Is it possible to reverse type 2 diabetes?
YES! If you would have searched this simple phrase on the internet 10 years ago, the results would have been a resounding no. However, with a much better understanding of the effects of lifestyle modification on diabetes there has been a shift in what we can accomplish in regards to actually reversing this disease.
There are certain factors that play a role in your ability to reverse type 2 diabetes. Your body’s ability to reverse the damage that has be done depends on how long you’ve had the condition, how severe it is, and your genes.
According to new statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 25.8 million people, or 8.3% of the U.S. population, are affected by either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Most, however, have type 2 diabetes, which in many people develops later in life. Caused primarily by genetic makeup, a sedentary lifestyle, and poor eating habits, type 2 diabetes can be reversed in some cases. By making lifestyle changes such as adding exercise and improving dietary habits, many type 2 diabetics can drop their glucose or sugar levels back to the normal range, reversing their condition.
According to the director of diabetes translation at the CDC, Ann Albright, PhD, RD, “The term ‘reversal’ is used when people can go off medication but still must engage in a lifestyle program in order to stay off.”
This is where programs like what is offered at Rejuv Medical Louisville can be life changing. So why do exercise and diet help reverse diabetes? To answer that question, we first need to know why people get diabetes in the first place. Diabetes is caused when there is too much glucose or sugar in the body. We get sugar from the things we eat, especially foods that are high in sugar or carbohydrates. Our bodies are designed to process sugar so it can enter our cells and provide energy. Glucose can’t enter our cells without insulin, which is a hormone produced by the pancreas. If you have diabetes, your body is not making enough insulin or possibly none at all — or it can’t properly use the insulin it is producing. As a result, too much sugar stays in the blood. If this occurs for a long time, it can lead to serious problems.
Although genetics plays a part, obesity is a major factor in developing type 2 diabetes. If you carry excess weight, especially your midsection, you are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes because the fat in your tissues causes an imbalance of insulin in the body. This condition is called insulin resistance. If you can eliminate that fat by exercising and limiting carbohydrates and alcohol, then it is possible to decrease your blood glucose levels. And for some, this means getting them back into the normal range.
As you can see, lifestyle changes play a very significant role in your ability to reverse the disease process. This not only applies to type 2 diabetes, but many other chronic conditions as well. Keep coming back to our blog to learn more about many other diseases that can be reversed with simple lifestyle modification.