According to the CDC, 49.3% of the US population over 18-years-old has diabetes or prediabetes. Can that be right? Almost half of the people in the United States are diabetic or headed in that direction?
On what side of that statistic do you fall?
Diabetes is associated with an enormous number of complications including heart disease, nerve damage, kidney damage, blindness, Alzheimer’s disease and depression, among many other diseases. I have been an ER doctor for years, so I see significant complications every single shift: people on dialysis, with lost limbs, suffering from strokes, or heart attacks. This is WHY I went into Lifestyle Medicine.
With type 2 diabetes having so many potential complications, you may wonder if you can reverse it. I have good news for you! Many people CAN! The wording is often debated. Some say reversed, while others say in remission, but the fact is that many people can take their A1c from a diabetic or prediabetic range to normal for life! They are no longer “managing” diabetes, they have kicked it to the curb.
Lifestyle Medicine and Type II Diabetes
Lifestyle medicine promotes a whole-food, plant-rich eating pattern. We don’t count calories or carbs. We don’t weigh our food or track macros. This is probably different from what you have learned in the past about managing diabetes, but, plant-based and mediterranean eating patterns are actually both included in the American Diabetes Association clinical practice recommendations. These eating patterns work by improving the root cause of diabetes, insulin resistance, instead of the typical approach of focusing on managing and controlling your blood sugar despite progressively worsening insulin resistance.
Is this easy? Not initially. We live in a world where a diabetes-promoting lifestyle is front and center. So, changing the way you eat and move may not be the easy or obvious choice. At first it takes commitment and a bold decision not to go down the typical path that diabetes leads. The thing is, that once you start adjusting your eating pattern and creating daily habits that promote health, it can become easy, natural, and enjoyable.
Is this your moment to take charge of your health?
Click here for the National Diabetes Statistics Report.
Click here for the ADA’s current clinical practice recommendations.