 40’s and 50’s and even more so as your age crosses into your 60’s and 70’s.
I have not specified an exact diet or exercise plan as this varies from person to person based on a variety of factors. Like I said earlier no two humans have the exact same mechanism. What works for one may not do so for another.
The one thing you need to remember is that natural healing is a slow process, so don’t expect results overnight. Consistency and persistence are the two keywords that you need to keep in mind while you heal yourself naturally.
Why Do Doctors Insist on Medication
So why is it that people don’t try this method instead of depending on medicines that ultimately make them even sicker. In other words, why don’t the doctors tell you diabetes can be reversed or healed without medicine.
That’s because these doctors were taught by professors who got their medical doctorates when they were young, learning from old textbooks which were probably written during the world war time.
People don’t like change, most people like to simply follow the herd. Do what others are doing – take the diabetes medicines. They are afraid to otherwise.
The more important one is that there is a lot of money in keeping you sick. Diabetes medication is a big industry and why would you be advised of a treatment which does not generate money for them.
Can you tell me of any treatment publicised for a disease which does not require you to take medicine and generate money for some drug company? Well, there is none.
Before you go…
You can reverse diabetes and be free of the disease. You need to take responsibility for your own health. A positive attitude, a healthy diet, and adequate exercise can help heal any disease without medications.
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” – Hippocrates
Anju Mobin is a certified nutritionist with a 3-year graduate degree in B.Sc. Home Science (Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics). With an additional 4-year graduate degree in Fine Arts (BFA Applied Arts), she combines her passion for advertising with her knowledge of the health industry to create, develop and execute content marketing campaigns for healthcare products. She is the founder and managing editor of the health website fitnesshacks.org.