Are you suffering from diabetes? Or, Does any loved one of yours suffering from diabetes? Then you have landed on to the right place. Because here we will discuss about “Is Diabetes Reversible?” and “What Are The Ways to Reverse Diabetes?”
But, What is your idea about this condition? Can Diabetes be reversed? What do you think?
Ok, let’s not jump to a conclusion so fast. As it’s not a yes or no answer. To fulfill the quest, we have to understand the facts before reaching up to the end of it.
In India, there are a million cases of diabetes. The total estimated cases are about 72.96 million approximately. In urban area, the presence of the disease ranges between 10.9% to 14.2%. Whereas in rural areas, the percentage ranges between 3.0 to 7.8%. Also, people suffering from this chronic disease get cured by following some simple procedures .
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a condition in which the body has difficulty in moving glucose (a type of sugar) from the blood into the cell. As the glucose is not getting delivered to the cell, it leads to the accumulation of sugar in the bloodstream which eventually causes a high sugar level. We know that our cell needs glucose for energy. But despite the fact that the glucose is right in the bloodstream, the cell starves of energy by not letting the glucose enter into the cell. But why?
Why our own body is being so stingy to us? This would not be a problem if the cell allowed glucose to enter. Isn’t it? Are we responsible for this? What do you think? Ok, let’s dig in more and find out.
In order to make the concept a little easier to understand, let’s assume, one day you forgot or lost your key to your house. Now relate it to the case of diabetes, we can say that you (i.e. sugar) cannot enter your house (i.e. cell) without the help of your key (i.e. insulin). In both cases, we have to find or take alternate measures for that “Lost key”.
What is Insulin?
In healthy people, insulin (which is actually produced by the pancreas) allows the glucose to be transported into the cell. Insulin is a type of hormone which is naturally produced by the β-cells of pancreas of the body and once activated, transport the sugar into the cell.
But people suffering from the chronic diabetes have one of the following conditions:
- Either there is little insulin or no insulin production at all by the pancreas of the body, or,
- The pancreas produces insulin but the cell becomes resistant to it and cannot make any use of it.
Thus, there is an increase in the level of sugar and leading to diabetes.
When we consume food, it gets broken down into simpler substances such as sugar molecules. Then the blood vessels transport the sugar molecules to the cells (e.g. muscle cells) of different parts of the body where it is used as a source of energy. Here, sugar isn’t able to move by itself into the cell. Insulin is the key or helper that enables glucose to be delivered. When sugar leaves the blood, the blood sugar level is low. And when sugar cannot leave the blood, it leads to a high blood sugar level.
Is Coronavirus a risk for Diabetic Patients?
The diabetic patients are at risk from almost all health conditions, due to the critical nature of the disease.
Diabetic patients are known to be immuno-compromised or their immunity is suppressed due to the destructive effects of spike in their blood sugar level as hyperglycemia weakens the overall immunity of the body through different mechanisms. In comparison to a healthy person, people suffering from diabetes are more vulnerable to have severe symptoms if effected by the virus. A diabetic patient can follow some diet in the form of natural immunity boosters after consulting with their respective physician.
Types of Diabetes:
Do you know what type of diabetes you have or your dear ones have? There are basically two types of diabetes. One is Type 1 Diabetes and other is Type 2 Diabetes.
Type 1 Diabetes:
This type of diabetes occurs when your own immune system destroys the insulin making cells (i.e., β-cells) of the pancreas. It is an autoimmune disease. Here your own immune system betrays you.
Just like, when pathogens (e.g. bacteria or virus) take entrance into your body and the body’s immune system attack those pathogens. In the similar manner, your body’s immune system thinks of the pancreas cells as antigens or pathogens and likewise attacks them. That is the body’s immune system mistakes its own healthy cells as foreign particles and starts building immunity against your own body cells and called autoimmune disease. Thus, the cells are unable to produce insulin.
Similar to Type 1 Diabetes, there is another condition called Secondary Diabetes which can be caused by wiping out of the β-cells of the pancreas due to a disease or any kind of injury to the pancreas and without any participation of the immune system.
Type 2 Diabetes:
This type of diabetes occurs when the cells develop resistance to insulin or doesn’t respond to insulin and at later stages, the body may not produce enough insulin.
Signs and Symptoms:
Both the types of diabetes share many similar signs and symptoms which are:
- Blurred vision
- Frequent urination
- Any type of cut that doesn’t heal fast or properly
- Fatigue feeling
- Feeling very hungry
- Feeling very thirsty and constantly drinking water
The symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes develop very fast and the patient may experience rapid weight loss, irritability and mood changes. But the symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes develop very slowly and sometimes there is no symptoms at all until complications start to develop.
How to Diagnose?
Now comes the next question that how you will know the type of diabetes you are dealing with. There are certain kinds of tests which are usually done. But it is always recommended to consult with the doctor if any such symptoms are met. The tests which are generally done are:
Glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test:
The average blood sugar level for the past 2-3 months is indicated by this test. The doctor may give you small finger prick or draw your blood for the test. The A1C level of the blood will be high if your sugar level is high. If the A1C level is 6.5 percent (above 137 mg/dl) or high then it indicates diabetes.
Random blood sugar test:
This test is done by taking the blood sample at a random time and require repeat testing for confirmation. Irrespective of the time you last ate, if the random blood sugar level is 200mg/dl or higher then it indicates diabetes along with the signs and symptoms.
Fasting blood sugar test:
Here, the blood sample is taken after an overnight fasting.
|Fasting blood sugar level||Indication|
|126 mg/dl or above||Diabetes|
After it gets confirmed with these tests that the patient is having diabetes then the doctor may also run some blood tests to check for autoantibodies that are common in Type 1 Diabetes and helps in distinguishing between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes.
Is there any treatment?
Yes, definitely there is treatment if you are asking for Type 2 Diabetes. But for Type 1 Diabetes, there is actually no cure developed. As people with Type 1 Diabetes cannot produce insulin, so insulin is injected several times per day taking doctor’s advice.
For Type 2 diabetes, doctors first prescribe medication that enables the patient’s body to use insulin more efficiently. And also suggests certain lifestyle changes. If the patient doesn’t abide by the doctor’s rules and regulations then there might be a chance of severe spike in blood sugar level and then the doctor may suggest of insulin.
Next what? Is there any Hope?
Yes, there is always a hope. First of all you have to love yourself enough to be consistent at whatever you have to do in order to get cured. “Consistency” is the key.
And what about “Can diabetes be reversed”?
Now coming back to the point which brought you up in this page. Remember ‘Consistency is the key’? Yes, you have to be consistent.
Although there is not any evidence for Type 1 Diabetes, that by maintaining or regulating the diet can reduce the insulin dependency.
A Case Study:
But, there is a recent case study done by Dr. Biswaroop Roy Choudhury who is a Medical Nutritionist Indo-Vietnam Medical Board India. In the case study, “Reversal of type 1 diabetes using plant-based diet: A case study” he found that by putting a Type 1 Diabetes patient in a plant based diet plan with regular follow ups and studying all the diabetes related biochemical parameters, they are successfully able to eliminate the medication and insulin dependency.
If you interested to know more about the above study then go and click here. According to this study, with some effort along with the help of such doctors may be Type 1 Diabetes may be reversed.
For the patients with Type 2 Diabetes, there is a very good chance that their condition may get reversed. It requires a lot of work and dedication.
A list of “things to do” for reversing Type 2 diabetes:
- Involvement of physical activity in your daily schedule program. For that you have to spare at least 30-40 minutes for exercises such as brisk walking, cycling, skipping, yoga, etc. and pranayam is a must.
- To focus on weight loss in order to attain a healthy Body Mass Index.
- Increase in the intake of vegetable and fruits and replacing refined carbohydrates with wholegrain foods like wheat, oats, barley, brown rice, maize and others.
- Reduce the intake of saturated fats like chips, biscuits, pastries, samosas, etc. Try to stick on grilled and steamed food which will cut down on fat consumption.
- Stress is a risk factor for Type 2 Diabetes patients. Reducing stress levels can lessen the chance of getting diabetes related complications such as heart disease, stroke, hypertension, depression, anxiety.
- Opting for a better diet is an excellent solution and reducing portion sizes will also help in lowering of calories.
Knowing the type of diabetes you have from your doctor will help you to cure the disease at its best. Although we cannot lay our hands on certain factors which cause Type 1 Diabetes but still there is a hope. Opting for good lifestyle and diet plan is the only way out. But preventing Type 2 Diabetes is totally on our hands. We can totally reverse this by changing our lifestyle.
Yeah, it is easy to say than to get done. But grabbing on to the last hope is the only way out.
What is your opinion about it and what type of lifestyle you or your loved ones go for if suffering from diabetes? Let us know in the comment section below. And also do share to make others know about the reversibility of diabetes.