Type 2 Diabetes: Reverse with Diet or Treat with Chemicals
Type 2 diabetes is the world’s fastest-growing disease. According to the World Health Organization, more than 422 million people globally suffer from diabetes. In 1980, just 108 million had this disease. (Though these figures include both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, the latter is the most common type and the one most responsible for these soaring rates.)
If you’re at risk for this disease, you probably watch experts on television programs talking about the importance of preventing type 2 diabetes. They talk about exercise and tell you to lose any excess weight.
You’d probably hear the same advice from your doctor, too, if you asked. This advice is almost guaranteed if you have prediabetes, a condition in which your blood glucose levels are higher than they should be but not high enough for type 2 diabetes. Prediabetes, you see, is considered reversible by dietary and lifestyle changes. The same advice is not generally given for full-blown type 2 diabetes.
Sure, if you have type 2 diabetes, your doctor will tell you how to manage it with diet and lifestyle modifications. But you’ll rarely or never hear the word “cure” come out of your doctor’s mouth when it comes to type 2 diabetes. That’s because doctors seem to believe it’s not curable. It can only be controlled with diet and — increasingly — with prescription medications.
And that’s not true. You don’t need to take chemicals like prescription medications to treat type 2 diabetes. Rather, you can reverse it with diet. But before discussing how to do this, let’s discuss some facts about type 2 diabetes.
What is type 2 diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition characterized by the inability of your body to use insulin properly. Either the cells do not respond to insulin (insulin resistance), or the pancreas cannot produce a sufficient amount of it. This is a complex metabolic disorder that can take decades to develop. Below is what happens when those who don’t have diabetes eat carbohydrates or sugars:
- Their body converts it to glucose and sends it into the bloodstream.
- Blood glucose levels rise.
- The pancreas releases a corresponding amount of the hormone insulin.
- Insulin escorts glucose into the cells for energy.
- Blood glucose levels fall.
Contrast that with what happens when those with prediabetes eat carbohydrates or sugars:
- The body converts it to glucose and sends it into the bloodstream.
- Blood glucose levels rise.
- The pancreas releases a corresponding amount of the hormone insulin.
- Insulin tries to escort glucose into the cells for energy, but the cells won’t open their doors all the way. (Insulin resistance.) Glucose stays circulating in the bloodstream.
- The pancreas makes more insulin to try to get glucose into the cells.
- This can continue for years until the pancreas simply can’t produce enough insulin to keep up with the amount of glucose in the bloodstream.
- Blood sugar levels rise too high.
The doctor will diagnose you with type 2 diabetes, starting you down the long road of doctors’ appointments and prescription medications if you let them.
Type 2 diabetes can be caused by a combination of factors, including:
- Being overweight or obese: This is the number one risk factor for type 2 diabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 90 percent of those who are obese will develop type 2 diabetes. Studies have shown that the increased fatty tissue of obesity leads to insulin resistance.
- Having a family history of diabetes: The risk significantly increases if you have a sibling or parent with type 2 diabetes.
- Are age 45 or older: Like most diseases, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes increases with age. Experts have long believed that this is because older people exercise less and gain weight. However, a startling number of children and young adults are now developing this disease.
- Are physically inactive: Those who are physically inactive tend to gain weight, causing insulin resistance that can lead to type 2 diabetes.
The symptoms of type 2 diabetes are subtle, especially in the beginning. This disease often takes years to develop, and you may have type 2 diabetes for a long time without knowing it. It is crucial, therefore, that you make an appointment with your healthcare provider if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- Increased thirst/frequent urination: This is probably the most common, recognizable symptom of type 2 diabetes. The thirst is caused by excessive sugar in the bloodstream, which draws fluid away from the tissues. You’ll drink more fluids and, of course, urinate more often.
- Frequent hunger: When glucose cannot enter your cells, your muscles and organs become depleted of energy. This results in often ravenous hunger.
- Fatigue: In type 2 diabetes, the cells cannot get the amount of glucose they need for energy. This can cause fatigue.
- Slow-healing wounds: Type 2 diabetes affects your immune system, slowing your body’s ability to heal wounds.
- Blurred vision: High blood sugar can pull fluid away from the lenses of your eyes, causing blurred vision.
Health complications of type 2 diabetes
As type 2 diabetes affects every major organ, the health complications vary. The most common ones include:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Neuropathy (nerve damage)
- Retinopathy (disease of the retina that can cause blindness)
- Kidney damage
- Amputation of limbs
Drugs to treat type 2 diabetes
Besides giving you tips on managing your blood sugar levels with diet and exercise, your doctor may prescribe medications to help lower your blood sugar levels. Below are the most common ones.
Metformin is a prescription medication used to treat type 2 diabetes alone or in combination with insulin. It is one of the most popular oral diabetes medications in the world and is usually the first drug prescribed for type 2 diabetes. It works by making the body’s tissues more sensitive to insulin so that the body uses it more effectively. It also reduces the amount of glucose the liver produces.
Metformin is derived from the poisonous perennial herb Galega officinalis. This herb was used in folk medicine to treat diabetes starting in the Middle Ages. Knowing its reputation as an effective diabetes treatment, researchers eventually isolated a compound from this plant called guanidine. They were delighted to see that guanidine lowered blood glucose levels in their animal testing subjects; however, it also proved toxic to those animals.
Determined to make it “safe” for humans, chemists found a way to make the compound less toxic. They simply bound two guanidines together, forming a biguanide. Metformin is one of these biguanides, and humans have been “safely” taking it to treat type 2 diabetes since the FDA approved it in 1994. Though derived from a plant, hydrochloride is the chemical composition of Metformin.
But is it really safe? Is it really non-toxic? The side effects of Metformin include nausea, diarrhea, fever, drowsiness, weakness, abdominal pain, and vomiting. These symptoms are similar to what you might experience if you ingested some type of poison.
Sulfonylureas (pronounced SUL-fah-nil-YOO-ree-ahs) are a group of drugs created in the 1940s to manage type 2 diabetes. The first diabetes pill to hit the market, sulfonylureas stimulates the pancreas to secrete more insulin. It also improves insulin sensitivity. Doctors often combine sulfonylureas, such as glipizide, with metformin or/or insulin to help the patient manage blood glucose levels.
Research has proven sulfonylureas medications to be highly effective, with the ability to lower A1C levels by 1% to 2%. (A1C is a measure of blood glucose levels over a 3-month period.) But make no mistake…sulfonylureas are chemical compounds forcing your pancreas to release more insulin. And they’re not just used in medicine. Sulfonylureas are also a popular and effective herbicide used to kill weeds. Though the sulfonylureas they use as herbicides are different than the ones they use for diabetes, some of the side effects are intriguing.
The possible side effects of the diabetic drug sulfonylureas include low blood sugar, upset stomach, hunger, weight gain, dark urine, and rash. Keep in mind that the symptoms of low blood sugar include shakiness, dizziness, and confusion. So…are these always the symptoms of low blood sugar while on this drug, or are they the effect of a poisonous chemical in the body? In addition, sulfonylurea drugs may harm the kidneys and liver.
Insulin was discovered in 1921, and it saved the lives of thousands of people who could not produce their own insulin (type 1 diabetics.) According to the Mayo Clinic, insulin therapy used to be used as a last resort for type 2 diabetes, but now it is often prescribed sooner because it helps stabilize blood sugar levels.
Insulin must be injected because the oral version cannot survive digestion. There are two basic methods of insulin therapy. One is a long-lasting injection taken at night before bedtime, and the other is an injection taken at each meal. The doctor may also prescribe a combination of the two methods. There are also several types of insulin with different modes of action.
Though insulin is a hormone released by your pancreas, injectable insulin is not natural. It is made in the laboratory to resemble human insulin.
The side effects vary depending on the type of insulin prescribed. Side effects may include low blood sugar (weakness, dizziness, sweating, tingling hands and feet) or high blood sugar (confusion, rapid breathing, drowsiness).
Treat with chemicals or diet?
You can treat your type 2 diabetes with the above chemicals if you want to. And many people DO. But there is a better way. You can reverse type 2 diabetes with diet.
Diet to reverse and end type 2 diabetes
Diet and health (or sickness) are closely related. Statistics show 117 million American adults have at least one preventable chronic disease. Poor-quality diet, research indicates, causes most of these diseases. Some of the conditions linked to poor nutrition include type 2 diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, osteoporosis, and some cancers.
Most experts agree that regularly eating the standard American diet of highly processed foods, sugars, and processed fats eventually causes the body to break down, with disease often being the inevitable result.
But the good news is that you can reverse this harm by changing your diet. Making SANE food choices is the first step in this process.
The SANE diet
The SANE diet is simple. You do not have to remember food lists, or count calories or points. All you need to do is remember this: Eat non-starchy vegetables, nutrient-dense proteins, and whole food fats at every meal. These three, when eaten together, fill you up fast and keep you full longer.
Here is a brief summary of each one, plus a little something extra:
10+ servings per day
Fill half your plate at every meal with non-starchy veggies, or blend them into a delicious SANE green smoothie.
Some great choices include:
3-5 servings per day
Nutrient-dense proteins are ones that contain more calories from protein than from fats or carbohydrates. Research has shown that protein signals short- and long-term satiety hormones, meaning that protein is one of the most satisfying, filling foods you can eat. And the choices are unlimited. Try some of these:
- Egg whites
- Grass-fed beef
- Lean meat
- Nonfat Greek yogurt
- Grass-fed beef
3-5 servings per day
Whole food fats satisfy you like nothing else and will NOT make you fat. Try some of these on for size:
- Chia seeds
- Flax seeds
0-3 servings per day
Enjoy a yummy serving of fruit as an after-dinner dessert or between-meal snack. Here are some awesome selections:
- Acai berries
SANE tips for reversing type 2 diabetes
In addition to following the dietary principles above, follow these tips to reverse type 2 diabetes:
- Eat foods in their natural states as much as possible. These foods will be on the perimeter of the grocery store, where the produce and meats are sold. Purchase foods that you could have picked or could have hunted. However, frozen vegetables and meats are okay as long as they haven’t been breaded, sauced, or otherwise prepared. Read labels carefully, making sure there are no preservatives or other extra ingredients in the food.)
- Eliminate sugar from your diet as much as possible. Many research studies show sugar causes systemic inflammation, leading to type 2 diabetes and other diseases. If you need to sweeten your tea or a recipe, choose Stevia or another natural sweetener.
- Avoid processed foods. Most of them contain sugar, salt, processed fats, and harmful chemicals you don’t want to put in your body.
Going SANE is a great way to reverse type 2 diabetes. And it comes with NO side effects!
Next step: Stop type 2 diabetes by going SANE
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