Type 2 diabetes is not really a disease. Its basically a lifestyle disorder and a dietary illness. This means that a poor lifestyle and dietary habits can lead to type 2 diabetes. This also means that the kind of lifestyle you live and dietary habits you follow play a huge role in reversing it. Over the last couple of years, we gathered a lot of data to study certain commonalities amongst Type 2 diabetics. This is not to say that these commonalities were in all diabetics, but majority of them and it may just help you understand, heal and prevent Type 2 diabetes better. However, the first thing we need to believe is that Type 2 diabetes is completely reversible in most cases. It’s the first thing all health professionals need to tell their patients. Hope is need of the hour. Here are the commonalities:
- Sedentary lifestyle: If you have type 2 diabetes and your sugar levels keep fluctuating and don’t see to come down even after increasing medications month-on-month, you may want to first check your activity levels. A sedentary lifestyle causes and worsens type 2 diabetes. Make an effort to be more active. Even if you are investing one hour of workout but sedentary rest of the day, its not going to be help. Idea is to remain active throughout the day- beyond that one-hour workout. You need to get up from your chair, move around, walk up to the door whenever the bell rings or get your own remote control. This means one has to be active over and above that one-hour workout. The more sedentary you are, the worse your diabetes gets.
- Going low-fat and high-carb:Second commonality is following an eating pattern that’s low-fat and high-carb, which actually needs to be the opposite – low carb and high fat. We need to stop demonising fats for making us fat, sick and cause issues like high cholesterol and triglycerides. The wrong kind of fat and too much of it is the culprit. We need good fats for several functions in the human body like hormonal health. Diabetes condition itself involves a hormone called insulin. People who go on oil-free or low-fat diet make a huge mistake by not understanding that the good fats from nuts, seeds, pure oils are great for their heart, diabetic health, hormones, hair, skin and even weight loss. Crucial vitamins like A, D, E, K are also absorbed in the presence of fats. Having said that, portion control is advised even for good fats. Anything in excess, even if it’s a good fat is going to be harmful. A simple lifestyle change involving a meal pattern that’s low carb and high fat, but within your calorific limit will definitely help improve blood sugar levels.
- Eating too much or too less fruits: It’s been noticed that type 2 diabetics either eat too many or too less of fruits. There is something called as glycaemic load of a food item and that’s what our main focus should be on. When we look at the glycaemic load, it’s the total load of carbohydrates on our body. A type 2 diabetic can safely have 1-2 fruits spread across the day, but having them together or snacking on a huge fruit platter is what’s going to bother sugar levels. Its important to space out your fruit intake because you don’t want too much of fructose going into your system at once. Similarly, raw vegetables play an important role too. Raw foods are great sources of key digestive enzymes and trace minerals. Its through the raw foods our digestion is aided by raw enzymes. A healthy digestive system becomes important in case of diabetes because if you have a digestive system that’s not working up to the mark, pancreas also gets affected in a way. Chances are that the pancreas gets inflamed and is not able to produce the right amount of insulin. Hence eating raw fruits and vegetables in the right quantity goes a long way in healing type-2 diabetes.
- Diabetes is not just about high sugar levels:Most diabetics do not look beyond fasting and post meal blood sugars. Its important to understand that diabetes starts at the pancreatic level. Its important to out focus on the health of your pancreas. Pancreas has two main functions: 1. Secreting digestive enzymes which aids digestion. 2. Producing insulin, which helps in blood sugar management. You want to make every effort to preserve your pancreatic health and make rule out any acidity. Acidity is one commonality amongst diabetics. They are acidic, bloated, constipated, have indigestion issues or have IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). Each of these gut issues is corelated with pancreas and the way it produces insulin. In a human body, everything is interconnected with each other. Not a commonality, but another important aspect is intake of artificial sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners have aspartame which is worse than sugar and has every connection with inflammation in the human body. What is diabetes after all? An inflammatory condition. Anything that’s artificial and refined is harmful for our health. Second aspect is not overdoing on healthy sugars like jaggery. Jaggery has the same GI (glycaemic index) as sugar, but its tad healthier because it’s not refined and has phosphorous, iron and other trace minerals. However, it behaves the same way as white sugar in the body of a type 2 diabetic. So, its important to go easy on jaggery and other natural sweeteners as well.
- Eating too fast:Most of them eat too fast, which is why it becomes easy to overeat. If you are a fast-eater, chances are that you will eat more than what your body requires. In cases of overeating, body naturally produces excess of everything – be it insulin, digestive enzymes, stomach acids. Slow down, chew well. If you chew well, you aid digestion because your saliva contains amylase and lipase that help to break down carbohydrates and fats in your mouth itself. Thus, there is a direct correlation between how well you chew and you your blood sugar levels behave. Infact try this for your next meal. You may as well check your blood sugar levels before and after. Keep chewing your food until it attains a liquid like consistency in your mouth and then swallow it. Then chew your post meal blood sugar levels. You will find a difference because you are not just depending on your system for digestion, but the digestion that starts in your mouth.
- Keeping long gaps between two meals: Make sure you don’t keep long gaps between meals. The more gap you keep between your meals, the more you end up eating at the next meal because you are hungry. The more you eat, the more your sugar levels change and fluctuate.
- Chronic stress and less sleep: Stress and low sleep levels are an obvious commonality amongst all type 2 diabetics. Most of our hormonal balance occurs while we sleep and most our hormonal imbalance occurs when we are chronically stressed. And insulin is nothing but a hormone! So, managing both stress and sleep is important to heal diabetes. When you’re chronically stressed, cortisol goes up and impacts every other hormone in the human body, including insulin.
So, these are commonalities that most type 2 diabetics share. If you’re one of them, start making lifestyle shifts and you can be assured that there is a huge chance you can reverse your type 2 diabetes and eventually get off your medication, with the help of your doctor.