Metabolic Health

How to Reverse Type 2 Diabetes

Reviewed by

Shifa Fathima

Diabetes is a chronic condition that causes the sugar levels in our bloodstream to rise significantly. Normally, when we eat something, our body sends a signals to our pancreas to release insulin. In Type 2 diabetes, although the pancreas are secreting insulin, our body is unable to utilize it effectively leading to high blood sugar and high insulin levels.

But this does not happen overnight. Before our body reaches this state, it gives us several warning signs and time to recognise and start working on correcting it before it is too late. This preceding stage is known as Prediabetes, and is the most ideal time to start working on reversing the condition. So what should one be doing to strike while the iron is hot? Is there a list of things to do or follow to attain diabetes reversal? Let's find out.

Methods to Reverse Diabetes.

1. Switch to Low-Calorie Diet

The effects of sticking to a low-calorie diet among people diagnosed with diabetes are huge. Test your blood sugar levels before and after a low-calorie and a high-calorie meal and you will be able to see the difference instantly. Restricting your meals to lower calories and carb reduces the need for insulin, facilitates weight loss and even blood sugar levels are maintained at optimal levels.

Pointers

- Avoid processed foods that are high in sugars/calories like Candies, Cakes, Maida, Biscuits.

- Restrict starchy foods like Potatoes and Rice

2. Physical Activity & Exercise

Physical activity and exercise plays an important role in reducing the overall sugar levels by breaking down glucose molecules that enter the bloodstream. When combined with a proper controlled diet, it can aid weight loss and speed up the process of reversal.

Pointers

- Take it Slow : Start with a 20-minute walk and gradually increase time, frequency and intensity of exercise over time to include more complex workouts like running, yoga, aerobics, etc.

- Exercise also plays a very important role in improving our emotional health as it releases endorphins (happy chemicals in the brain) that are responsible for us to feel good and happy. 

3. Time Restricted Eating (TRE)

Time restricted eating is a type of fasting that limits your food intake to a certain number of hours each day.  It can be done by either reducing the amount of food you eat, or by restricting the intake of calories in that particular duration. Several studies have shown that TRE not only helps to helps improve fasting glucose levels, but also aids in significant weight loss, more tolerance and minimal risk of Hypoglycemia, making it a superstar dietary strategy for the management of Type 2 Diabetes.

Pointers

- Make sure you eat a balanced diet during your fasting and non-fasting windows. Include food items for all groups of food, especially high Fiber and Protein so that you do not lack energy. 

- If you take insulin or are on blood sugar-lowering medications, it is critical to check with your care provider or coach before starting TRE, since it affects different people with underlying conditions differently.

- Starting TRE unsupervised can make your blood sugar levels plummet to dangerously low levels and drastically alter how your medications work.

Bottomline

Diabetes is a disease that largely needs to be managed as there is no scientific cure to it yet. If you have been diagnosed, or know someone with T1D or T2D, encouraging and providing support to be able to lead a healthy lifestyle with minimal complications, especially long-term, would be vital. Following a routine with a proper diet and exercise would help in managing the symptoms to a great extent. Aim for a lower HbA1c and work towards it.

Reversing Diabetes can be tough, but with some discipline and a positive mindset it can be done. The trick is to not just follow ways or methods like you just want to get through a storm, but instead to accept and embrace the changes you are making as something that's a part of you. Adopting healthy patterns as a way of life not only makes it simpler to achieve reversal and lead a healthy lifestyle with minimal complications, but also ensures it stays that way.

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