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What about all this talk about "curing" diabetes?

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  • What about all this talk about "curing" diabetes?

    I'm 75 and was diagnosed with T2D about 12 years ago, although I was probably diabetic long before that. I've had an aorto-bifemoral bypass and a double cardiac bypass, but those were about the same time I was diagnosed. I've refused all medications, but instead chose to control my diabetes with diet and some exercise, but I do admit I'm not a gym rat. I've been successful doing that, but of course, talk of "curing" diabetes does grab my attention.

    I've been able to keep my a1C below 6.0 and have been in the low 5s for most of the past year, even going on cruises and attending family dinners. My wife and I have adopted a ketogenic lifestyle and do intermittent fasting most of the time, unless it would cause problems with family get togethers or travelling with friends. But, we have found that IF does not cause problems in most circumstances. We have even recently completed a fasting mimicking diet using the Prolon kit developed by Dr. Valter Longo and found it much easier than we had thought it would be.

    We are also waiting for our CIMT scan later this week, so we can complete our preparatory work prior to our engaging Dr. Brewer in our first consultation. Of course, we're anxious for that to happen.1
    Anyway, even though I've kept my a1C near 5.0, I still consider myself to be diabetic. I do monthly a1C tests, using a1CNow for most of my glucose monitoring. Our PCP even asked me one time after seeing my a1C results, "Are you sure you're diabetic?" Since she's the one who diagnosed me after an OGTT, I thought that was a silly question. Based on all the reading I've done, I figure I'll always be diabetic. I don't manifest it now because I have weaned myself from the standard American diet and avoid all but the safest carbohydrates.

    But, I'm sure that, if I were to eat a big piece of chocolate cake (non-keto, of course), my glucose would spike up just like the old days and I would again manifest my insulin resistance and diabetes. All my past reading has told me that "once diabetic, always diabetic." But, have more recent research findings shown that thought to be wrong, just like it's shown other old ideas to be wrong?

    I would love to be able to eat an occasional slice of pizza or movie popcorn. But, I don't think that's ever going to happen.

    I'm sure I've healed my pancreas and liver somewhat by adopting my new lifestyle, but I'll always be diabetic. Has anyone seen anything that shows me to be wrong?

  • #2
    I feel the exact same way. I'm 57. A1C of 5.3, FBG between 85-104....I know I have the Dawn Phenomenon. My OGTT wasn't bad...1 hour was 149 and 2 hour 85, but that was 17 months ago BEFORE I went low carb. My A1C was actually 4.9 then. 16 months of Low Carb has really changed nothing. ( And I mean really LOW carbs) My A1c is between 5.0 and 5.7... my FBG still the same ranges....and I have NOT done another OGTT. But, I ate 2 small pieces of low carb crust Pizza last night and my BG went to 145 at 1 hour and 134 at 2 hour. Soooo this sucks. All the hard work has NOT paid off. My cardiologist is great, he's helping me finally with my LP(a) but he and my GP say I am NOT IR or Pre diabetic. I'm thinking the LOW carb eating has not helped me lower my BG at all. Which is very strange.

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    • #3
      I have read that the body adjusts to the type of diet one follows. If one is on a low carb diet and then eats a meal of high carbs, you will likely have a higher glucose spike than someone who regularly eats a high carb diet.

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      • #4
        There is certainly a lot of hype about health topics on the Internet. When you see "cure" for diabetes, they likely really mean that insulin-injecting diabetics no longer require insulin. I personally found that my insulin resistance didn't get better even after quarterly 3-5 day water fasts over a two year period of living healthy in general. The one thing that I do now is go out for a brisk walk or do some other exercise after eating a significant amount of carbs as that will definitely lower the glucose spike from those carbs. Good idea to get a CAC score done in addition to the CIMT test.
        Last edited by Tom; 05-12-2019, 09:51 AM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by rich View Post
          I have read that the body adjusts to the type of diet one follows. If one is on a low carb diet and then eats a meal of high carbs, you will likely have a higher glucose spike than someone who regularly eats a high carb diet.
          But I ate that way to supposedly lower my glucose response and overall A1c and the opposite happened! Yet I still do low carb because what else can I do? I get bored with it. Then mad when I eat 2 small pieces of pizza with low carb crust and veggies on top.

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          • sthubbar
            sthubbar commented
            Editing a comment
            Robin, every time I hear someone say "low carb" I hear "All large populations of trim, healthy people, throughout verifiable human history, have obtained the bulk of their calories from starch." and have yet to hear any challenge to that statement.

        • #6
          Robin,

          Yeah, getting older sucks but the only other option isn't particularly palatable yet Well, you could exercise a bit right after eating a moderate dose or higher of carbs. I did notice in the past that people were asking if there was something that they could take with a meal to help moderate the glucose uptake. According to Chris Masterjohn, some glycine might help.

          https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/lite-...l-blood-sugar/

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          • #7
            I listen to all of Chris's stuff. It's tough to exercise if out to dinner with friends or family. I know it's excuses but I originally thought that the efforts I made to eat really low glycemic foods and eliminate most of my carbs would somehow teach or change my body to be able to handle even a few extra carbs on a special occasion. But I have now learned our bodies aren't as wonderful as I thought they could be.

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            • #8
              sthubbar human lifespan was relatively flat until the late 19th century. Sure, Roman plebs lived on the grain file but if they died before the damage caused by insulin and glucose spikes could really ravage their bodies they never noticed.

              Likely other factors as well, lack of total calories, lack of refined sugars, etc

              Comment


              • sthubbar
                sthubbar commented
                Editing a comment
                tebtengri, there is no need to go back to before the 19th century. The Blue Zones as well as just within the last 200 years, every large population of long health span humans has gotten the bulk of calories from starch. A high carb, low fat, minimal animal (approaching zero) animal product diet is the only one proven to reverse CVD. I understand there are high fat, low carb carnivores claiming it is responsible for reversing their CVD and I look forward to the peer reviewed confirmation. Until then, it is probably safer to stick with what has alrrady beem peer reviewed and shown ny 100s of years. IMHO

            • #9
              I get the impression that healthy groups of people eating high carb diets were also consuming a lot of fiber. That high fiber content may well be the secret for their health. For some of those societies at least, they just didn't have enough animal products available rather than deliberately choosing to eat high carb. They were also physically active which would help with insulin resistance. I think that a high carb, high fiber diet might work well for a lot of people if they stick to that from youth.

              The problem is what about a good number of us older folks who have insulin resistance, and a high carb diet continues to push us towards diabetes? For me I found that I needed to cut my carbs back, but I still believe in consuming a good bit of healthy carbs that have fiber. When people say that there is proof of a diet, supplement or drug improving health, I want to see some data. I get the feeling that there been small trials showing people who showed health marker improvements when they went from the SAD (standard American diet) to a high carb diet. OK, I get that part.

              To say that people reversed their CVD, I want to see more than just a few cases, and it depends upon what is meant by reversing CVD. Is it blood flow parameters, CAC score, CIMT test result or what? Did those people also change their lifestyle by exercising more as an example? I get that people can have improvements in blood flow parameters for instance given time on a more healthy diet and lifestyle, but can anybody show somebody with a CAC score of 500 plus who goes on a high carb diet and then after a period of time ends up with a much lower CAC score? I even get that a person can decrease their new soft plaque substantially as would be shown by multiple CIMT test results, especially if they are taking a statin, but I suspect that these people being mentioned with reversed CVD didn't take statins for the most part. We need more than a few anecdotal cases in a book or two to tell whether something is real or not.
              Last edited by Tom; 02-08-2020, 01:37 AM.

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              • sthubbar
                sthubbar commented
                Editing a comment
                Tom, you are familiar with the studies and work of Dr Esselstyn, Dr Ornish, Pritikin and Dr Gregor (especially his grandmother)? I'm under the impression there are many documented cases in peer reviewed literature. Should I look it up for you?

              • Tom
                Tom commented
                Editing a comment
                I am sort of familiar with their work, but I haven't bought their books. While individual cases of CVD reversal might be interesting, those aren't really proof. Can you point to a study that was powered sufficiently to prove something? Most small studies are again interesting, but not sufficiently powered to prove anything.

              • Tom
                Tom commented
                Editing a comment
                Instead of saying "proven", perhaps "convincing" would be a better term given what is needed to scientifically prove something. I can be convinced with some information that is a lot less than what is necessary for proven.
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