How To Reverse Type 2 Diabetes
Strict dieting for eight weeks has been shown to reverse early stage Type 2 diabetes.
This is a radical change in understanding Type 2 diabetes. Traditionally it has been considered a progressive condition that initially requires dietary control, then tablets and eventually for some insulin injections.
Now a study led by Professor Roy Taylor of Newcastle University, UK says, “To have people free of diabetes after years with the condition is remarkable – and all because of an eight week diet.”
The research transforms previous thinking on diabetes. It shows a very low calorie diet removes fat which is clogging the pancreas which then allows normal insulin secretion to be restored.
It also demonstrated that when people reverse their diabetes AND keep their weight down they remain free of diabetes and those who had Type 2 diabetes for up to 10 years could still reverse their condition.
Until recently, Type 2 diabetes was considered to be a disease of adulthood and seldom diagnosed in children. In Australia, over the 2 decades ending in 2012, a rise in the prevalence of type 2 diabetes in children and young adults has been reported (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, AIHW).
The rise and rise of type 2 diabetes is of major concern when it can be largely preventable, is costly and burdensome to manage for individuals, families and society; and it has serious health consequences that can impact on life quality and reduce life expectancy.
Complications arising from diabetes include stroke, coronary heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, diabetic neuropathy (and retinopathy), ulcers, limb amputations, kidney failure, vision impairment and blindness. It can also affect psychological wellbeing contributing to distress, anxiety and depression.
Diabetes occurs when the body cannot produce enough insulin, cannot use insulin effectively or both (WHO 2006). Insulin is a hormone which breaks down glucose into energy in the cells. Type 2 diabetes is caused by too much glucose in the blood due to the pancreas not producing enough insulin or due to the body not reacting to it, known as insulin sensitivity. Type 1 diabetes occurs where the pancreas fails to produce any insulin.
In the study at University of Newcastle, 11 people who had developed diabetes later in life were monitored over eight weeks on an extreme diet of just 600 calories per day. This comprised liquid diet drinks plus 200 calories of non-starchy vegetables. A control group of non-diabetics was matched to them. Insulin production from their pancreas and fat content in the liver and pancreas were studied.
In just one week, the study group’s pre-breakfast blood sugar levels had returned to normal. A special MRI scan revealed fat cells in the pancreas had returned from an elevated level of 8% down to 6%. The pancreas resumed its normal ability to make insulin and blood glucose after meals had steadily improved.
A three month follow-up revealed volunteers had returned to normal eating, however, they had received advice on portion size and healthy eating. Of the ten people re-tested, seven remained free of diabetes.
The study showed that Type 2 diabetes is all about energy balance in the body. Professor Taylor explained that, “If you are eating more than you burn, then the excess is stored in the liver and pancreas as fat which in some people can lead to Type 2 diabetes”.
“Future studies are needed to examine why some people are more susceptible to developing diabetes than others,” he said.
Dr Iain Frame, Director of Research at Diabetes UK said, “This diet is not an easy fix and should only be undertaken under medical supervision.” While being a very small trial, this study paves the way for future trials to see in particular whether the reversal could be sustained in the long term according to Dr Frame.
If you think diabetes may be a potential concern for you, contact the Cabot Medical Centre on 0246554666 for a full assessment by our medical practitioners and naturopaths. Dr Cabot’s Low Carbohydrate Diet addresses pancreas and liver fat metabolism. It’s a way of eating which is easy to implement – cutting back on certain carbohydrates can help your overworked pancreas and liver get back to working the way they should.
More importantly a low carbohydrate, higher protein and healthy fat diet reduces appetite, thus making it easier to maintain.
Other benefits of the Low Carbohydrate Diet are:
- It can reverse a fatty liver and therefore support your pancreas and blood sugar balance.
- It works well for weight loss.
- Includes a protein powder for sweet smoothies without the sugar plus gives you extra protein.
Books by Dr Sandra Cabot: