Diabetes is one of the most common and, simultaneously, one of the most misunderstood diseases in the world today. People assume that patients with diabetes must have gotten it from eating too many sweets and failing to maintain their weight, and yet some people are born with diabetes, and though they’ve eaten healthy foods and led active lifestyles all their lives, they must still take insulin to regulate their blood sugar.
Before we dive into whether or not you can cure your diabetes, we must first get a better understanding of the disease and its two types.
What Is Diabetes?
In general, diabetes is a metabolic disorder. Basically, if you are diabetic, your body will not produce enough insulin to maintain normal glucose levels. In the case of Type 1 diabetes, the patient is born with the disorder and their body will not produce insulin at all. These patients will need to take insulin regularly and monitor their blood sugar levels for the rest of their lives.
In the case of Type 2 diabetes, though, there is a chance to cure your condition. Essentially, Type 2 diabetes is acquired diabetes. Over time, eating foods that are high in sugar will take a toll on your pancreas, and your body will stop producing insulin at the same rate that it once did. At this point, losing weight and maintaining good glucose levels will become more and more difficult without the help of insulin injections. If Type 2 diabetes goes untreated long enough, your pancreas may stop producing insulin at all, and you may be required to take insulin for the rest of your life, much like a Type 1 diabetes patient.
So how can you cure your diabetes? Depending on how long you have been living with diabetes, your genetics, and other factors, you may or may not be able to give up insulin injections entirely. You can absolutely improve your quality of life and your health with a few lifestyle changes, though.
Try a Ketogenic Diet
The ketogenic diet was first developed when it was observed that children with epilepsy exhibited fewer seizures when they were put on high-fat, high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets. The same kind of diet has been shown to help diabetic people maintain lower, more stable glucose levels because fat and protein do not create the glucose spikes that carbohydrates produce.
Increase Exercise and Reduce Calories
Studies have shown that changing your diet and lifestyle can have significant positive effects. In fact, in one study, patients regularly exercised about three hours per week and, depending on their activity level, maintained a diet of 1200-1800 calories per day. Of the patients in the study, 10% were able to entirely cease using any diabetes medication at all within the first year.
Researchers noted that patients who lost a significant amount of weight and/or who caught their disease early and made this lifestyle change were more likely to reverse the effects of diabetes. About 15-20% of patients who changed their diet and exercise regimens early on were able to “cure” their diabetes and stop using medication.
With all that in mind, it is important to note that there is no medical cure for diabetes. Patients who maintain good dietary and exercise habits have better results than those who depend entirely on medication. Even the best patients, though, are not guaranteed that they will be able to stop taking insulin and other medications.
However, it has been shown over and over again that losing weight and changing your lifestyle can have dramatically positive effects. As the scientific search continues for a cure for diabetes, you can help yourself with a ketogenic diet, proper exercise, and by keeping a close eye on your insulin and glucose levels.