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Spotlight on Reversing and Preventing Diabetes:
Treating Type 1, Type 2, and Gestational Diabetes with Superior Nutrition

Diabetes is a Rapidly Growing Threat to Human Health
Diabetes has been cited as the most challenging health problem in the 21st century. Over 25 million people in the United States have diabetes.1 Excess weight promotes insulin resistance and is the chief risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Currently 68.8% of adults are overweight or obese.2-3 The number of people with this disease has been increasing steadily, largely due to the increasing numbers of overweight people. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the prevalence of type 2 diabetes has more than tripled in the past 30 years, and if current trends continue unabated, one-fifth to one-third of all Americans will have diabetes by the year 2050.4,5

Diabetes Severely Damages One’s Health and Shortens Life Expectancy

Diabetes is a serious disease, and both type 1 and type 2 accelerate the aging of our bodies. Having type 1 or 2 diabetes greatly speeds up the development of atherosclerosis, or cardiovascular disease; in fact, diabetes doubles the risk of heart attack and stroke.

More than 80 percent of adults with Type 2 diabetes die of heart attacks and stroke, and these deaths occur at a younger age compared to people without diabetes. Diabetes also ages the body more rapidly, causing harm to the kidney, nervous system and other body systems. Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure and blindness in older adults. Over sixty thousand amputations each year are performed due to complications of diabetes. Diabetes also increases cancer risk, especially colorectal cancer.6,7,8

Type 2 Diabetes is a Preventable, Reversible Lifestyle Disease

The heavier you are, the greater the risk you will develop type 2 diabetes. Whereas type 1 diabetes is a disease of insulin deficiency, type 2 diabetes typically develops because the body is insulin resistant and requires more insulin than normal. Our body’s cells are fueled by glucose, and insulin acts as a key that allows glucose from the blood to enter our cells. If the pancreas does not produce insulin (as in type 1 diabetes), or the body’s cells no longer respond to insulin (as in type 2 diabetes), glucose remains in the blood instead of being used by the cells, resulting in abnormally high blood glucose, which is harmful to the body.

Premature death and the devastating complications of this disease simply do not have to happen. Those with diabetes are told to watch their diet, exercise and use drugs to better control the glucose levels in their bloodstream. My message is that the nutritional advice received from the American Diabetes Association (ADA), and typical dieticians and physicians is inadequate and permits countless of unnecessary premature deaths and much needless suffering. I declare, “Don’t live with your diabetes, don’t simply control your diabetes — get rid of it.”

The standard American diet (SAD) of processed foods, refined grains, oils, sugars, and animal products is at the root of the obesity and type 2 diabetes epidemics, and keeping glucose under control with drugs in individuals who continue to consume this diet will not prevent diabetes complications. It requires nothing less than nutritional excellence with daily exercise.

The SAD and the standard dietary recommendations given to diabetics promote fat storage. Excess fat on the body interferes with insulin’s actions; the body’s cells become less responsive to insulin and it is more difficult for insulin to transport glucose into the cells. The pancreas is then forced to produce more insulin to compensate.

The pancreas is pumping out much more insulin than a thinner person might need, but it's not enough to compensate for extra body fat. The pancreas’ ability to secrete insulin is diminished further over time as individual remains overweight and the diabetes continues. Total destruction of insulin secreting ability almost never occurs in Type 2 (adult onset diabetes) as it does in Type 1 (childhood onset diabetes). However, the sooner a Type 2 diabetic loses the extra weight causing the stress on the pancreas, the more functional reserve of insulin secreting cells remain. When you give an adult diabetic, who has been suffering from the damaging effects of excess insulin for years, more insulin to drive the sugar down, you create more problems. Insulin increases appetite and can cause significant weight gain, making the patient more diabetic. Usually, they require more and more medication and their condition worsens. Findings from numerous studies also show that high insulin levels promote atherosclerosis, even in non-diabetics.9 In diabetics, the degree of atherosclerotic blood vessel disease is greatest in those with the highest levels of insulin. The level of insulin in your blood is an indicator of your risk of heart attack – regardless of whether that insulin is produced by your pancreas or injected.10 High insulin levels are also associated with increased cancer risk.11 Insulin is not the answer for type 2 diabetes.

Conventional Care of Type 2 Diabetes

Well-meaning physicians prescribe drugs in an attempt to lower the dangerously high glucose levels, the high cholesterol and triglyceride levels and the high blood pressure typically seen in diabetics. Unfortunately, treating diabetes with medication gives patients a false sense of security. Patients mistakenly think their somewhat better controlled glucose levels are an indication of restored health, providing them with implicit permission to continue the same disease-causing diet and lifestyle that led to the development of their diabetes. With the combination of the standard dietary advice and the weight-promoting medications, many continue to gain weight. They believe that they are protected from harm by their medications; meanwhile diabetes progressively damages their cardiovascular system, kidneys, nervous system, and more. It can be different. The vast majority of my type 2 diabetic patients, who adopt my nutritional and exercise recommendations for diabetes reverse their disease; they become thin and non-diabetic. They are able to gradually discontinue their insulin and eventually other medications and most no longer need any diabetes medications after the first six months. They simply get well. I work with people who have diabetes who want to live a long and healthy life and enjoy the sense of achievement and the confidence that they can take control over this disease. The membership services offered here on this website, and the information in my book, The End of Diabetes, can get you started on this road to wellness and potentially enable a complete recovery from diabetes.

One of Many Fascinating Success Stories

James was referred to my office from his nephrologist after originally referred to the nephrologist by his endocrinologist (diabetic specialist) at the Joslin Clinic because of kidney damage that resulted from very high glucose readings in spite of maximum medical management.

At his first visit, Jim weighed 268 pounds and was taking a total of 175 units of insulin per day. He had already suffered from severe complications of Type 2 diabetes, including two heart attacks and Charcot (destructive inflammation) joint damage in his right ankle. In spite of this huge dose of insulin and six other medications, Jim’s glucose readings averaged between 350 to 400. “This was the case no matter what I ate,” he said. Jim told me that he was already on a careful ADA diet and was following the precise dietary recommendations of the dietician at the Joslin Clinic. He started my program right away, and I immediately reduced his insulin dose down to 130 units per day. Jim and I spoke on the phone over the next few days, and I continued to decrease his insulin gradually. Within five days, Jim's glucose was running between 80 and 120, and he had lost ten pounds. At this juncture, I put him on 45 units of Lantus insulin at bedtime and 6 units of Humalog regular insulin before each meal for a total of 63 units per day. At his two week visit, Jim had lost 16 pounds. I stopped his blood pressure medications, and he was taking a total of 58 units per day of insulin. After the first month , I was able to stop all of Jim's insulin and start him on Glucophage. He lost 25 pounds in the first five weeks, and his blood glucose readings were well controlled without insulin. His blood pressure also came down to normal, and he no longer required any blood pressure medications. Five months later, Jim was off all medications for diabetes, no longer had high cholesterol or high blood pressure and was more than 60 pounds lighter. His kidney insufficiency had normalized as well. This case illustrates not merely how powerful my Nutritarian™ dietary approach is, but how the standard dietary advice given to diabetics from conventional physicians and dieticians is insufficient and even dangerous.

The End of Diabetes

How can a type 2 diabetic lower high glucose levels, lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, lose weight and not need to take drugs such as insulin and sulfonylureas which cause weight gain?

Here is the simple answer—a health-promoting eating style coupled with frequent exercise. The best diet for humans to live longer in superior health is also the best diet for reversing diabetes. It is not a low-carbohydrate diet or a low-fat diet; it is a high-nutrient (Nutritarian) diet, an eating style that focuses on the quality of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats; an eating style with a high micronutrient to calorie ratio.

When one eats a diet predominating in nature’s ideal foods—green vegetables, beans, mushrooms, onions, berries, eggplant, tomatoes, garlic, raw nuts and seeds, it becomes relatively easy to quickly shed excess pounds without hunger or deprivation, and bring glucose numbers back down into the non-diabetic range. My experience has demonstrated that those choosing to follow my nutritional recommendation will have their diabetes controlled astonishingly quickly even before they have lost most of their excess weight.

My new book, The End of Diabetes, outlines in detail my program for reversing (or preventing) type 2 diabetes with a Nutritarian eating style and exercise. If you have diabetes you must read it, then share what you learn with your doctor, and get ready to enjoy excellent health. This eating style is not just for type 2 diabetics – those with type 1 diabetes and gestational diabetes can make dramatic improvements in their health by following this program.

Type 1 Diabetes (Childhood Onset or Juvenile Diabetes)

About ten percent of diabetes cases are type 1. In type 1 Diabetes, which generally occurs earlier in life, the immune system attacks the beta cells in the pancreas, which produce insulin, producing an insulin deficiency. For that reason, in almost all cases, type 1 diabetics will always require insulin to prevent serious hyperglycemia and life-threatening ketoacidosis. Unlike type 2, type 1 diabetes is not caused by excess body fat. However, excess body fat is still dangerous for a type 1 diabetic, since type 1 diabetes also carries the risks associated with type 2 diabetes: heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, and other complications. In almost all cases, consequently, a nutritionally superior diet is essential to the health and longevity of type 1 diabetics.

Conventional Care of Type 1 Diabetes

With conventional care, the long-term prognosis for a Type 1 diabetic is dismal. Type 1 diabetes usually begins to do its damage during childhood, and carries the same risks as type 2 diabetes for complications and other medical problems. However, a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes is not a guarantee of poor health and a shortened lifespan. It is not Type 1 diabetes itself that causes such negative health consequences. Rather, it is the combination of the diabetes and the typical nutritional “advice” given to these patients – advice that requires them to needlessly large amounts of insulin. As discussed above, excess insulin accelerates atherosclerosis, increases cancer risk and damages the body. With this in mind, it should be clear that while the Standard American Diet (SAD), which has spread to all industrialized nations, is dangerous for everyone, it is particularly deadly for diabetics. In short, if you eat conventionally you die conventionally, but if you eat the SAD with diabetes, you will be committing to poor health and a premature death at a much younger age.

Live a Long and Healthy Life with Type 1 Diabetes

With proper care, a type 1 diabetic can live a long and healthy life, with almost no risk of heart attack, stroke, or complications. Type 1 diabetics need not feel doomed to a life of medical disasters and a possible early death. With a truly health-supporting Nutritarian lifestyle, even the Type 1 diabetic can have the potential for a disease-free life and a better than average life expectancy. I find that when Type 1 diabetics adopt my high-nutrient dietary approach, they reduce their insulin requirements by at least one half. They protect their body against the heart attack promoting effects of the American diet style. They no longer have swings of highs and lows, their weight remains stable, and their glucose levels and lipids stay under excellent control. Even though the Type 1 diabetic will still require exogenous (external) insulin, they will no longer need excessive amounts of it. Remember, it is not the Type 1 diabetes that is so damaging, it is the SAD, the typical dietary advice given to Type 1s and the excessive amounts of insulin required by the SAD that are so harmful. It is simply essential for all Type 1 diabetics to learn and adopt nutritional excellence; they can use much less insulin, achieve a normal, healthy lifespan and dramatically reduce their risk of complications later in life.

A Type 1 Diabetes Success Story

John Sermos was a 22 year old college graduate with Type 1 diabetes since the age of 6. He was five foot, eight inches tall and weighed 190 pounds. He was taking a total of 70 units of insulin daily. He was referred to my office by his family physician as he was having swings in his glucose levels, too high at times and at other times dangerously low. He also wanted to learn more about nutrition to improve his health and reduce his future risks from having diabetes. I was impressed by his intelligence and desire to change his eating habits to better his health. We spent lots of time discussing the typical problems that befall most diabetics, and I explained to him that using 70 units of insulin a day was part of the problem. I explained that if he follows my recommended diet-style he will stabilize his weight at about 145 pounds and he will only require about 30 units of insulin a day. With this lower level of insulin, to mimic the amount of insulin a non-diabetic makes in the pancreas, he can have a life without the typical health issues that befall diabetics. We cut his nighttime insulin dose down by ten units and his mealtime insulin from 10 to 6 as he began the diet. Over the next two weeks we gradually tapered his insulin and found that he only needed 20 units of Lantus insulin at bedtime and 4 units before each meal for a total of 32 units a day. Almost immediately, with my dietary recommendations, his sugars were running in the favorable range, and he no longer experienced dangerous drops in his blood sugar. He had lost 13 pounds over the first month and by month three weighed 167, a loss of 23 pounds. He was excited about what he had learned and was more hopeful about his life while living with his diabetes. I am convinced that with a Nutritarian diet-style, those with Type 1 diabetes can have a long and disease-free life. I feel it is imperative that all Type 1 diabetics learn about this life-saving approach.

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes refers to higher than normal blood sugars occurring during pregnancy in women who were not diabetic before becoming pregnant. It is usually detected by discovering higher than normal glucose levels between the twenty-third and twenty-eighth weeks of pregnancy, and occurs in over five percent of pregnancies. In the vast majority of women found to have this condition, there are no symptoms of diabetes, and the diabetes usually goes away after the baby is born.

The body requires more insulin during pregnancy as weight is gained and as the placenta grows and produces hormones that reduce insulin sensitivity. It is normal for the pancreas to produce higher levels of insulin during pregnancy. However, typical American food habits push these insulin demands over the top. Many women have no problem producing the extra insulin needed during pregnancy, but for women with gestational diabetes, their pancreas can’t secrete the higher levels demanded. Women with gestational diabetes have a strong likelihood of developing adult onset diabetes later in life; in fact, one study found that about half of women with gestational diabetes developed type 2 diabetes within eight years.12 It reflects a pancreas that is already overworked that has difficulty handing the increased insulin needs of excess fat on their body and a diet rich in processed carbohydrates.

The same dietary factors that cause Type 2 diabetes cause gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes reveals the tendency for type 2 diabetes to develop. Instead, if women eat the high-nutrient dietary style that I recommend, they will be protected from developing gestational diabetes and type 2 diabetes later in life. Nutritional excellence is important during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes is a sign of nutritional inadequacy; it leads to overweight babies (macrosomia) and increases the likelihood of need for a C-section. Gestational diabetes also presents health risks for the child, including the potential for hypoglycemia immediately after birth, increased risk of respiratory problems in newborns, and increase the risk of obesity and diabetes later in life. It is important that lifestyle changes are initiated to restore normal glucose levels as soon as possible during pregnancy, which is accomplished effectively and easily with Nutritarian eating style. If you have gestational diabetes, the best medicine is no medicine; who knows what subtle, long-term effects diabetes medications may have on an unborn child? Superior nutrition is the safest and most effective choice. I have outlined a plan for women with gestational diabetes to achieve healthy glucose levels almost immediately and have a healthy pregnancy in my book, The End of Diabetes.

Conclusion

The dietary program described in my book The End of Diabetes is a vegetable-based diet designed to maximize nutrient per calorie density. It is the most effective dietary approach for those with diabetes and is much more effective than drugs. For a Type 2 diabetic, this approach results in complete reversal of the diabetic condition for the majority of patients. For a Type 1 diabetic it eliminates the excessive highs and lows and prevents the typical dangerous complications that too frequently befall those with diabetes. Both type 1 and type 2 diabetics can maintain excellent health and quality of life into old age. Women with gestational diabetes can reverse their disease, have a healthy pregnancy and prevent type 2 diabetes later in life.

This simple and effective plan is based on delicious, healthful foods, starts working right away, and starts you on the path to a long, happy, disease-free life. Of course, the road to wellness involves making the commitment to regular exercise as well. In The End of Diabetes I describe exercises you can do even if you are starting with a low level of fitness.

If you have diabetes, begin by reading The End of Diabetes, and consider joining the Member Center here at DrFuhrman.com for support from both peers and my medical staff. It is important that you do not change your diet, if you are on medication, without medication adjustment under the guidance of a competent physician. I wish you enduring health and a long life... it can be yours.

References:
  1. American Diabetes Association: Diabetes statistics [http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/diabetes-statistics/]
    International Diabetes Federation: Morbidity and Mortality [http://www.idf.org/diabetesatlas/diabetes-mortality ]
  2. Khaodhiar LS. Cummings S,  Apovian CM. Treating diabetes and prediabetes by focusing on obesity management. Curr Diab Rep, 2009. 9(5): 348-54.
  3. Flegal KM, Carroll MD, Kit BK, Ogden CL. Prevalence of obesity and trends in the distribution of body mass index among US adults, 1999-2010. JAMA. 2012 Feb 1;307(5):491-7.
  4. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Diabetes Data & Trends. 2008 [http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/statistics/prev/national/figpersons.htm]
  5. Boyle JP, Thompson TJ, Gregg EW, et al. Projection of the year 2050 burden of diabetes in the US adult population: dynamic modeling of incidence, mortality, and prediabetes prevalence. Popul Health Metr, 2010. 8(1): 29.
  6. American Diabetes Association: Diabetes statistics [http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/diabetes-statistics/]
  7. Campbell PT, Deka A, Jacobs EJ, et al. Prospective study reveals associations between colorectal cancer and type 2 diabetes mellitus or insulin use in men. Gastroenterology. 2010 Oct;139(4):1138-46.
    Flood A, Strayer L, Schairer C, Schatzkin A. Diabetes and risk of incident colorectal cancer in a prospective cohort of women. Cancer Causes Control. 2010 Aug;21(8):1277-84.
    He J, Stram DO, Kolonel LN, et al. The association of diabetes with colorectal cancer risk: the Multiethnic Cohort. Br J Cancer. 2010 Jun 29;103(1):120-6.
  8. Boyle JP, Thompson TJ, Gregg EW, et al. Projection of the year 2050 burden of diabetes in the US adult population: dynamic modeling of incidence, mortality, and prediabetes prevalence. Popul Health Metr, 2010. 8(1): 29.
  9. Stolar MW. Atherosclerosis in diabetes: the role of hyperinsulinemia. Metabolism. 1988 Feb;37(2 Suppl 1):1-9.
    García RG, Rincón MY, Arenas WD, et al. Hyperinsulinemia is a predictor of new cardiovascular events in Colombian patients with a first myocardial infarction. Int J Cardiol. 2011 Apr 1;148(1):85-90.
    Cao W, Ning J, Yang X, Liu Z. Excess exposure to insulin is the primary cause  of insulin resistance and its associated atherosclerosis. Curr Mol Pharmacol. 2011 Nov;4(3):154-66.
  10. Ruige JB, Mertens I, Considine RV, et al. Opposite effects of insulin-like molecules and leptin in coronary heart disease of type 2 diabetes Preliminary data. Int J Cardiol. 2006 Jul 28;111(1):19-25.
    Zoler ML. Insulin may boost cardiovascular risk in type 2 diabetes patients. Family Practice News, May 15, 2001.
    Cao W, Ning J, Yang X, Liu Z. Excess exposure to insulin is the primary cause  of insulin resistance and its associated atherosclerosis. Curr Mol Pharmacol. 2011 Nov;4(3):154-66.
  11. Vigneri P, Frasca F, Sciacca L, et al. Diabetes and cancer. Endocr Relat Cancer 2009;16:1103-1123.
    Campbell PT, Deka A, Jacobs EJ, et al. Prospective study reveals associations between colorectal cancer and type 2 diabetes mellitus or insulin use in men. Gastroenterology, 2010. 139(4):1138-46.
    Janghorbani M, Dehghani M, Salehi-Marzijarani M. Systematic review and meta-analysis of insulin therapy and risk of cancer. Horm Cancer. 2012 Aug;3(4):137-46.
  12. Löbner K, Knopff A, Baumgarten A, et al. Predictors of postpartum diabetes in women with gestational diabetes mellitus. Diabetes. 2006 Mar;55(3):792-7.
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The End of Diabetes

The Eat to Live Plan for preventing and reversing type 2 diabetes, and living healthfully with type 1 diabetes.

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