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Lifestyle Changes can Reverse Type 2 Diabetes


According to the American Diabetes Association, 21 million people in the U.S. have diabetes, with about 90 to 95% having type 2 diabetes. New studies are finding that people with type 2 diabetics reverse their condition by lifestyle changes.

New studies are showing that that type 2 diabetes can be reversed. According to a study completed by researchers at UCLA, changes in diet, moderate exercise and weight loss can help reverse diabetes in at least 50% of patients.

This is not to say that everyone with Type 2 diabetes is overweight, and it is true that many obese people never get diabetes, however, 95% of people who have Type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese. Most experts believe that obesity combined with genetic predisposition could trigger and lifestyle changes could reverse type 2 diabetes condition.

The key to managing diabetes is the keep a close eye on your blood sugar levels so that you can identify which foods and medicines cause a spike. Once you have identified these items, you can remove them from your diet. People with type 2 diabetes should watch all trans-fatty acid, hydrogenated oils, bad fats, carbohydrate and sugar. Getting plenty of vegetables and healthy proteins can help create a healthy diet for diabetics.

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Dr. Judith Korner, who is the assistant professor of endocrinology and metabolism at Columbia University says, "losing weight helps reduce the visceral fat in the abdomen. The fat encases the organs, including the liver, making it more difficult for the organs to respond to insulin." She believes that losing as little as 5% to 10% of one's body weight can produce a noticeable decline in blood sugar.

"Eventually most patients will follow a course of lifestyle, medications, then insulin," said Dr. Enrico Cagliero. "Overall about 30% of all diabetics are on insulin, but, given the progressive nature of the disease, close to 60% can expect to be on it eventually."

Dr. Wei-An "Andy" Lee, an endocrinologist and assistant professor at USC's Keck School of Medicine states, "I wish more doctors and patients would not assume insulin injections are their only option," he said. "I don't see why more don't give lifestyle a try. It's better for the patient, costs less than medications or surgery, and is better for the country."

References: LA Times, Life Clinic, The Diabetic Connection.

Written by Tyler Woods Ph.D.
Tucson, Arizona
Exclusive to eMaxHealth