Diabetes is a disease that plagues millions of people around the world and not just adults anymore. Teenagers, middle aged people, the elderly and even children. I want to explain how exactly diabetes works, how we can reverse it, how we can prevent it, how we can improve our condition. What comes along with disease is a lot of fear. This fear drives us to explore option after option and then we have Dr. Google and loads of different doctors and nutritionist and healers telling you what to do. You run around like headless chickens one option after another never really improving.
If you want to cure or reverse a disease, you must firstly understand how the human body works. When you know that you can address the root cause, make the necessary lifestyle changes, eat the right food your body needs and you can reverse the disease. Most cases of diabetes are lifestyle related. To reverse diabetes, you should be willing to take personal responsibility for your own health and your body. When you don’t take personal responsibility, there is blame and when there is blame it’s no win situation. So take responsibility for whatever you have. The second step understands how diabetes works. I always keep saying that the human body is designed to heal itself. Every time you eat food it gets digested, your blood sugar levels (glucose) rise because of breakdown of your carbohydrates, proteins and fats. The job of the insulin which the pancreas produces is to take the glucose of your blood and put it into the cells of your muscles and fat. Your muscle and fat stores the glucose which it uses later when the body needs it for energy. So insulin carries glucose from your blood, it knocks against the cell doors of your muscle and fat. Your cell doors hear a knock and open. The insulin puts the glucose in your cells. Its job is done. Your fat and muscles store glucose for energy breakdown in future.
Now sometimes these cells become resistant to insulin. This means the insulin is knocking against the cell door, but the cell door doesn’t hear it and open up. It doesn’t allow the glucose to come into its cells. So then you have glucose that stays in your blood. Now your pancreas produces more and more insulin so the knock is loud enough for the cells to open and take in that glucose. That is insulin resistance. Your cells have become resistant to the knock of the insulin. If this keeps happening over and over again your pancreas start losing life. They start losing the ability to produce more insulin. So now you have Type 2 diabetes.
And then you have Type 1 where your pancreas cannot produce insulin anymore and you need to inject insulin yourself. So diabetes is not about just eating sugar and controlling sugar and going on to load GI foods and all that stuffs. There’s much more to it. Like why don’t your cells open up when insulin knocks against it? Why aren’t your pancreases strong enough to produce enough of insulin to take that glucose and put it in your cells? These are the questions that we need to tackle. It’s far more than just sugar.
Cause of Diabetes
We first need to figure out what brings on diabetes. If you are carrying excess weight, losing even an inch, will improve your level of diabetes. What brings on diabetes is something called a metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a group of conditions involving, excess weight. It could be high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, elevated triglycerides or all of these three things and bad cholesterol. Other causes are obesity, and then you have diabetes that stems out of pregnancy which is easily reversible if you take care of it at the right time. You have infections and severe illness that brings on diabetes. Inactivity is the number one cause of diabetes if it’s not genetic. The long term use of steroids causes diabetes. Breaking this down further, we need to understand that diabetes is a nutritional wasting disease. There is substantial loss of nutrients in your urine when you have high glucose levels in your blood. Most experts in diabetes make no attempt to help you replenish that loss in nutrients which can actually help you reverse diabetes.
Some of the nutrients that get flushed out by your system when you have high glucose levels are B complex that increases your cell sensitivity towards insulin. Remember your cells not opening up cannot hear the knock of the insulin. You need the right B vitamins for your cells to recognize that knock and open up to take that excess glucose. Vitamin C gets depleted. Vitamin D3 gets depleted. When you have low D3 levels and vitamin C levels you have low immunity. Magnesium gets depleted which is why most diabetics experience calf pain, muscular pain and other pains in their joints. And another trace mineral called Chromium gets depleted. So you need to replenish these trace minerals and lost nutrients when you have diabetes. Sometimes just replenishing these lost minerals and vitamins makes your cells stronger and starts the process of reversal of diabetes.
Clinical trials have proven that a change in lifestyle and the right amount of weight loss can reverse your diabetes. So yes the next big question is how do we lose weight. Weight loss is not about punishing your body with exercise and going on starvation diet that restricts you from food that contains vitamins and minerals that your body needs. Weight loss is hormonal. When your hormones are in balance your cells open up and take in the excess glucose, store it, burn it when you use that energy. You have to allow the human body to lose weight. You cannot force it. And weight loss or your inability to lose weight is just not related diabetes but also thyroid and several other hormonal issues. That’s why young girls and women who have PCOD struggle to lose weight. Women with hormonal imbalances struggle to lose weight. And like is said, Insulin is a hormone. So if you have a hormonal imbalance in your body you have a hormonal imbalance with insulin as well which is causing diabetes or insulin resistance which is pre diabetes.
Fibre Rich Food
Intake of Fibre is necessary and most of us have diets that don’t give enough of fibre every day. Fibre has no impact on insulin. Fibre has a very mechanical function as it passes through your body. But when your carbohydrates, proteins and fats breakdown and you have sufficient fibre, fibre can delay the way blood glucose enters your blood stream. So for example I may be eating a fruit, being a simple carb it will increase my blood sugar levels. But if I follow it with a handful of nuts which is rich in protein and fibre, that breakdown of glucose into my blood is going to be far slower. So the more fibre you get in your food, the better your sugar levels are going to be.
I am going to mention few of my most favourite spices and herbs that we use worldwide to control people sugar levels and eventually reverse diabetes.
- Srilankan roll cinnamon: I specify Srilankan because that’s the safe cinnamon. You have Cassia which is also the Indian cinnamon. Too much of that is toxic to the liver. Srilankan roll cinnamon has a direct impact on your blood sugar levels. It controls it and doesn’t allow it to go out of whack. So adding cinnamon post to your meals, to your food, to yoghurt if you eat dairy, to your cup of green tea. A cup of good quality green tea with a dash of cinnamon controls your sugar levels.
- Fenugreek: This in India is also called Methi. Soaking the seeds overnight and eating them the next morning and drinking the water has marvellous effect on your blood sugar levels and you need to be keep on doing this. Add more methi to your food. Have methi post you meals if you want to control your sugar levels.
- Turmeric: The extract of turmeric, curcumin has a positive impact on controlling blood sugar levels.
- Garlic:That’s my favourite has an impact on regulating your sugar levels
- Curry leaves: In India also called as Kadipatta. These leaves are full of enzymes that help you control your sugar levels. Make it into chutney, add it to your juice, add it to your foods but eat more curry leaves.
- Aloe Vera: Grow your own Aloe Vera at home. The right strain of it, aloe vera had on an empty stomach in the morning will control your blood sugar levels.
- Cloves:Adding cloves to a tea infusion or to your food or even just biting in to a clove soaked for one to two hours in water reduces your blood sugar levels.
- Oregano:It is a leaf. It’s an herb. You can buy dry oregano powder or dry oregano leaves and use it as a garnish on your food, in tea, in salads or plain.
All of these have the ability of not just to bring down your sugar levels at that moment, but the continuous use of these herbs actually improve the health of your pancreas, production of insulin and the sensitivity of your cells.
Here’s what you need to understand about sugar and diabetes. Sugar depletes critical electrolytes such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, sodium from your body leading to cellular dehydration, chronic muscle spasms. When you have cellular dehydration you are decreasing the energy of your cell and that cell cannot hear the knock of insulin. The second thing that sugar does over the other innumerable bad things that it does is that it depletes trace minerals like chromium, copper and zinc whose function of that is to sensitize cells to insulin. So chromium, zinc and magnesium allow the cells to hear that knock of insulin. So your very condition is depleting you of the very things that increase the sensitivity of cells to insulin.
Plant Based Diet
Our lifestyle is what is going to fix us. Here’s my solution to you. If you really and truly want to reverse your diabetes, I am going to ask you to get on a plant based diet. I am a non-vegetarian. I love good meat and good fish. But I also realize that the damage it does to people with diabetes. I am going to ask you to do an experiment and I promise you that if you do it the right way you will have an improvement in your diabetes condition. Get onto a plant based diet. The problem with non-vegetarian and dairy for people with diabetes, cholesterol and thyroid is the amount of antibiotics and hormones that enter your body through the meat and the milk that you drink. We already know that insulin is a hormone. We also know that most of these diseases are caused by hormonal imbalance. We are putting external toxic hormones and antibiotics back into our body. There is no way we can ever get better. No matter, how much metformin you are taking, no matter how much insulin you are pumping into your system. Reduce the intake of antibiotics and hormones into your body which already has an imbalance. That’s my reason for telling you to cut out meat for at least a month if you can. Cow milk has three to four times more protein and fifty percent more saturated fat than breast milk. Our body doesn’t need that much of protein. When we have that excess protein our body has to produce more acid to breakdown that protein. More acid means more calcium leeching from the bones which means osteoporosis. More acidity in the body means more problems with your pancreas and more problems with insulin. Can you see how it’s all connected. Plant based diet, nuts, seeds, vegetable, I am not saying raw, cook your vegetables, do some raw juice, do some cooked. Lentils, legumes, have your grains, the good grains, the grains that have a lot of fibre, brown rice, quinoea, if you are having white rice have a lot of vegetables with it. Millets are great for controlling your sugar levels. Have this diet for two weeks to a month and I can promise you will have better sugar levels.
I know so many diabetics who do not even walk for twenty minutes a day. Without good circulation you need exercise to increase insulin in your body. You need that extra glucose from the good and bad food you eat that gets stored in your blood sugar levels to be broken down into energy. And that can’t happen of you sitting eight hours in the day and doing nothing. That can happen only if you exercise and move. Give me a plant based diet and 30 to 45 minutes of walk six out of seven days and I promise you, your blood sugar levels are all controlled. Forget buying all these diabetic foods, low GI foods. Yes they are good but they are not going to solve your problem. They are just going to give better parameters on your reports that’s all. I am here to make you believe that you can reverse it
Elevated levels of stress have a direct impact on diabetes. Causing it and worsening it. When your body is stressed it produces another hormone called cortisol. When your cortisol increases your insulin decreases. Because when your cortisol increases which is a stress hormone your body recognises you are into a fight of like response which needs energy. Whether you are fleeing or fighting, your body needs energy. So your body will try to keep as much as blood sugar glucose in its system as it can. So that it can break it down rapidly because it takes more time to breakdown the glucose stored in your muscle or fat. So cortisol increases sending a signal to insulin to decrease so that your blood sugar levels stay high. So now when you are chronically stressed, you chronically have lower levels of insulin which means you have higher levels of blood sugar which means you have diabetes or whatever your doctor terms it as. That is the impact of stress on your levels. So meditate, do pranayama, get a hobby or whatever it is. No excuses. I know all of us have stress. But if you are looking to reverse the disease you have to make that extra effort, take that personal responsibility and reduce it every way we can.
Somatostatin is a hormone that tells your pancreas to produce less insulin. Less insulin means more blood glucose. What produces high levels of somatostatin is stress and refined sugar. Refined sugar immediately signals to your body to increase somatostatin in your stomach, brain, and thyroid and in your pancreas and that inhibits insulin. For at least two hours post physical activity do not let refined sugar enter your body. Because then you and your body is up against a battle of hormones and you can never win that battle.
If you are sleeping five to six hours you have a hormonal imbalance. Because hormones take roughly six and a half to eight hours to balance. If you has a hormonal imbalance you have an imbalance in insulin because insulin is also a hormone. Thyroxin is also a hormone. So you see your thyroid, cholesterol, diabetes, everything is correlated. And if you look around people with diabetes usually have heart problems, thyroid and kidney issues. And you get on a stack of cholesterol medication which worsens your condition of diabetes. Then your doctor increases your dosage of diabetic medication just to manage the side effect of your cholesterol. So it’s confusing. It’s a vicious trap.
You have the ability to reverse your diabetes. We do it all the time.