Can You Reverse Type 2 Diabetes?

 

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In many cases, YES! And here's how:

First, let’s define what reversing diabetes actually means or “diabetes remission”.

Remember, Pre-Diabetes is defined as having an A1C of 5.7-6.3%, Type 2 Diabetes is diagnosed when A1C is 6.4% or greater. 

So a true definition of reversal would be getting the HgA1C < 6.4%.  However, some people would consider being able to control their blood sugars with an A1C <7% while staying “medication-free” to be a success (and I agree!).

Understanding what causes diabetes is the key to understanding how to reverse it. Type 2 Diabetes is related to excess weight gain (genetic and/or from simply eating too much sugar) which can cause fat to build up in the liver and in the pancreas.  Fatty liver and fatty pancreas causes inflammation and insulin resistance – meaning insulin doesn’t work as well as it should. 

TYPE 2 DIABETES & WEIGHT LOSS

There is a lot of evidence that weight loss can reverse type 2 diabetes.  This means the obvious - exercise more and eat less carbs and sugar. Weight loss is the primary driver in diabetes reversal since this is critical to reducing the excess fat that affects insulin function.

In a new study, a weight management program showed the following diabetes reversal rates based on amount of weight lost over 2 years:

Weight loss of 0-11 lbs - 7% of people had diabetes reversal
Weight loss of 11-22 lbs - 34% of people had diabetes reversal
Weight loss of 22-33 lbs - 57% of people had diabetes reversal
Weight loss over 33 lbs - 86% of people had diabetes reversal

This shows how the more weight you lose, the higher the likelihood of reversing diabetes!

THE BEST DIET FOR TYPE 2 DIABETES REVERSAL

This answer certainly seems up for debate. There are so many different diet recommendations... including plant-based diets, ketogenic diets, and intermittent fasting (my personal favorites are linked) - and all claiming to be the best one.  In my clinical experience, all patients seem to respond differently.... which is why trial and error is usually the best way to truly know how YOUR body is going to respond! 

Bottom line it - carbohydrates turn into sugar in the body.  Almost EVERYONE benefits from cutting down on the amount of carbohydrates and sugars we eat tin a day (learn what carbs are here).

A great place to start is by eliminating or cutting back on the “bad carbs” such as sugary drinks, fruit juices, white breads, pastries, cookies, cakes, ice cream, candies, chocolates, french fries, and potato chips.  Specifically, watch out for foods and beverages with fructose. What is cutting back? Trying eating only ½ of the amount of these carbs and sugars you would normally eat, for starters.

OTHER NATURAL THERAPIES FOR TYPE 2 DIABETES REVERSAL

There are various herbs, vitamins, and minerals that act as natural insulin sensitizers. This means your insulin works better, and the pancreas doesn’t have to fight as hard to over-produce insulin as it tries to combat insulin resistance (which can cause the pancreas to “wear out” over time, worsening diabetes).  Cinnamon, Magnesium, Chromium, Banaba, and Milk Thistle can be helpful.  The key is looking for a supplement that will provide you with a high enough dose to see benefits, since most combination products only contain trace amounts.  Research supports the following daily doses for effects on insulin function and blood glucose levels:

  • CINNAMON 500-1000 mg
  • BANABA 50 mg
  • CHROMIUM PICOLINATE 600-1000 mcg
  • MILK THISTLE (silymarin) 140-200 mg
  • MAGNESIUM OXIDE 100 mg

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Lastly, remember that "Rome wasn't built in a day"! Make the next decision a good one.

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