Some newly discovered compounds have just been found to turn off all of the genes that cause diabetes.
Are these compounds found in a pill bottle?
Instead, you’ll find them on your dinner plate -- in rye bread and pasta.
(As I recently wrote in one of my blogs, rye contains special phytonutrients that turn off all the genes responsible for diabetes -- in just a few weeks.)
Last week, I explained how to find out if you are pre-diabetic or diabetic. Half of people with diabetes don’t know they have it and nearly all the people with pre-diabetes don’t know they have it.
Today, I want to share with you more information about what you can do NOW to prevent and reverse diabetes and pre-diabetes.
And rye bread isn’t the only answer -- I’ve got a lot more good advice, too.
Let’s get started.
==> Dietary Recommendations
Eating in a way that balances your blood sugar, reduces inflammation and oxidative stress, and improves your liver detoxification is the key to preventing and reversing insulin resistance and diabetes.
This is a way of eating that based on a whole foods diet that’s high in fiber, rich in colorful fruits and vegetables, and low in sugars and flours, with a low glycemic load.
It is a way of eating that includes anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and detoxifying foods. It includes plenty of omega-3 fats and olive oil, soy products, beans, nuts, and seeds.
All these foods help prevent and reverse diabetes and insulin resistance. This is the way of eating than turns on all the right gene messages, promotes a healthy metabolism, and prevents aging and age-related diseases like diabetes and heart disease.
Here are more specifics.
Choose from a variety of the following real, whole foods:
Decrease (or ideally eliminate) your intake of:
Exercise is critical for the improvement of insulin sensitivity. It helps reduce central body fat, improving sugar metabolism. Regular exercise will help prevent diabetes, reduce your risk of complications, and even help reverse it.
Ideally you should do 30 minutes of walking every day. Walking after dinner is a powerful way to reduce your blood sugar.
More vigorous exercise and sustained exercise is often needed to reverse severe insulin resistance or diabetes. Doing sustained aerobic exercise for up to 60 minutes 5 to 6 times a week is often necessary to get diabetes under full control. You want to work at 70 to 85 percent of your target heart rate, which you can find by subtracting your age from 220 and multiplying that number by 0.70 to 0.85.
Interval training can be an added benefit to helping improve your metabolism and mitochondrial function. It helps to increase the efficiency calorie burning so that you burn more calories and energy during the time you are NOT exercising. This is described in detail in UltraMetabolism.
Strength training also helps maintain and build muscle, which can help also with your overall blood sugar and energy metabolism.
Nutritional supplements can be very effective for Type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. I recommend a number of different supplements, depending on the severity of the problem:
==> Stress Management
Stress plays a dramatic role in blood sugar imbalances. It triggers insulin resistance, promotes weight gain around the middle, increases inflammation, and ultimately can cause diabetes. So it’s essential to engage in relaxation practices on a regular basis, such as yoga, breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery, hot baths, exercise, meditation, massage, biofeedback, hypnosis, or even making love. Your survival depends on it.
A number of medications may be helpful for diabetes. There are several specific classes of medications, each with their own effects. Sometimes combinations are helpful.
These are the main classes.
The biguanides, especially metformin (Glucophage), is one of the best medications to improve insulin sensitivity. It can help lower blood sugars by improving your cells’ response to insulin.
Thiazolidinedione drugs are a new class of diabetes medication and can help improve uptake of glucose by the cells by making you more insulin-sensitive. They also reduce inflammation and help improve metabolism working on the PPAR, a special class of cell receptors that control metabolism. They can cause weight gain and liver damage. Thiazolidinediones include rosiglutazone (Avandia) and pioglitazone (Actos).
Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors include acarbose and miglitol, which can help lower the absorption of sugar and carbohydrates in the intestines, reducing the absorption of sugar after meals.
Older medications include sulfonylureas include glipizide, glyburide, and glimepiride. I strongly recommend against these medications because they only reduce your sugar in the short term and cause further insulin production, which actually worsens diabetes over the long term. They have also been linked to high risk of heart attacks, which you are trying to prevent. They treat the symptoms rather than the cause.
Insulin is the last resort after all other measures have failed and often leads to a slippery slope of weight gain and increased cholesterol and blood pressure. Many patients have been able to come off insulin entirely if they are treated early and aggressively through the other methods I’ve listed.
Diabetes and its precursor, insulin resistance, are looming as the major threat to our health in the 21st century. This is a tragic consequence of our toxic food environment, our unmitigated exposure to stress, and our sedentary lifestyle.
However, these problems are completely preventable and often reversible through aggressive lifestyle changes, supplements, and exercise and stress management.
Diabetes is the biggest health epidemic triggered by the obesity epidemic, but all of our medical efforts to treat it are focused on medications and insulin.
It is simply the wrong approach.
If you follow these guidelines instead, you will see a dramatic change very quickly in your health, your weight, and your diabetes.
Just try it!
Now I’d like to hear from you…
Have you been diagnosed with pre-diabetes or diabetes?
Have you been told that you must take drugs to treat it?
Which of these steps do you plan to take and which are you already trying? What are the results?
Please let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment below.
To your good health,
Mark Hyman, M.D.