According to the American Diabetes Association, every 21 seconds someone in the United States is diagnosed with diabetes. There are also 84 million Americans who are prediabetic. If you are one of them, before you start thinking this is a death sentence, it’s not. You have a choice. You can treat the symptoms of the disease using medication or you can learn how to cure your type 2 diabetes naturally.
When Tom Hanks appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman he made a startling confession.
“I went to the doctor and he said, “You know those high blood-sugar numbers you’ve been dealing with since you were 36? Well, you’ve graduated! You’ve got Type 2 diabetes, young man.” Letterman then commented that he too has high blood sugar, but fortunately through diet and exercise he’s kept diabetes at bay.
And so can you.
Like Hanks, many Americans are shocked to find out that they have Type 2 diabetes. But if they’re eating the Standard American Diet (SAD), and not exercising, they really shouldn’t be surprised.
According to a study published online in the Lancet on June 25, 2011 the rate of diabetes in adults worldwide has more than doubled over the last 3 decades. From 153 million in 1980 to 347 million in 2008. I’d venture to say it’s even higher now.
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), here in the U.S., 30.3 million Americans have either Type 1 or 2 diabetes. Type 2 is the most common.
84.1 million Americans are prediabetic.
If that’s not enough, a 2017 study from the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that 84.1 million Americans are pre-diabetic. That means they have elevated levels of sugar in their blood and are at high risk for developing Type 2 diabetes.
This is dangerously close to half of our entire population.
If you have Type 2 Diabetes there are many ways to fight it that I’m pretty sure you won’t hear about from a visit to your local doctor’s office.
The good news is… many people have found Type 2 Diabetes is not something you have to be burdened with for the rest of your life.
But because their doctor is ready with a pen and pad, the easy method that people turn to (but not the best in most cases) is prescription drugs. Often, treating “symptoms” of a disease with drugs leads to complications and the need for other drugs. One drug leads to another and before you know it you’re taking all kinds of medications.
And none of them are leading you back to the path of vibrant health that you could experience with a few simple changes, because drugs aren’t empowering you to treat the “cause” of the disease.
Fortunately, there are effective home remedies for diabetes that in many cases may be better than traditional medications and actually do treat the disease instead of the symptoms.
The Two Step
In Texas we have a dance called the Two Step.
You can address your prediabetes or Type 2 diabets using two steps.
Step #1 of the Two Step – There’s a way of eating where you’ll substantially reduce your sugar intake, but still eat delicious, hunger satisfying foods that are good for you, rather than the (SAD) Standard American Diet that’s responsible for most of the disease and illness in our country.
One of the ways of doing this is to choose foods according to the Glycemic Index (GI). More about this later.
The other is to… EAT MORE FAT. Yep, you heard it right.
Let me explain.
You see, there’s a lie that’s been circulating since way back in the 1970’s. The lie is this.
If you eat fat, you’ll get fat. And… it’s bad for your heart.
It’s not true.
If you look at this from a pure data perspective it’s true. Fat has 9 calories per gram compared to carbohydrates that have only 4 calories per gram. All things being equal, this shows that when you eat fat you’re consuming twice as many calories than if you eat carbohydrates.
The problem is… all calories (food) don’t react the same when consumed. When you eat, your brain acts like an air traffic controller instructing the food you’ve eaten to perform certain functions.
Carbohydrates trigger the release of large amounts of insulin in a short period of time.
The result of this is…
shortly after you eat you feel tired and lethargic. The sugar from the carbs goes straight to your muscles for energy but it’s an overload and only last a short while. What’s left over gets stored in your fat cells.
While insulin is also released when you eat fat (avocado, coconut oil, olives/olive oil, almond butter, nuts, sunflower seeds, etc.) it’s at a much slower rate. This provides you with energy for several hours rather than 20 or 30 minutes and then crashing.
Fat also feeds your brain,
which is about 60 percent fat and needs a consistent supply of fat to operate at peak level. Some other benefits of fat include keeping your cells healthy and believe it or not, decreasing your bad cholesterol and increasing your good cholesterol.
What you should be concerned with are trans fats. Trans fat is vegetable oil that has been solidified and is used to extend the shelf life of foods. You’ll find it in donuts, cake, chips, non-dairy whipped cream, flour tortillas, cookies, snack foods, margarine, coffee creamer, white breads, ready to use dough and fast food.
The take away from all of this is – sugar is the culprit, not fat.
Now I’m not saying you shouldn’t eat any sugar. I’m just saying you can eat healthy, satisfying meals while avoiding a good amount of sugar.
Here’s the skinny on trans fat.
It’s made by adding hydrogen to vegetable oil. The finished product is called “hydrogenated oil” or “partially hydrogenated oil”. During this industrialized process, the vegetable oil gets contaminated from the heating process while it’s turned into a solid. It’s then added to the pre-packaged foods and while it does provide a longer shelf life, it isn’t really something you should be eating. It taste really good but the problem is – it causes inflammation. Inflammation then leads to all kinds of disease including atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries.
This is what I would call a double whammy. Not only are you getting inflammation from the trans fats, but if you noticed – most of the foods that have it are full of sugar. So, while the trans fats are bad for you, it appears you’re gaining weight from the high amount of sugar that’s in the foods containing it.
Tip – By law, if a product has less than 0.5 percent of trans fat, they can label it “trans fat free”.
Don’t be fooled. Read the label and look for the words hydrogenated oil or partially hydrogenated oil.
In a little bit, I’ll show you how to pick the foods that are the healthiest, taste good and will help you lose weight.
Step #2 of the Two Step – Since your body was made to move in order to work properly, there are some simple exercise methods that you may want to incorporate into your weekly routine. I’ll talk more about these later.
Choose your medicine.
When it comes to treating your Type 2 diabetes or prediabetes, essentially the choice is yours. You can treat your diabetes symptoms with drugs that may lead to more drugs and never treat the disease, or… eat nutritious, appetite satisfying foods and move your body around a little bit.
The Big Unknown – Prediabetes
The NIDDK states that 84.1 million adults over the age of 18 in the U.S. are prediabetic, a condition that causes higher than normal blood glucose levels. That’s 1 in 3 adults. Many Americans, whether rich and famous or poor and modest are finding themselves at the doorstep of Type 2 diabetes. This condition can lead to trivial symptoms such as headaches to more serious symptoms such as severe weight loss and spells of unconsciousness.
As for Hanks, he had been pre-diabetic for nearly 20 years until in 2013 when his doctor diagnosed him with Type 2 diabetes. Unfortunately, nearly 40% of the U.S. population is prediabetic and most of them don’t have a clue.
The symptoms of prediabetes are not always noticeable and include:
- Frequent urination
- Vision problems
So, people live their lives not knowing they are prediabetic or doing anything to change things until one day… they’re diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. What? You gotta be kidding?
The Role Of Insulin
Insulin is a hormone created by the pancreas which is needed by the cells to absorb glucose (sugar).
Here’s how it works.
When you eat, your body creates glucose.
Think of insulin as the mailman and glucose the mail.
Insulin brings glucose to all your cells to use as fuel, to your muscles to burn for energy, and to your liver to store for use later. What’s left over is stored as fat.
So, glucose is energy for your cells.
It keeps them healthy and functioning properly. It comes from food and is stored in your muscles and what’s left over is stored in your liver. Insulin is the mailman that delivers it where it needs to go and whatever mail is left over, he just dumps in the fat bin. If there gets to be too much glucose in your blood on a consistent basis, your cells can no longer absorb it and your body becomes insulin resistant.
This is not a good thing and could signal you’re on your way to becoming Type 2 diabetic.
Type 2 diabetes should not be confused with Type 1, which according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA) used to be known as “juvenile diabetes”, but, it can occur in people at any age, of any race and of any size. With Type 1, the pancreas does not produce insulin; this is the result of the body attacking the pancreas which inhibits its ability to produce insulin.
Risk Factors For Type 2 Diabetes
Many genetic and environmental factors come into play, but understanding why someone develops Type 2 diabetes when another person does not is very complex. Some factors like race or genetics position a person to be predisposed to the disease. But most importantly, there are some factors that can be controlled, such as:
- activity level
- the use of natural remedies that address the disease and not just the symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes
One thing that no one has control over is their genetics. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), there are 150 variations of DNA associated with developing Type 2 diabetes.
But there are many people who have the disease with the same variation of DNA as someone who does not have the illness. Over time, these genes change the way they act or express themselves. Studies show that there may be defects in insulin receptors resulting in the body’s inability to use glucose though it’s not clear why this happens.
Another determining factor and one that can’t be controlled is ethnicity. Not all races/nationalities have the same chance of developing the disease as others.
Native Americans have a high rate of diabetes, followed by non-Hispanic Blacks, Hispanics, Asians and non-Hispanic Whites. The following graph from The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reflects this in more detail using percentages.
American Indian/Alaska Native:
Statistically, ethnicities with higher incidence of Type 2 diabetes are more likely to be overweight and have high blood pressure. But if you’re someone whose ethnicity has high instances of the disease, it doesn’t mean you have to surrender to it.
As much as most of us would like to, we can’t control the aging process.
As you grow older, your chances of developing diabetes increases, along with heart disease and stroke. So, it’s vitally important that you educate yourself about what choices you can make to live as healthily as possible.
With vast amounts of information at our finger tips from local libraries, bookstores, the Internet, Amazon and YouTube, there’s no excuse why you can’t learn how to live a healthy, robust life. It’s done by reading and taking action on what you learn. Most of the time it’s a matter of trial and error and finding out what works for you.
What you’ll learn to do is prevent disease instead of manage illness.
Managing illness is essentially what our modern health care system does.
I’ll show you how to cure diabetes naturally without medication.
Be your own doctor but do have annual check-ups and to talk to your doctor about your glucose, cholesterol and blood pressure.
According to former Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs and Community Information for the American Diabetes Association, Dr. M. Sue Kirkman and others:
“More than 25% of the U.S. population aged over 65 years has diabetes (1),
and the aging of the overall population is a significant driver of the diabetes epidemic. Although the burden of diabetes is often described in terms of its impact on working-age adults, diabetes in older adults is linked to higher mortality, reduced functional status, and increased risk of institutionalization (2). Older adults with diabetes are at substantial risk for both acute and chronic microvascular and cardiovascular complications of the disease.”
Diabetes Care. 2012 Dec; 35(12): 2650–2664. Published online 2012 Nov 14. doi: 10.2337/dc12-1801
Diabetes in Older Adults
M. Sue Kirkman, MD, corresponding author1 Vanessa Jones Briscoe, PHD, NP, CDE,2 Nathaniel Clark, MD, MS, RD,3 Hermes Florez, MD, MPH, PHD,4 Linda B. Haas, PHC, RN, CDE,5 Jeffrey B. Halter, MD,6 Elbert S. Huang, MD, MPH,7 Mary T. Korytkowski, MD,8 Medha N. Munshi, MD,9 Peggy Soule Odegard, BS, PHARMD, CDE,10 Richard E. Pratley, MD,11 and Carrie S. Swift, MS, RD, BC-ADM, CDE1
The United States is the third most overweight country in the world with 71% of the population either overweight or obese. That, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). This is due to several factors such as the food we eat, our work environment, and lifestyle choices.
We instant-gratification Americans love speed and convenience. There are roughly 640,000 dining establishments in the U.S. and if you haven’t noticed, most of them are fast-food restaurants. In a matter of minutes, you can have a trans-fatty, salty, delicious and nutritionally vacant meal, without even having to leave your car.
What a country!
Over the years our occupations have become more sedentary.
In 1970 jobs that required little physical activity, such as working at a desk, accounted for 2 out of every 10 jobs. Jobs that required moderate physical activity, like farming or construction, accounted for 3 out of 10 jobs. Now, in the 21st Century, jobs that require little physical activity have doubled to 4 out of 10 jobs. Inactivity from sedentary occupations is a contributing factor to obesity which can lead to diabetes.
Lastly, the habits we form or our lifestyle choices can contribute to weight gain.
In this technology-crazy age we’re spending more time glued to our computers, televisions and cellphones than we are engaging in energetic activities like working out, running, hiking or biking.
Health experts recommend 150-minutes a week of vigorous physical activity, but…
some Americans ignore the advice from health experts.
And quite frankly… sometimes I do too! Depending on my own research.
Truth be told, if you know what you’re doing, you can get all the exercise you need in about 60 minutes per week. That’s three twenty-minute sessions per week. One hour – total.
Don’t tell me you can’t make time for that.
But, you gotta know what you’re doing and I’ll get to that in a little bit.
Type 2 Diabetes and It’s Symptoms
Type 2 Diabetes happens when your body is in a state that causes you to have higher than normal levels of glucose (sugar) in your blood. You may have also heard it referred to as hyperglycemia.
When this first occurs, your pancreas produces extra insulin to help regulate your glucose. But it’s only temporary because after awhile your pancreas can’t keep up with the demand to normalize your blood sugar.
So, Type 2 diabetes is caused by either the pancreas not producing enough insulin, or the body’s cells have become resistant to insulin.
When your cells can’t absorb the glucose in the blood, your body won’t function properly which then leads to poor health.
Although Type 2 diabetes is not as serious as Type 1 –
the disease can disrupt the quality of life for anyone who has it.
Some of the symptoms include:
- Excessive Thirst/Urination – With increased blood sugar levels you will often have to frequently urinate. You won’t be able to retain liquids causing you to feel thirsty. This symptom is called Polydipsia.
- Weight Loss/Increased Hunger – Since the body’s cells are resistant or your pancreas is not producing enough insulin, you might lose weight. Your body’s cells are not absorbing the glucose in your blood. In other words, what you eat is not effectively being absorbed by the body which causes you to lose weight and feel hungry.
- Fatigue – The result of increased hunger and thirst will lead to fatigue or tiredness. Since the body is not taking in the essential nutrients and calories needed to function properly, you’ll feel drowsy and lethargic.
- Infections – Hyperglycemia/Type 2 Diabetes creates an environment prone to immune system dysfunction. This opens you up to infections in the respiratory system, urinary tract, intestines, liver and skin. Individuals with Type 2 diabetes are likely to develop Influenza, Tuberculosis, Fungal Cystitis and Hepatitis B and C.
- Decreased Healing Time – The body’s cells are not functioning properly because your cells can’t absorb glucose and the necessary nutrients they need. This leaves the body’s cells and immune system weak, resulting in wounds that become worse quicker and heal slower than a person without Type 2 diabetes.
- Vision Problems – Due to high blood-sugar levels, Diabetic Retinopathy can develop. This condition damages the tissue in the retina. The retina detects light and sends signals to the brain via the optic nerve. The blood vessels that sustain the retina can become swollen. Eventually this leads the retina to leak fluid or bleed and results in visual distortion.
By now I’m sure you can see that the symptoms of Type 2 diabetes can be quite disruptive to your quality of life. You may feel tired and neglect your favorite hobbies or perform poorly at work. It can cause unexplained weight loss which to many people may sound like a good thing but in this case it’s not. It’s one of the obvious signs that you may have Type 2 diabetes.
You might think your vision problems are a result of old age, but if it’s combined with any of the symptoms listed above, you may have a more serious condition. If you’ve experienced any combination of these symptoms contact your doctor and make an appointment to get tested for Type 2 diabetes.
Complications from Type 2 Diabetes
The complications of this disease are often much more serious than the symptoms. If you don’t follow a healthy lifestyle through proper food selection, exercise and use natural remedies for Type 2 diabetes, these complications can cause additional health problems such as:
Nerve Damage/Neuropathy – a condition that causes tingling, numbness and pain especially in the toes, feet and fingers. When blood sugar is high, it can damage the blood vessels. These blood vessels nourish the nerves and when the nerves receive inadequate sustenance they can become injured.
Kidney Damage – Nearly 40% of people with diabetes develop Nephropathy. The kidneys function is to filter chemicals and waste products from the bloodstream. When there are high levels of glucose in the bloodstream, the kidneys work harder to filter the blood. The extra burden on the kidneys can lead to their failure.
Alzheimer’s Disease – Although healthcare professionals are unsure of the link between diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease, high blood sugar levels or insulin can damage the brain resulting in this neurodegenerative disease.
Nearly 5.7 million Americans have Alzheimer’s, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.
- memory loss
- the ability to learn, reason, and make judgments
- changes in personality and behavior
- suspicion, agitation, and delusions
- Heart Disease – People with Type 2 diabetes are up to four times more likely to die from a form of heart disease than someone without diabetes, and 68% of adults who are 65-years-old or older who have diabetes, die of heart disease. Diabetes combined with hypertension, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, smoking or lack of physical activity, can substantially increase the risk.
- Stroke – Having Type 2 diabetes increases the chance of stroke by 1.5 times.
The chances are even greater if you have any of these following factors:
- over the age of 55
- if you’ve already had a stroke
- you have a family history of stroke
- heart disease
- high blood pressure
- low HDL cholesterol and high LDL cholesterol
- not physically active
- you smoke
Pharmaceutical Treatments for Type 2 Diabetes
When someone is prediabetic or is diagnosed with diabetes, they typically use medication to treat the disease. These medications are used to help the body control and/or increase your body’s response to insulin.
Unfortunately they come with side effects and are not a long term solution. Like most drugs, they treat the symptoms of diabetes and not the disease itself. Some of the medications include:
This prescription is used to lower the blood glucose level and increase the body’s response to insulin. However, it comes with many adverse side effects, such as indigestion, heartburn, muscle pain and headache. More serious effects are chest pain, rash and a lethal condition called lactic acidosis.
In the meglitinides class of prescription drugs, Prandin and Starlix are common medications used to treat diabetes but again, they come with a multitude of side effects. Some patients who use Prandin experience common side-effects such as anxiety, depression, shakiness, confusion, fast heartbeat and slurred speech. For patients taking Starlix, some experience pain in their back and joints, dizziness, nausea, seizure and jaundice.
In the sulfonylureas class of medications, drugs like Glimepiride, Glyburide and Glipizide are used to invigorate the pancreatic beta cells to produce more insulin. They lower the blood glucose level but these drugs can’t be used long-term. Eventually the beta cells become exhausted and can no longer produce insulin even with the drug’s influence. In addition, these medications can cause weight gain, hypoglycemia and possibly cardiovascular complications.
First launched in the 1990s this class of medication includes, Actos (pioglitazone) and Avandia (rosiglitazone) and are used to increase blood cells’ insulin acceptance. Common side effects from these medications include weight gain, headaches, respiratory infections, high cholesterol and weakened bones.
When oral medication is ineffective, Pramlintide, a liquid drug administered subcutaneously, works by slowing the movement of food through the stomach. The drug is administered several times a day before each meal. Side effects include tiredness, dizziness, sore throat, cough, joint and stomach pain. The most serious effect is hypoglycemia, which can display characteristics like difficulty concentrating, irritability, seizure and loss of consciousness.
Type 2 diabetes is a serious illness, but the medications above have serious side effects that beg you to wonder, “Are they any better than the disease themselves?” Yes, they can help, especially if you are recently diagnosed with the disease. But they aren’t a long-term solution like food choice, exercise and the use of natural remedies for Type 2 diabetes.
Alternatives to Medication
As I previously mentioned, many factors can lead someone to become diabetic. Some of the reasons are out of your control but diet, exercise and natural remedies are better methods to help manage the disease – or possibly rid you of it. For these methods, you don’t need to see a doctor or have an insurance plan. So, drop the donut and slip on a pair of sneakers because these ideas will help you manage your diabetes.
You may not have heard of this diet (or the lack thereof), but it’s quickly gaining popularity. The concept is based on the state of being “unfed” as normal.
In the past, it was not abnormal for our ancestors and their ancestors to be unfed more than they were fed. Our pre-agrarian ancestors had to hunt for their food which sometimes meant long periods of time without food.
Many people, even those who are not diabetic, are opting to choose “unfed” as their normal status when it comes to eating.
Besides losing weight, they claim to have more energy, feel healthy and experience a cleansing of their digestive tract.
Even Harvard Medical School has put their stamp on it.
Intermittent fasting is becoming popular for those who want to lose weight as well as those with Type 2 diabetes. A case study published by Dr. Suleiman Furmli, Dr. Rami Elmasry, Megan Ramos and Dr. Jason Fung, found that fasting could possibly cure Type 2 diabetes.
In the report, three men ages 40, 52 and 67, who had diabetes for 10 to 20 years, participated in the study. In the first phase they participated in a 6-hour nutritional training seminar where they learned about macronutrients, insulin resistance, pathophysiology of diabetes, principles of dietary management of diabetes, and therapeutic fasting.
During the second phase, the men fasted for 24-hours three times a week over several months. On fasting days, the participants ate only dinner, and on the non-fasting days, they ate lunch and dinner. When the men did eat, they ate a low-carb diet. During this time period, their glycemic control and diabetic health was monitored.
The results of the study were astounding. At the end of the study two out of three of the men stopped using their diabetic medications entirely and the other participant stopped using three out of four of his medications. All three were no longer dependent on insulin.
Glycemic Index Diet
If you have diabetes it’s important to control your blood sugar. Following a low-glycemic index diet can help. This way of eating has been the backbone of many popular diets such as The Zone Diet, Sugar Busters and The Slow-Carb Diet. The glycemic index (GI) is a scale of numbers from (0 to 100) assigned to a carbohydrate and used to measure the extent to which carbohydrates raise blood sugar levels for up to 2 hours after consumption. They’re measured in three categories, Low, Medium and High. Examples are listed below:
- High GI foods (measuring 70 or more on the scale) are white breads, white rice, white boiled potatoes, instant oatmeal, and bran flakes.
- Medium GI foods (56-69) are whole wheat breads and quick oats; brown, wild and basmati rice, sweet potatoes, cranberry juice and regular ice cream, pumpernickel bread.
- Low GI foods (55 or less) are fruits – apples, oranges, bananas, non-starchy vegetables, yams, peas, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, cashews, walnuts, legumes, pasta, barley, oatmeal, dark chocolate, 100% stone ground wheat, full fat milk.
In case you were dismayed by anything you just read – the following foods are “0” on the Glycemic Index – cheese, eggs, meats, fish, oils, and some nuts. This means they don’t spike your blood sugar at all.
So, just combine these foods with choices from the low to medium GI and watch the magic happen.
Low GI foods produce gradual changes in blood glucose levels, whereas high GI foods cause the levels to rise quickly. Studies have shown that a low GI diet can prevent or regulate Type 2 diabetes as well as the complications that may develop from the disease.
The Paleo Diet
First introduced by Gastroenterologist Walter Voegtlin in the mid-70s and later popularized by Dr. Loren Cordain, the paleo diet pays homage to our ancestors by forgoing the artificial processed junk in the snack or frozen foods aisle and replaces it with foods that our predecessors of the Paleolithic era ate. The belief is that following a diet that our ancestors consumed 2.5 million to 10,000 years ago is healthy for modern humans.
The diet excludes foods that weren’t around back then like milk, cheese, beans, potatoes, and bread. It replaces them with meat, poultry, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. So, the staples of the paleo diet are meat and protein. It’s thought by many who follow the diet that today’s agricultural practices and the foods produced by those methods—foods like grains and dairy – are harmful and may cause many diseases such as Type 2 diabetes.
A study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that the paleo diet helped 14 participants with Type 2 diabetes lower their blood glucose levels. There were also 10 participants with Type 2 diabetes who followed the American Diabetes Association’s recommended diet, but the results were less impressive. The participants who followed the paleo diet had an increase in insulin sensitivity, but those who followed the ADA diet had no such results.
It’s apparent that following a diet like that of our cave-dwelling ancestors can have a very favorable effect in treating Type 2 diabetes.
Ketogenic Diet (Keto)
You can hardly read anything these days related to diet and not hear the word “keto”.
Similar to the paleo diet, but with fewer carbohydrates is the ketogenic diet. The diet consists of eating mostly protein and fats such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, cheese, butter, oils, and vegetables. But the most important part of this diet is maintaining a low intake of carbohydrates—20g to 50g per day at most.
Under what you might call a “normal” diet, your muscles burn sugar supplied by carbohydrates. When you eat a “keto” diet, because of the very low intake of carbohydrates, your muscles don’t have any sugar to burn so they burn fat that is stored in your body’s fat cells.
That’s the reason people are able to lose lots of weight in a short period of time.
When switching to a keto diet there is a bit of a transition where your body is switching over to burning fat and exhausting all of the carbohydrates currently stored. During this time period which may take anywhere from 2 to 5 days, many people experience what’s referred to as the “keto flu”.
You actually feel symptoms similar to those of the flu. It’s just something most people have to work through. But after that’s over, most people feel great and report having more energy than usual.
According to Harvard Medical School, when someone eats a high-protein, low-carb diet, the body goes into ketosis, a process where the body begins burning fat molecules called ketones. This can help people quickly lose fat which could prevent the onset of Type 2 diabetes. Much like the paleo diet, the ketogenic diet can help lower and normalize blood glucose levels.
Studies show that the fasting, glycemic index, paleo and ketogenic diets can help prevent, control or possibly cure Type 2 diabetes but diet alone is not enough.
There’s one other critical element.
The Importance of Exercise
It’s well known that exercise benefits our health significantly.
Our bodies were not meant to live a stagnant life. They were made to bend, move, lift and push.
Writing emails and balancing books in an ergo-chair from 9 to 5 doesn’t cut it. Then coming home to lie on the couch and binge watch TV for hours on end is just adding insult to injury.
Exercise is critically important for a multitude of reasons.
It can relieve stress by increasing the production of the neurotransmitter serotonin resulting in better mood, sounder sleep, more self-confidence and a better appetite.
It helps build muscle, gives you more energy and allows you to participate in more activities leading to a more aggressive approach to life.
The bottom line is… it just makes your body work better.
As we get older, little by little we lose our lung capacity. Exercise helps maintain strong lungs and in doing so helps our immune system ward off all types of disease.
But it’s even more important if you have Type 2 diabetes to exercise regularly. If you have the disease or are prediabetic, exercise is a must.
But don’t be afraid of it.
There are more books, online courses, free videos on YouTube and opportunities to exercise with others than have ever existed. Be curious. Explore.
Try different types of exercise and you’ll find things you like.
A study conducted by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American Diabetes Association (ADA) found that aerobic exercise—like running, walking, swimming or biking—can increase whole body insulin sensitivity in people with Type 2 diabetes. For individuals who participated in moderate aerobic activity, enhanced insulin sensitivity lasted a few hours to a few days after the exercise. In other words, after exercise, the body was more efficient at absorbing blood glucose.
In the study, some participants strength trained twice a week for 16 weeks. The study found that resistance training—like lifting weights or doing pull-ups — increased insulin response by 46.3%.
The ACSM and ADA found that not only does aerobic and resistance exercise improve insulin sensitivity, but exercise can also help prevent complications like heart disease and hypertension. This study exemplifies what many health experts have said for years.
Exercise, along with choosing the best foods to eat is the best way to prevent, control or possibly initiate remission in Type 2 diabetes.
High-intensity Interval Training
Over the last few years High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), an intense cardiovascular workout, has gained wide-spread popularity even among individuals with diabetes.
But don’t let the name scare you.
HIIT can be tailored to any level of fitness from completely unfit to very fit. You just regulate the amount of time you exercise per set and the amount of rest in between sets. You can also select what exercises you want to do until you’re in good enough shape to do exercises that are a bit more challenging.
Beginners can start off with as little as 30 seconds of exercise followed by 3 minutes of rest until you exercise again for 30 seconds. As you progress, you can lengthen the periods of exercise and shorten the amount of rest between sets.
Many people say, “I have no time to workout”.
But a HIIT workout can be completed in as little as four to seven minutes. It all depends on how you structure the number of intervals and the length of each interval.
An interval/set is an exercise completed in a specified timeframe such 30 seconds to 2 minutes, depending on the desired length and intensity of the exercise. If you do jumping jacks for 30 seconds three times, and rest two minutes in between each 30 second period, you’ve done three sets.
HIIT is a great workout for anyone who cares about their health but doesn’t have the time to visit a gym.
One of the great things about HIIT is that it requires no equipment except your own body. You can do it at home, in a hotel room, outside, or anywhere there’s a 5 ft. by 6 ft. space. You’ll get both a muscle building, toning and high-cardio workout in a matter of minutes.
If you’re not fit, you can start HIIT slowly using fewer intervals or lengths of intervals to achieve your goal. Here are some examples:
Interval 1: Jumping jacks or stretches (warmup; 30 seconds to 1 minute)
Break – 2 minutes
Interval 2: Butt kicks (30 seconds to 1 minute)
Break – 2 minutes
Interval 3: Squats (30 seconds to 1 minute)
Break – 2 minutes
Interval 4: Lunges (30 seconds to 1 minute)
Break – 2 minutes
Interval 5: Push-Ups (30 seconds to 1 minute)
Break – 2 minutes – Done
As I said, this exercise can be tailored to your specifications. You can add intervals, lengthen interval time and use any combination of exercises that you would prefer. Self.com provides a great guide if you’re new to HIIT.
Natural Remedies for Type 2 Diabetes
The final method to fight the disease, along with diet and exercise, is the use natural remedies. Prescription drugs are not the only alternative and I’m sure the pharmaceutical companies don’t want you to know this.
Some of these remedies have been used for thousands of years to treat illnesses and today many of them are supported by the scientific community to help treat diabetes.
Apple Cider Vinegar
A study published in the Journal of Evidence-Based Integrated Medicine (JEBIM) shows that apple cider vinegar can reduce your average blood glucose (HbA1c levels) over a period of two to three months.
The participants HbA1c dropped by .39% on average.
That’s a big reduction, but the most surprising result is the effect apple cider vinegar had on the participants metabolism. Researchers found that the vinegar slowed the digestion of food. As a result, sugars from complex carbohydrates enter the bloodstream slowly. This effect helps control spikes in blood glucose and keeps it stable.
Apple cider vinegar is a cheap and symptom-free alternative to medication.
There a number of ways to drink it. I personally mix two tablespoons in a shot glass, fill the rest of the shot glass with organic apple juice and shoot it like a shot of tequila. I’ve also mixed it with 8 ounces of warm water and added a teaspoon of honey. It’s a nice way to sip it before bed.
Some people mix it with 32 ounces of water, add lemon juice, pink Himalayan salt and a little cayenne pepper. Just go to YouTube and search ways to drink or take apple cider vinegar with food. You’ll find recipes for salad dressing and discover other interesting ways to drink it.
Another study published in JEBIM confirms that curcumin, a compound found in the spice turmeric and used in traditional Chinese medicine, has been found to help treat hyperlipidemia (high concentration of fat in the blood), hyperglycemia and insulin resistance. Curcumin is sold by many supplement distributors and can be commonly found in the grocery store.
Also coming from Asian medicine, red ginseng can reduce blood glucose levels. A meta-analysis shows evidence that the Korean root was more efficient regarding HbA1c in patients who did not use antidiabetic medications than those who did use medications.
This herb, native to Southern Europe and Western Asia, was found to improve fasting blood sugar levels (FBS). In a trial published in the International Journal for Vitamin and Nutritional Research, 18 patients (11 drank fenugreek and 7 ate it with yogurt) consumed the herb for 8 weeks. The results of the study show that the patients’ FBS decreased by 25%; their triglycerides by 30% and their very-low-density lipoprotein by 30.6%.
Primarily used as a laxative and to treat irritable bowel syndrome the seeds that come from the Plantago ovata can also be used as natural remedy to treat diabetes. A study published in the Nutrition Journal suggests that the high-fiber seeds can reduce the glycemic response, improve glucose metabolism and lipids in patients with Type 2 diabetes. Psyllium can also help with weight loss.
These five natural remedies for Type 2 diabetes are a great alternative to medication. They’re a holistic medicine for a disease that many Americans are increasingly plagued by, but by incorporating remedies like apple cider vinegar and curcumin into your diet or supplement regimen, you can begin to control the disease rather than the disease control you.
Living with Type 2 Diabetes
If you’re prediabetic or have already been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, you might feel as if there’s nothing you can do and you’ll have to live with it for the rest of your life. You might simply take the medications your doctor prescribes for you hoping the disease won’t progress into something worse like nerve damage or heart disease.
But now you see there are alternatives to medication that should give you hope.
The best medicine to prevent or control the disease cannot be prescribed by your doctor.
It’s found in the choices you make.
Three of the major contributing factors of Type 2 diabetes are:
- what you choose to eat
- the healthy habits you form and
- your level of physical activity (exercise)
So, the choice is yours.
Traditional medication and the good possibility that things won’t improve and perhaps get worse. Or – eating a healthy diet, exercising and using remedies which can prevent, control or possibly even cure your Type 2 diabetes naturally.