Can type 2 diabetes be reversed permanently? Let’s be clear. Diabetes, whose most appropriate name would be diabetes mellitus, is the best-known metabolic disease that can affect humans. Its onset is linked to insulin; to be precise, it may depend on a reduced availability of insulin (the production of which does not meet the needs of the body), a lack of sensitivity to the part of the target tissues or, finally, on a combination of these factors.
A clinical characteristic of diabetes is hyperglycemia, resulting from the above alterations in insulin. Currently, the medical-scientific community recognizes the existence of 3 major types of diabetes mellitus, which are: type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes; once, the classification of diabetes was broader and less easy to consult. The presence of diabetes in the world’s population has increased in the last 30-40 years: we think that, while in 1980 there were 108 million people with diabetes, in 2015 the number of people with diabetes reached 422 million.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes mellitus, or more simply diabetes, is a metabolic disease resulting from a decrease in activity of insulin. In particular, diabetes may be due to:
A reduced availability of insulin :there is less insulin than it would take the body for its proper functioning; An impediment to the normal action of insulin : insulin is present, but the body cannot make good use of it; A combination of the two above factors :insulin is low and does not work properly. A characteristic always present in diabetes mellitus is hyperglycemia (high concentration of glucose in the blood), which, with the passage of time, tend to be associated with complications of a vascular nature, such as:
macroangiopathy (a particularly severe and early form of atherosclerosis)
microangiopathy (an alteration of the blood circulation within the small arterial vessels, manifested mainly in the retina, kidney and nerves).
While microangiopathy is specific to the disease in question, macroangiopathy is not.
Can type 2 diabetes be reversed permanently
The answer is Yes, if it is type 2 diabetes, what often manifests itself especially in those who are overweight or obese: in these cases losing the extra pounds can make the disease regress until you eliminate the need for medication and can be said to be substantially “cured”.
A professor of metabolic diseases ,is convinced of this and has been trying for years to understand how and how much it is necessary to lose weight in order to get rid of type 2 diabetes: his latest study, recently published , shows that it is possible to do this for almost one patient in two, provided that they have a strict diet.
The researcher involved about three hundred adult diabetics diagnosed for at least six years, who were overweight or obese; those who followed a strict diet for three to five months, followed by a gradual reintroduction of foods and then a maintenance diet, after one year had lost fifteen or more pounds.
Thanks to this , in about one case out of two they have seen normalize blood sugar and they have been able to say goodbye to the drugs they were taking: an excellent result, even if at the price of many sacrifices, seen that the attack diet of the first months is with an average of 850 calories per day (and it is already a success compared to the first experiments who proposed regimens of 6-700 calories at most).
Maintaining the result
Type 2 diabetes is a potentially reversible condition, at least for patients who are still able to respond to insulin . The important thing is to be able to lose weight and not regain it: maintaining the result achieved is vital, because otherwise we return to the starting point.
For example, many people lose weight in the first few months, then lose their motivation and go back to their old habits, thwarting their efforts and finding themselves with high blood sugar again. It is necessary to be tough and of course not to risk deficiencies, but then you are rewarded .A drastic reduction in weight can reduce or even suspend the anti-diabetes drugs and, if it does not “reset” the disease, certainly allows you to keep it under control.
But remember that a wrong Diet even in these cases can hurt, because the metabolic response to unhealthy foods is the same for everyone and favors the mechanisms that feed diabetes, from insulin resistance to increased blood sugar. Sometimes those who do not have weight problems have a waistline a bit ‘wide, the first sign of an accumulation of fat inside, the most harmful: the flab “inside” in fact suffocates fundamental organs for metabolism such as the liver and pancreas.
When fat is where it should not be, or on internal organs, it affects its functioning: for this reason the “bacon” is dangerous regardless of weight . The fatty liver produces more glucose, the pancreas does not synthesize enough insulin, muscle cells when surrounded by fat consume less glucose: all mechanisms that contribute to the development of diabetes.
Improved insulin sensitivity
Eliminating the flab means releasing the cells and allowing them to return more sensitive to insulin and then make better use of the available glucose, making less effort the pancreas, which resumes to produce the hormone in adequate quantities: in practice if this gland still has a residual function, with slimming is possible to recover it and regress the disease.
There is an individual fat threshold, an amount of fat that each of us can tolerate without affecting the metabolism (and that would explain why some obese are not diabetics): once the threshold is exceeded, a fat toxicity occurs and the disease develops. The objective of the diet is therefore to return below the maximum limit of fat.
Eat less and move more
But what matters for everyone, even for those who only have bacon, is to lose weight “inside”. How can this be done? “There are no specific techniques for selectively losing fat on the internal organs, but generalised weight loss is effective . By eating less and moving more, the cells recover the energy they need by drawing on the triglycerides of the fat cells, which are then mobilised and reabsorbed by the tissues as an energy source.
The right strategy, therefore, does not only involve a strict diet, but also and above all prolonged aerobic Exercise: after the first twenty minutes of running, for example, the body must draw on fatty acids to obtain energy and the first deposits to which it turns are precisely the inappropriate accumulations of adipose tissue in the internal organs. Physical activity therefore “detoxifies” and promotes lipolysis (elimination of fat cells), even from visceral deposits.
Food and Nutrition
Foods for diabetics are the same as those provided for in a healthy and balanced diet; the substantial difference between the diet of the diabetic and that of the healthy subject consists in the lower tolerance with which one departs from the recommendations contained in the guidelines for:
-Frequency of consumption of foods rich in refined simple carbohydrates with a high glycemic index
Two simple tips on eating food for diabetics may seem insufficient, but in principle they are the two cornerstones of food therapy for the control of hyperglycemia. The dietary regime plays a fundamental role especially in diabetes type 2, in which the effectiveness of hypoglycemic drugs is directly and indirectly related to the dietary habits of the patient; in type 1 diabetes mellitus or insulin-dependent, however, the exogenous administration of the hormone varies according to the nutritional content of meals; therefore, the glycemic control is paradoxically less complex (provided that the therapy is well weighted to the diet).
Which foods to choose?
As already mentioned, foods for diabetics are the same as those provided for in a healthy and balanced diet. However, common sense leads us to reflect on how much the lifestyle of a diabetic can reproduce these habits: not at all, so much so that most of the time the therapeutic choice of foods for diabetics departs drastically from the customs of these subjects. In fact, excluding genetic factors, often responsible for hormonal or receptor changes, the pathogenetic components of diabetes type 2 are:
-An excessively diet rich in carbohydrates, especially simple, refined and/or complex foods with a high glycemic index (both consumption frequencies and high portions).
-Excessive caloric intake compared to the level of physical activity.
-Incorrect distribution of meals with a preference for abundance in the evening hours.
-Low consumption of vegetables, especially raw vegetables, and related insufficient intake of dietary fiber and antioxidants.
Food for diabetics should provide appropriate amounts of carbohydrates, limiting excess carbohydrates in the diet. The breakdown of carbohydrates provides a share of 10-12% simple and about 50% complex; they must be distributed in the 5 daily meals, taking into account that the peripheral sensitivity to insulin is greater in the morning than in the evening, and that during sleep the body reduces energy expenditure making less effective post-prandial glycemic control.
In the diet must be present significant amounts of dietary fiber in association with carbohydrate foods (eg. vegetables in the dressings of first courses or side dish with bread), in order to modulate intestinal absorption and optimize glycemic control, to reach 30g/day of dietary fiber is recommended to use cereals or their derivatives of integral type. To date, some professionals recommend to freely consume fruits and vegetables as they bring mainly fructose at the expense of glucose, this habit is not entirely correct.
Fructose is insulin-independent only within certain blood concentrations, beyond which insulin secretion becomes inexorable. Therefore, the consumption of fruit and some vegetables particularly rich in simple carbohydrates, such as potatoes, carrots and red and yellow peppers, must be maintained within certain portions.. Moreover, even if this monosaccharide is characterized by a low glycemic index (thanks to the slow conversion to glucose), within the main meals it contributes to the increase of the total glycemic load.
Finally, it is advisable to drastically reduce or eliminate all foods of industrial confectionery production, allowing the consumption of honey and / or jams only at breakfast. Among the recommendations of foods for diabetics it is essential to eliminate all sources of alcohol because of the toxic properties that manifests at the level of all tissues, and the negative action it has in insulin control. As far as foods for diabetics produced at industrial level are concerned, these are characterized by:
absence of added sugars; substitution of traditional sweeteners (sugar and honey) with artificial sweeteners (polydextrose, acesulfame k, sucralose, tagatose, aspartame, saccharin, etc.) or polyalcohols (mannitol, xylitol, sorbitol, etc.); addition of bran or other sources of fibre (such as inulin);reduction of the fat and calorie content, compensating for the worsening of the organoleptic characteristics through the use of thickeners, such as guar gum, gum arabic, locust bean gum, alginates and xanthane gum; possible fortification of the product for diabetics with vitamins and minerals (e.g. chromium picolinate).