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bigbrain

Is Diabetes reversible...

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bigbrain

I was just diagnosed with type 2 a couple days ago based on an A1C of 6.9 at the tender age of 36 :(

 

I'm still confused about a lot of things. The way this disease is talked about is as a chronic disease you are stuck with, essentially comes down to genes. You have it or you don't.

 

Does this mean that people who don't have the gene(s) can eat as much sugar, carbs, whatever they want till the cows come home every day and they will never get it. Doesn't seem logical. If anybody eats enough sugar then by definition their' bg will increase and by definition their A1C will increase.

 

I immediately started a low carb diet hoping to bring the A1C below 6.5 in 3 months. But then would I still be considered a diabetic ? But someone who never got tested when his/her a1c was high, but got tested after changing their diet and exercise and bringing it down is not a diabetic ?

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Kit

We have a member with an A1C in the 4s on no medications whose doctor won't remove diabetes off his chart.

 

You know why? Because he is still diabetic and when he slips off his diet and exercise routine, he sees his numbers rise.

 

Reversal of diabetes is an odd statement it can mean many different things. Does it mean cured as you seem to imply above? The answer to this one is almost universally no. Once you start eating those carbs again, the numbers almost always start to rise again.

 

Some professionals use it to mean numbers on normal non diabetic ranges. In that case, yes, it is entirely possible.

 

In your example at the end, the person is labeled not disbelieve but only because they feel through the cracks, not because they truly aren't.

Edited by Kit

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meyery2k

Bigbrain -  Welcome.  You will find much valuable advice here. 

 

I have consistently kept my A1C below 5.  Doctor stopped the Metformin.  I asked about removing diabetes from the chart and it won't happen.  I am not cured of diabetes by any means.  If I eat bread or rice my BG will go much higher than a non-diabetic.  I am still insulin resistant.  I am just able to keep things in check with exercise and not giving myself too many carbs.  It can be argued that I am in remission since I still am considered to have diabetes but show no active signs of it.

 

Actually there are many studies that demonstrate a person with normal insulin response and not resistant can eat as many carbs as they want and not go anywhere near the criteria for being classified as diabetic.  It is believed that diet and lifestyle alone do not cause diabetes but they can certainly exacerbate it.  There is even some thinking that obesity might actually be the body's defense against too much glucose.  Since having it circulating around is harmful and the body can't get rid of it, it stores it.

 

 

The fasting glucose test is really just a test where you consume a large amount of glucose and then get tested after 2 hours to see how well you processed that.  I would likely fail that test miserably.

 

This site provides some insight and actually shows some data where blood glucose values have been studied in non-diabetics vs. diabetics.

 

http://www.phlaunt.com/diabetes/index.php

 

Based on what I understand, I will settle for remission.

 

The information provided on these forums helped me figure out how to do it.  While I didn't care for the advice a first and argued it bitterly, I found that reducing carbs and increasing exercise led to easier management.

 

I hope you decide to join this group.  You will find no better advice. ~ Mike

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Gladtobehere

Diabetes is Not reversible.

 

Symptoms ARE reversible !

 

Learning about carbs and controlling amount is the best first step you could make.

 

Don't deny yourself. Just Control yourself and you will live a long and happy life.

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bigbrain

Bigbrain -  Welcome.  You will find much valuable advice here. 

 

I have consistently kept my A1C below 5.  Doctor stopped the Metformin.  I asked about removing diabetes from the chart and it won't happen.  I am not cured of diabetes by any means.  If I eat bread or rice my BG will go much higher than a non-diabetic.  I am still insulin resistant.  I am just able to keep things in check with exercise and not giving myself too many carbs.  It can be argued that I am in remission since I still am considered to have diabetes but show no active signs of it.

 

Actually there are many studies that demonstrate a person with normal insulin response and not resistant can eat as many carbs as they want and not go anywhere near the criteria for being classified as diabetic.  It is believed that diet and lifestyle alone do not cause diabetes but they can certainly exacerbate it.  There is even some thinking that obesity might actually be the body's defense against too much glucose.  Since having it circulating around is harmful and the body can't get rid of it, it stores it.

 

 

 

The fasting glucose test is really just a test where you consume a large amount of glucose and then get tested after 2 hours to see how well you processed that.  I would likely fail that test miserably.

 

This site provides some insight and actually shows some data where blood glucose values have been studied in non-diabetics vs. diabetics.

 

http://www.phlaunt.com/diabetes/index.php

 

Based on what I understand, I will settle for remission.

 

The information provided on these forums helped me figure out how to do it.  While I didn't care for the advice a first and argued it bitterly, I found that reducing carbs and increasing exercise led to easier management.

 

I hope you decide to join this group.  You will find no better advice. ~ Mike

 

Thank you meyery2k. I found the video very useful. My bg is already down after just 3 days on a low carb diet. I used to always wake up in the mornings with bg in the 7-8.5 range. But this morning it was just 4.7. I got the idea for a low car diet from

 

 

Dr Attia's video essentially confirming it. 

 

But what about those "experts" who say that it's really fat that's causing the problem. like these guys that say fat cells block insulin.

 

 

Are they essential fringe views, like climate change deniers ?

Edited by bigbrain

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Gladtobehere

It depends what you believe. More carb = more insulin in the body = more energy storage = more fat. Sounds like a chicken and egg scenario. = low carb ;-)

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Gladtobehere

Btw. If you low carb you need to increincrease fat and protein to avoid hunger. So you must decide what works for you.

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meyery2k

Bigbrain - That is an interesting conundrum and I can only reliably share my own observations.

 

When I was first diagnosed, I was morbidly obese at 313 pounds.  I was sedentary and ate primarily fast food and convenience food.  I was eating 200-300g of carbs a day easy.  Fat distributed all over my body but primarily in the abdomen area.  Size 44 pants that were tight.  I live in a 3 story walk up and was winded after climbing the stairs.

 

I have seen friends and family lose feet, organs, and sight from complications.  I am OCD about my feet and did not want to lose them.  Of the obviously many good reasons to change, this was the one that did it.  I decided I would walk my feet off before diabetes takes them.  I then found this forum which helped me put the other pieces together for me.

 

I walked, walked, and then walked some more.  My neighbor commented that I looked like I was going to drop dead at first and I felt like that.  With the diet and the exercise, the weight really just came off.  I had to teach myself portion control and that is still a challenge for me but I was much better than I was.  Eventually, as I became more fit, I could run swim and cycle (which I have found is my passion).

 

So 1 year later - I lost 113 pounds, lipids are excellent, I can run 10K, swim 1 mile +, cycle 100 miles in a day, and do almost anything with my new body.  I am a size 36 now.  Where I used to struggle to keep up on family outings, I now lead.  I eat bacon (or sausage) every day for breakfast.  I diligently follow low carb high fat.  I did that primarily to control diabetes but the other benefits followed along.

 

There are some thoughts that fat stored in the body interferes with insulin production and use.  One time when I was talking to the doctor he pointed out that fat is not only stored visibly, but also where we can't see it.  He explained that my organs were probably also storing fat and shedding that helps them work better just like the rest of my body.

 

So it is possible that fat cells mess things up but the actual question, as Dr. Attia and others point out, is what prompts the PRODUCTION of those fat cells?  Common sense might say fat but maybe it is the carbs since they are so easily converted to glucose and the body can either use it or stores it.

 

While I am not happy to be diabetic, it has challenged me in many unexpected ways.  I certainly don't have the answers but I know what has worked for me.  Yeah, maybe the bacon and eggs are not the greatest for me, but the evidence of my lipids and lifestyle would suggest otherwise.  I am much happier as a fit diabetic though than where I was prior, ironically.

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Kit

Re the fat thing. There is a big difference between dietary fat (what we consume) and body fat/fat around organs/etc (what's stored on our in our bodies).

 

The second yes, it very likely is part of the problem. The first, however, is not necessarily the cause of it.

 

Is a difference the low fat proponents won't discuss. I remember watching some infomercial type thing way back in the 80s. Person said don't eat ham because pigs are fat so eating ham will make you fat. It's similar poor logic.

 

Btw,you don't have to be over weight to have fat packed around your organs, fatty liver, etc. And you can be overweight and not have that excess weight around your organs.

Edited by Kit

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Dave_KC

There are some reports that claim the ability to reverse diabetes, but it's very, very far from established, and while all of us would love that to be true, at this point we should live as though diabetes itself can't be reversed.  

 

But as others have pointed out, blood glucose can be controlled, and the consequences of out of control diabetes can be delayed or eliminated.  My motivation is that I have smaller children at home and I want to be there for them, along with my wife whom I love dearly.  

 

I was diagnosed last November with an A1c of 12.6, and the day I got the call (before I even saw the doctor about the diagnosis), I immediately started low carb, having a salad at Chick-Fil-A (and majorly disappointing my wife who wanted the chicken sandwich).  I was put on Metformin and Januvia and took my diet radically serious, along with continued exercise.  I went down to 7.4 in February and this may I got to 5.0 on the A1c...  my nurse practitioner said she put 16 exclamations after the number, and my Doctor's wife on Facebook described me as her husband's "poster child" for how to handle diabetes.  

 

At the same time, I've got news that a dear friend of the family who didn't take care of his diabetes has lost his leg, has terrible heart function, and now hospice has been called in, and he didn't take care of his diabetes, and we're seeing the results.  

 

So, I don't know if it can be reversed or not (although the practice I go to did mention that word at my last appointment), but even if I was truly reversed, I think I'd be insane to change diet and go back to eating as I once did.  

 

Seriously, there's good folks here who are glad to help and encourage you along the way, and get this under control.  

 

BTW, on low carb, I saw my other numbers in cholesterol and triglycerides get dramatically better, and mine weren't bad to begin with.

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Diana_CT

I was watching the video by Dr. Sarah Hallberg and she mentioned the research that she has done so that lead me to PubMed which is a research paper database of all NIH funded research and I came across this research paper, “A Randomized Pilot Trial of a Moderate Carbohydrate Diet Compared to a Very Low Carbohydrate Diet in Overweight or Obese Individuals with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus or Prediabetes” (Don’t you just love these long title, you would think that they get paid by the word).

 

Anyhow the study was about,

Our goal in this study was to conduct a randomized, controlled trial with good participant retention to compare the health impact of two different diets in type 2 diabetes over three months: (a) a medium carbohydrate, low fat, calorie-restricted, carbohydrate counting diet in line with guidelines from the ADA to (B) a very low carbohydrate, high fat, non calorie-restricted diet whose goal is to induce nutritional ketosis. Because participants who attempt to change their diets tend to revert to their original diet over time, reducing adherence and potentially retention, we included skills to support behavior change and maintenance [6], [7]. Although the current trial was aimed in part at comparing the effects of each diet on glycemic control, an important goal was to test the feasibility of our research design for conducting a larger scale, longer-term trial to more definitively address the limitations of prior research studies.

 

And it all boiled down to…
 

A key finding of this randomized, controlled trial was that a low carbohydrate diet was more effective than a standard, moderate carbohydrate diet at reducing HbA1c at three months, our primary outcome point. These results are consistent with those of several prior studies [5], which have found substantial improvements in glycemic control with low carbohydrate diets in the setting of a metabolic ward [27], or in uncontrolled studies [28]. These results provide important support for the benefit of low carbohydrate diets in type 2 diabetes for glycemic control, as well as the feasibility of adhering to the diet for at least three months in a community setting. In addition, the improvement in glycemic control was observed despite greater decreases in diabetes medications, particularly sulfonylureas, in the LCK group. This combination of findings suggests another possible benefit of a low carbohydrate diet intervention that may warrant further investigation. Of note, we observed no episodes of clinically evident hypoglycemia in our study, though any reassurance this might provide is substantially limited by the small numbers and short duration of study. However, our findings suggest a low carbohydrate diet may hold promise as a strategy to simultaneously improve glycemic control while allowing discontinuation of medications most likely to cause serious hypoglycemia.
[…]
Despite these limitations, our data suggest that, in overweight and obese individuals with type 2 diabetes, a very low carbohydrate, high fat, non calorie-restricted diet may be more effective at improving blood glucose control than a medium carbohydrate, low fat, calorie-restricted, carbohydrate counting diet that remains the standard for most diabetes education efforts…

So all that research and all they had to do was come here and talk to us.

 

Hmm, anyone for a big fatty steak for dinner tonight?

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Kit

It is great to see more official studies coming out saying what we already figured out.  Maybe eventually this will leads to better official recommendations for diabetics, especially the newly diagnosed.

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Dave_KC

Hmm, anyone for a big fatty steak for dinner tonight?

 

Sounds good to me!  Just skip the baked potato...  maybe mashed cauliflower...  with some cheese and bacon to make it palatable!  :)

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Kit

Asparagus and mushrooms in cream sauce.  Maybe some sauteed spinach with garlic.  :D

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Dave_KC

Asparagus and mushrooms in cream sauce.  Maybe some sauteed spinach with garlic.  :D

I'm not sure on the Spinach, but the Asparagus sounds great!  

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Kit

I'm weird.  I've loved spinach since I was a little kid.  Even the canned stuff.  :D

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Dave_KC

I'm weird.  I've loved spinach since I was a little kid.  Even the canned stuff.  :D

I agree (on the weird point).  :P

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Fraser

I never learned to appreciate commercially canned vegetables. They either fresh from the garden or canned at home!

Until my mother discover frozen veggies. And then, oh my! She discoverrf frozen TV dinners. (Awful things)

 

So basically at my house fresh from the Haight Street Market or whole foods, and farmers markets. I do admit to liking canned artichoke hearts.and Sundried tomatoes. I admit it has been a long time since I canned my own pickles. (

 

Pretty much any thing that is grown fresh from the farm s good!

Edited by Fraser

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scribner

Is diabetes reversible? Absolutely - but not for every diabetic and maybe not even for most.

The problem is that diabetes is not a disease but a condition that has a wide variety of causes. Some become diabetic through obesity, others through a genetic quirk, others have a misfiring pancreas, still others get diabetes through an infection... the list goes on. 

Some can be reversed.

In my case an infection that rarely ever gets diagnosed caused my blood sugar to rise higher than anyone here will ever experience. But once it was over, my blood sugar returned to normal. No drugs, no diet, no anything.

The tricky part is accepting that my "normal" blood sugar, may not be yours. Our metabolisms are all very different; diabetics with a weight problem or who have a family history of diabetes complications need much stricter control that others.

There is no "normal" blood glucose level that is appropriate to everyone. You have to figure it out on your own.

 

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bigbrain

Thank you everyone. As far as Dr Attia's diet's is he even suggesting cutting down on vegetables to get into ketosis, and it should be mostly fat and protein. I saw there are other's saying a ketogenic diet requires a lot of vegetables ? I'd like to hear peoples experiences.

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Fraser

I only did a quick check but it appears that Attia is a Type 1 diabetic.

You have listed yourself as a Type 2. What works for one is not relevant for the other.

Let me know if That is correct he is a type 1

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Kit

Strictly speaking a ketogenic diet is high in fat, moderate in protein, and low in carbs. Because the carb count is so low (30g total carbs a day in my case) I limit my carb intake to low carb vegetables, nuts, and seeds only.

 

The upside to this is that by volume I eat way more vegetables than your average American whose carb intake is almost completely starches.

 

For example, at 4g total carbs for a small zucchini, I will spiralize one and use the entire thing as the base of a stir fry to replace noodles or rice. With it I might add bok choy, peppers, mushrooms, snow peas, onion, asparagus, bean sprouts, broccolini, cauliflower, or whatever else hits my fancy at the moment. Season with soy sauce, sesame oil, fish sauce, garlic, ginger, and hot chili oil.

Edited by Kit

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