Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Inspiration: Type 2 Diabetes - Reversed!

Is Diabetes Type 2 irreversible? That’s what Bernard Bollen’s doctor told him, and that’s what conventional wisdom says.

Then Bernard tried the Paleo diet, a way of eating that emphasizes healthy fats and proteins, vegetables (and lots of them!), and limits or excludes processed foods, especially grains. Here’s his story:
I am 59 years old and have eaten a nutrition-sparse diet most of my life, high in sugars and refined carbohydrates. When I was first diagnosed with diabetes 6 years ago, my doctor told me that diabetes was a progressive disease that would require management, but that it was ultimately incurable. My feet were beginning to go numb, a sure sign of nerve damage in the extremities.... I was resigned to what I saw as the inevitable, a limb amputation, blindness, a stroke or a heart attack. 
Then, one year ago... I became aware of the Paleo diet. Its underlying nutritional philosophy just made sense to me. I... threw myself into the Paleo program. Over the next few months I certainly began to lose weight, but more, my whole relation to food... changed.... 
One month ago I saw my doctor.... who one year ago appeared to be skeptical of the benefits of the Paleo diet (so was I for that matter). Today he calls me his ‘poster boy patient’. Nearly all of the medications that I took a year ago have been dispatched to the [trash] bin. My life has been transformed in many ways. 
After six months on the Paleo diet I had already lost 15 kg (33 lbs) and felt that I had made a health breakthrough.... So I enrolled in a gym and regularly engaged in aerobic and resistance exercises. Now, 12 months later I have lost 30 kg (66 lbs) and I look and feel so much better.... 
Today I am cured of diabetes.

Was it the Paleo diet specifically that reversed his condition, or merely getting the processed foods out of his diet and/or reducing carbs? I suspect either would have made a radical difference.

Even if you're not ready to go full-on Paleo or Whole30, I believe -- from my own experience and from what I've seen in others -- that just eliminating sugar and processed foods can make a huge difference in your health -- not just your weight; your overall health!

Diabetes Type 2 increases your risk for multiple, serious health issues:

  • Heart and blood vessel disease. Diabetes doubles your chance of heart attack or stroke, and dramatically increases your risk of other cardiovascular problems, including CAD, atherosclerosis, and high blood pressure.
  • Nerve damage (neuropathy). Poorly controlled blood sugar can eventually cause you to lose all sense of feeling in the affected limbs. 
  • Digestion problems. Damage to the nerves that control digestion can cause problems with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation. 
  • Kidney damage. Diabetes can damage the delicate filtering system of your kidneys. Severe damage can lead to effects which require dialysis or a kidney transplant.
  • Eye damage. Diabetes can damage the blood vessels of the retina, potentially leading to cataracts, glaucoma, and even blindness.
  • Foot damage. Nerve damage in the feet or poor blood flow to the feet increases the risk of various foot complications. 
  • Skin conditions. Diabetes may leave you more susceptible to skin problems, including bacterial and fungal infections.
  • Alzheimer's disease. Type 2 diabetes may increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease. The poorer your blood sugar control, the greater the risk appears to be.

Learn more about diabetes' effect on your health:

Read some Whole30 success stories. (Whole30 is a 30-day elimination diet based on Paleo principles.)
Bernard's story is edited from an original article, here.
More success stories from the same site, here.

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