Is it possible to reverse Type 2 Diabetes?
Type 2 Diabetes, and other lifestyle-caused chronic diseases such as hypertension, high cholesterol, obesity, and osteoarthritis, is an epidemic already in developed countries, and starting in developing countries.
These “chronic” diseases are affecting not only adults but also our children.
Because lifestyle has a big role to play in these diseases, it is possible to reverse these diseases with certain lifestyle changes.
Research studies have repeatedly shown that eating low-fat whole plant foods has brought down hemoglobin A1c levels to pre-diabetic levels and even to normal levels in patients with Type 2 Diabetes mellitus.
How does lifestyle lead to Type 2 Diabetes?
When we consume excess calories, the extra sugar and fat infiltrate our adipose tissue, our muscles, and liver cells. This all leads to weight gain and an increase in inflammation in our bodies.
When fat infiltrates our liver, our blood sugars rise because the liver can’t stop gluconeogenesis (the process by which our body making its own sugar when we are in starvation mode).
Insulin stops working. Insulin helps our body’s cells take up glucose from the blood. The inflammation produced by our lifestyle causes damage to liver and beta cells in the pancreas.
The fat infiltrating our muscles disrupts insulin receptors, which further increases insulin resistance. To overcome all this resistance, the pancreas produces more insulin into the blood. Increased insulin increases our appetite leading to further calorie consumption!
Eventually, the beta cells in the pancreas get damaged by the fatty acids and that suppresses our body’s ability to produce insulin. When this happens, blood sugar levels rise.
This raises Hemoglobin A1c levels (over 6.4%) and the diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes is made.
How can I reverse Type 2 Diabetes?
Maintaining a whole food plant-based diet (WFPB) is beneficial to our bodies as it lowers the level of blood sugar to healthy range. If consistent, this diet can lower your cholesterol levels and reduce bodyweight too.
A WFPB diet improves beta-cell function that helps reverse the process of Type 2 Diabetes. When you transition to a WFPB diet to reverse Type 2 Diabetes, you must be very conscious of the foods you consume to ensure that you only consume unprocessed whole grains.
Avoid any junk or processed foods including cookies, chips, white bread, white rice, and white flour.
You can switch up your menu with a vast array of whole grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, lentils, and nuts.
The consumption of unprocessed or organic foods slows down the absorption of glucose. The high fiber content helps in slowing down the rate of digestion, which controls the release of insulin, allowing the beta-cells of the pancreas to function at normal rates.
Exercise is another key step to healing from Type 2 Diabetes.
Exercise can acutely lower blood glucose levels by being consumed by energy craving muscles.
Muscle cell hypertrophy can lead to a decrease in insulin resistance as the growing muscle will have new insulin receptions.
Finally, the fat that infiltrated the muscles that lead to this problem in the first place disappears.
Stress leads to a fight-or-flight response.
When we need to run or fight, the body release sugar to help our muscles and our brains function in that stressful situation.
When this happens, we usually can’t run or fight our stresses. This leads to an increase in blood glucose in our body, which ultimately leads to Type 2 Diabetes.
The main hormone for this is cortisol.
Cortisol directly increases sugar levels in our body.
By taking steps to reduce our stress levels and improve our ability to handle stress, we can lower our blood sugar levels and reverse Type 2 Diabetes.
Keep reading at: How Stress is Holding You Back From Your Potential
It is possible.
Taking control of what we eat is beneficial in many areas of our lives, as it requires a great amount of discipline. By selecting and consuming foods with a purpose, not only are we becoming healthier by improving and reversing diabetes but also developing our own self-efficacy. This means you believe in your own capacity to make positive change in your life.
When we improve our diet, exercise capacity and stress management, not only do we improve Type 2 Diabetes but also bring our entire body to a healthier baseline.
Next check out: Top 5 Books for Reversing Type 2 Diabetes [List]