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World Diabetes Day: Is Diabetes Reversible? Experts Explain How You Can Control It By What Is In Your Kitchen

Is Diabetes Reversible? Experts Explain How You Can Control It By What Is In Your Kitchen

Ever wondered if it is possible to reverse the effects of diabetes? This diabetes day, know how you can manage and control high blood sugar levels.

Written by Editorial Team |Updated : November 14, 2021 11:31 AM IST

Diabetes is a chronic illness caused by either no or low insulin or from not being able to utilise the insulin effectively. As a result, the blood glucose levels rise, which we measure in our blood to diagnose diabetes. It is one of the largest and most prevalent health concerns that plague the world at large as well as our country. It is estimated that about 77 million Indians suffer from diabetes and these only include those that have been tested.

Most adult-onset diabetes has insulin resistance at its core. Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreatic beta cells. It signals the cells of your body to grab glucose out of the bloodstream and utilise it for energy. When the cells lose sensitivity to this signal, they do not let glucose enter the cells, and blood glucose rises, thus leading to diabetes.

Is It Possible To Reverse Diabetes?

While Type-1 diabetes is characterized by low or no insulin, Type-2 diabetes comprises 90% of the world's adult diabetes where insulin is not utilised by the body effectively. Reversal of the condition can happen if we work towards breaking the cycle of insulin-glucose insensitivity.

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Diabetes reversal is defined as improvement in insulin sensitivity for extended periods of more than three months by bringing glycated Haemoglobin A1c under 6.5% without anti-diabetic medications (Metformin excluded). The reversal to this stage is very much possible today. A cure for diabetes implies that the original pathophysiology and cause of the condition is eliminated, and the condition will not reoccur however, this is not the case with a reversal.

While people often consider diabetes or prediabetes diagnosis as an end to the many joys of life, there is enough clinical evidence to go around suggesting the opposite. Time and again, people have overcome their condition by dedicating consistent efforts towards reversal. These include various interventions on a day-to-day basis, which slowly go on to reduce reliance on medication and finally even come off it in many cases after sustained efforts.

Possible Ways To Improve Insulin Sensitivity For Diabetics

The message here is clear and simple diabetes reversal is very much possible, and more people need to take the step towards turning their 'CANT's' into 'CANs', thereby, realising their goals without letting their condition obstruct the path.

One of the ways this can be done is by reducing the carb or sugar load at each meal and in some cases, initially by using medicines.

Since the carb load and reduced consumption of nutrient-dense foods contribute towards diabetes, looking at your meals and re-evaluating your diet is the best way to get started. Start bringing into your kitchen and home all that is nutrient-dense, rich in fibre, and low in simple carbs.

  • These include grains like- Quinoa, Brown rice, Millets, lentils/daal.
  • Spices used in our kitchen are very good fibre sources and have sugar control properties like -Methi seeds and cinnamon.
  • Vegetables like bitter gourd and gooseberry are also known to help in lowering sugar levels.

These can very well help you control your diabetes coupled with other lifestyle measures. Stocking your kitchen with vegetables, lean meats, complex carbs, low GI fruits, and nuts is a sure way to manage diabetes well.

A Healthy Lifestyle Goes A Long Way

While the kitchen is perhaps the most important place to get started on your journey to diabetes reversal, it must be complemented with small consistent lifestyle interventions which go a long way in your journey towards reversal.

Some decent daily physical activities such as walking, jogging, simple workouts and so on help keep you active and manage your body weight which also has a direct impact on diabetes. Additionally, stress reduction interventions and a good sleep cycle should be able to help you even reverse diabetes over time.

(The article is contributed by Dr Chhavi Mehra, Chief Medical Officer at Sugar.fit)

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