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2 Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes – Complications of Prediabetes and Full-Blown ...

How To Reverse Type 2 Diabetes And Insulin Resistance In 5 Simple Steps

How to Reverse Type 2 Diabetes and Insulin Resistance in 5 Simple Steps

In my last article about diabetes, I explained which tests you need to determine whether you’ve got diabetes or pre-diabetes.

Now I’m going to share with you my top advice for preventing — and reversing — these conditions.

Eating Well

The foods you eat can have huge effects on your health. Eating the right foods will balance your blood sugar, reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, and improve liver detoxification — all of which help prevent and reverse insulin resistance and diabetes.

In general, you should follow a whole-foods diet that contains plenty of anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and detoxifying foods.

Here are more details.

When to Eat:

•Eat protein for breakfast every day
•Eat something every 4 hours to balance blood sugar
•Eat small protein snacks in the morning and afternoon
•Finish eating at least 2 to 3 hours before bed

How to Eat:

•Control the glycemic load of your meals by combining protein, fats, and whole-food carbohydrates at every meal or snack

What to Eat:

•Organic produce and animal products

•High-quality protein, such as fish and shellfish

•Cold-water fish such as salmon, halibut, and sable, which contain omega-3 oils that reduce inflammation

•Up to eight omega-3 eggs a week

•Low-glycemic legumes such as lentils, chickpeas, and soybeans

•Fresh fruits (berries, cherries, peaches, plums, rhubarb, pears, and apples are optimal) and vegetables (including low-glycemic vegetables like asparagus, broccoli, kale, spinach, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts)

•Detoxifying foods such as cruciferous vegetables, green tea, watercress, dandelion greens, cilantro, artichokes, garlic, citrus peels, pomegranate, and even cocoa

•Herbs such as rosemary, ginger, and turmeric

•Garlic and onions

•30 to 50 grams of fiber a day, especially soluble or viscous fiber (legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, vegetables, and fruit)

•Extra-virgin olive oil

•Soy products such as soymilk, soybeans, and tofu

•Nuts and seeds, including raw walnuts, almonds, macadamia nuts, and pumpkin and flax seeds

•Chocolate that contains 70 percent cocoa (up to 2 to 3 ounces a day)

What Not to Eat:

•All processed or junk foods

•Foods containing refined white flour and sugar, such as breads, cereals (cornflakes, Frosted Flakes, puffed wheat, and sweetened granola), flour-based pastas, bagels, and pastries

•All foods containing high-fructose corn syrup

•All artificial sweeteners and caffeine

•Starchy, high-glycemic cooked vegetables, such as potatoes, corn, and root vegetables such as rutabagas, parsnips, and turnips

•Processed fruit juices

•Processed canned vegetables

•Foods containing hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils

•Processed oils such as corn, safflower, sunflower, peanut, and canola

•Red meats (unless organic or grass-fed) and organ meats

•Large predatory fish and river fish, which contain mercury and other contaminants in unacceptable amounts


•No more than 3 glasses of red wine per week

Keep Moving

By targeting belly fat, regular exercise can improve insulin sensitivity, prevent and even reverse diabetes, and reduce the risk of complications.

Start with 30 minutes of walking every day. You may need to do sustained aerobic exercise for up to an hour 5 to 6 times a week to control full-blown diabetes. Add interval training (described in UltraMetabolism) and strength training to improve metabolism even more.


I recommend a number of different supplements for insulin resistance and diabetes, depending on the severity of the problem:

1.A multivitamin and mineral.
2.Calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D.
3.Fish oil (1,000 to 4,000 mg)
4.Chromium (500 to 1,000 mcg day)
5.Antioxidants (such as vitamins C and E)
6.Extra vitamin B6 (50 to 150 mg a day) and B12 (1,000 to 3,000 mcg) to protect against diabetic neuropathy or nerve damage.
7.Biotin (2,000 to 4,000 mcg a day)
8.Alpha-lipoic acid (300 mg twice a day)
9.Evening primrose oil (500 to 1,000 mg twice a day)
10.One to two 500 mg tablets of cinnamon twice a day
11.Other herbs and supplements that can be helpful include green tea, ginseng, bitter melon, gymnema, bilberry, ginkgo, onions, and garlic
12.Banaba leaf (Lagerstroemia speciosa); 24 mg twice a day
13.Konjac fiber, four capsules 10 minutes before meals with a glass of water

Stress Management

Stress triggers insulin resistance, promotes belly fat, increases inflammation, and can cause diabetes. Practice relaxation techniques, like yoga, breathing, and meditation, regularly.


A number of medications may be helpful for diabetes. The main classes include:

•Biguanides, especially metformin (Glucophage). They can help improve insulin sensitivity.

•Thiazolidinediones, including rosiglutazone (Avandia) and pioglitazone (Actos). They can help increase insulin sensitivity but can cause weight gain and liver damage.

•Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors, which include acarbose and miglitol, can help lower the absorption of sugar and carbohydrates in the intestines.

Older medications include sulfonylureas include glipizide, glyburide, and glimepiride. I don’t recommend them: They only reduce your sugar temporarily and actually worsen diabetes over time. Plus, they increase the risk of heart attacks.

Insulin is your last resort and can cause weight gain and increased cholesterol and blood pressure. Many patients can get off insulin entirely if they are treated early and aggressively with lifestyle changes.

Remember, diabetes is completely preventable and often reversible.

And you don’t need to limit your efforts to medication or insulin. Start making the lifestyle changes I’ve described here, and you should see quick and dramatic results.

About the author: Mark Hyman, MD is a pioneer in functional medicine, practicing physician and best-selling author. A sneak preview of his book “The UltraSimple Diet” is available. See The UltraWellness Blog for more on Testing for Insulin Resistance


Frequently Asked Questions

    Can a person with Type 2 Diabetes have the occasional slice from a Mars chocolate bar as a treat?
    My friend keeps the bars in the fridge and will take a little slice fromtime to time. I wonder if this is safe.

    • ANSWER:

    why type 2 diabetes is more common in older people?
    im doing a science project for school and my question is why type 2 diabetes is more common in older people??

    • ANSWER:
      Type 1 diabetes can affect children or adults but was traditionally termed “juvenile diabetes” because it represents a majority of the diabetes cases in children.

      Diabetes mellitus type 2 – formerly non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) or adult-onset diabetes – is a metabolic disorder that is characterized by high blood glucose in the context of insulin resistance and relative insulin deficiency. Diabetes is often initially managed by increasing exercise and dietary modification. If the condition progresses, medications may be needed.

      Unlike type 1 diabetes, there is very little tendency toward ketoacidosis though it is not unheard of. One effect that can occur is nonketonic hyperglycemia. Long-term complications from high blood sugar can include increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, amputation, and kidney failure. For extreme cases, circulation of limbs is affected, potentially requiring amputation. Loss of hearing, eyesight, and cognitive ability has also been linked to this condition.

      Type 2 diabetes is much more common than Type 1 diabetes. It affects more than 22 million Americans and projected to double by the year 2025. It typically occurs when your cells resist the insulin that comes knocking at their doors, leaving glucose to circulate in your bloodstream instead of being used to fuel your cells.

      Type 2 form of diabetes is most often associated with older age, obesity, family history of diabetes, previous history of gestational diabetes, physical inactivity, and certain ethnicities. About 80 percent of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight.

      Good luck with you science project.

    How many Grams of Carbs should someone with type 2 diabetes, or gestational diabetes intake a day?
    I am waiting for my second round of blood work to come back with the results as to whether or not i have gestational diabetes. My OB said she is pretty sure it will come back positive so while im waiting for the final results i want to make sure im not ingesting to many carbs. What is the suggested intake of carbs for someone with gestational diabetes and/or Type 2 diabetes?

    • ANSWER:
      Hello, The amount of carbohydrate foods (carbs) recommended for a person with diabetes varies with nutrient needs, physical activity, weight goals, and other lifestyle measures. For someone maintaining a healthy weight on1400 calories, he or she may eat around 45-60 grams per meal, with 3 meals each day. Physical activity, work/school schedules, and medications may influence the amount of carbs recommended and how the carbs are distributed throughout the day. Additional carbs may be required for intensive physical activity levels. Consistency and portion control are key for blood glucose control. The goal is to achieve and maintain target blood glucose (sugar) levels throughout the day

    Whats the difference between type 1 diabetes and type 2?
    Hi everyone.
    My boss just found out her 16 year old daughter has type 1 diabetes. We were all very sad to hear the news. Apparently she will be taking medication everyday for the rest of her life and she has a strict diet to follow. What’s the difference between type 1 and type 2? Also, do people with diabetes have a tendency to be thin and lose a lot of weight because of their diet? Apparently before she was diagnosed, she lost 10 pounds within a month.


    • ANSWER:
      Type one is usually diagnosed early in life, from birth to around the age of 30. There are many theories on why and what happens to the pancreas in type 1. It is thought to be a viruse that attacks it at some point. There are more cases of type 1 in states that have cold weather. These people are always insulin dependent and must inject insulin sometimes up to 6 times a day. The pancreas does not make any (or very little) insulin. In type 2, it is usually diagnosed after the age of 35, but can develop earlier. With this type there are 2 things that can happen. The pancreas can be making lots of insulin but the body is not using it correctly (this is insulin resistance) or the pancreas is not making enough insulin. People with type 2 usually have to take some type or oral meds, but some take insulin, and some take both. There are some type 2′s that can control their disease with diet and exercise for many years. Both types of diabetes can be genetic. Both types are caused by malfunctions of the pancreas and are not caused by the wrong diet, or being overweight. Both types of diabetics need to get daily exercise and watch their diets.

    What are the differences between type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes?
    I know type one is deadlier. But symptom wise, what are the differences between the 2 types of diabetes?

    • ANSWER:
      Basically, type 1 is an autoimmune deficiency- meaning that your body starts fighting against itself, and eventually, someone with type 1 diabetes will stop producing insulin (the protein that regulates your blood sugar levels and enables your body to produce energy). This happens very quickly once it’s triggered. As for symptoms… well, it depends what you mean. Before I was diagnosed, I was drinking about ten plus glasses of water and going to the bathroom a completely insane number of times a day. My mouth smelled like dried fruit. Once I even got a migraine during gym class, but I have no idea if that’s related. I felt tired all the time and snapped at people a lot more than usual, too. People diagnosed with type 1 are usually otherwise completely healthy human beings (but I do happen to know that they’re more susceptible to certain kinds of warts and gum disease.) And once you have type 1, you’re stuck with it for the rest of your life- there’s no cure. Insulin injections are just life support.

      Type 2 diabetes isn’t quite the same. When someone has type 2, it means that they’re still producing insulin, but their bodies have developed a resistance to it. It’s also very likely that they’re overweight. (The more overweight you are, the less effective your insulin becomes.) The symptoms are much the same as for type 1, but type 2 is a bit more dangerous. Because it is more slow to develop – sometimes taking as much as ten, twenty-some years before a person is properly diagnosed – the high blood sugar has more time to inflict permanent damage to your liver, nerves and general circulation. Unlike type 1, type 2 diabetes can sometimes be cured by losing weight around the belly and putting a more healthy diet into place. You can also take pills that will make your insulin stronger to help you regulate your blood sugars.

      So, basically… they have the same symptoms, only type 2 will be slower to develop and likely won’t be caught until the person has had diabetes for quite some time. Type 2 also has the issue of loss of circulation. That’s actually one of the best ways to differentiate between the two.