How To Reverse Diabetes With Diet
In 2015, the CDC reported (1) that “30.3 million Americans – 9.4 percent of the U.S. population have diabetes. Another 84.1 million have pre-diabetes, a condition that if not treated often leads to type 2 diabetes within five years. That was 3 years ago and we can be sure that the numbers have increased. In fact, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that the number of Americans with diabetes continues to rise, with over 12% of the adult population estimated to have the disease, and more than a third of those aged 20 and over in the US now thought to have pre-diabetes (2). Think about that last number – 30% of people over age 20 are pre-diabetic which is just as dangerous as diabetes!
Excessive blood sugar in diabetes can wreak havoc on blood vessels all over the body. It can severely damage the eyes, kidneys, nerves, and other body parts; cause sexual problems; and double the risk of heart attacks and stroke (3).
What amazes me is that we have these staggering numbers of people that are walking around with pre-diabetes (which is just as dangerous) and doctors are prescribing drugs rather than diet. Drugs that have side effects and basically cover up the underlying cause of the disease which is diet. My passion is helping people gain back their health with diet and exercise and this is exactly why Venka came to see me last fall.
Venka first came to see me in October with 3 goals in mind:
1. To get off his insulin
2. To decrease inflammation and gout
3. To decrease blood pressure
Venka was 60 years old and was a Type 2 Diabetic on 33 units of insulin, 8 mg glimepiride and 2000 mg metformin a day. His fasting blood sugar levels were 150-200 and he weighed 280 pounds. He already had a good exercise program in place so our focus was solely on diet. He did not want to live the rest of his life on all these medications and was ready to make a change.
Venka’s wife had been through my program so he was already beginning to incorporate healthier options into his diet plan, however, he didn’t really have any portion control or consistency. Meals were often including too many calories from grains and just too many calories for weight loss. Basically he was eating more carbohydrates then he needed and “chasing” them with insulin. We needed to turn this around so that his body would be able to burn fat and start to reverse the process of becoming a diabetic.
Since he was a Type 2 Diabetic, getting him off insulin was totally realistic and a goal that we set. Weight loss, decreased inflammation, and reducing symptoms of gout all take care of themselves when the diet is addressing the issues of getting the liver and gut healthy and balancing the hormonal requirements of the body with food.
Venka began my program by doing my Two Week Detox Plan. He lost 12 pounds during the first two weeks, eliminated his gout and began to feel good. He discovered that dairy was not his friend and caused inflammation in his body so dairy remained out of his plan. Gluten was not as much of an issue however he choose to limit it in his Lifestyle Plan.
Over a 6 month period of time, Venka was able to slowly reduce and finally eliminate insulin altogether. His fasting sugars became normalized, his gout disappeared and his blood pressure dropped. Venka lost 35 pounds during this time and has discovered how good it feels to eat healthy. There are ways to fight diabetes without drugs as well.
When I asked Venka to tell me what helped him achieve his goals he told me:
1. Being accountable to what I was eating and having Mary coach me was key to my success. When my sugar was high we were able to determine what changes to make since my food intake was always in the APP.
2. As I felt better I became more motivated to eat real, healthy foods since I saw the benefit it was having on my overall health and well-being.
3. I love to cook and many of my meals have some cultural customs that Mary helped me adapt so that I could enjoy the flavors of what I liked without feeling deprived.
4. Before I began, I was counting the days for how long I can live and now I no longer worry about my physical or mental health so I can live without fear.
Congratulations Venka on your hard work. I know you still want to lose more weight and the process will continue until you reach your goal. Getting off insulin and reversing your diabetes, however, is an amazing feat and you are a true inspiration to many people who struggle with Type 2 Diabetes every day.
Are you looking to transform your health? Mary works with clients all over the country developing personalized nutrition and exercise plans for weight loss and health. If you’re ready to get started on your journey to health and wellness contact her today!