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Type II Diabetes

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  • Type II Diabetes

    Happy new year everyone. All the best for 2010.

    I have a question in regards to Type II Diabetes. I often read that once you have it, it isn't reversible.

    Is that really true? I mean, when you eat and live in the way that your body was meant to (primal, natural eating supplemented with good exercise) then your metabolism of carbohydrates should return to how it should be. Sure, it might take a while to get to this point after many years of SAD, but there's always hope, isn't there? If you're really determined to get yourself healthy, then you can do it at any age, can't you?

    I just don't like it when someone implies that no, you can't heal yourself, or that you may be 'doomed' and have to rely on pills for the rest of your life. It's like you don't have control of your health.

    I'm asking this question a little out of personal concern for my dad. And myself, too, I guess. I have the 'diabetic gene'. It's a little unfair, but I'm sure if I work hard at it then I can have control of my health.

    I was thinking about putting this topic in Nutrition, but I think it's appropriate in Success Stories too. Anyone proved them wrong? Or know of anyone who has taken control of their health and healed their body naturally?

  • #2

    From what I understand, type2 diabetes can be controlled with diet and exercise--i.e, the person doesn't have to take any meds at all, but that only works so long as the person adheres to the eating plan. You can't "change" your physiology with diet, so if you lack insulin, your body won't begin producing it again just because you're eating right. As you suggest, it's a genetic disorder, and the best you can do is try to control it.

    My experience may be helpful to you. Both of my sisters have diabetes2, and I'm hypothyroid, which tends to elevate blood glucose (a lot of hypos are also diabetic). I have been eating strict low carb for years(perhaps 20-30g a day or less), yet my fasting BG is still in the 90s--not diabetic but high for someone who eats as I do. My endo says that my WOE is the only thing that's keeping me from full-blown diabetes. So I have a strong incentive to continue eating this way, apart from the fact that I feel great doing so.


    • #3

      No, Type 2 diabetes is not reversible. It is controllable, but once you have it, you have it. You can't just go PB or low-carb for a while, get it under control, and go back to eating the SAD. If it were reversible, you could.

      However, it can be completely controlled through diet, which is what I'm doing.

      Primal eating in a nutshell: If you are hungry, eat Primal food until you are satisfied (not stuffed). Then stop. Wait until you're hungry again. Repeat.

      Looking for my Cholesterol Primer? Here it is:

      Ditch the scale!:

      My Success Story:


      • #4


        I believe that type II diabetes is caused by (or perhaps more accurately, defined as) severe insulin resistance producing unsafe blood glucose levels, not by a failure of the body to produce insulin. Tho if the insulin resistance is not resolved, and carb/sugar loading continues, then eventually the pancreas' capacity to produce it will be impaired. The precise evolution of the condition will depend on many factors, including the individual's genetic predispositions.

        Since one of the major motivations for Paleo-type eating is to improve insulin sensitivity, I think it is philosophically arguable whether, if you can get your BG back to normal in this way, you are cured of the condition, or simply controlling it. Either way, this would not mean that you are not liable to fall back into it if you go back to eating and living in a way that is inappropriate for your metabolism. I myself have been in and out of the medically-defined Type II diabetes zone several times over the last ten years, depending on how much I sleep, what I eat, how stressed I am, etc.

        Insulin resistance is certainly reversible in many if not all cases. So, with due respect to Griff, I tend to think that saying that the disease cannot be cured is tantamount to saying that SAD is a normal condition which your body should be able to cope with (and I guess this is what certain medical tests used to diagnose diabetes might be taken to imply). This goes against the philosophical basis for thinking that Paleo eating and living are what we are meant to do, rather than a kind of medical approach which only certain people need.

        I prefer to think that diabetes, along with high blood pressure, is one of the pitfalls that my particular genes mean I am liable to fall into first if I decide to collaborate in the war against my physical health being waged by the food industry, rather than a definitively faulty part of me which I now have to live with whatever I do. The important thing is to have low insulin and low BG levels permanently, however you understand the obstacles to achieving that which face you as an individual.


        • #5

          I don't think there's a pat answer for this. I think we are all individuals and the disease responds differently for each of us that has it.

          I did a trial without my medication after having eaten less than 50g carbs a day for several months. My A1c was well withing normal range. 3 weeks off medication and my fasting sugars started running in the 150's and 160's and my A1c shot back up. So I went back on meds. For me, it's going to have to be a combination of diet and meds. I thought I had the answers but I really don't.


          • #6

            Hmm... I don't have much to add, but I really got a lot out of your replies. Thanks for the feedback everyone