Diabetes – Reversible or not?
Hope has free will, it comes to those who seek it – those prepared to accept it.
Yes, diabetes is reversible. And this is not just an ambitious statement. It is a well-deliberated, well-researched theory that depends on multitudinous factors like age, influencing environment, nutritional deficiencies, achievement of health parameters, determination of the audience and maintenance of lifestyle changes.
Diabetes happens when life happens the way you don’t intend for it to. It is characterized by increased blood glucose levels due to poor secretion or action of insulin, generally preceded by insulin resistance.
Diabetes is effect of multiple factors. A steady increase in weight leading to overweight/obesity, unregulated stress, unmanaged intake of sugar and processed foods and consumption of tobacco stand proven as the main causes of this condition. A turnaround of these causes could with effort pull the reverse gear on diabetes and you’ve then gifted your heart a new leash of life!
Insulin is a fat storage hormone and hence it goes without saying that losing weight when insulin is running amok in your body is nothing short of challenging a beast. Carbohydrates spike insulin levels and in the order of damage, I’m calling out sugar, processed foods, aerated drinks, sweets, desserts, starches and grains. Reducing carbs in the diet will influence an increase in protein consumption and fibre which do not demand a secretion of insulin. This automatically increases the sensitivity of insulin receptors reducing the blood sugar levels in the process.
Contemporary nutrition and research calls for an increase in fats (good ones like nuts, avacado, coconut oils, olive oils, nuts butters, ghee) which sends insulin spikes into exile with it’s ability to stump down the glycemic index of any food that it is combined with.
The diet thus formed with increased proteins and fats and lowered carbs elicits weight loss and significant drops in sugar and HBA1C levels.
Managing stress is the unspoken host for diabetes. Increasing the risk of diabetes manifold, stress creeps in through the back door and refuses to quit unless it is managed well through counselling, yoga, alternative therapies, better sleep and a clear acceptance of priorities. A painter thrives only if he has his wall to draw on. Save your wall, keep stress at bay.
A superb, efficient all digesting strong gut can go a long way in managing diabetes. Yes, your poop says it all! The gut being home to a host of beneficial bacteria with strong intestinal membranes digesting and mashing the food it is supplied with, absorbing nutrients to it’s maximum potential is all you need for your blood sugar levels to sing songs at a lower chord!
Modern nutrition credits the sufficiency of nutrients and the added benefits of supplementation by herbs and plant extracts to the absolute reversal of diabetes. Berberine and Magnesium Glycinate are key supplements that can numb insulin resistance and thus uproot diabetes at it’s core. Alpha lipoic acid with it’s strong antioxidant properties and ability to increase systolic Vit C levels is a strong partner in better managing diabetes. Other nutrients that are in cohorts with this pet project are chromium, zinc, calcium and selenium. The sufficiency of nutrients cannot be further stressed.
Chewing tobacco and smoking can increase the risk of diabetes by a whopping 50%. That number is not good for your health record. Go cold turkey on your tobacco and watch your sugar levels drop significantly. Last but not the least, physical activity is imperative in the reversal of diabetes, a mix of cardio and strength training calls the best shots!
Having placed these strong arguments in the favour of diabetes reversal, I will just have to also say that it is a continuous process. One will have to continue to keep weight and stress within desirable limits, will have to supplement insufficient nutrients, will have to not draw that rain check on workouts, will have to stay away from tobacco and sugar, will have to practice the etiquette like an art until it is a skill, until it is a life process.
Remember that remission from diabetes is in your hands and once you have achieved that prolonged remission (5 years), it will be a battle worth having been fought! For more to imbibe, for more to learn.
Anupama Menon is a nutritionist and food coach based in Mumbai and Bangalore offering sustainable nutritional plans with 3 chEATs per week. To book an appointment call 9902060225 or follow her on Instagram @iamanupamamenon