I’ve always been told type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease. No matter what you do your beta cells will over time produce less and less insulin. Yet, many people with type 2 diabetes who lose weight, change their diet and get moving get off medication and live as though they no longer have diabetes. So, what’s the story?
Dr. Jason Fung, a kidney specialist, gives an insightful talk about just this. In his words we are “treating the symptoms of diabetes, high blood sugar, rather than the disease which is insulin resistance.” Type 2 diabetes he says doesn’t have to progress if you deal with insulin resistance by losing weight, eating healthy and being physically active. By time most people have had type 2 diabetes ten years they are on multiple medications, including taking up to 100 units of insulin a day. Sure, their blood sugars have come down but their diabetes has only gotten worse.
“People with Type 2 diabetes have too much insulin,” says Fung “so we need to reduce their insulin not add more, that’s crazy. It’s like giving an alcoholic alcohol.” Frankly, I couldn’t agree more. As a type 1, I believe in the benefit of keeping my injected insulin low, by eating a low carb diet, to keep my blood sugars more stable. A high sugar/refined carb diet spikes blood sugars making them much harder to keep in one’s target range. Fung also talks about the benefit of fasting toward the end.