The medical profession considers diabetes type 2 a chronic, progressive disease. They will tell you there is no cure, just treatment. They will send you to a dietician who will give you a "healthy" diet for diabetes and will prescribe medication. As your blood sugar goes up, they will prescribe additional medications.
This has been the reality for most people with type 2 diabetes. But what if they are wrong? I'm here to tell you that for most people, type 2 diabetes can be reversed. How do I know this? I used to be diabetic. I reversed it several years ago and it has not returned. Just recently I took my diabetic husband from out-of-control diabetes to what is considered pre-diabetes in a little over two months. By the next time he has lab work, he should be out of the diabetic category altogether.
Type 2 diabetes does not mean that a person doesn't make insulin. In fact, type 2 diabetics often have high levels of insulin. What these folks have is an insensitivity to insulin so that it take more of it to move glucose (sugar) from the blood into the cells where it can be used for energy (or if there is too much, stored as fat). Type 1 diabetes is a different disease. It is an auto-immune disease where the body's immune system attacks the beta cells of the pancreas where insulin is produced. It has to be treated with insulin. I'm sure you have heard of type 2 diabetics who needed insulin also but this is usually because of the insensitivity so that large amounts of insulin are needed.
So, how do you reverse it? I won't tell you that it is easy and a lot of people are not willing to make the changes necessary to do it. You start by tossing the standard diabetic diet. You learn more about nutrition and about carbohydrates. Reversing type 2 diabetes requires that you reduce the foods that raise blood sugar, primarily carbohydrates. You change to a diet that is mostly vegetables with moderate amounts of protein and some whole fruit (no juice or dried fruit). I eat no sugar or flour. For me, there is an issue of food addiction and those foods trigger me to overeat. I eat unprocessed foods (mostly organic). If you are overweight, as most people with type 2 diabetes are, you need to have a calorie deficit so that you are losing weight until you get to a healthy weight. Intermittent fasting is also helpful (I'm not talking about long fasts but simply not eating or drinking anything with calories for 24 hours or less).
We are bombarded with messages (advertising) urging us to eat almost constantly and to eat foods that are not healthy. It is no wonder that so many of us are obese and diabetic. Going against the tide to eat a healthy diet in this culture can be a real challenge but it is certainly possible. We all have choices. I'm choosing health. How about you?
Janet L Black, RN, FNP,