Is type 2 diabetes reversible?
For one man who got his blood glucose and insulin levels under control, the answer is yes.
In his own words, here’s the story of how Vadym Graifer freed himself from diabetes.
During my teenage binge-reading phase, I stumbled onto a slogan that left a strong imprint on an impressionable young mind:
Don’t swim with the current.
Don’t swim against the current.
Swim to where you need to be.
It sounded attractively rebellious, mature and self-reliant. I loved it. For a good reason too, as it turned out 40 years later.
Little did the 12-year old know – that was exactly how he would have to act when a type 2 diabetes diagnosis would be handed to him at 52.
The Price of Reversing Diabetes
Here’s the thing about obesity and diabetes. Facing them, you also face the choice between mainstream guidance and becoming the ultimate Do-It-Yourselfer.
By no means is it an easy decision; who are you to question the advice from trained professionals in such a specialized niche as medicine, and with such a high price for error as your own health or even life?
The very first thing many of us are told when diagnosed with diabetes is “eat a balanced diet, eat everything in moderation, and eat frequently.”
Sounds reasonable on the surface but this advice simply masks their intended message: “There is not much you can do about your diabetes other than taking your medication.”
Sure, you are recommended to lose weight; however, practical advice comes to “eat less, exercise more,” which is that same outdated and not very helpful ‘Calories In Calories Out’ concept.
My Story: How I Reversed Type 2 Diabetes
Based on my own story, let me outline the situations where you have to make these kinds of difficult choices.
Over the course of my weight loss drive, which saw me lose 75 pounds and put my diabetes in remission, I implemented three major changes, each of them running into all kinds of controversy.
These are the changes that made my diabetes reversible.
The First Change: Restricting Carbohydrate
The first was replacing foodstuffs rich with carbohydrates with more blood-sugar-friendly equivalents.
If you are a member of the low-carb or keto community, you might wonder what is so controversial about this. For people not familiar with this type of diet, it’s much less obvious.
A low-carb diet is almost inevitably high in fat, and we all know how the mainstream thinking on that goes. Low-fat dogma is firmly entrenched in people’s minds.
Fear of Dietary Fat Persists
I’ve had folks looking with horror at me spreading butter on bread (non-grain bread, mind you) in a layer instead of rubbing a tiny amount into the pores.
I’ve been asked incredulously, “really, eggs and bacon for breakfast EVERY day?”
Then there is the “but you need carbs for energy,” which you can hear everywhere, including from dietitians and doctors.
And how can it be any different, if the officially approved dietary guidelines list carbohydrates as the largest food group on your plate while putting fats at the tip of that pyramid? That’s what a “balanced” diet means.
And what about “everything in moderation,” which sounds so reasonable? Well, that would include those same sugars that led you to diabetes in the first place and which are highly addictive and hunger-inducing, so eating them in moderation is rather questionable.
This is what you’ll have to go against when switching to a low-carb paradigm – the collective opinion of government, the medical community, nutritionists, and people all around you who’ve internalized the high-carb low-fat advice for decades.
Can’t help but quote here probably the most mind-boggling thing I’ve read recently: “But I DESERVE the right to eat whole grains! And if they spike my blood sugar, that’s what medications are for.”
Brainwashing Incorporated. No comment needed.
The Second Change: Introducing Fermented Foods
The second part of my regimen was to introduce fermented foods into my menu. What could be controversial about that? Gut bacteria’s role in our health is getting a lot of attention; probiotics are all the rage, right?
Well, that’s all true while we remain in the realm of sauerkraut, kimchi, and other vegetables. I, however, moved beyond that to make kefir, probiotic cream cheese, cultured butter, and other things along these lines.
And all these delicious and healthful foodstuffs are based on whole milk. And that’s full fat, not the skim stuff strained of fat molecules to within an inch of its life.
Not once did I hear comments from the folks tasting my kefir, probiotic sour cream or crème fraiche about how rich the taste was.
The modern diet trains our taste buds for low-fat food, and these variations presented a somewhat uncomfortable mouthfeel. Despite this, they can satiate in small portions.
An Unfamiliar Taste
Another contentious side of fermented foods is their traditional sour taste.
The instinctive reaction for those of us who’ve come to associate tasty with sweet is to mix in something more conventional.
Of course, that’s why you will see the majority of yogurts in stores sweetened with various add-ons, changing the taste profile to sweetness.
As a result, the originally healthful food turns into yet another way to stuff us with added sugar.
The two aspects described above allowed me to lose about 25 pounds. However, the third part of my approach has been the most controversial.
The Third Change: Intermittent Fasting
“Eat frequently, don’t skip breakfast, three meals and three snacks a day to maintain your metabolism.”
I’m sure this sounds familiar to you.
This commonplace guidance is sure to leave you as insulin resistant and overweight as you were. It was the complete reversal of this advice that solved my weight and made by diabetes reversible.
The practice of Intermittent Fasting took me down another 50 pounds in 9 months, so I finally settled at my ideal weight, 165 pounds.
My waist narrowed by a good 8 inches. My blood sugar and pressure numbers came down to the healthy range with no need for medication.
Needless to say, the very word “fasting” made peoples’ eyes widen in horror. “Not eating for a whole day? Can you even do that? Isn’t it unhealthy?”
Fasting: We Need More Research
I’d like to pause here and say a few words in defense of front line health care practitioners.
As much as we are tempted to rant about their unwillingness to instill lifestyle changes instead of prescribing medications, we should put ourselves in their shoes for a minute.
There are no extensively researched fasting protocols to recommend over others; do you go with 5:2, 16:8, alternate day fasts, one-meal-a-day, or any other of the countless variations?
Can you recommend such a drastic change without constant medical supervision? If you do direct your patient to go low-carb, do you recommend 20 grams a day? 50? 100? Should your patient decrease the drug dosage on a fasting day?
If your patients ask for details, won’t you find yourself in an odd position of recommending they go on the Internet and research for themselves? How is a patient himself going to react to advice to go high-fat?
If he suffers a heart attack, won’t you be blamed for that? Finally, the all-encompassing question for the licensed practitioner: How do you reconcile these recommendations with the official guidelines?
Unless you are willing to venture into doing your own research and opening your own clinic, aren’t you risking your very livelihood in a highly regulated profession and litigious society?
Why Diabetes Guidelines Need to Change
I’ve been lucky enough to hear from my doctor, “What you are doing is obviously working for you. And yes, I am aware of the research into low carb and intermittent fasting as a powerful weight loss and diabetes reversal tool.”
Many aren’t; stories are floating around the web about patients fired by their doctors despite obvious health improvements.
Just for refusing to follow traditional advice. The current state of affairs is highly frustrating for both patients and doctors.
Until and unless the dietary guidelines and the very thinking on obesity and diabetes change from top to bottom, we are left to navigate these waters mostly by ourselves.
A Bright Hope
Fortunately, the field is changing.
There are more and more knowledgeable doctors generously sharing their findings. There are online groups and communities where people share their experiences.
You won’t be left completely without help; it’s still up to you though to leave the “safe” harbor of status quo and seek to heal through rebellion.
If this sounds risky, weigh it against the risk of staying overweight and diabetic. It’s your body; you are to live in it, and you can make a choice to reverse your diabetes.
Wherever the current goes, with guidelines staying put or changing, swim to where you need to be.
By Vadym Graifar
Is Type 2 Diabetes Reversible?
This great story by Vadym shows a man who beat diabetes and healed his body despite not following the official guidelines. And it may be surprising, but this isn’t an isolated case.
So, is type 2 diabetes reversible?
It certainly seems that more and more people are finding themselves freed of diabetes through dietary intervention.
(Note: There are also accounts of very-low-fat diets being successful in reversing diabetes.)
If you want further insight into precisely how Vadym made his type 2 diabetes reversible, then he has documented the whole story in his book ‘The Time Machine Diet’
And should you wish to hear more about Vadym, you can visit his website at http://timetraveldiet.com