Foundation for Prevention
What if I am already diabetic?
Type 2 diabetes is reversible!
Fortunately, people who have been diagnosed with diabetes in the United States are usually type 2. Only 1 of 20 diabetics has type 1 diabetes and therefore must be on an insulin for the rest of their lives. In contrast, the majority of diabetics have the progressive but usually reversible condition known as type 2 diabetes. It has been understood for millennia, going back to ancient India, that dietary patterns were the underlying cause of diabetes. Scientifically based diets to reverse diabetes were available in late 19th century Europe. American Research in the early 20th century added to this knowledge. The discovery and availability of insulin beginning in the 1920s was a landmark development. Injections of insulin provided a second line of treatment when people did poorly with dietary change. Still, dietary treatment was almost always tried first!
The famous diabetes pioneer, Dr. Elliot Joslin described how well diabetics could reverse their condition and stay under control for decades simply by eating healthy diets such as salads with salmon. However, dietary control seem less important beginning in the late 1980's. Oral medication for diabetes had been tried for some time, but was not the developed sufficiently to be marketed in the United States until then. Once oral medication became available to treat diabetes, it became a panacea. The recently developed A1c test could show when a diabetic was in good control. Treatment changed to using drugs from the very start, attempting to bring sugar levels under better control.
Unfortunately, this therapy has a dark side. The more medication was used, the more hypoglycemic events of dangerously low blood sugar occurred. A person's consumption of food and use of energy may vary from day-to-day, so too little medication one day may become too much the next day. The same problem had occurred earlier with people using insulin, but insulin users could be taught to vary their injected dose as needed. This is just not possible using pills. Clinical trial research in both the United States and the United Kingdom, which had been intended to save lives, instead had to be stopped prematurely because of deaths. Aggressive medication use had caused a 25% increase in death by strokes because of hypoglycemic episodes!
How was this dealt with? As ridiculous as this may seem, recommended dietary intake was actually increased! Although this reduced the episodes of hypoglycemia, quite naturally it also increased blood sugar. The response was to then add even more medication. Today, it is common to see type 2 diabetics on multiple medications, with this progressing the longer they are treated. This discouraging progression has led many diabetics to the false belief that type 2 diabetes is a one-way street, progressively getting worse.
Many type 2 diabetics now spend thousands of dollars each year for their medication and yet their diabetes still gets worse. Is there an answer to this? Yes, but only by taking a totally different approach. Returning to better diets as a first choice works. It is a more sensible approach, and more effective than in ever. Today's technology, including the A1c for long-term evaluation and the home glucose monitor for immediate feedback lets people understand the impact of their diet choices and control their own destiny.
An effective program means a major change in the way a diabetic will be eating. This is not a problem if you have not yet started taking diabetic medication. However, anyone already on medication must reduced or eliminate some diabetic medication. They must work closely with a physician who understands it and reduces medication from the very beginning to prevent dangerous hypoglycemia. In my own experience I have all diabetics who have been on medication agree to test their blood sugar 4 times a day until they stabilize and to notify me of any unusual results. Reducing diabetic medication safely is not a do-it-yourself project.
Diabetes Recovery and its accompanying cookbook, provide detailed information and should be read before starting.
For further help, an e-learning course is also available online.
READ DIABETES RECOVERY:
Reversing Diabetes using the New Hippocratic Diet®
Disclaimer and Cautions
This information is provided by Irving A. Cohen, MD, MPH. Dr. Cohen is the author of Diabetes Recovery: Reversing Diabetes with the New Hippocratic Diet®. He is a Fellow of the American College of Preventive Medicine. He obtained his training in Preventive Medicine at Johns Hopkins University where he served as Chief Resident of Preventive Medicine. All information presented here is the opinion of Dr. Cohen and represents general information. If is not intended to offer individual medical advice. Individual medical advice should be obtained from the reader's personal physician.
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© Copyright 2016, Irving A. Cohen, MD, MPH, FACPM. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form.