Is it possible to reverse diabetes?

Wednesday June 26 2013




On a recent trip to the UK, I went to visit someone in hospital. What struck me as I walked through the wards was how the healthcare system could more accurately be described as a disease management system.

I wondered how many people were actually getting better in the true sense of the word and how many simply left the hospital with a bag of pills to lessen the effects of their ailment. Nowhere does this apply better than when talking about diabetes.

From 1983 to 2008, the incidence of diabetes worldwide increased from 35 million to an incredible 240 million. And from 2008 to 2011, this number increased by another 110 million.

What is even worse is that children as young as eight are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes is viewed as a one-way street and many diabetics are nowadays armed with a variety of gadgets and gizmos to support their condition — from glucose monitors and blood pressure cuffs to eye tests and foot exams. But what if diabetics everywhere are approaching their problem in the wrong way? What if diabetes, rather than being a condition that needs to be managed, could be reversed?

Well, according to a truly ground-breaking study in Diabetologia, it appears that diabetes can not only be reversed, it can be reversed much faster than you would imagine — in as little as one to eight weeks. By making a drastic dietary change, you can reverse most of the symptoms associated with diabetes in just a week, and all of the symptoms in eight weeks.

So how was it done?

Well, once upon a time, it was believed that once the cells in the pancreas stopped producing insulin, that was it; there was no way to revive them and there was no alternative but to manage diabetes as an ailment. However, the new evidence showed that after a drastic change in diet, the beta cells (insulin-producing cells in the pancreas) literally wake up.

Furthermore, the typical telltale signs of diabetes such as fat deposits in the liver and pancreas also go away. Blood sugar can be normalised in as little as a week, while triglycerides (a type of blood fat) has been seen to reduce by 50 per cent in a week and 10-fold in eight weeks.

What the evidence shows is that in just eight weeks, the body’s cells become more insulin-sensitive and essentially all evidence of diabetes is gone.

It is something I see regularly in my practice. What is more, the side effects — increased energy, more restful sleep, better sexual function, and weight loss — are pretty good too. Since both pre-diabetes and diabetes both dramatically increase the risk of heart disease, cancer, infertility, and dementia (among other problems), it is crucial that you take the necessary steps to help you reverse it. It really does not have to be a one-way street.

The writer is a clinical nutritionist and certified by the Nutritional Therapy Council in the UK. Please direct any questions about family nutrition to her on [email protected]