Much like any other disease, even type-2 diabetes comes along with a number of myths surrounding it. While some of the leading diabetes associations characterize this disease as a chronic progressive disease, leading Canadian nephrologist, Dr. Jason Fung has clarified that the disease is in fact, reversible.
In one of the YouTube videos with Diet Doctor, Dr. Fung explains that there are several misconceptions surrounding the condition of Type-2 diabetes. People either have very little knowledge surrounding it or people have misconceptions.
One of the most common misconceptions in medical sciences is treating the symptom of type-2 diabetes and not the disease.
This is exactly where the majority of the problems lie.
Dr. Fung even used an analogy to explain the situation saying that it is common sense that an alcoholic wouldn’t be treated by giving more alcohol, right? In diabetes, the medications and the insulin that is prescribed to the patients simply make the situation worse.
It is the injected insulin into the body of a diabetic is going to help keep the blood sugar levels down for the short term. But it is not treating the disease, which is insulin resistance.
Type-2 diabetics have high insulin resistance, so when we are pushing in more insulin, it is doing no favor to the condition. It is likely making it worse in the long run.
Take 10 years after being diagnosed with diabetes, your test results suggest that you have a healthy blood sugar level. Simultaneously, you are consuming 3-4 types of medications and even injecting insulin into your body to achieve that. Is it really effective?
This is where the problem arises. Your symptom of the disease is cured but your disease typically has gotten worse. This is the most common form of treatment that is administered to individuals nowadays.
Insulin resistance and type-2 diabetes
Insulin resistance is one of the stem causes of diabetes. This is what the disease is all about.
The high levels of blood sugar in the body are the symptom and not the disease.
For those who aren’t aware of what insulin resistance is, let me explain. It is a condition where the body produces excess insulin that the cells in the body aren’t able to utilize. This ends up causing a heightened level of insulin in the body.
If the cells aren’t able to utilize the produced insulin, it ends up causing high blood sugar levels.
The doctors treat high blood sugar by either giving medication or insulin injections in severe cases.
As per statistics (R), 1 in every 2 Americans suffers from pre-diabetes or high insulin resistance.
How does insulin resistance become diabetes?
One of the most common questions that people have is how does insulin resistance transforms into diabetes.
In pre-diabetics, their pancreas works extremely hard to produce excess insulin to cope with the body’s insulin resistance. It also helps in managing the blood sugar levels in the body.
The constant overworking of the pancreas makes its functions less functional and viable over time. It makes it extremely difficult for it to release insulin, thus leading to type-2 diabetes.
What should a diabetic do to overcome these challenges?
As we did mention before, Dr. Fung has reported that diabetes is not a chronic progressive disease but a reversible disease.
The only thing that one needs to do is ensure that they are taking enough precautions to change the course of things.
If diabetics are not going to bring forth changes to their eating habits and their lifestyle, it will get worse.
Yes, the medication does help keep the situation in control but 10 years down the line, it is the lifestyle changes that make all the difference.
According to Dr Fung, there are a few effective ways that one can adopt to help overcome the shortcomings.
Type-2 diabetes is a dietary disease, which is why understanding the disease is the first step to curing it.
Aside from that, some of the other effective tips that Dr Fung shares include:
Cutting out the excess sugars from the diet
Refined carbohydrates like plain sugar, pasta, and bread are the first enemy that has negative impacts on the condition of type-2 diabetes.
The consumption of these refined sugars, which are basically chains of sugars, break down once they are consumed. Even adding in exercise to the sequence can effectively burn the excess sugar in the body.
As crude and rough it might sound, fasting is one of the best ways to overcome the condition of Type-2 diabetes.
According to Dr Fung, fasting is the most effective way to lower the insulin, in a natural way.
It is a common misconception that consuming a low carb diet can help get the insulin levels down. Instead, it just works in bringing down the levels of the blood sugar down. But it doesn’t necessarily affect the blood insulin levels in the body.
The reason why low carb diets are still not effective in reducing insulin is that the proteins and fats contribute to the rise in insulin. The degree of rising is not as dramatic as carbohydrates but it is still present.
Fasting makes the body have nothing, be it carbs, proteins, or fats, so what will happen is that the body will start burning the sugar. Once the sugar levels are brought down, it then starts burning the fat.
The combination of this is exactly what any diabetic needs for their recovery and to reverse the condition of diabetes.
Is fasting harmful?
But, the one lingering question that people have is whether or not fasting is harmful.
Several studies (R) on fasting have shown that the body has more energy as opposed to what people have a misconception about.
There are a number of interconnected changes happening in your body when it is undergoing fasting.
The levels of the growth hormone shoot up, helping to preserve the muscles when there is no food coming in.
The adrenaline levels also go up to give you more energy which is then fuelled by the fats.
So, during fasting, three things happen –
- You’re burning fat
- You’re preserving muscles
- You have elevated levels of energy in the body
And the combination of the three is what Dr. Fung believes is the perfect treatment for the condition of Type-2 diabetes.