There are two types of diabetes. Type one diabetes is insulin-dependent diabetes that occurs due to some viruses or genetics. Type one diabetes usually appears during childhood or adolescence but in rare cases, it can develop in adults. Type two diabetes is caused by lifestyle factors, this means you can develop it by following an improper lifestyle. In 2015, about 30 million Americans had diabetes and nearly 29 million of those people had type two.
In fact, diabetes can be deadly if not managed. It’s the seventh most common cause of death among Americans. Experts claim that diabetes is incurable and must be managed, but recent studies have been shown that type two diabetes can be reversed despite the fact that chronic diseases aren’t usually reversible.
Diabetes and its effects on the body
In both type one and type two diabetes, the body is unable to metabolize sugar properly, although they are caused by different factors. Insulin is a hormone that is essential for maintaining normal blood sugar levels, it allows your body to metabolize glucose properly but when it’s not produced in the necessary quantities or is not used properly, your body can’t deal with sugar.
Type one diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the pancreas, destroying its ability to produce insulin. Therefore, people who suffer from type one diabetes are insulin-dependent and require insulin injections for life. Unfortunately, type one diabetes can’t be reversed.
Type two diabetes is a disease that is usually caused by lifestyle habits and poor diet. Although some people can have a genetic predisposition to this type of diabetes, obese people are at the highest risk. That is because excess body fat contributes to the production of cytokines that negatively affect insulin sensitivity.
The consequences of untreated diabetes are kidney disease, eye problems, stroke, heart disease, foot problems, and nerve damage. Luckily, type two diabetes is reversible and here are four ways to increase the chance of remission.
How to reverse diabetes?
1. Increase your muscle mass
According to scientists, strength training is the most effective physical activity for reversing diabetes since it implies muscle strengthening and building. If you have more muscle and less fat, your body will need less insulin. You can choose high-intensity interval training or yoga which will help you gain muscle mass.
2. Change your dietary habits
Changing dietary habits is the most important step in reversing type two diabetes since it normalizes blood sugar levels. Everyone who wants to reverse diabetes and maintain normal blood sugar levels needs to correct their diet with the help of a highly-qualified gastroenterologist. In general, foods containing nutrients that help normalize blood sugar levels and fiber-rich foods are the best choices. A diabetes-friendly diet includes:
- Foods with healthy fats (salmon, avocados, olive oil, etc.)
- Nuts and seeds
- Antioxidant-rich products (blueberries and purple cabbage)
- Complex carbs (lentils, beans, sweet potatoes, and whole grains)
- Blood sugar-balancing spices and herbs (fenugreek, cinnamon, etc.)
- Protein-rich foods
It’s important to understand which foods lead to blood sugar spikes and promote inflammation so they can be avoided. These include:
- Processed foods
- Foods that contain refined carbs
- Ultra-processed fats like hydrogenated oils and vegetable oil
3. Use supplements
Supplements by themselves won’t reverse your diabetes but they will help you keep your overall health and normalize blood sugar levels when combined with proper diet and regular exercise. Here are a few supplements to consider if you suffer from diabetes:
- Magnesium. According to one study, people with higher magnesium intake had a decreased risk of diabetes, while another study found that regular magnesium intake improves insulin sensitivity.
- Fish oil. Omega-3 fats contained in fish oil convert harmful low-density lipoproteins that are related to diabetes.
- Vitamin D. Vitamin D can improve insulin resistance and glucose tolerance. Supplementing with vitamin D decreases body fat by seven percent and the risk of metabolic syndrome.
- Multi-mineral. Multi-mineral supplements include magnesium, chromium, zinc, and vanadium which help your body manage blood sugar level and improve insulin sensitivity. Insulin resistance and high triglycerides are linked to low chromium levels.
- Adaptogens. Adaptogens reduce inflammation and balance hormone levels which is good for blood sugar levels.
- Alph-lipoic acid. Some studies have shown that alpha-lipoic acid was helpful in normalizing blood sugar levels and improving insulin resistance. Moreover, this antioxidant will boost your immune system and removes excess toxins from the body.
4. Lose weight
Weight loss is one of the best preventions of many diseases including type two diabetes since fat plays a direct role in affecting insulin sensitivity. Scientists say that reducing body weight even by 5% will positively affect blood sugar levels. Bariatric surgery is a weight loss surgery used as an extreme measure in obese patients with type two diabetes. But studies have shown that up to 60 percent of patients who had bariatric surgery had their diabetes return within 15 years due to their pre-surgery habits. Therefore it’s important to change lifestyle and dietary habits forever.