Reversing Type 2 Diabetes: Knowledge is Power
Oct 28, 2017 05:50PM
By Kathy D’Agati
Diabetes has become one of the most lethal diseases in the world. The American Diabetes Association states that in 2015, 30.3 million Americans were suffering with this disease and that number grows larger every year.
Why, then, are the numbers continuing to rise when there is so much science behind how to treat it? The answer is that many people don’t know the root cause of diabetes; it is not just a blood sugar problem.
The most common form of diabetes is Type 2, which affects 90-95% of diabetics. In this type, excess sugar in the diet wears out the brain and body’s ability to manage insulin levels. You have plenty of insulin; it’s just not being used properly.
It is considered an advanced stage of insulin resistance, which is an autoimmune mechanism. It’s associated with IgG antibodies that increase inflammation and produces visceral adipose tissue (the spare tire you carry around your waist.)
In addition to insulin resistance, a lesser-known culprit is at play: leptin resistance. Leptin is a hormone produced in your fat cells and one of its primary roles is to regulate your appetite and body weight. It tells your brain when to eat, how much to eat, and when to stop eating. Leptin is responsible for the accuracy of insulin signaling and for insulin resistance.
The surprising thing scientists discovered was that obese people have very high levels of leptin in their blood, which means that obesity could cause a resistance to leptin.
In short, diabetes is both a disease of insulin resistance and leptin signaling malfunction. The only known way to reestablish proper leptin and insulin signaling is through your diet. There is no drug on the market that can accomplish this. Any change in diet can feel a little overwhelming at first. If you stick with it, you could be feeling remarkably better in a short time.
A recent client came to us after many years as a Type 2 diabetic managing her symptoms with insulin. After only 30 days of diet adjustment, her doctor took her off all insulin. She was thrilled to no longer have to inject herself – and that her clothes fit again.
With the right education and guidance, Type 2 diabetes is reversible. Here are important steps to take:
(NOTE: Any dietary program should be followed with guidance and supervision of your physician. Never stop any medications without your doctor’s consent. Stopping medications could result in serious medical consequences.)
Test for food sensitivities. Food intolerances can trigger autoimmune responses, inflammation and insulin resistance. (Diabetes has a strong autoimmune component.) A simple food elimination protocol is most effective.
Eliminate sugars and grains. Replacing these with delicious and satisfying healthy fats—avocado, whole eggs, olive oil, coconut oil, almond butter, pumpkin and sunflower seeds and nuts—will curb your hunger.
Eliminate artificial sweeteners. The body responds to these, even natural ones like agave, like sugar and can cause tremendous problems long term. Cravings do stop in time and you’ll begin to enjoy the natural flavor of foods.
Eliminate processed foods. They contain preservatives and fructose and high fructose corn syrup. Processed meats, think deli lunchmeat, are the worst culprits, associated with a 19% higher risk of type 2 diabetes.
Eliminate trans fats. These interfere with your insulin receptors and are most commonly found in nondairy creamers, French fries, margarine, microwave popcorn, cake mixes and frostings, frozen pizza and breakfast sandwiches.
Exercise. Staying fit is very important in getting diabetes under control. It is the fastest, most powerful ways to lower your insulin and leptin resistance. Consistency is the key. Pick an activity you enjoy so you can stick with it.
Optimize Vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is a predictor of type 2 mortality due to heart disease. Spending at least 15 minutes in the sun every day is a simple and cost-free way to address this. When that isn’t possible, take a vitamin D supplement.
Get 8 hours of sleep. Sleep deprivation can have a significant bearing on your insulin sensitivity. Lack of sleep is the #1 cause of sugar cravings.
If you have diabetes it is likely you have multiple health conditions like cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity. High glucose levels are also associated with stroke and cancer.
Reversing diabetes and other health conditions begins with taking that dietary first step. To help you get started, visit BackToBasicWellness.com/a-sample-day-of-healthy-meals-and-recipes and see what a day of healthy eating looks like.
Kathy D’Agati is Certified Holistic Nutrition Coach and a Certified Gluten Practitioner. She partners with Ellen Harnett, a Natural Food Chef, in their company, Back to Basic Wellness. 866-222-6490. BackToBasicWellness.com.