Reverse Type 2 Diabetes

You can reverse recently diagnosed type 2 diabetes

Here’s the background and how to do it

In the past, the available evidence clinical seemed to prove that type 2 diabetes would inevitably progress to the point where many patients would require insulin therapy. But the underling studies had a flaw: They involved patients with high and/or increasing body weight. Researchers did not account for participants’ body weight in their studies of type 2 diabetes. The observation that gastric bypass surgery can resolve type 2 diabetes in a matter of days prompted British diabetes researcher Roy Taylor to reverse-engineer the biochemical route of type 2 diabetes from cure to cause.

The type 2 diabetes process begins with long-term excess food intake. The surplus calories end up stored as fat, mostly under the skin. If excess food intake continues, at some point the body can no longer to store more fat under the skin. The fat that would otherwise be stored under the skin ends up in the liver and the pancreas. A fatty liver has reduced ability to curtail its glucose production when needed. Thus, blood sugar concentration increases. In a fatty pancreas, the beta cells that produce insulin lose their ability to do so, thereby increasing post-meal blood glucose. Eventually, type 2 diabetes manifests.

Contrary to what some people believe, type 2 diabetes can be reversed. This is especially true for people within four years of a diabetes diagnosis. Dr. Taylor and colleagues explain that reversal can begin with a sharp, drastic reduction in caloric intake followed by a very low calorie diet for several months. The much lower caloric intake leads to much less fat in the liver and pancreas and restoration of normal function of beta cells in the pancreas. Type 2 diabetes will remain in remission provided that the lost weight is not regained. Thus, remission requires ongoing caloric reduction indefinitely (probably with significant improvements in diet). Success seems to reflect a high level of patient motivation to get rid of diabetes, continued support of family and friends, changes in the home environment to render it less obesogenic, increased physical activity, and starting the program soon after diagnosis.

Dr. Taylor has summarized the type 2 diabetes story in a highly readable new book, Life Without Diabetes. I recommend it strongly for anyone who is concerned about type 2 diabetes. In the book, you’ll learn that the key to avoiding type 2 diabetes is to manage food (more specifically, caloric) intake to avoid weight gain. People vary widely in their ability to store fat safely under the skin rather than in their liver and pancreas. Those of us with a limited ability to store fat safely under the skin can become diabetic at what’s considered a normal body weight.

Taylor recommends the following evidence-based steps to reverse type 2 diabetes: 1) rapid loss of 15 percent or more of body weight through a 12-week program of much reduced caloric intake (via meal-replacement shakes); 2) once the target weight loss occurs, gradual expansion of diet per wishes of the patient but minimizing starchy foods and added sugars plus keeping total caloric intake in check; 3) increased physical activity, and 4) frequent body weight measurement to maintain weight loss. Thus, if you know someone with recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, pass along this useful information with a suggestion to buy Taylor’s book.

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