According to Canadian researchers at McMaster University, you can reverse type 2 diabetes. Although based on this and other similar studies, your chances for success increase the sooner you begin working toward that goal. The McMaster researchers created a pretty intense regimen for their participants; but, considering the outcome, I’m sure those who succeeded believe it was worth their efforts.
How They Reversed Type 2 Diabetes
The treatment plan devised by the researchers included a personalized exercise regimen for each participant, reducing caloric intake by 500-750 calories per day, regular meetings with a nurse and a dietitian to track their progress and monitor their insulin and blood sugar levels. After only four months, 40% of participants were able to stop taking their medications because their bodies had begun producing sufficient amounts of insulin again.
Why the Program Worked
The researchers involved in this particular study believe the program worked because it gave the pancreas a rest. However, a previous study out of Newcastle University, UK, demonstrated that losing even a small amount of pancreatic fat (less than one gram) is enough to reverse type 2 diabetes.
There’s no way to know for certain, but I’d hazard a guess that the 40% who successfully reversed their diabetes in only four months lost pancreatic fat faster than their fellow participants. Very-low-calorie diets and bariatric surgery have been shown (in previous studies) to reduce insulin resistance and reverse type 2 diabetes, undoubtedly for the same reason. A very-low-calorie diet is usually defined as 800 calories per day or less. I can’t even imagine functioning after eating so little, and this begged a question: Is there a way to guarantee the loss of pancreatic fat without going hungry? Maybe.
As we’ve learned, even a small loss of pancreatic fat can aid in reversing diabetes. But protecting the health of your pancreas also prevents pancreatitis, which is inflammation of the pancreas and can lead to ‘secondary diabetes’. Secondary diabetes is type 2 diabetes that results from another medical condition.
If you are diabetic or have a family history of diabetes, it would be wise to take added precautions to keep your pancreas functioning normally. Both foods and herbs can be used to help keep the pancreas healthy and treat pancreatitis, which is inflammation of the pancreas. We’ll start with nutrition.
Foods for Pancreas Health
In no particular order,
- Foods low in animal fats – lean meats and clear soups
- Foods rich in protein – beans, lentils, and other legumes
- Dairy alternatives – flax and almonds milks
- Foods rich in antioxidants – fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
These are foods that will protect digestion, help the pancreas heal and protect it from free radical damage, as well as decrease its workload. This list is very general, leaving you to make your own specific choices within these brief and simple guidelines.
For snacks, people with pancreatitis are advised to choose fruit over foods containing added sugars because pancreatitis increases one’s risk for diabetes. The pancreas is also benefited by limiting or avoiding the following foods:
- Food and beverages that contain added sugars
- red meat
- organ meats
- fried foods
- margarine and butter
- full-fat dairy
Herbs for Pancreas Health
- Milk thistle
- Holy basil
All of these herbs were recommended by Dr. Jockers in the article ‘7 Strategies to Heal Pancreatitis Naturally’. Click the link if you wish to learn more about how each benefits pancreas health.
If you have any questions or comments about this topic, post it below or tweet me on Twitter. If you have successfully reversed your diabetes, feel free to share your story and detail how you did it.
Knapton, Sarah. “Type 2 Diabetes Can Be Reversed in Just Four Months, Trial Show”. The Telegraph, March 15, 2017. Web. October 2017
Watson, Kathryn. “Pancreatitis Diet”. Healthline, June 5, 2017. Web. October 2017
Leontis, Lisa M., RN, ANP-C. “Type 2 Diabetes: How to Lose Weight”. Endocrine Web, n.d. Web. October 2017
Newcastle University. “Type 2 Diabetes Reversed by Losing Fat from Pancreas.” Science Daily, December 1, 2015. Web. October 2017