How a Low Carb diet can help with type 2 diabetes
Many people have been able to wean themselves off medication and even reverse their type 2 diabetes even though it is normally considered a progressive disease.
Type 2 diabetes is characterised by insulin resistance or loss of responsiveness of body cells to insulin, resulting in hyperglycaemia.
Simply put, people with type 2 diabetes have a hard time regulating sugar in the body and following a low-carb diet can help.
It’s extremely important to note that, if you are taking medications, especially insulin, you need to monitor your blood sugar levels closely when starting a low-carb diet.
Always seek the professional advice from a doctor who can help you follow a careful protocol.
Understanding Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes accounts for around 90% of all diagnosis of diabetes, the other two being Type 1 Diabetes which is an autoimmune disease causing failure of the pancreas to produce insulin and an inability to control blood glucose levels and Gestational Diabetes which occurs in around 7% of all pregnancies and resolves after delivery of the baby.
In type 2 diabetes, the production of insulin may be low, normal, or at times elevated. However, no matter what the insulin levels in the bloodstream, the cells of the body are less responsive to its actions.
Unfortunately, the number of people with type 2 diabetes is on the rise, primarily because of widespread inactivity and obesity. There has also been a worrying increase in type 2 diabetes in children, mainly due to an increase in them becoming overweight due to the consumption of simple sugars found in items such as sugary cereals, lollies, sodas and fast food as well as limited physical activity.
Type 2 diabetes often runs in families and because of this genetic link, those with a family history are advised by doctors and nutritionists to limit their intake of high-carbohydrate foods as well as ensuring they get plenty of exercise. The same very sound advice that all people should follow!
So, how can a low carb diet help with diabetes?
Maintaining good glucose control is critical to prevent the long-term, diabetes-related complications of cardiovascular disease, renal disease, blindness and nerve damage.
When a person has not eaten carbohydrates for a few hours, the amount of glucose in the blood is maintained by another hormone, called glucagon.
Glucagon prompts the breakdown of glycogen in the liver, promoting gluconeogenesis, resulting in the release of glucose to the blood-stream and the normalisation of blood glucose levels.
When hormonal balance is maintained like this, blood glucose is easily kept within fairly narrow ranges; ideal for maintaining levelling of mood, hunger, cravings and more and keeping the sudden need for large amounts of insulin at bay.
Seek and collaborate with a doctor and nutritionist who understand how the control of production of insulin in the body through dietary methods can be achieved and maintained long term is vital.
Their willingness to support you in your desire to reduce and potentially even stop taking insulin medication is essential. Never attempt to do this on your own without a knowledgeable doctor as part of your support crew.
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All the information on this site is intended for providing information only. It does not constitute medical or nutritional advice, is not tailored to any reader’s personal situation and readers should seek their own medical advice before making any decisions related to their nutrition and health.