I was reading an article by Dr. Mark Hyman tonight where he talks about diabetes being reversible. I often get my ideas on post topics from reading other people's stuff, good and bad, and this one is actually pretty good. Mark is recognized as an authority on diabetes in fact, and on health in general, if you are not familiar with him, he's written several popular books in addition to his practice and maintaining his website.
I do tend to be pretty critical of MDs in general, and if you haven't noticed this yet, believe me you will, but there are quite a few functional practitioners like Mark that do get it. The practice of functional medicine is, by the way, outside the mainsteam of allopathic medicine and they tend to view the body as a functional unit and look to promote wellness, not just eradicate symptoms, which reminds me that I need to do a separate post about this topic at some point soon.
I know that there are some people who read my writing on diabetes and think I'm some sort of cynical outcast and also one that tends to make a lot of stuff up about the disease, and some stuff that is no doubt seen as quackery by so called conventional medicine and those who idolize it, but while I admit that I do have some original ideas on diabetes, most of my ideas aren't, and a lot of the things I write on are views shared by others and also have some sound reasoning and sound science to back it up.
Anyway, while this is a good article in itself and I encourage people to check it out if they wish, that isn't even the point of this post, it's to talk about if we can reverse diabetes or not, and especially, what the heck it means to reverse it.
There are actually quite a few people in the online diabetic community that refuse to accept anything short of an absolute cure to say that diabetes is reversed, as in you can super size yourself 3 times a day and still have perfect blood sugar.
There surely is a distinction between reversal and cure though and surely they don't mean the same thing. It's not even clear as it may seem to be as far as what would qualify as a cure, for instance to those who claim you'd have to go back to high carb and be OK on that, what of people who do oral glucose tolerance tests and aren't in the diabetic range anymore? Surely that's some glucose load there, 75 grams of pure glucose.
When we speak of reversal though, we generally mean the removal of the conditions that entitled us to be qualified as diabetics in the first place. So for instance if our A1C is no longer in the diabetic range, we have reversed the condition of diagnosis.
However, there's another condition, and that's called good control, and if this is by use of prescription meds we want to say that the diabetes isn't reversed, it's controlled. Now we may argue that it's still reversed but this isn't generally what this term is reserved for, it's saved for a more significant accomplishment I guess, which is non diabetic blood sugar, not normal necessarily but non diabetic, without the need for prescription meds.
This is how the ADA views reversal and I tend to agree, even though things like dietary control or use of supplements may be behind the reversal. These are both things that can be practiced by healthy, non diabetics actually, and are more sound health management than pharmaceutical intervention.
I think that some of us are a little afraid of the term reversal to be used, as it might apply to them, and they may feel that this may cause them to relax somewhat, and maybe even get off track enough such that their diabetes relapses.
Now diabetes is much more than high blood sugar of course, but anyone who has turned back the dial and now has non diabetic numbers, using what we consider to be natural means, or at least what we generally perceive to be, deserves to be soundly congratulated and also deserves the term reversal.
Now this doesn't mean that it can't come back, should we go from sound health management to unsound practices, but that's why it's called reversal and not cure, that's the difference actually.