✅Can we avoid or even reverse or Type 2 diabetes (TD2)?
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Reversing Type 2 Diabetes | Health & Fitness Expert
Reversing Type 2 Diabetes.
Reversing diabetes is a term that usually refers to a significant long-term improvement in insulin sensitivity in people with type 2 diabetes.
People with type 2 diabetes that are able to get their HbA1c below 42 mmol/mol (6%) without taking diabetes medication are said to have reversed or resolved their diabetes. This also known as putting diabetes into remission.
Loss of body weight can be particularly beneficial in helping to reverse the progression of diabetes.
With time and dedication, type 2 diabetes can be reversed and the results can be very rewarding, with less tiredness and better all-round health.
If you think you need to come off your diabetes medication, ensure you speak to your healthcare team before doing so.
Understanding how diabetes progresses
The most common cause of type 2 diabetes is obesity-related, which generally follows a vicious cycle pattern:
Diet high in calories -particularly if high in refined carbohydrates.
Insulin levels in the bloodstream rise to cope with the high- and quick-acting carb intake.
Weight is gained around the belly (central or truncal obesity).
Consistently high insulin levels lead to the body’s cells becoming resistant to insulin and commonly lead to weight gain.
High insulin levels also increase weight gain.
Insulin resistance leads to an increase in blood sugar levels, particularly after meals.
The pancreas produces more insulin to cope with rising blood sugar levels
High sugar levels lead to feelings of lethargy and high insulin levels lead to increased hunger.
Hunger often leads to overeating and lethargy, with less physical activity being taken.
Overeating, less activity and high insulin levels all lead to further weight gain and more insulin resistance.
Consistently high demand on the pancreas to produce extra insulin leads to damage of the pancreas’ insulin-producing beta cells.
Beta cell damage results in the body struggling to produce enough insulin, and steeper rises in blood sugar levels leads to more recognisable symptoms of diabetes, symptoms of diabetes, such as thirst and a frequent need to urinate
Breaking the progressive cycle of type 2 diabetes
To reverse diabetes, you need to be able to break this cycle by taking the strain off your insulin-producing cells.
Research indicates that effective ways to reverse diabetes include:
Very low calorie diets
Low-carbohydrate diets are known for lowering the amount of insulin the body needs to produce, resulting in less insulin resistance. After one year, 4% of participants on a low-fat diet had achieved remission and, after six years, 0% of participants had achieved remission.
Dr David Unwin, a UK GP, has run studies that have demonstrated reversal of diabetes in a number of his patients after following a reduced-carbohydrate diet.
Low-carbohydrate diets and remission in the news:
Nov 2016: Low-carb diet outperforms high-carb diet in lowering insulin resistance, study reports
Apr 2016: Young man from Edinburgh reverses type 2 diabetes with LCHF diet
Apr 2014: Low carb Mediterranean diet outperforms low fat diet over 8 year study
Very low-calorie diets
Very-low-calorie diets (VLCD) have been shown to achieve significant weight loss, reduce insulin resistance and allow people with type 2 diabetes to come off their diabetes medication.
In 2011, a study was published by researchers at Newcastle University showing that an 8-week 800 kcal per day diet was able to achieve remission from diabetes in seven of the 11 participants that took part. The participants in this study were newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
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