Can Diabetes Be Reversed?








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.


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4 Comments on “Can Diabetes Be Reversed?

  1. I see that type 2 diabetes is being defined on a single symptom, that of higher than the average blood sugars. However there is no universal numbers of everyone in the community at all sorts of different conditions, eg stress related and resting metabolism. I strongly suspect that high blood sugars are only an indication of stress and stress in itself won’t do harm.

    Doctors are considering the A1c number in relation to the A1c number of people who suffer neuropathy, heart disease, strokes and cancer etc. and they are saying that if your A1c is in this range you are likely to get these “complications” but there is no evidence that high blood sugars sustained over time will lead to those complications. It is only based on opinion. I strongly suspect that the conditions that are labelled “complications”, which also appear in non-diabetics are not due to high sugars. Most of these conditions involve immune system reaction and thus inflammation. IMO and in my experience it is beliefs that are involved. A person is lead to perceive of damage and thus mistakenly ignites their immune response. This is what causes the damage but it is fully reversible. .

    1. Complications may not be caused by high blood sugar but it sure contributes to them, in other words the higher your blood sugar the higher the incidence, and we have measured this stuff and it’s pretty clear. However it’s not a direct relationship though, there are other factors involved but it’s still wise to control your blood sugar fairly well to reduce the risk. We need to be doing other things to reduce the risk as well and the concern is that people will give blood sugar their sole attention and not worry about things like AGEs, the stuff that actually causes this stuff, which you can reduce with various supplements for instance.

      1. I don’t agree with you on this. The problem with complications is the addition of ideas that have been manufactured into beliefs. If you can be lead to believe that there is damage in some area of your body then you will react and that means your immune system will go into action to clear away the damage. If there is no damage, which there never is, it is just a cheat, then the immune response is unnecessary and does damage. When this problem is ongoing the so-called complications arise. Get rid of the beliefs and especially if you replace them with ideas of healing then your body will heal and heal faster, high blood sugar or no high blood sugars. The only reason why they see a correlation between high blood sugars and complications is because most people with high blood sugars are being stressed in some way by related people, most often either for the sake of gaining power and influence or for narcissistic supply.

        1. Well there are plenty of folks, including myself by the way, that do get diabetic complications without even being aware they have diabetes or high blood sugar. While fear no doubt plays a role in this stuff, and stress plays a role in many diseases, it’s not the only thing that goes on, and there’s tons of science showing that there are physical causes going on here as well, and some quite serious physical causes at that. I do think that reducing stress and especially not being paranoid about blood sugar, like for instance people seeing their A1C rise to the 6’s and then think well I’m in real trouble now, no doubt harms people. So this is why it’s so important to be aware of relative risks here and only go fight or flight when it’s really required 🙂

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