Reversing type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a medical condition in which the body doesn’t use insulin properly, resulting in unusually high blood glucose levels.
Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that has many functions, one of which is to control the amount of glucose in the blood. In type 2 diabetes, our body’s cells do not respond effectively to insulin. This is known as insulin resistance.
When we eat carbohydrates, our bodies break them down to glucose. High blood glucose levels are extremely harmful to the body so our bodies respond to this by releasing insulin but because of insulin resistance, the glucose remains in the blood, and blood glucose levels keep rising, so more insulin is released. This eventually causes the pancreas to tire out, reducing the amount of insulin released and causing even higher blood glucose levels.
Type 2 diabetes is one of the leading causes of heart disease, kidney disease, amputations, blindness, and death.
Can type 2 diabetes be reversed?
A lot of people that are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are told that it is a progressive disease with lifelong medications that only get worse over time and the best they can do is manage the condition. That is not true.
We define reversal as having a non-diabetic blood glucose level without taking any blood-glucose-lowering medication within a 3 month period.
Multiple studies have shown that type 2 diabetes can be reversed using three methods.
Bariatric surgery — This is basically a surgical procedure that assists in weight loss by making changes to the digestive system. It can sometimes reverse type 2 diabetes, but it is expensive, and as many as 40% of people have complications afterward. It also often loses its effectiveness after a few years.
Very low-calorie diets — This is a diet that involves eating about 800 calories a day or fewer. It can lead to rapid weight loss and diabetes reversal, but can only be followed for a short period, after which weight maintenance and continued blood glucose control could be difficult.
Low carbohydrate diets — This is basically a diet low in refined sugars (like table sugar and bread) and starchy carbohydrates (like pasta and potatoes). It is the most effective and most sustainable method for most people.
How low carbohydrate diets work
When we reduce the amount of carbohydrates we eat, our blood glucose does not spike, meaning that blood-glucose-lowering medications are no longer needed to keep our blood glucose levels within the normal range. It also means our bodies require less insulin response and over time, we become sensitive to insulin.
Low carbohydrate diets also have other additional benefits. It helps with weight loss, reduces our blood pressure, reduces our Triglycerides, and increases our HDL.
Talk to your doctor before changing your diet
If you have type 2 diabetes, it is not safe for people with type 2 diabetes to attempt to change their diet without a doctor’s oversight. This is because your blood glucose can get dangerously low, especially where blood-glucose-lowering medications are involved. Your doctor will often reduce your medication dosages until you are off all medications.
Sustain can guide you on this journey, assisting you with medication reduction and monitoring your progress, and providing you with support and resources to adopt a low carbohydrate diet sustainably.
The information we provide on is not medical advice, nor is it intended to replace a consultation with a medical professional. Please inform your doctor or reach out to our clinic if you want to make changes to your diet.