The First Step: A New Grocery List
Changing eating patterns is critical for reversing the progression of diabetes, but theres not a one-size-fits-all diet, Dr. Kalyani says.
Friends who had successfully managed a prediabetes diagnosis raved about high-fat, low-carbohydrate diets, and a study published this year seems to back up such anecdotal evidence: It found that this way of eating was associated with reduced blood sugar levels and greater weight loss. I stripped almost all carbohydrates from my dieta sugar addict going cold turkey . I was tired, thirsty, and agitated. But to my genuine amazement, after four days, the cravings ceased. I looked at my teen sons peanut-butter-and-extra-jelly sandwich and did not want one for myself.
Other patients succeed with a fat- and protein-heavy keto or Atkins diet, Dr. Tan says, or sometimes intermittent fasting or a vegan diet. Celeste Thomas, M.D., a diabetes specialist and an assistant professor at the University of Chicago, likes the Mediterranean diet, which includes generous portions of fruits and vegetables, beans, and olive oil along with moderate portions of fish, chicken, and cheese.
The Cause Of Diabetes
Diabetes is an illness related to elevated blood sugar levels. When you stop releasing and responding to normal amounts of insulin after eating foods with carbohydrates, sugar and fats, you have diabetes. Insulin, a hormone thats broken down and transported to cells to be used as energy, is released by the pancreas to help with the storage of sugar and fats. But people with diabetes dont respond to insulin properly, which causes high blood sugar levels and diabetes symptoms.
Its important to note that theres a difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Heres an explanation of the two types of diabetes and what causes these conditions:
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is commonly called juvenile diabetes because it tends to develop at a younger age, typically before a person turns 20 years old. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas.
The damage to the pancreatic cells leads to a reduced ability or complete inability to create insulin. Some of the common causes that trigger this autoimmune response may include a virus, genetically modified organisms, heavy metals, or foods like wheat, cows milk and soy.
The reason foods like wheat and cows milk have been linked to diabetes is because they contain the proteins gluten and A1 casein. These proteins can cause leaky gut, which in turn causes systemic inflammation throughout the body and over time can lead to autoimmune disease.
How Do We Measure The Reversal Of Type 2 Diabetes
The usual marker of having reversed type 2 diabetes is when the condition is put into remission. There is some debate about the exact definition of remission. Diabetes UK defines remission as meeting these 3 criteria:
HbA1c refers to red blood cells that have glucose attached to them. HbA1c levels are used because our blood glucose levels constantly change throughout the day based on when/what we eat and physical activity. Taking a one-off blood sugar measurement at a specific timepoint doesnt help us to diagnose type 2 diabetes.
When the body isnt able to use glucose properly, as with type 2 diabetes, it sticks to the red blood cells and circulates through our blood vessels. Since red blood cells have an average life of 3-4 months, HbA1c helps us to see the average blood glucose levels over a 2-3 month period.
For an individual with type 2 diabetes, the aim is to A) get into remission and B) get HbA1c levels as close to the healthy range as possible.
|Yes, if caught early enough||n/a|
It is worth noting that the table above is a rough guide that can be useful for diagnosis, but it is still possible to have type 2 diabetes with an HbA1c level below 48 mmol/mol.
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Can Everyone Achieve Remission
Despite losing weight to below their personal threshold, some people cant achieve remission. Professor Taylor acknowledges that a reduction in liver and pancreas fat is dependent on the ability of pancreatic beta cells to recover. If these cells are damaged beyond repair, perhaps from having type 2 diabetes for a very long time, then significant weight loss is unlikely to reverse diabetes successfully.
In his prize-winning lecture about the pathology of diabetes, Professor Roger Unger suggests that the build-up of fat in the pancreas causes ceramide to accumulate in the pancreas. Ceramide is toxic and kills pancreatic beta cells. It is possible that having type 2 diabetes long enough without treating it leads to too many pancreatic beta cells getting destroyed by this process. This means that even if individuals lose weight to below their personal fat threshold, they will not be able to go into remission.
This highlights the individual variability of type 2 diabetes and the complex systems at play when we talk about reversing it or going into remission.
This could partly explain why not all of the participants in the DiRECT study who lost a significant amount of weight went into remission. Perhaps some participants didnt lose enough weight to reach below their personal fat threshold, and those that did but didnt achieve remission possibly had irresolvable pancreatic damage.
Study Reveals What Causes Type 2 Diabetes And How To Reverse It
As the incidence of diabetes continues to increase globally, the fight against this chronic condition continues. New research explains not only what triggers type 2 diabetes but also how to reverse the condition. The findings also shed light on what leads to remission after reversal for some people.
Between 1980 and 2014, the number of people living with diabetes across the world from about 108 million to 422 million.
As many as of these individuals have type 2 diabetes.
Pharmacological interventions have done little to stop what some have referred to as the diabetes pandemic.
Lifestyle interventions, however, may succeed where other approaches have failed.
A couple of years ago, Medical News Todayreported on the first results of a clinical trial, which showed that intensive weight loss programs could help people with type 2 diabetes achieve remission without taking any medication.
The trial was called the Diabetes Remission Clinical Trial , and one of its co-leaders was Prof. Roy Taylor from Newcastle University in the United Kingdom.
But how does this remission occur, and can it last in the long term? Why do some people achieve lasting remission while for others, the condition returns?
Prof. Taylor set out with his team to answer these questions, using data from the DiRECT trial and applying cutting-edge imaging and blood monitoring techniques.
The researchers published their findings in the journal
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What Are The Effects Of Raised Insulin Levels
The only way to effectively reverse type 2 diabetes is to deal with the underlying cause Insulin Resistance. Trying to address the blood sugar levels without addressing the insulin levels is treating the symptoms, not treating the root cause. It is similar to using a bucket to remove water from an overflowing sink rather than actually turning off the tap!
The most important thing to do is to stop adding fuel to the fire. If Insulin Resistance is driving the condition, you need to firstly stop consuming foods that increase insulin production. Secondly, you need to make some lifestyle changes so that you can become sensitive to insulin once again
Can You Reverse Type 2 Diabetes
While certain lifestyle changes are key to managing diabetes, whether you can actually turn back time so that it’s like you never had diabetes is a different matter. That depends on how long you’ve had the condition, how severe it is, and your genes.
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How I Reversed My Diabetes And Became Healthy At Last
The following is an excerpt from Healthy at Last: A Plant-Based Approach to Preventing and Reversing Diabetes and Other Chronic Illnesses .
In March 2016, life was good. I had the best job in the world: representing Brooklyn as borough president. I had just turned 56. I felt healthy. Maybe I was a bit overweight, but so were most people my age. I exercised regularly, and like all New Yorkers, I walked everywhere. I even got on the basketball court now and then.
I looked and felt finethat is, until the day I woke up blind.Terrified, I blinked my eyes rapidly, willing the world around me to come back into focus. Finally, I could barely make out the outline of my alarm clock. I stumbled to the mirror and saw, to my horror, that my right eye was bloodshot. I couldnt see anything out of the left. My stomach felt like I had swallowed acid. I had spent 22 years as a New York City police officer patrolling violent neighborhoods, investigating homicides, and raiding drug dens, but none of that prepared me for the fear I felt that March morning.
I immediately went to my doctors office. The stomach pain turned out to be an ulcer, he explained, but my vision would probably be impaired for the rest of my life.
Why? I asked.
Eric, he said grimly. I ordered an A1c test, the one that measures your blood sugar percentage. A normal level is between 4 and 5.6 percent. An A1c level over 6.5 means you have full-blown diabetes.
Whats my A1c level? I asked.
After 6 Years Of Managing Type 2 Diabetes I Reversed It In 3 Months Thanks To Virta Health
âMy type 2 diabetes was out of control when I was diagnosed about 6 years ago. I was 45 years old, and my A1c was 13.1%, with blood sugars frequently testing over 500 mg/dL. I wasnât as concerned as I should have been at the time, because those numbers didnât mean anything to me. Type 2 diabetes was not even on my radar, and I didnât have many symptoms. While I remember noticing some general blurriness in my vision, as well as a decline in the quality of my sleep, I didnât see any other dramatic signs, so I didnât take it very seriously. My first thought was simply, âWhat pill can I take to get better?â
My doctor first prescribed metformin, and over the last 5 years, my medication list grew to include glimepiride and injectable Trulicity. With these prescriptions, my A1c decreased to a âmanageableâ 7.1%. It stayed above the threshold for type 2 diabetes, but at least I didnât feel like I was in imminent danger. Still, I didnât want to be forever dependent on medications in order to stay healthy.
Then towards the end of 2019, I received a letter from my health insurance provider, announcing access to Virta Healthâs type 2 diabetes reversal treatment. Though the letter said Virta could reverse type 2 diabetes without medication, surgery, or even exercise, I didnât know much else about how the treatment worked. As with most things that seem too good to be true, I had some doubts and ignored the letter.
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Highest Rates Of Diabetes Worldwide
Among Pima Indians over age 35 in Arizona, the rate of type 2 diabetes is eight times the national average. In fact, the prevalence of diabetes on the reservation is the highest recorded anywhere in the world. By age 50, nearly 60% of the Pimas in Arizona have type 2 diabetes.
I am in awe of how quickly peoples health improves at Pritikin within days! says Kimberly Gomer. Its a beautiful thing! Knowing that Im a part of their success is a privilege.
Ffd Reversed Diabetes + Co
- Name- Mr. Ashok Jeevanabhatt Joshi
- Age- 68 years
- Profession- Divisional Manager LIC
- Place – Pune, India
My thought – so many quacks are out masquerading that they cure diabetes, but FFD has an empirically proven protocol to reverse diabetes.
Dr. Pramod Tripathi is a pioneer in the diabetes reversal program. He and his team are God-sent apostles to ameliorate the health of millions of people worldwide.
I am a Pensioner, a retired Divisional Manager of Life Insurance Corporation of India. Since 2014, I was pre-diabetic but continuous medication started in early 2019. Family history-wise, my mother was a mild diabetic, she died at age 82.
Though I am residing in Pune, I was not aware of the FFD organization and also that it is located at a very central place like Prabhat Road in Pune.
I came to know about FFD in one of the videos of Dr. B M Hegde of Manipal-Udupi which convinced me about the authenticity of FFD’s Diabetes Reversal protocol. Everyone knows, Dr. Hegde is a crusader in the area of the health of human beings.
Without allowing my brain to use its wisdom anymore, I saw the website and YouTube videos of FFD and immediately enrolled for a 2-hour Online first Session of Dr. Pramod Tripathi online, paying Rs. 500.
I was totally convinced about their holistic approach and the same day enrolled myself for their one-year’s course, the Intensive Reversal Program .
Mr. Ashok Jeevanabhatt Joshi
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Stress Toxins And The Adrenals
Since the body functions as a whole, it is logical that when one hormone or part of the endocrine system is suffering, the other would be affected as well. This is the reason behind the recent research linking high stress levels to diabetes and other health problems. Most people think of stress only in the mental context but stress can be physical, psychological, emotional, or mental and can be triggered by many factors including:
- Lack of sleep
- outside stress
When stress occurs, whatever the source, the hypothalamus signals the adrenals to release cortisol . These hormones are life-saving in true fight or flight situations like running away from a charging animal or hoisting a car off a small child, but they cause big problems when they are regularly produced in excess. Excess cortisol can contribute to hormone imbalance in the body since the body uses hormones like progesterone to manufacture cortisol. Excess cortisol absent of a charging animal can also interfere with the bodys ability to regulate blood sugar, reduce fat burning ability, raise insulin, suppress thyroid function and cause gain in belly fat.
Even stress from lack of quality sleep for just a few nights can elevate cortisol, decrease insulin sensitivity and elevate blood sugar. Most moms have probably felt the hangover-like effects of this during the first weeks of caring for a newborn.
How I Reversed My Own Diabetes
If youd told me 16 months ago that eating more bacon, cheese and steakbut no breadwould make me lose weight, get healthier, and reverse diabetes, I would have said you were deluded.
If you read no further than this sentence, let me tell you something that not many people outside of the worldwide diabetes community knows: Type 2 diabetes can be reversed or managed in most cases without drugs. Heres my story.
Sixteen months ago, the diagnosis was swift and serious: Type 2 diabetes. What I thought I knew about the situation was that it was progressive, meaning that over time, no matter what I did, I would get worse. I would need drugs, and then more drugs. Pills, then insulin.
My doctor said that if I didnt improve my numbers before my next appointment three months away, I would be put on pills to manage the diabetes, and likely high blood pressure meds, as my pressure had been rising steadily the past year.
I grieved. Theres no other way to say it. All of those stagesI went through them. I did sad. I did angry. I did bargaining. I started to read and got sad all over again.
My doctor told me to change my diet. No more pop. Less takeout food. I tried to eat healthy. I felt awful and starving a lot of the time. I had sugar highs and lows, when Id never really had them before, but now I sure did. Lows made me shaky and dizzy. Highs made me want to sleep for a year.
As I researched, the steps became clear:
I started eating bacon:
Why this should matter to you:
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What Happens When You Succeed In Reversing Prediabetes
I did it! My test results showed that my blood sugar was no longer in the prediabetic range. I wanted to celebrate with a pint of ice cream, but that was not how this worked. Once youre in the prediabetes car, you dont get out. You can reverse it for a while or for the long term, but youre still in the car. My pancreas will always be compromised.
Sometimes I wish I could take a pill to make all this go away. Studies are being conducted on whether vitamins or other supplements can improve glucose levels, but as Dr. Manson says, If you hope to pop a magic pill, its just not there. But those lifestyle modifications, she says, are like an elixir of health. No longer being prediabetic is a strange kind of liberation. I cant go back to the lifestyle I had before, but I dont want to as much as I thought I would. Its crystal clear how my choices can lead to a better, longer, and healthier life. Naturally, I have a lot of plans for itincluding having a slice of my 80th-birthday cake.
This article originally appeared in the November 2020 issue of Prevention. Go here to join Prevention Premium , subscribe to the magazine, or get digital-only access.