Is Type 2 Diabetes Reversible And How Can You Do It?
Background At no time during my years of medical training did any of my mentors or colleagues ever tell me that type 2 diabetes (will refer to as T2D) was potentially reversible. Instead it was described as a preventable condition in its early stages, but once you were diagnosed, then you would need to be managed with a combination of drugs and lifestyle to try to slow (not reverse) its inevitable progression. As a result, patients had an equally fatalistic view of diabetes and in many cases this was made worse by an overall sense of genetic determinism based on family history. What do I mean by genetic determinism? In my practice where I see a large number of South Asians, it is rare to come across someone who does not have at least one family member with T2D. Individuals feel that they are essentially predestined to develop the condition and instead of proactively making changes to prevent or reverse T2D, they simply wait for what they believe is its inevitable onset. In today’s post I want to talk about some exciting resources, including one of my own, that can help you prevent and potentially reverse T2D and other insulin resistant conditions. T2D is More a Lifestyle Disorder than a Genetic One Like many chronic health conditions, T2D results from a combination of genetic predisposition and a lifestyle trigger. Some experts like to say “Genes load the gun and lifestyle pulls the trigger.” I find that analogy a bit too violent for my taste, but if it motivates you, feel free to use it. In my lectures at high-tech companies I tell individuals that our human genome is like a smartphone. Genes load the apps onto our phone and lifestyle turns the apps on. In other words, many of us may have had the diabetes app downloaded onto our genetic smartphone, but what turns Continue reading >>
Diabetic Kidney Disease Is Reversible:
Kidney disease, thought to be unstoppable in many people with type 1 diabetes, has been reversed with the help of nature, early detection, and tight blood sugar control. About a third of the 1.5 million patients with type 1 diabetes eventually need a kidney transplant, or must spend hours every other day hooked up to a dialysis machine. The new findings provide hope that, when diabetes is found early and treated aggressively, patients can avoid such drastic treatments. “In the earliest stages, we found that kidney injury is still a dynamic process that can either get worse or get better – even revert back to normal,” says Bruce Perkins, an endocrinology fellow at Harvard Medical School. Some 14.5 million other people, who suffer from the more common type 2 diabetes, also develop kidney problems. “Results from research on type 1 generally apply to type 2,” Perkins notes. “We assume that will be true in this case, but we won’t know until we do more studies.” The earliest sign of diabetic kidney disease is detection of small amounts of protein that leak from blood into the urine. Once it appears, doctors generally believe that it’s only possible to postpone, but not prevent, kidney disease. The research, done by Perkins and his colleagues at Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, could change all that. Perkins and his colleagues studied 386 patients who had protein leakage into their urine for two years. They followed them for six more years and found that the disease reverses itself under certain conditions. The conditions included early detection and good control of blood sugar with insulin injections, as well as low blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood fats (triglycerides). “Surprisingly, the leakage of protein subsided in more than half (58 percent) of Continue reading >>
Question & Answer
What are the early symptoms of diabetes? And is type 2 diabetes reversible? Answer: Pam Noonan, MS, RN, CDE Early symptoms of type 2 diabetes are sometimes vague and may be perceived as harmless. These symptoms could include fatigue, frequent infections, wounds that are slow to heal, numbness or tingling in hands and feet, and blurred vision. Some people may experience the more classic symptoms of diabetes like increased thirst, frequent urination, and unexplained weight loss. Yet others may have no outward symptoms at all. Routine care with a medical provider is essential for early detection of diabetes. Diabetes is not reversible. People with diabetes who maintain their glucose levels in the normal range still have diabetes. If they stopped managing their food, exercise, medication, and stress, their glucose levels would rise above normal again. Read more: Steps Women Can Take to Reduce Their Diabetes Risk Steps for Diagnosing Type 2 Diabetes Type 2 Diabetes: Can You Cure It? Continue reading >>
How To Reverse Type 2 Diabetes – The Quick Start Guide
It’s possible to simply reverse type 2 diabetes. There are only two things you need to do. By reading this brief post you’ll know what they are, and how to get started. Or skip ahead to the two steps right away > Quick start Twenty years ago, when you bought a brand sparkly new VCR machine, you would also get a thick instruction manual. Read this thoroughly before you start, the manufacturer would implore. There would be detailed setup procedures and troubleshooting guides. Most of us ignored the manual, just plugged it in and tried to figure out the rest. That’s why we all had the blinking 12:00 on. Today, most new electronics now come with a quick start guide which has the most basic 4 or 5 steps to get your machine working and then anything else you needed, you could reference the detailed instruction manual. Instruction manuals are just so much more useful this way. Well, I don’t know much about VCRs, but I do know about type 2 diabetes. I can write an entire book about obesity (oh, wait, I did that already), or fasting (oh, wait, coming up) or type 2 diabetes (next up for 2018). But many of you will not want to go through the entire instruction manual. So this is the quick start guide for reversing your type 2 diabetes. A fully reversible disease Most doctors, dietitians and diabetes specialists claim that type 2 diabetes is a chronic and progressive disease. The American Diabetes Association, for example, almost proudly proclaims this on its website. Once you get the diagnosis, it’s a life sentence. But, it’s actually a great big lie. Type 2 diabetes is almost always reversible and this is almost ridiculously easy to prove. This is great news for the more than 50% of American adults who have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes or diabetes. Recognizing thi Continue reading >>
Is Type 2 Diabetes Reversible?
Type 2 diabetes is a serious, long-term medical condition. It develops mostly in adults but is becoming more common in children as obesity rates rise across all age groups. Several factors contribute to type 2 diabetes. Being overweight or obese is the biggest risk factor. Type 2 diabetes can be life-threatening. But if treated carefully, it can be managed or even reversed. Your pancreas makes a hormone called insulin. When your blood sugar (glucose) levels rise, the pancreas releases insulin. This causes sugar to move from your blood to your cells, where it can be used as an energy source. As glucose levels in your blood go back down, your pancreas stops releasing insulin. Type 2 diabetes impacts how you metabolize sugar. Either your pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin or your body has become resistant to its effects. This causes glucose to build up in the blood. This is called hyperglycemia. There are several symptoms of untreated type 2 diabetes, including: excessive thirst and urination fatigue increased hunger weight loss, in spite of eating more infections that heal slowly blurry vision dark patches on the skin Treatment for type 2 diabetes includes monitoring your blood sugar levels and using medications or insulin when needed. Doctors also recommend losing weight through diet and exercise. Some diabetes medications have weight loss as a side effect, which can also help reverse diabetes. If you start eating healthier, get more exercise, and lose weight, you can reduce your symptoms. Research shows that these lifestyle changes, especially physical activity, can even reverse the course of the condition. Studies that show the reversal of type 2 diabetes include participants who have lived with the condition for only a few years. Weight loss is the primary fact Continue reading >>
Facts About Diabetic Eye Disease
Points to Remember Diabetic eye disease comprises a group of eye conditions that affect people with diabetes. These conditions include diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema (DME), cataract, and glaucoma. All forms of diabetic eye disease have the potential to cause severe vision loss and blindness. Diabetic retinopathy involves changes to retinal blood vessels that can cause them to bleed or leak fluid, distorting vision. Diabetic retinopathy is the most common cause of vision loss among people with diabetes and a leading cause of blindness among working-age adults. DME is a consequence of diabetic retinopathy that causes swelling in the area of the retina called the macula. Controlling diabetes—by taking medications as prescribed, staying physically active, and maintaining a healthy diet—can prevent or delay vision loss. Because diabetic retinopathy often goes unnoticed until vision loss occurs, people with diabetes should get a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once a year. Early detection, timely treatment, and appropriate follow-up care of diabetic eye disease can protect against vision loss. Diabetic retinopathy can be treated with several therapies, used alone or in combination. NEI supports research to develop new therapies for diabetic retinopathy, and to compare the effectiveness of existing therapies for different patient groups. What is diabetic eye disease? Diabetic eye disease can affect many parts of the eye, including the retina, macula, lens and the optic nerve. Diabetic eye disease is a group of eye conditions that can affect people with diabetes. Diabetic retinopathy affects blood vessels in the light-sensitive tissue called the retina that lines the back of the eye. It is the most common cause of vision loss among people with diabetes Continue reading >>
Could You Have Type 2? 10 Diabetes Symptoms
Diabetes symptoms Diabetes affects 24 million people in the U.S., but only 18 million know they have it. About 90% of those people have type 2 diabetes. In diabetes, rising blood sugar acts like a poison. Diabetes is often called the silent killer because of its easy-to-miss symptoms. "Almost every day people come into my office with diabetes who don't know it," says Maria Collazo-Clavell, MD, an endocrinologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. The best way to pick up on it is to have a blood sugar test. But if you have these symptoms, see your doctor. Watch the video: 5 Ways to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes Increased urination, excessive thirst If you need to urinate frequently—particularly if you often have to get up at night to use the bathroom—it could be a symptom of diabetes. The kidneys kick into high gear to get rid of all that extra glucose in the blood, hence the urge to relieve yourself, sometimes several times during the night. The excessive thirst means your body is trying to replenish those lost fluids. These two symptoms go hand in hand and are some of "your body's ways of trying to manage high blood sugar," explains Dr. Collazo-Clavell. Weight loss Overly high blood sugar levels can also cause rapid weight loss, say 10 to 20 pounds over two or three months—but this is not a healthy weight loss. Because the insulin hormone isn't getting glucose into the cells, where it can be used as energy, the body thinks it's starving and starts breaking down protein from the muscles as an alternate source of fuel. The kidneys are also working overtime to eliminate the excess sugar, and this leads to a loss of calories (and can harm the kidneys). "These are processes that require a lot of energy," Dr. Collazo-Clavell notes. "You create a calorie deficit." Hunger Continue reading >>
Early Stage Diabetes Reversible With Two Month 600 Calorie Per Day Diet
If you have just been diagnosed with diabetes type 2, you might be cured if you follow a 600 calorie-per-day diet for two months, and stay diabetes free if you adopt a healthy lifestyle, researchers from Newcastle University, England reported in the journal Diabetologia Diabetes type 2 is a chronic condition caused by too much glucose in the blood. Diabetes affects 8.3% of the US population, a total of 25.8 million people; 18.8 million diagnosed plus another 7 million undiagnosed. Approximately 2.5 million people in the UK are affected by diabetes type two. In most countries worldwide diabetes rates are climbing. This latest study, funded by Diabetes UK, involved 11 volunteers with newly diagnosed diabetes type 2. All patients reversed their diabetes by reducing their daily calorie intake to 600 per day for two months. Three months after completing their diets, seven of them were still diabetes-free, the authors wrote. Study leader, Professor Roy Taylor, said: "To have people free of diabetes after years with the condition is remarkable - and all because of an eight week diet. This is a radical change in understanding Type 2 diabetes. It will change how we can explain it to people newly diagnosed with the condition. While it has long been believed that someone with Type 2 diabetes will always have the disease, and that it will steadily get worse, we have shown that we can reverse the condition." The scientists, who presented their findings at the American Diabetes Association conference, say that diet can help remove fat from the pancreas, resulting in normal secretion of insulin. To date, diabetes type two is seen as a chronic (long-term) progressive condition - the patient starts off with a special diet, then takes tablets, and eventually needs insulin injections. Typ Continue reading >>
Symptoms Of Type 2 Diabetes – Vision Becomes Unclear
Symptoms of type 2 diabetes like the diabetes blurry vision symptom may include changes in your eyesight. It is not unusual for people to visit their eye doctor because of vision problems and subsequently be advised to visit their primary physician for screening. The eyes and the blood vessels that supply nutrients and oxygen are negatively affected by high blood sugar. At the onset of diabetes, as blood sugar is elevated, the lens of the eyes swell. Unclear vision is a common complaint that can lead to a type 2 diagnosis. The diabetes blurry vision symptom is one of ten symptoms of type 2 diabetes. Eye Disease – A Complication of Diabetes Uncontrolled blood sugar can cause serious complications for your eyes. The most common diabetic eye disease is diabetic retinopathy. Many times there are no symptoms of this disease in the early stages – not even blurred vision. This is why it is important to have regular eye examinations. Eye tests will reveal conditions such as retinopathy. Diabetic Retinopathy Diabetic retinopathy is a disorder of the retina and there are two types of retinopathy. Nonproliferative retinopathy is common in symptoms of type 2 diabetes and affects the capillaries at the back of the eye without noticeably affecting vision. Effective treatment is available and can stop and sometimes reverse vision loss. If type II symptoms like diabetes blurred vision are ignored, nonproliferative retinopathy can progress to proliferative retinopathy. In this disease, the blood vessels in the eyes become so damaged they close off. Several factors influence your vulnerability to retinopathy including blood sugar control, blood pressure, how long you have had diabetes as well as genetic history. Glaucoma A person with type 2 diabetes is 40% more likely to have glauco Continue reading >>
Overview Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes, caused by high blood sugar levels damaging the back of the eye (retina). It can cause blindness if left undiagnosed and untreated. However, it usually takes several years for diabetic retinopathy to reach a stage where it could threaten your sight. To minimise the risk of this happening, people with diabetes should: ensure they control their blood sugar levels, blood pressure and cholesterol attend diabetic eye screening appointments – annual screening is offered to all people with diabetes aged 12 and over to pick up and treat any problems early on How diabetes can affect the eyes The retina is the light-sensitive layer of cells at the back of the eye that converts light into electrical signals. The signals are sent to the brain and the brain turns them into the images you see. The retina needs a constant supply of blood, which it receives through a network of tiny blood vessels. Over time, a persistently high blood sugar level can damage these blood vessels in three main stages: tiny bulges develop in the blood vessels, which may bleed slightly but don’t usually affect your vision – this is known as background retinopathy more severe and widespread changes affect the blood vessels, including more significant bleeding into the eye – this is known as pre-proliferative retinopathy scar tissue and new blood vessels, which are weak and bleed easily, develop on the retina – this is known as proliferative retinopathy and it can result in some loss of vision However, if a problem with your eyes is picked up early, lifestyle changes and/or treatment can stop it getting worse. Read about the stages of diabetic retinopathy. Am I at risk of diabetic retinopathy? Anyone with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes i Continue reading >>
Is Diabetes Reversible? Let’s Bust Some Myths
When it comes to type 2 diabetes we hear lots of things, myths, and stories, and often don't know what to believe. Here at Diabetes Meal Plans we bust myths and cut through the confusion so you have the facts! One of my favorite diabetes books is ‘The Blood Sugar Solution' written by Dr Mark Hyman. Have you read it? One of the chapters inside covers 7 myths around diabetes, including is it reversible, a question that comes up a lot. So I've taken that chapter and condensed it here for you now, covering 6 of the common myths around diabetes. Myth #1: Diabetes Is Genetic While it is true that we do inherent certain genes that may put us at higher risk for things. This isn't an automatic life sentence and doesn't mean you will develop the disease. We have lots of control over what genes get turned on or off through the information we give our body. This may sound strange but it's called epigenetics. Food is information. Exercise is information. Stress is information. Our lifestyle is information. And all of this information can either switch on, or switch off certain genes. So while you might have slightly higher genetic risk, type 2 diabetes is a direct outcome of dietary, lifestyle, and environmental factors turning the wrong genes on. So if we change the information, we can change the genes. Myth #2: Diabetes is Not Reversible Catch it early and treat it aggressively through lifestyle intervention and nutritional support, sometimes meds. Yes you can ‘reverse' it. Even later stages of diabetes can be treated with intensive lifestyle change, supplements, and the help of medications. Yes you can ‘reverse' it. Studies show type 2 diabetes is reversible! There is evidence to show that people can get back to normal. I've seen plenty of people completely turn their life Continue reading >>
Type 2 Diabetes Reversible With Lifestyle Changes
Calculate your risk using a simple questionnaire Regular physical exercise is the most important thing you can do, followed by eating fibre rich foods, limiting saturated fats and losing weight. Sophia Antipolis, 14 November 2014: Type 2 diabetes can be reversed with lifestyle changes, according to European Society of Cardiology spokesperson Professor Eberhard Standl, from the Munich Diabetes Research Group in Germany. Today is World Diabetes Day and this year’s theme is Healthy Living and Diabetes. People can calculate their risk using a simple questionnaire and find out if they need to take action. Prof Standl said: “The dramatic increase of type 2 diabetes worldwide has exceeded expectations. Globally there are 400 million people with type 2 diabetes and a similar number with the pre stages of type 2 diabetes. The epidemic seems unstoppable but there is very good and strong evidence that people can stop diabetes with lifestyle changes.” (1) People who are at high risk of diabetes can prevent it from developing. Equally, early on after type 2 diabetes develops it can be reversed to a pre stage. Both groups can be identified using a simple questionnaire (2) that asks about age, body mass index, waist circumference, physical activity, consumption of fruits and vegetables, use of anti-hypertensive medications, history of high blood glucose, and family history of type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Prof Standl said: “The questionnaire is very easy and people can do it themselves. A score of 12 or higher indicates that you should take some preventive action. Regular physical exercise is the most important thing you can do, followed by eating fibre rich foods, limiting saturated fats and losing weight.” He continued: “Many people hardly move during their working day and Continue reading >>
Can You Reverse Type 2 Diabetes?
It sounds too good to be true: reversing type 2 diabetes through exercise and healthy eating. While certain lifestyle changes are key to managing diabetes, whether you can actually turn back time so that it's like you never had diabetes is a different matter. That depends on how long you've had the condition, how severe it is, and your genes. "The term 'reversal' is used when people can go off medication but still must engage in a lifestyle program in order to stay off," says Ann Albright, PhD, RD. She's the director of diabetes translation at the CDC. Shedding extra pounds and keeping them off can help you better control your blood sugar. For some people, reaching a healthier weight will mean taking fewer medications, or in rarer cases, no longer needing those medications at all. Losing 5% to 10% of your body weight and building up to 150 minutes of exercise a week may help you to slow or stop the progress of type 2 diabetes. "If you sit [inactive] most of the day, 5 or 10 minutes is going to be great," Albright says. "Walk to your mailbox. Do something that gets you moving, knowing that you're looking to move towards 30 minutes most days of the week." In one study, people with type 2 diabetes exercised for 175 minutes a week, limited their calories to 1,200 to 1,800 per day, and got weekly counseling and education on these lifestyle changes. Within a year, about 10% got off their diabetes medications or improved to the point where their blood sugar level was no longer in the diabetes range, and was instead classified as prediabetes. Results were best for those who lost the most weight or who started the program with less severe or newly diagnosed diabetes. Fifteen percent to 20% of these people were able to stop taking their diabetes medications. Continue reading >>
Diabetic Nephropathy (kidney Disease)
Diabetic nephropathy refers to diabetic kidney disease (nehpro=kidneys, pathy=disease). In 2011, diabetes caused nearly 44% of kidney failure cases. This makes diabetic kidney disease the Number One complication of diabetes; one that is likely to affect almost every diabetic to some extent. In nearly half the cases of kidney disease, it could lead to kidney failure as well. Diabetes and Kidney Damage The kidneys filter nearly 200 quarts of our blood every day. Diabetes is a disease of excess sugar in our blood. Read these two sentences together and the link between diabetes and kidneys becomes obvious! Every single day of our lives, the kidneys perform these functions: Remove waste from our body (in the form of urine) Retain whatever proteins, vitamins and other nutrients we can still use Balance the fluids in the body Help maintain proper blood pressure by managing potassium and calcium levels Keep bones healthy Help make red blood cells. Diabetes damages the kidneys and the urinary system in three main ways: Damage to blood vessels in the kidneys: Too much sugar damages the filters in the kidneys Damage to nerves: Fine nerves in the hands, feet, etc. are corroded by the extra sugar in the blood Damage to the urinary tract: Nerves run from our bladder to our brain and let us know when the bladder is full and we need to go. Damage to these nerves could mean we don’t react when our bladder is full. Result: extra pressure on the kidneys. Retained urine can also allow urinary tract infections to grow and migrate back to the kidneys. Diabetes damage to blood vessels inside kidneys: The filtering units of the kidneys are called glomeruli (sing. – glomerulus). They have tiny blood vessels that are easily clogged and damaged by excess sugar in our blood. Damage to these ve Continue reading >>
Is Type 2 Diabetes Reversible?
Katy Wiley began her struggle with Type 2 diabetes in 1990, when she was pregnant with her second child. The disease progressed, and at eight weeks she started insulin treatment, hoping that once her son was born, the diabetes would disappear. Instead, her condition steadily declined. Vision problems and nerve damage, common complications of diabetes, began to appear. Her A1C blood glucose (sugar) levels were increasing, she was at least 50 pounds overweight and the medication metformin had been added to her daily therapy routine of insulin injection. That's when she read about a Type 2 diabetes study at Cleveland Clinic that was recruiting patients to participate in one of three arms of treatments to study the effectiveness of methods to treat and possibly reverse Type 2 diabetes. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) says that Type 2 diabetes usually begins with insulin resistance or the inability of the fat, muscle and liver cells to use the insulin produced in the pancreas to carry sugar into the body's cells to use for energy. At first, the pancreas will work harder to make extra insulin, but eventually it won't be able to keep making enough to maintain normal blood glucose levels, and glucose will build up in the blood instead of nourishing the cells. That's when diabetes Type 2 has developed and needs to be treated. In the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control, 29.1 million people — 9.3 percent of the population — have diabetes. About 95 percent of those people have Type 2 diabetes, a disease that can be prevented, reversed and maybe even cured. "While lifestyle factors of obesity, poor diet and exercise are risk factors for Type 2 diabetes, a genetic component frequently predisposes an individual t Continue reading >>