Do a quick online search for type 2 diabetes (don’t worry, we’ll wait). What do you see? Practically every explanation is smattered with the words “chronic”, “lifelong”, and “long-term” within the first few sentences.
The assumption that type 2 diabetes is an irreversible condition has guided the medical treatments available for years. The majority of doctors will prescribe diabetes medications that work to keep insulin and blood sugar levels within safe parameters- without attempting to put the disease in remission.
But breakthrough research conducted at McMaster University is finally turning the tide, showing that type 2 diabetes does not have to be a lifelong condition at all. While natural health practitioners have understood this for some time, this study brings solid evidence of curable type 2 diabetes to conventional medicine streams and the public.
Research Study: Diet & Lifestyle Changes Can Reverse Type 2 Diabetes
The study, published March 20107 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, targeted 83 participants divided into 3 groups: Group 1 continued to receive standard diabetes treatment, Group 2 received 8 weeks of coaching, fitness and meal plans, oral medication and insulin, Group 3 received 16 weeks of the same. After the set time period, participants stopped taking diabetes medications and were encouraged to continue their new lifestyle adjustments. (1,2)
After 3 months, 11 out of 27 people in the 16-week intervention group showed complete or partial diabetes remission; compared to 6 out of 28 people from the 8-week intervention, and only 4 of 28 people from the standard treatment group. (1,2)
Researcher, Dr. Natalia McInnes explains, “By using a combination of oral medications, insulin and lifestyle therapies to treat patients intensively for two to four months, we found that up to 40 percent of participants did not require any diabetes medications for several months after stopping them…The findings support the notion that Type 2 diabetes might be reversed, at least in the short term, with medical approaches.” (1,2)
The research team at McMaster is continuing this research in a larger study- one step closer to being integrated into conventional healthcare treatment for people with Type 2 diabetes. The extremely promising research trial was publicized in National Post, CBC News, Telegraph, The Sun, BBC News, MSN news, and Huffington Post.
How Can I Talk to My Doctor About My Diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes often starts as insulin resistance and prediabetes (3). It’s important not to wait for a type 2 diabetes diagnosis to start addressing health issues with your medical care provider. If you’re overweight and generally inactive, you have an increased risk of developing insulin resistance (this is also made worse with irregular sleep, family history of diabetes, high blood pressure, and low HDL cholesterol). You should check in regularly with your doctor to discuss ways to reduce your risk.
Whether you have insulin resistance, prediabetes, or type 2 diabetes, partnering with your healthcare provider is one of the cornerstones to returning to health. If you find you’re uncomfortable with your current doctor or you don’t have the same values, you are free to find a medical provider who is more suitable.
In addition to many family doctors, there are naturopathic doctors, holistic nutritionists, and functional medicine practitioners who can help you map out your next steps to not only keep your insulin and blood sugar levels safe, but make the necessary lifestyle changes to reverse your condition.