Much like any other disease, even type-2 diabetes comes along with a number of myths surrounding it. While some of the leading diabetes association characterise this disease as a chronic progressive disease, leading Canadian nephrologist, Dr. Jason Fung have 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 a very less knowledge surrounding it or people have misconceptions.
One of the most common misconceptions and the wrong mode of treatment that the medical sciences have been indulging in for the last 3-4 decades is treating the symptom of type-2 diabetes and not the disease.
This is exactly where 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? Well, in case of diabetes, the medications and the insulin that is prescribed to the patients simply make the situation worse.
It is likely that the injected insulin into the body of a diabetic is going to help keep them blood sugar levels down for the short term but it is not treating the disease, which is the insulin resistance.
Type-2 diabetics have a high insulin resistance, so when we are pushing in more insulin, it is doing no favour to the condition and 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 but at the same time, you are consuming 3-4 types of medications and even injecting insulin into your body to achieve that.
This is where the problem arises from. 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 the 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 what insulin resistance is, it is a condition where the body produces excess of insulin that the cells in the body aren’t able to utilise. This ends up causing a heightened level of insulin in the body.
If the cells aren’t able to utilised the produced insulin, it ends up causing a high blood sugar levels, which can then prove fatal for the body in the long run.
The doctors treat the high blood sugar by either giving medication or insulin injections in the severe cases.
As per statistics (R), 1 in every 2 Americans suffer from prediabetes or high insulin resistance.
How does insulin resistance become diabetes?
One of the most common question that people have is how does insulin resistance transform into diabetes.
In the individuals suffering from prediabetes, their pancreas works extremely hard to produce excess insulin to cope with the body’s insulin resistance and at the same time, help in managing the blood sugar levels in the body.
But, the constant overworking of the pancreas makes its functions less functional and viable over the course of time, making 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 precaution to change the course of things.
If diabetics are not going to bring forth changes to their eating habits and their lifestyle, it is likely going to get worse than better.
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. This contributes to sudden spike in the blood sugar levels, which is exactly what you don’t want to experience when it comes to Type-2 diabetes.
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 doesn’t necessarily affect the blood insulin levels in the body.
The reason why low carb diets are still not effective in reducing the insulin is because the proteins and fats consumed do contribute to rise in insulin. The degree of rise 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 shoots up, helping to preserve the muscles when there is no food coming in.
Not just that, the adrenaline levels also goes 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.