“Black death of the 21st century”. This is how type 2 diabetes has been described. Here’s the good news, you can reverse diabetes all by yourself.
If you currently have diabetes(an A1c>6.5) and bring it down below 6.5, you could walk into a doctors office and be considered a non-diabetic without sharing your previous history of having diabetes. With that said, we recommend sharing all history with your physician because even having diabetes in the past can increase your risk of other illness in the future.
Type 2 diabetes is the focus of this article. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition that is much more difficult to treat and completely different. When referring to diabetes we’re referring to type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes is most often diagnosed with a blood test called Hemoglobin A1c. 5.7 to 6.5 indicates prediabetes. 6.5 and over indicates diabetes.
Diabetes causes approximately 75,000 deaths per year in the U.S. To put that in perspective, the Vietnam War which lasted 20 years resulted in 50,000 American deaths.
At that rate, over 20 years diabetes would cause 1.5 million deaths in the US.
1.5 Million Deaths from Diabetes Over 20 Years
That doesn’t include the complications of diabetes including heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, limb loss, infections and loss of vision.
The diagnosis causes a significant amount of stress and uncertainty to the patient. The question often arises is “do I have diabetes for life?”.
Doctor: Hows your day going?
Patient: Good and you?
Doctor: Great. I checked your labs and looks like you have diabetes.
Doctor: We should start you on medication or you could radically change your lifestyle with diet and exercise.
Treat diabetes with diet choices and exercise.
Type 2 diabetes is reversible with diet and lifestyle modifications. Not all physicians believe this. The root of type 2 diabetes is insulin resistance which arises after continuous exposure to high levels of insulin due to continuous exposure of high levels of sugar or glucose.
By reversing insulin resistance you can essentially reverse type 2 diabetes.
Where does this all this sugar come from that causes insulin resistance? Our diet! Excess sugar comes from sodas, refined carbohydrates in the form of pastas, tortillas, breads and rice. It also rises from large portions that modern culture has accepted as normal. Go to Cheesecake Factory if you don’t believe me.
Check out their nutritional guide, notice anything? You can barely read it!
Let me start by saying I’m not a vegetarian and I understand it’s extremely difficult to suddenly stop eating meat and that’s not what I’m suggesting, although that would be best for you. Starting this journey to reversing type 2 diabetes begins with eating the right foods:
5 Types of Food to Eat at Least 80% of the Time
- 1. Fruits and vegetables, specifically berries and dark green leafy vegetables
3. Nuts and seeds
4. Whole grain carbohydrates
5. Sweet Potatoes
Before we continue talking about reversing type 2 diabetes, lets clear up a common question: what is whole grain?
Here’s a video to help understand what whole grain carbohydrates means since this is often a confusing topic.
How should you start if you’re new to regular exercise? Start by Walking.
Check out this post we wrote on how to start. In summary, it begins with walking on a regular basis.
Technology today easily allows you to calculate how many steps you’ve taken with your smartphone or smartwatch. Set a goal and stick to it. For starters, aim for 6000 steps, eventually if you can get to 10,000 steps you’re on your way.
When? Early morning is when we recommend patients exercise for two reasons. One it sets the tone for you throughout the day and you make better choices in other areas of your life such as choosing fruit over a muffin or choosing stairs over the elevator.
Two it completes a checkbox on your list and you don’t have to think about it the rest of the day and you end up feeling good for multiple reasons including the release of endorphins.
Dietary choices and regular exercise can reverse diabetes and many other chronic conditions such as obesity, fatigue and high cholesterol. Why not give it a shot?
Bottom line: Diabetes is reversible.