Diabetes doesn’t happen overnight. It is a slow and silent killer but your pancreas persists long enough before the onset of the full-blown disease.  For those who have ever wondered is type 2 diabetes reversible, the answer is yes.

The general belief around diabetes, a metabolic disorder is that it is an irreversible disease. The belief is mostly right! What most people don’t know is that diabetes doesn’t happen overnight. Before its onset, the body gives enough warnings, in the form of insulin resistance, a reversible disorder.  

A constellation of conditions—abdominal obesity, elevated blood fats, and hypertension (risks to a healthy heart) give rise to insulin resistance.

What is insulin resistance?

Insulin resistance is a precursor to diabetes. In this long and slow first phase, lasting around 12 -16 years the tissues of the body become less sensitive to the circulating insulin. Therefore, the body must coerce beta cells of the pancreas into producing more insulin.

Extra production of insulin keeps the blood glucose within the normal range during this time.  Insulin resistance itself has been shown to significantly increase the incidence and prevalence of heart disease. The harmful effects of insulin resistance are –

  1. Significant inflammation of the arteries that can cause heart attack and stroke
  2. Elevated blood pressure
  3. Elevated triglycerides
  4. Lowered HDL cholesterol
  5. Increased LDL cholesterol
  6. Increased tendency to form blood clots

Is insulin resistance reversible?

Very much. To reverse it you have to alter your lifestyle and pepper it with healthy doses of exercise and a sensible nutrition plan.

  1. Strictly limit or totally eliminate refined carbohydrates from your diet including white bread, pasta, cookies, soft drinks, fruit juices, desserts, etc.
  2. Exercise regularly, at least 30 minutes for five times a week or 150 minutes per week.  To increase your insulin sensitivity, moderate exercise is better than no exercise, but intense exercise is even better. When you exercise intensely, your body uses more glycogen, the stored form of glucose. To replace those stores, glucose is pulled from the bloodstream.
  3. Train with weights. Cardio exercise can improve your response to insulin, but strength training is a far superior way to do it.

However, if corrective action is not taken during insulin resistance the pancreas is unable to cope with the pressure of compensatory high insulin needs.  At some point in time, production of insulin slows down and type 2 diabetes gets diagnosed or phase 2 begins.

At the diagnosis, patients are told to learn to live with diabetes.  Within 10 years of diagnosis, 50 percent of individuals need to use insulin to control their blood glucose levels.

For obese or overweight patients with type-2 diabetes, bariatric surgery offers major improvement and complete remission of disease. There is enough evidence to establish that bariatric surgery may reduce mortality in patients with diabetes. But bariatric surgery comes with its own set of risks. It is possible to get the results of bariatric surgery naturally by making right diet and lifestyle changes. 

How effective is the modern treatment protocol for type 2 diabetes?

Very little. The popular approach to treating type 2 diabetes borrows from the treatment approach of type 1 diabetes despite the fact that these two are very dissimilar conditions. While first is a state of starvation where the body is unable to use blood sugar for energy and storage purposes.  The second is the case of plenty in which the body is overflowing with fat and sugar.

Dr. David Ludwig in his book, “Always Hungry”, and Dr. Jason Fung in his book “Diabetes Unpacked: Just Science and Sense: No Sugar Coating”, have talked about the faulty popular understanding of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

It is ironical to treat a disorder caused by excess insulin with more of insulin! This is the reason diabetics graduate from medicines to insulin shots. The famous Landmark ACCORD study in 2008 on type 2 diabetes found that medications instead of reducing the risk of cardiovascular events increase the risk of death by the cardiovascular event by whopping 22 percent.

How to reverse type-2 diabetes with lifestyle change?

Modern medicine attributes the onset of diabetes to burn out of beta cells. Had it been true, diabetes would not have reversed even after bariatric surgery. The beta cells of the pancreas don’t die, they give-up and a complete dietary change can gently coax them back into action.

Insulin is the critical hormone in managing diabetes and you need to find a way to increase your response to it. Fortunately, all you need to do to cure diabetes is a complete dietary overhaul, workout with weights and fast intermittently.

You need to rein in insulin by eating right foods, like complex carbs and proteins. The good sources of complex carbs are green vegetables. Glycemic Index is a number associated with a particular type of food that indicates the food’s effect on a person’s blood glucose (also called blood sugar) level. Foods with low glycemic index don’t cause a sharp increase in blood sugar.

  1. Avoid consumption of simple carbs. This means no refined sugar, bread, biscuit.
  2. Eat fruits that have a low glycemic index, like apples, cantaloupes, papaya. Overly sweet fruits including bananas, mangoes are out of bound.
  3. Be sensible and include a fistful of nuts like almonds, walnuts in your everyday diet to improve your insulin sensitivity. However, don’t go overboard because fat is a dense source of energy. A gram of fat gives 9 calories which are more than double of carb and protein.
  4. Intermittent fasting and fasting help in reducing the insulin levels in the body. Fasting helps to burn down the fat, bring out the excess sugar from the body and to restore the function of the liver and pancreas.

You need a 360-degree plan where diet, workouts, and fasts will work together to reverse diabetes.

Consult with a good Ayurvedic or Naturopathy doctor before you embark on the life-changing plan of reversing diabetes. We can help you connect with the right Ayurvedic doctor. Write to us at support@soulguru.com.

 Read our article on Top 8 Rules to Eat Like a Diabetic to know more about the diabetic diet.