World Diabetes Day: Top 5 tips for Diabetes reversal

Given that a tablespoon of tomato sauce contains around one teaspoon of sugar, you can gauge the critical need to control added sugar.

By Rahul Rosha and Dr. Navneet Aggarwal

Type 2 diabetes is a condition that occurs when your blood glucose (sugar) is too high. In this type of diabetes, the body doesn’t use insulin efficiently and can’t keep blood glucose at normtaruntaal levels. In order to understand how to manage and control diabetes, we have to understand what the root cause of diabetes is.

Diabetes is a result of insulin resistance and carbohydrate intolerance.

Insulin is a hormone that’s produced by your pancreas. It aids in the conversion of glucose, from the food you eat into energy in your cells. Type 2 diabetics produce insulin, but their cells don’t use it as effectively as they should. To get glucose into your cells, your pancreas produces more insulin initially. Eventually, your body fails to keep it up and glucose begins to accumulate into your bloodstream. In simple terms, insulin resistance means that your cells are resistant to the signal of insulin and stop responding – so most of the sugar stays in your blood, leaving you with chronic high blood sugar.

Carbohydrates are the starches, sugars and dietary fibres present in dietary products and plant products. Your body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose. Carbohydrate intolerance occurs when you eat more carbohydrates than your unique tolerance level, which causes a spike in your blood sugar levels and keeps the blood glucose high for a longer period. In response to this spike, your body releases insulin to help the sugar move out of your blood and into your cells, where it can be used for energy or stored.

What is Diabetes Reversal?

Diabetes reversal is when your blood glucose is below the diabetic range (HbA1c 6.5%) in the absence of pharmacologic (medication) or surgical therapy. Under proper guidance, diabetes can be managed, controlled, or even reversed. Diabetes is reversible only in patients who have Type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes.

Dr Navneet Agrawal, (Consulting Physician & Diabetologist) shares, “diabetes reversal in T2 DM is dependent on several patient factors such as the age of the patient, body weight, c-peptide levels, duration of diabetes, enthusiasm/education to reverse diabetes, and unconditional support from friends and family”.

You should not go for a reversal if you have any of the following conditions:

  • Advanced Renal Insufficiency
  • Pancreatitis
  • Pyruvate Carboxylase Deficiency
  • Hyperchylomicronemia
  • Cancer
  • Eating Disorders
  • Type-1 Diabetes
  • Pregnancy

Top 5 Tips For Diabetes Reversal

1. Don’t wait until it’s too late.

The best time to “reverse” diabetes is when someone is first diagnosed, or even earlier when diagnosed with prediabetes. Diabetics over time slowly lose their ability to produce adequate insulin as the pancreas wears out. So start at the earliest!

2. Reduce carb intake

Cutting out simple carbs and processed foods is essential. Diabetics are carb intolerant, so reducing carbs to below your tolerance level is essential. The average Indian consumes a whopping 175 grams of carbs a day. Try closer to 100g or even less. Consume adequate protein (0.8g/kg of body weight), and boost healthy fats to achieve satiety. Focus on nutrient-dense foods vs. empty calories.

3. Ensure long-term commitment to lifestyle change

Prioritize your health and treat it as a long-term investment. Do you have a strong family/social support system to keep you from relapsing into bad habits? And help you get back on track? Plan your nutrition based on your health goals and stay active. Be the change that you want to see in yourself.

4. Take guidance from experts

Get help from experts for the right guidance and information you can trust. Reduce medications under medical supervision only. Sustainability requires behaviour modification, which means advice from experienced professionals.

5. Set realistic goals

Do not promise yourself impossible goals. Healthy weight loss can range from 0.5-1.5kg a week. The average HbA1c reduction under expert guidance can be as high as 1.8% in 10 weeks. Set goals you can sustain!

Your nutrition is the single most important determinant of longevity along with physical activity. Follow the tips and your doctor’s advice to achieve the best results.

Apart from the above tips, also follow:

  • Sensible sustenance particularly in diet
  • Structured physical activity
  • Stress management
  • Good sleep hygiene
  • Self-control

(The authors – Rahul Rosha is SVP, Care Transformation & Service delivery, BeatO. Founder-Novique Health and Dr. Navneet Aggarwal is MD, Ph D, FCCP, PGCD, FIACM, Dip. Diabetology Consulting Physician & Diabetologist Diabetes, Obesity & Thyroid Center, Gwalior (M.P.). The article is for informational purposes only. Please consult medical experts and health professionals before starting any therapy, medication and/or remedy. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of the Financial Express Online.)

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