Diabetes mellitus type 2 is a complex disease affecting multiple organ systems. It has long been considered an incurable chronic disease. New research now exists that reversal is possible through a combination of aggressive diet and lifestyle changes. Remission can be defined as maintaining sugar levels within normal range without medications for an extended period of time.
We talk of remission and not a cure because it is not permanent. If people start eating unhealthy or gaining weight, it will come back.
Multiple web applications and clinics claim and advertise diabetes reversal for everyone. While it can certainly help decrease the medications, not all cases can achieve reversal.
Who is an ideal candidate?
- Someone with recently diagnosed diabetes mellitus
- Someone with few medications for diabetes.
- Someone who is willing to aggressive lifestyle changes, including physical activity and a low carbohydrate diet.
- Overweight or obese individuals
Who cannot be considered?
- Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus patients
- Patients with long-standing diabetes mellitus type 2 on multiple medications
- Patients with complications of diabetes
What needs to be done?
Losing excess weight, eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly are the keys to controlling blood sugar levels.
How much weight loss is needed?
Most People who reversed their diabetes lost 8-10% of body weight. Similarly, in research studies, it was seen that people with pre-diabetes decreased their chances of conversion to diabetes by 70% if they lost 7% of their body weight.
Physical activity to reverse diabetes
People should try for 10,000 steps a day apart from at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week. Studies have shown that calorie deficit along with exercise can help cut down dependence on medications.
Diet changes for reverse diabetes
In research settings, people were kept on a very low carbohydrate liquid diet for a few weeks, with the gradual introduction of a less restrictive diet. This resulted in the remission of diabetes. In clinical practice, a low-calorie, low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet should be followed. The diet should be sustainable and such that it can be followed long-term. A simple way to ensure this is to cut down on any refined sugars in your diet, cut down on the rice and rotis and increase salads and protein in daily meals.
To summarize, exercise and strict diet control are crucial for the management of Diabetes and Pre-diabetes. In the right candidates, it can achieve reversal.