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Reversing Type 2 Diabetes is Possible: Here’s How

If you have type 2 diabetes or are prediabetic, you may be facing a lifetime of medication and blood sugar monitoring. However, this path is not necessary. With these simple methods, you can reverse your diabetes for good.
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When people are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, they are faced with a lifetime of medications, blood glucose checks, and dietary restrictions that are devoid of flavor. However, new research has indicated that this lifestyle is not the only option for individuals with type 2 diabetes. In fact, it is possible to completely reverse diabetes and restore proper insulin sensitivity with the right diet and lifestyle changes.

What Is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease that affects over 25.8 million people in the United States according to the Center for Disease Control. In 2010 alone, around 10 million people were diagnosed with the disease for the first time. Sobering statistics show that more people are getting diabetes each year, and from a younger age. While type 1 diabetes is largely genetic, type 2 diabetes is caused by genetics and lifestyle factors, such as obesity, and overall poor health.

Diabetes is an epidemic in the United States, with around 27 percent of all people over the age of 65 getting the disease. Among people over the age of 20, about 11 percent have the disease. There are also approximately 79 million Americans ages, according to the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse, who have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes, which indicates their risk of getting type 2 diabetes is high. Over 30 percent of Americans are at risk for getting type 2 diabetes. According to the CDC, diabetes costs around $175 billion dollars each year. This excessive number is due to the large number of diabetic cases in the United States and the high cost of treating the disease medically.

But what most people don’t know, is that type 2 diabetes is almost completely avoidable. In fact, it is even possible to reverse the disease once you have been diagnosed- and for pennies on the dollar compared with conventional medical care. But before we get into discussing how to reverse the disease, take a look at what causes type 2 diabetes for a little background information.

What Causes Type 2 Diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is linked to many factors, including inflammation, high blood glucose, insulin resistance, and leptin production. However, contrary to popular belief, type 2 diabetes is not a blood glucose issue. Blood glucose levels are simply a symptom of the disease, and addressing glucose levels only cannot cure or prevent the disease. Studies about insulin and leptin signaling have shown that diabetes is a direct cause of imbalances in leptin signaling and insulin resistance. Both of these imbalances are caused by diet and exercise imbalances.

According to Diabetes Forecast, insulin is a hormone that causes muscle and fat cells to absorb excess glucose from food and convert it into energy. This causes blood glucose levels to drop and gives the body vital energy. Insulin resistance simply means that the body has to produce more of the hormone insulin to do the same job. This causes the body to work harder to perform simple functions, which can lead to a host of health problems.

The role of leptin in diabetes is something that is newly discovered. Ordinarily, the hormone leptin controls energy metabolism and appetite regulation. Leptin is also responsible for keeping insulin levels from getting too high in the body by producing insulin secretion-blocking beta cells. In a 2007 study conducted by the Joslin Diabetes Center, mice were genetically engineered to not have the necessary leptin receptors in the pancreas. These mice developed insulin resistance and high glucose levels when placed on a high-fat diet. This indicates that unless leptin receptors are functioning correctly in the body, the risk of getting diabetes is much higher. Ensuring that leptin receptors are functioning properly is one simple way to reduce your risk of getting diabetes.

Who Gets Type 2 Diabetes?

According to the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse (NDIC), there are several potential causes for type 2 diabetes. These factors include:

Genetic Susceptibility

Genetics do play a role in your risk for getting diabetes. For example, more African Americans, American Indians, Native Hawaiians, Hispanics, and Alaskan Natives get diabetes than other races. Genetics can play a role in how sensitive your body is to leptin production and insulin. Genes that influence metabolic function and a susceptibility for weight gain will also be a higher risk for developing diabetes as well.

Sedentary Lifestyle and Obesity

Obviously an inactive lifestyle and obesity are linked. The less active you are, the less energy you use. If you consume more energy (calories) than you use, then you will naturally gain weight. The heavier you are, the more your body produces leptin to reduce fat storage in the body. However, if there is an imbalance in leptin receptors and insulin production, this will lead to a greater risk for diabetes. A lifetime of unhealthy habits and hormone imbalances will lead to an increased risk for type 2 diabetes.

Insulin Resistance

A resistance to insulin naturally occurs with the presence of too much sugar in the body. Basically, your body becomes so used to excess sugar, that the normal levels of insulin required to counteract the effects of the sugar are no longer enough. Your body must produce more insulin to counteract the effects. Typically, insulin resistance occurs in overweight individuals who cannot produce enough beta cells to create effective insulin levels.

Cell Signaling Issues

In some cases, diabetes may be influenced by connection problems between cell signaling. Disruption between cell communication can be caused by a variety of factors, including inflammation, excessive amounts of fat cells, leptin receptor issues, and beta cell dysfunction.

Waist size

A 2005 study conducted by Sweden's Karolinska Institute showed that in individuals who had a waist size larger than 39 inches, half of the participants had insulin resistance. The study looked at over 2,700 participants of both men and women with waist sizes varying from 25 to 59 inches.

Risk Factors for Type 2 Diabetes
  • Unhealthy weight
  • Inactive lifestyle
  • Family history of diabetes
  • History of gestational diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • HDL levels below 35 milligrams per deciliter
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Waist size over 40 inches

Is It Possible to Reverse Type 2 Diabetes?

Clearly, most Americans are doing something wrong to be so susceptible to such a dangerous disease. There are many medications available to treat the symptoms of diabetes, but until recently, it was thought that diabetes was a permanent condition. Today, however, it is evident that type 2 diabetes can be reversed, and it is actually fairly simple to do.

The Diabetes Prevention Program has acknowledged that losing weight and lifestyle changes can easily reverse type 2 diabetes and greatly reduce a person’s risk for getting the disease. In fact, the study showed that the benefits of these changes lasted for 10 years or more after the original study started. Because of the link to weight loss, some researchers have suggested that surgery to reduce a person’s weight is able to lower their risk for diabetes. However, a 2011 study published in the Archives of Surgery showed that while weight loss surgery was effective at eliminating diabetes symptoms for one or two years after the surgery for about 80 percent of patients, in a 10-year follow-up, all but 36 percent of participants were able to live medication-free. This indicates that weight loss alone is not enough to reverse diabetes. Instead, it is necessary to approach the issue from the source- which is usually a hormone imbalance issue.

Studies Show Exercise and Diet Linked to Diabetes Health

A 2011 study conducted by the Institute of Cellular Medicine looked at insulin resistance and beta cell production in 11 patients with diabetes. This study put the participants on a reduced energy diet for a period of 8 weeks. After just one week, the blood glucose level of the participants dropped while their insulin sensitivity increased. By the end of the study, insulin resistance was down and beta cell production rose to normal levels.

In 2012, the Journal of American Medical Association published a study that looked at diet and exercise as a reversal program for type 2 diabetes. One group was given weekly counseling sessions on living a healthy lifestyle for 6 months, 3 sessions a month for the next 6 months, then twice-monthly sessions for years 2-4. After the study ended, 7 percent of the study participants saw recovery from diabetes symptoms.

A 2013 study conducted by the Institute of Cellular Medicine studied 77 people who had suffered from diabetes for around 5 years. The participants were encouraged to lose weight at home through eating a healthy diet and exercising. According to study data, 80 percent of people who lost 20 kg or more of weight were able to reverse their diabetes for at least 4 years. 43 percent were able to keep their diabetes at bay for over 8 years. The more weight a person lost, the greater their chances of reversing the disease.

The Key to Permanently Reversing Type 2 Diabetes

There are some disparities between the studies, which could account for the differences in diet and exercise approach. Most of these studies looked at weight loss alone as a contributing factor to diabetes, which is not the only link or cause. The right kind of diet is essential in reversing diabetes. The best diet is one that reverses insulin resistance and maintains proper lepin receptors and levels in the body. Restricting calories alone will not make up for hormone imbalances. Therefore, if you want to reverse diabetes, you must take a careful look at the foods that you eat to maintain efficient hormone levels. This will increase your chances for reversing the disease.

So, what can you to do truly reverse diabetes for good? The biggest changes you can make should be to regulate insulin and leptin sensitivity in the body. This is done through a variety of health changes, as outlined below:

Limit sugar

Sugar can be good for the body when it is at optimal health, but too much sugar can mess with already-imbalanced hormones. The number one culprit is fructose sugar, which is notorious for spiking blood sugar levels and leading to weight gain. High fructose sugar should be avoided completely.

Limit grains

Grains are difficult for the body to digest, and are converted into sugar in the body. This means that an excessive amount of grains can lead to an increase in insulin resistance. Limiting grains until your body’s hormones are regulated will help you prevent diabetes symptoms.

Exercise regularly

Exercise provides a variety of benefits, including the ability to fight depression, improve the memory, and regulate hormones in the body. Exercise has also been proven to lower insulin and leptin resistance in the studies above. Exercise is key to restoring your body’s essential functions. Exercise is also one of the most effective ways to raise the metabolism and drop extra weight. The intensity and frequency of your exercise matters. Exercise at least 3-4 times a week at an intensity where it is challenging to speak during exercise.

Avoid trans fats

Trans fats are really unhealthy and lead to all kinds of dangerous health risks in the body. Trans fats are present in many processed foods, and are detrimental to the body’s overall health.

Avoid vegetable oils

Vegetable oils are high in omega-6 fatty acids, which are essential for proper brain function. However, most Americans consume way too many omega-6 acids, which can lead to an imbalance of fats in the body. Some scientists suggest that the ideal balance of Omega fatty acids are 4 omega-3 acids to 1 omega-6 acid. Fish is one of the only natural sources of omega-3 fatty acids readily available today.

Monitor your insulin levels

Monitoring your insulin can help you determine if you are on the right track for your particular system. Your fasting insulin level is a significant indicator in how sensitive your body is to insulin. The higher your fasting insulin level, the more resistance you have to insulin. The ideal fasting insulin level is under 5, according to the Dynamic Integration Centers.

Maintain efficient leptin levels

Excessive levels of blood sugar lead to leptin disregulation and hormone imbalance. This also leads to inefficient insulin behavior. The biggest challenger to proper leptin levels are carbohydrate-rich foods, such as bread, potatoes, rice, starchy vegetables, beer, wine, pasta, and cereal. Sugar also can trigger a leptin imbalance. Some medications also disrupt efficient leptin and insulin production. Certain drugs can also interfere with effective thyroid function, which triggers a chronic stress response in the body. This contributes to hormone imbalances in the body as well.

Increase protein intake

Protein is essential for the body to function. Many people have replaced protein consumption with carbohydrate consumption. Carbs are a fast source of energy that is quickly burned and lost. Protein is a source of energy that takes longer to burn, but it sticks with you longer, providing a more even source of energy.

Increase healthy fat intake

Healthy fats can also balance energy levels in the body. Like protein, fat is also slow-burning at an even level. Healthy fat sources include minimally processed dairy fat, coconut oil, nuts and seeds (in their natural form), avocados, and fish. With the right balance of healthy fats, you can increase your metabolic function, which can lead to faster weight regulation.

Supplements that Help Diabetes

In addition to diet and exercise, it is possible to help control and reverse diabetes with a few key supplements. Reader’s Digest suggests supplements that are proven to provide relief for diabetes sufferers:

3 Supplements for Type 2 Diabetes

Bitter Melon: Bitter melon is capable of lowering blood sugar by blocking sugar absorption in the gut. Supplementing with bitter melon will also help cells use glucose more effectively. Philippine researchers showed that taking around 50 milliliters of bitter melon every day for three months showed consistent levels of reduced blood sugar levels.

Alpha-Lipoic Acid: Alpha-lipoic acid supplements can help individuals with diabetes improve their insulin resistance. One German study looked at 40 adults with diabetes and gave them either alpha-lipoic acid or a placebo pill. At the end of four weeks, the participants taking the Alpha-libpic acid showed an increase in insulin sensitivity of 27 percent.GinsengGinseng is another supplement with powerful effects. One study from the University of Toronto showed that ginseng capsules lower blood glucose levels by 15 to 20 percent. It also helps increase insulin secretion in the pancreas, slows carbohydrate absorption, and increases a cell’s ability to use glucose.

Vitamin D: Vitamin D is surprisingly important in the role of insulin sensitivity. A 2011 study conducted by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine looked at 8 participants with diabetes. These participants were given 10 times the normal dose of vitamin D every day for 2 months. At the end of the study, the participants showed an increased sensitivity to insulin. In fact, the liver showed an increase of insulin responsiveness of 37 percent.


Type 2 Diabetes is Reversible and Preventable

Many studies are now showing that type 2 diabetes can be reversed, prevented, and helped by a mixture of diet, exercise, and the restorative function of insulin sensitivity and leptin production. Individuals with diabetes do not have to resort to medications, extreme diets, or synthetic foods to cure diabetes. A sensible healthy diet and regular exercise can go a long way toward curing and preventing the disease. Supplementing with proven diabetes-fighting supplements can also help reverse the effects of this dangerous disease.

Sources


http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/consumer/research.htm

http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/statistics/#fast

http://www.joslin.org/news/joslin_researchers_uncover_potential_role_of_leptin_in_diabetes.html

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