Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Can I Reverse Diabetes?

The rate at which people are being diagnosed with diabetes is rising sharply, leaving many people asking themselves, “Can I reverse diabetes?”. The simple answer is, usually. If you can’t completely reverse it, you can certainly control it. One of the biggest factors, weight, is rising quickly in a world filled with fast food joints, TV dinners, and unlimited kinds of junk food. Add to that the fact that more and more jobs are becoming sedentary, that is, that the workers are sitting or standing still rather than performing large amounts of labor, and you have a recipe for diabetes. There is hope on the horizon, however, and in the next few paragraphs we will take a look at some ways to reverse the effects of diabetes using simple diet and exercise.

Before we begin, I will explain the two types of diabetes. Type 1 Diabetes is where a person’s body produces very insufficient insulin, if any. In Type 2 Diabetes, the body still manufactures enough insulin, sometimes even more than is needed, but the body becomes immune to it. When this happens, the sugar in a person’s blood will not act as it should, thus resulting in greatly elevated blood sugar levels. This latter for of the disease becomes increasingly common after the age of thirty. Insulin is responsible for distributing food energy to the body, as well as letting you know when you are hungry. When you are overweight, your body contains an excess of insulin, which will cause an imbalance in this system, leading to carbohydrate cravings which cause even more insulin to be produced. This cycle can be broken, however, and now we will learn how.

There are a number of things one can do to reverse Type 2 diabetes. There is not one single answer, but rather a combination of things that, when done together, can easily reverse the body’s overproduction of and immunity to insulin. The biggest factor in reversing diabetes is changing the diet. You must change not only what you eat, but how and when. It is wise to eat about every four hours, stopping a few hours before bed. It is important to take in protein, fat, and whole food carbs at every meal and snack. The best foods are organic foods, meat, high protein fish, fruit, nuts, and fiber. It is also important to avoid refined flour and sugar such as bread and cereal, high-fructose corn syrup, and processed foods.

As important as diet is the need for exercise. Exercise can help the body get rid of stored fat, which can greatly reduce the symptoms of diabetes, and if done frequently and properly, can even reverse the disease altogether. A good starting point is to do thirty minutes of walking every day. For people with full blown cases of diabetes, an hour a day of aerobic exercise is needed to control the disease. This is a good target amount of exercise for everyone with the disease or at risk of developing it. In addition to helping rid the body of stored fat, aerobic exercise can also boost the body’s metabolism.

In addition to diet and exercise, there are other steps you can take to help reverse diabetes. Stress management is a great asset for people with the disease. Simple meditations, yoga, and deep breathing can all reduce stress, which is a trigger for insulin resistance. There are also a number of medications and supplements that help treat and undo the effects of diabetes. Medications can be obtained by talking to your doctor to determine if they are necessary. Supplements can be picked up at any health food store. Things such as antioxidants and vitamins can go a long way toward helping prevent diabetes symptoms. By making a few simple lifestyle changes, you can help ensure that you never have to ask again, “Can I reverse diabetes?”.

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