If you have just been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, you may well feel scared and confused. We have all heard of Diabetes, but there is no impetus to discover more about it until it affects our lives directly. Therefore, it may well be something that you do not know or understand very much about. In many cases, a Type 2 Diabetes diagnosis may well be the first wake-up call you have ever received that your health is not suffering, and you can’t take it for granted. Unfortunately, with the growing obesity epidemic, Type 2 Diabetes is on the rise and shows no signs of abating. What’s more, hundreds of thousands of people are currently unaware of the fact that they have become diabetic. This is like a ticking timebomb as they may not realize until they suffer some form of heart disease, have a stroke, or develop impaired kidney function, meaning they need dialysis, and that’s just for starters. However, it is not all doom and gloom. Type 2 Diabetes is actually a reversible illness. By following strict nutritional guidelines, you can reach and maintain the right levels of blood sugar without the need for medication. Now that is something to sing about! All it takes is a little dedication and a sincere attempt to break the negative lifestyle choices that led to Diabetes in the first place.
What is Diabetes?
First of all, to try and understand how the Keto Diet can reverse Diabetes, it would help if we fully understood what Diabetes is. Basically, it is a long-lasting disease that occurs when your blood glucose or blood sugar levels become far too elevated. Your body derives energy from the food you eat by breaking it down into glucose. Once food has been transformed into the form of glucose, the body releases it into the bloodstream, ready to be used. When your blood sugar becomes elevated, the pancreas gets to work and signals the release of the hormone insulin. Insulin is how your body actually transfers glucose into the cells of the body in order to be used as energy.
Diabetes is a serious health problem in the body that obstructs and messes with this process. Having Diabetes means you are either incapable of making enough insulin to convert food into energy, or the body cannot use the insulin it creates in any sort of sufficient manner. When insulin is in short supply, your cells will eventually stop responding to it, and your blood then remain far too full of sugar for longer and longer periods. This is very detrimental to health, and over time, it can cause major health problems like heart disease, stroke, and kidney failure.
What about Type 2 Diabetes?
Type 2 Diabetes is by far the most prevalent form of Diabetes, with around 90-95% of patients presenting with this form. It is where the body is unable to use the insulin that it has, meaning that blood sugar levels are far beyond the normal range. Type 2 Diabetes does not come on overnight. It takes years to develop, and sometimes it is detrimental lifestyle choices that contribute to the onset of the disease. Most people who are diagnosed with this disease are adults. However, as the year’s progress, more and more children and young adults are falling prey to this serious illness. The fact of the matter is that you may not notice any of the symptoms associated with the onset of this disease, which means it can fester and become a worse condition. Early symptoms can include:
- Increased thirst and urination.
- Blurry Vision.
- Tingling and numbness of the peripheries.
- Cuts and infection that takes a long time to heal.
As mentioned previously, the good news is that Type 2 Diabetes can be avoided, delayed, and even reversed. All you need to do is adopt a healthy lifestyle, which includes losing weight and eating healthily.
What is the Keto Diet?
Okay, so now we know what Type 2 Diabetes is, it’s time to learn about the Keto diet. Keto is actually a shortened version of the word Ketogenic, and what it means is that you follow a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet. By following this reduced-carb diet, your body is forced into a metabolic state known as Ketosis. Ketosis is when your body starts burning fat for the energy it needs instead of burning carbs - this process only happens when your body has a deficiency of carbohydrates. However, the body becomes supremely efficient at burning fat instead. In addition, fat is transformed into ketones inside the liver, which allows it to supply energy to the brain. By forcing the body into behaving this way, you can reduce your blood glucose and insulin levels.
How the Keto Diet Helps Reverse Type 2 Diabetes
The keto diet is an extremely helpful method in reversing Type 2 Diabetes as it helps people maintain a low blood sugar content. It is able to do this due to its high-fat, low-carb diet structure and forcing the body into Ketosis - burning fat as opposed to carbs. When the body burns fat particles, ketones are produced. Ketones are small molecules that are comprised of fat and are made in the liver. From there, energy is created, which travels to the vital organs, including the heart, brain, and the muscles. New evidence is emerging that ketones are able to reduce oxidative stress, otherwise known as free radicals, as well as inflammation. Both these ailments are known to be underlying causes behind the emergence of Type 2 Diabetes.
Since ketones serve a double function in the body - they work as an energy provider as well as a metabolic regulator. Keto Diets are readily believed to be effective remedies in treating Type 2 Diabetes. Ketosis can reduce blood glucose and improve the body’s sensitivity to the hormone insulin, as well as reducing inflammation.
If you want to reverse Type 2 Diabetes, then you have to alter your eating habits and enter the condition of nutritional Ketosis. You need to become very aware of the food that you eat in order to force your body to create ketones. All food is constituted from a mixture of carbohydrates, protein, and fat. You need to work out exactly what levels of these food groups are in the food you eat in order for your body to enter nutritional Ketosis. (Usually, an app like Carb Manager can help you do this). The macronutrients in each type of food and food group will have drastically varying results on your blood sugar levels. Carbs are out because by eating them, your body creates a huge spike in your blood sugar levels, much more predominantly than eating fat or protein. That is because carbohydrates are easily broken down into simple sugars. If you are diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, you will find it difficult to eat carbohydrates because they will cause such a spike in your blood sugar levels. Carbohydrates simply make an already sugary blood level, even higher, and therefore they need to be avoided. And that goes for all carbs, including good carbs, such a wholemeal and bran. Carbs make the disease Diabetes worse.
On the other hand, fat is a food source that does not cause a spike in blood sugar. The body can break fat down into glucose, which makes it a safe food option for people with Diabetes.
When the body uses fat, it does not require insulin to transfer this energy into the body cells. Therefore, a high-fat diet is in effect creating a by-pass of this hormone resistance issue and ensuring that no spike in blood sugar is detected. Insulin actually impedes the way fat is transformed into energy for the body, so it would be counter-intuitive to crate this hormone. In fact. The only way to force the body into Nutritional Ketosis by clever adaption of your diet. Without doing this, your metabolism will not just suddenly begin using fat for fuel instead of carbs. It has to be forced. As soon as you enter this state, insulin is reduced and then your body can begin burning fat - including the fat you have built up for storage, so it actually speeds up the process of losing weight. That’s a bonus, isn’t it! But like anything, it can take three to six weeks before your body enters this state. But by continuing with the high fat, low-carb, and moderate protein diet, otherwise known as the Keto Diet - you will eventually start seeing results and feeling better.
What is Diabetes Reversal?
The term Diabetes reversal is where a patient shows significant long-term improvement in their condition. Mainly the reuptake of insulin sensitivity in the body and how it responds to sugar. If a patient is able to stop taking their medication and present a blood sugar level within the normal parameters for a certain length of time, then they are said to have reversed their Diabetes. Another term that is used for this type of reversal is remission. To be honest, it is probably a good shout to link Diabetes to Cancer in this way, as the effects on health can be just as devastating for the individual, though many people are unaware of this fact. When you reverse Type 2 Diabetes, you usually lose weight too, so you begin to develop a healthier body shape, and this, in turn, helps you do more to continue reversing the disease. Ultimately by reversing Type 2 Diabetes, you will have much better overall health.
Using Nutritional Ketosis to Reverse Type 2 Diabetes
Nutritional Ketosis is a way to help the body help itself. Like many machines, the body can create by-passes and work around when it is coaxed into doing so. When you have Type 2 Diabetes, it is important that you become aware that the food you eat can drastically improve or worsen your condition. Step in Nutritional Ketosis, aka the Keto Diet. In a way, this could be seen as a form of medication, and let’s face it, food is a form of medicine. WE have all heard that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Well, the Keto can keep the Diabetic medication at bay. Nutritional Ketosis reverses Type 2 Diabetes by lowering your blood glucose levels, improving the body’s sensitivity to insulin and reducing inflammation. So, by sticking to a rigid Keto Diet, you force the body to sustain Ketosis and then you are able to reverse Type 2 Diabetes.
If you are going to be starting the Keto Diet because you have Type 2 Diabetes, always consult with a doctor before you start. Nutritional Ketosis can cause a drastic and sudden reduction in blood sugar and blood pressure, which can lead to fainting, among other things and even in some cases, death. This is especially true if you are already on some form of Diabetes and blood pressure medication. When you discuss your intentions with your doctor, you can work out a plan to reduce your medications over time and even adapt the diet accordingly. The overall plan though is to manage your Diabetes without the need for medication because your blood sugar is quite happily sustaining normal levels of blood sugar. Only by being in this normal state for a sustained period will you have entered into the realms of reversal.
It is clear that a Low Carb and/or Keto diet can work wonders when it comes to reversing Type 2 Diabetes. However, it may seem simple, but the lifestyle changes that are required to sustain such a diet may prove quite difficult, though not impossible. If you are determined to improve your health in a more natural way than simply taking pills, then you will find the Keto Diet the perfect solution. However, because a Keto Diet is a big change to your lifestyle, if you have Diabetes, you should seek medical advice before starting. But for sufferers, the Keto Diet could well be a welcome reprieve.