Control Diabetes Naturally

Can diabetes be controlled with little or no medication? Absolutely. We can beat diabetes.

You can beat diabetes. The disease process associated with diabetes (which leads to heart attacks, strokes, and other crippling illnesses) can be slowed and even partially reversed by controlling blood glucose and other cardiovascular disease risk factors.

All this suffering, all this early death, is preventable. It is the direct result of the way we live – by our sedentary habits and our Western-style diets, bereft of whole, fiber-rich foods and full of fast foods and other calorie-dense junk.

Type 2 diabetes usually starts after the age of 40. But because of America’s childhood obesity epidemic, more and more of our youth are being diagnosed with the disease, including children as young as 10 – and occasionally even younger.

Type 2 diabetes affects about 30 million people in the U.S. Nearly 90 million more Americans have pre-diabetes.

There’s more troubling news. The pre-cursors of Type 2 diabetes – pre-diabetes and the Metabolic Syndrome – increase our risk of heart disease almost as much as Type 2 diabetes does. These pre-cursors are so widespread in 21st century America that scientists now estimate that the majority of the current U.S. population over the age of 65 has them. And they put people at dangerously high risk of developing full-blown Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and dying prematurely.

All this suffering, all this early death, is preventable. It is the direct result of the way we live – by our sedentary habits and our Western-style diets, bereft of whole, fiber-rich foods and full of fast foods and other calorie-dense junk.

Strangely and sadly, it could be argued that you’re lucky if you get to the Type 2 diabetes stage. Far too many people, like NBC’s renowned political journalist Tim Russert and The Sopranos star James Gandolfino, succumb to cardiovascular disease in the earlier stages of diabetes – when they have Metabolic Syndrome or pre-diabetes.

The power of prevention

There is much you can do with lifestyle alone to prevent diabetes. In a landmark study, the NIH-sponsored Diabetes Prevention Program, scientists tracked 3,234 pre-diabetic men and women for three years. A third of them adopted lifestyle changes. Another third took a drug – metformin (Glucophage®). The remaining third, the control group, took a placebo. Those on the lifestyle-change plan reduced the progression to full-blown Type 2 diabetes by 58% compared to the control group. The reduction was even greater – 71% – among adults aged 60 and older. Treatment with the drug metformin reduced the progression of Type 2 diabetes by just 31%.

The lifestyle changes in the study were similar to the Pritikin Program and focused on eating low-calorie-dense, high-fiber foods, exercising five days weekly for at least 30 minutes, and a 7% weight loss.

Can you control diabetes? Reverse it?

Absolutely. We can beat diabetes. The disease process associated with diabetes (which leads to heart attacks, strokes, and other crippling illnesses) can be slowed and even partially reversed by controlling blood glucose and other cardiovascular disease risk factors. For maximum effectiveness, blood glucose must be controlled at near normal levels throughout most of the day via loss of excess weight, particularly belly fat, as well as daily physical activity, and, if necessary, medications and insulin injections.

Results of the Pritikin Program

Research published on Type 2 diabetics coming to the Pritikin Longevity Center illustrate how profoundly beneficial early intervention can be. This study followed 243 people in the early stages of diabetes (not yet on medications). Within three weeks of coming to Pritikin, their fasting glucose fell on average from 160 to 124.

Studies have also found that the Pritikin Program reduces fasting insulin by 25 to 40% .

Research has found, too, that the Pritikin Program can actually reverse the Metabolic Syndrome. In 50% of adult Americans studied, the Pritikin Program reversed the clinical diagnosis of Metabolic Syndrome, and in just three weeks. In research following children with the Metabolic Syndrome, 100% no longer had the syndrome within two weeks of starting the Pritikin Program.

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