WHY DIABETES IS A REVERSIBLE CONDITION
Diabetes is the leading cause of heart disease, and eye and kidney complications. The cost of diabetes treatment in terms of not just financial, but also time, stress, family impact can be excessively prohibitive. A diagnosis of diabetes can be a sentence for life. Diabetes can shorten life by ten to fifteen years.
It is distressing to realize that we doctors are complicit in propagating this falsehood. However, nothing can be further from the truth.
We have been conditioned to believe that diabetes is a chronic, progressive condition which will stay with us and we have to resign ourselves to suffer its complications. This is what we are taught in medical college and our entire treatment focus is geared to suppressing the symptom of diabetes, the high blood sugar levels. But this does NOTHING to prevent the development of complications.
Type II Diabetes is 100% reversible and this can be carried out safely, quickly, predictably and completely.
Let us examine why diabetes occurs. As we know, a diagnosis is necessary to plan treatment.
Diabetes occurs because of:
1. INSULIN RESISTANCE
Blood sugar levels are high but the cells are already flush with sugar and ‘refuse’ to accept more. The body makes more insulin, ‘thinking’ that low insulin is why sugar levels are high. This extra insulin is ineffective in driving the sugar into the cells. Put in a very simple way, this is Insulin Resistance.
The way to reverse Insulin Resistance, thereby allowing the sugar to enter the cells, thereby lowering blood sugar levels, is to prevent insulin spikes. And this is easily done by restricting refined carbohydrate consumption.
Using insulin to lower blood sugar levels might seem logical, and it even works to an extent, but the truth is that it does not affect the disease process in any way. In fact, insulin itself is ‘obesogenic’, ie, it aids in the deposition of fat and increases inflammation, which increases disease. Giving insulin to a Type II diabetic is somewhat like giving insulin to an alcoholic.
Currently, the availability, as well as affordability of insulin, has become restricted. Newer, more expensive forms are propagated while older, more economical forms are no longer available.
2. HORMONE IMBALANCE
Stress causes cortisol levels to rise, and because stress in our lives is chronic, the cortisol rise is also chronic. Cortisol was expected to rise in response to the ‘fight or flight’ response in cave dwellers faced with a sabre toothed tiger, in order to provide glucose energy to the cells. The adrenalin secretion allowed our eyes to dilate so we could see better, our hearts to pump faster so more blood could reach the muscles so we could run faster, increased flow to the brain so we could think better, and so on. It is meant to be a short term response to an acute stressor. During this event, activities like digestion, reproduction, hormone secretion took a backseat as these are not urgent, and energy has to utilized for the urgent. No point digesting food if we’re going to be eaten by the tiger!
In recent times, stress has become chronic. Thus the imbalance in the body response has also become chronic, leading to chronically high blood sugar levels, or an acute exacerbation in conditions of stress. Often patients so realize the connection and will say their blood sugar levels rose after a particular stress.
The sedentary lifestyle we have all adopted, including our little children, increases the risk for developing Type II Diabetes. Men watching more than 40 hours a week of TV had thrice the risk as those watching for an hour. And yet we continue to stay hooked to the TV and what is worse, we continue to use it as a babysitter, teaching our little ones to become sedentary and negatively affecting their language development, reading skills, and short term memory.
What to do? Get up and walk around for five minutes for every thirty minutes of sitting. Encourage children to incorporate physical activities.
This is a big one.
The food we eat today is lacking in nutrition compared to the same foods eaten say, 50 years ago. This is because of soil depletion, modern farming methods, use of pesticides, not to mention adulteration and the growth of fast ‘foods’. It stands to reason that a cheese curl full of chemicals cannot be the nutritional equivalent of an organic fresh green vegetable. Chemicals block cell receptors in the body, blocking enzymatic reactions. If the cell cannot function optimally, the body cannot either.
Current recommendations to eat frequent small meals maintain high insulin levels for a longer time leading to more inflammation and more organ damage.
Dietary management needs to be precise and personalized, recognizing bio-individual differences,
A family history of diabetes may load the gun, but the trigger is pulled only when lifestyle and poor nutrition contribute.
So there is always a way.
Diabetes is unique among the chronic illnesses in how completely patient behavior influences it, and therefore it can be completely reversed. And the patient can actually look forward to regaining health and vitality, without fear of complications, without the constant stress of monitoring food and activity.
Dr. Lily Kiswani, MD
Blog: Diabetes Destroyer