Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes which predominantly affects adults 40 years and older. It is also one of the few serious diseases which can be put into remission without the use of drugs. Unfortunately, this has led to the proliferation of many scams claiming to have found the ‘natural cure’ for the disease (see my Diabetes Freedom review as an example) – despite the disease having no cure at the moment. Most of these scams take advantage of the fact that type 2 diabetes can be managed without medication to take diabetics’ hard-earned money. That’s why in this article, I’m going to tell you for free what you need to do to reverse your type 2 diabetes without the use of diabetes medication. Follow this guide and you can possibly remain diabetes free for years!
Before we begin, however, let’s answer this important question.
What’s the Best Way of Treating Type 2 Diabetes?
This question deserves its own article but I’ll try to give a brief answer here. You see, there’s an ongoing debate about the best way of treating type 2 diabetes. For instance, in his 2018 book The Diabetes Code: Prevent and Reverse Type 2 Diabetes Naturally, Canadian nephrologist Dr. Jason Fung argues that a very low-carb diet in combination with intermittent fasting is far superior to drugs when it comes to reversing the disease. In fact, he flat-out claims that diabetes drugs do not work, and diet should be the main focus of type 2 diabetes treatment. Of course, his statement about diabetes drugs not working has been dismissed as untrue by many scientists, since the efficacy of these drugs has since been proven with peer-reviewed empirical evidence.
As a medical doctor myself, I believe that the best way of treating any disease is to begin management from natural means. The lesser drugs that can be used to get the desired results, the better. Since type 2 diabetes can be effectively controlled without drugs, then it’s logical that the best treatment approach is to explore all the non-medication options first, and only use the drugs in emergency cases or in cases that are unresponsive to natural interventions. Thankfully, my view is shared by the diabetes treatment guidelines of many national medical regulatory bodies.
Now let’s begin.
How to Reverse Type 2 Diabetes Without Drugs?
1. Lose Weight
If you have type 2 diabetes and are overweight, the first thing you must do is to lose the excess fat. This is because it has been proven without any shadow of a doubt that obesity is a major contributor to type 2 diabetes development. In fact, most of the proven non-medical treatment measures for type 2 diabetes result in weight loss, thereby emphasizing how losing weight is key if you want to free yourself from this disease.
In obese or overweight people, excess fat is usually deposited in the cells of vital organs (especially the liver and pancreas). This can hamper the function of these organs, leading to diabetes and other systemic ailments. The pancreas, in particular, is responsible for producing insulin, the hormone which regulates blood sugar levels. Fat deposition in the pancreas can interfere with, or even stop the production of insulin, complicating diabetes.
To really drive home my point, this study by Newcastle University researchers on 18 individuals found that losing less than 1 gram of fat from the pancreas was enough to reverse their type 2 diabetes. And in September 2021, a group of experts in diabetes research reviewed the latest diabetes studies and are now advocating for ‘a pivotal change in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes to focus on obesity first and glucose control second.’ According to them, you can potentially reverse your diabetes if you lose at least 15% of your body weight.
2. Go on a Diabetes-Friendly Diet
Speaking of how to lose excess weight, one of the best ways of doing that and reversing your type 2 diabetes in the process is to go on a diabetes-friendly diet regimen. Now there are different diet suggestions out there developed by both legit professionals and scammers all promising to reverse your diabetes in no time. But the truth is, there is NO standardized diet plan for diabetics. Each diet regimen should be customized to fit your body’s unique needs.
The science, however, is clear. For example, researchers from the UK conducted a clinical trial where they put 149 people with type 2 diabetes on a low-calorie diet (825–853 kcal per day) and nothing else for 12-20 weeks. The participants were closely monitored by nurses and dietitians who after the study, introduced normal foods that helped them keep off the lost weight. The result? Almost half of the participants achieved diabetes remission in the first year … and most of the participants who maintained at least 10kg of weight loss remained in remission after two years. A similar study was conducted in Doha, Qatar a year earlier and the results were basically the same.
So what does this tell you? You’ll need to go on a prescribed low-calorie diet for a considerable period of time to lose weight, and then you’ll need professional help (most preferably from a dietitian) to reintroduce you to diabetes-friendly foods so that you can keep off the lost weight. Also, you’ll need to be patient to see results.
3. Be Physically Active
Many studies have shown that a sedentary lifestyle is a major risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes mainly because the former is a well-known cause of obesity, which is arguably the most important type 2 diabetes risk factor. So it goes without saying that exercise is very important if you want to reverse type 2 diabetes without drugs.
According to experts, as little as 20 minutes of moderate physical activity daily – like jogging, brisk walking, etc – is enough to make a difference [WebMD]. Exercise helps in increasing the body cells’ response to insulin, thereby enabling insulin to carry out its blood sugar-regulating functions. Plus it helps burn fat so …
4. Practice Intermittent Fasting
As I mentioned earlier, at least one doctor is strongly convinced that a ketogenic diet in combination with intermittent fasting is far superior to drugs when it comes to reversing type 2 diabetes. Now while that combination may be debatable, what is not disputed is the fact that intermittent fasting is an effective way of lowering your blood sugar levels and can lead to remission when combined with diet. For example, this 2021 systematic review study pretty much confirms that intermittent fasting can reverse your diabetes.
There are many methods of intermittent fasting. One of the most studied types is the eat-stop-eat method, which involves fasting for 24 hours at least twice a week. If you’re diabetic and want to reverse it through intermittent fasting, be sure to involve your doctor and dietitian in the whole process.
5. Get Enough Sleep
This might come as a shock to many, but the truth is that lack of good sleep predisposes you to type 2 diabetes. This 2020 study published in Diabetologia (the official journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes) identified insomnia and poor sleeping pattern as a ‘novel risk factor’ for diabetes. The researchers stated that they ‘found strong and suggestive evidence of a causal association of insomnia and short sleep duration, respectively, with increased risk of type 2 diabetes.’
Research is still ongoing on this front but all you need to know is this: Get good sleep. If you have insomnia, seek the help of a doctor or a trained sleep specialist to get it sorted out.
6. Take Care of Your Mental Health
Several studies have linked mental health conditions such as depression as one of the major risk factors for type 2 diabetes. So if you are having mental health problems, please seek professional help to remedy the situation. This will help you greatly in your quest to go into remission!
7. Stop Smoking
Diabetes is a hormonal, as well as a disease of small blood vessels. Smoking increases your chances of developing diabetes by in part, wreaking havoc on your blood vessels. So if you are a smoker, stop it today. It doesn’t matter what you smoke (vape, shisha/hookah, etc.) No type of smoking is good for diabetics!
This is in no way an exhaustive list of what you can do to reverse type 2 diabetes without drugs. I just listed these common ones which you can start working on. As you may have noticed, all of them involve making lifestyle changes, which you can start doing today. Yes, type 2 diabetes can be reversed without drugs. But you need to put in the work to make it happen.