We’ve all heard about the prevalence of diabetes in our country, and with good reason. Diabetes affects about 25.8 million people in the United States, and that number is even expanding to include children, as obesity continues to be an epidemic problem. People can reduce their risk of diabetes through the implementation of proper diet and exercise, but what about those who have already received a diagnosis? Is it a life sentence, or can diabetes be reversed? According to many experts, for those with type 2 diabetes, reversal is possible.
How can a disease like diabetes be reversed? The reason that type 1 diabetes reversal is not possible is that it is a condition in which the pancreas does not produce insulin. However, this type of diabetes only accounts for 5-10% of total cases. The other 90-95% is type 2 diabetes, caused by a combination of genetic makeup, poor eating habits, and a sedentary lifestyle. For people with type 2 diabetes, the pancreas still produces insulin, but the body doesn’t use it correctly.
Whether or not diabetes reversal is possible depends largely on how long you’ve had the condition, how severe it is, and your genetic makeup. However, the first step in reversing diabetes is obvious: lose weight. A loss of 5-10% of body weight is often meaningful enough to bring a diabetic’s glucose levels into a healthy range.
Weight loss important, but what’s really significant is how you achieve the loss.
- A dietary change should involve limiting sugars, carbohydrates, and alcohol. A healthy diet should focus on lean proteins, healthy fats, whole grains, and a variety of fruits and vegetables.
- Exercise is vitally important to diabetes reversal. The good news? You don’t have to become an athlete. By increasing your exercise, aiming for 30 minutes a day, a person with a previously sedentary lifestyle can see a substantial improvement in glucose levels.
- Remember, it’s not enough to lose weight, you have to make a lifestyle change. Changing your habits to include healthy food and regular exercise will not only slow, stop, or reverse the progression of diabetes, it will also benefit your entire body.
- Understand that genetic makeup sometimes trumps effort. If you make the changes necessary to lose weight and become active, and you still require medication to manage your diabetes, don’t be discouraged. Staying active and maintaining a healthy weight will benefit your overall health, even if it doesn’t result in diabetes reversal.
Whether you’ve been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and want to try treating it naturally, rather than depending on medications to regulate your blood sugar, or you just want to live a healthier lifestyle, we can help. At our clinic, we work with our patients to help them live their healthiest lives and achieve optimal wellness, using natural, non-invasive physical medicine disciplines. Call today for a free consultation, and learn how we can help you improve your health and quality of life.