How to reverse type 2 diabetes – the quick start guide

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It’s possible to simply reverse type 2 diabetes. There are only two things you need to do.

By reading this brief post you’ll know what they are, and how to get started. Or skip ahead to the two steps right away >

Quick start

Twenty years ago, when you bought a brand sparkly new VCR machine, you would also get a thick instruction manual. Read this thoroughly before you start, the manufacturer would implore. There would be detailed setup procedures and troubleshooting guides.

vcr

Most of us ignored the manual, just plugged it in and tried to figure out the rest. That’s why we all had the blinking 12:00 on. Today, most new electronics now come with a quick start guide which has the most basic 4 or 5 steps to get your machine working and then anything else you needed, you could reference the detailed instruction manual. Instruction manuals are just so much more useful this way.

Well, I don’t know much about VCRs, but I do know about type 2 diabetes. I can write an entire book about obesity (oh, wait, I did that already), or fasting (oh, wait, coming up) or type 2 diabetes (next up for 2018). But many of you will not want to go through the entire instruction manual. So this is the quick start guide for reversing your type 2 diabetes.

A fully reversible disease

Most doctors, dietitians and diabetes specialists claim that type 2 diabetes is a chronic and progressive disease. The American Diabetes Association, for example, almost proudly proclaims this on its website. Once you get the diagnosis, it’s a life sentence. But, it’s actually a great big lie.

Type 2 diabetes is almost always reversible and this is almost ridiculously easy to prove. This is great news for the more than 50% of American adults who have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes or diabetes. Recognizing this truth is the crucial first step in reversing your diabetes or pre-diabetes. Actually, it something that most people already instinctively recognized to be true.

peterSuppose your friend is diagnosed as diabetic, then works hard to lose 50 pounds. He takes himself off all his medications and his blood sugars are now normal. What would you say to him? Probably something like “Great job. You’re really taking care of yourself. Keep it up!”

What you wouldn’t say is something like “You’re such a dirty, filthy liar. My doctor says this is a chronic and progressive disease so you must be lying to me.” It seems perfectly obvious that diabetes reversed because your friend lost all that weight. And that’s the point. The disease is reversible.

We’ve known this all along. But only diet and lifestyle changes will reverse it. NOT medications. The most important thing, of course, is to lose weight. But the diabetes medications don’t do this. Quite the contrary. Insulin, for example is notorious for causing weight gain. Patients intuitively sense that they are heading down the wrong path.

They would often say to me, “Doctor. You’ve always said that weight loss is the key to reversing diabetes. Yet you prescribed me a drug that made me gain 25 pounds. How is that good?” I never had a good answer, because none existed. It was not good. The key was weight loss, whereupon the diabetes often goes away or at least gets significantly better. So, logically, insulin does not help reverse the disease, but actually worsens it.

Other medications such as metformin or the DPP4 drug class are weight neutral. While this won’t make things worse, they won’t make things better either. Since weight loss is the key to reversing type 2 diabetes, medications won’t make things better. Medications make blood sugars better, but not the diabetes. We can pretend the disease is better, but that doesn’t make it true.

That’s the reason most doctors think type 2 diabetes a chronic and progressive disease. We’ve been using the wrong treatment. We’ve been prescribing drugs for a dietary disease. No wonder it doesn’t work.

So, how can you reverse your diabetes?

The sugar bowl

The essential feature of type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes is that our bodies are completely filled with sugar. It’s not just too much sugar in the blood. That’s only part of the problem. There’s too much sugar in our entire body.

Imagine our bodies to be a sugar bowl. A bowl of sugar. When we are young, our sugar bowl is empty. Over decades, we eat too much of the wrong things – sugary cereals, desserts and white bread. The sugar bowl gradually fills up with sugar until completely full. The next time you eat, sugar comes into the body, but the bowl is full, so it spills out into the blood.

pouring_sugarInsulin is a normal hormone produced when we eat and its job is to allow glucose into the cells. When it is no longer able to do it, glucose piles up outside the cell in the blood, and it is called insulin resistance.

But why does this happen? The cells are already over-filled with glucose (see previous post – A New Paradigm, and Insulin Resistance is Good?). Like trying to blow air into an over-inflated balloon, it simply takes more force. The cell resists the glucose because it’s completely full. Insulin resistance is an overflow phenomenon.

It’s like packing your clothes into a suitcase. At first, the clothes go without any trouble. After a certain point, though, it is just impossible to jam in those last 2 T-shirts. You can’t close the suitcase. The luggage is now ‘resistant’ to the clothes. It’s waaayyy harder to put those last 2 T-shirts than the first 2. It’s the same overflow phenomenon. The cell is filled to bursting with glucose, so trying to force more in is difficult and requires much higher doses of insulin.

Full-suitcaseWhen the insulin levels are unable to keep up with the increasing resistance, blood sugars rise and your doctor diagnoses you with type 2 diabetes and starts you on a pill, such as metformin. But metformin does not get rid of the sugar. Instead, it simply takes the sugar from the blood and rams it back into the liver. The liver doesn’t want it either, so it ships it out to all the other organs – the kidneys, the nerves, the eyes, the heart. Much of this extra sugar will also just get turned into fat.

The problem, of course, has not been solved – the sugar bowl is still overflowing. You’ve only moved sugar from the blood (where you could see it) into the body (where you couldn’t see it). So, the very next time you eat, the exact same thing happens. Sugar comes in, spills out into the blood and you take metformin to cram the sugar back into the body. This works for a while, but eventually, the body fills up with sugar, too. Now, that same dose of metformin cannot force any more sugar into the body.

So you go to your doctor. What does he do? Instead of getting rid of the toxic sugar load, he doubles the dose of the medication. If the luggage doesn’t close, the solution is to empty it out, not use more force to . The higher dose of medication helps, for a time. Blood sugars go down as you force your body to gag down even more sugar. But eventually, this dose fails as well. So then your doctor gives you a second medication, then a third one and then eventually insulin injections.

Over a period of years, you went from pre-diabetes, to diabetes, to taking one medication, then two then three and then finally large doses of insulin. Here’s the thing. If you are taking more and more medications to keep your blood sugars at the same level, your diabetes is getting worse! Even if your blood sugars get better, your diabetes is getting worse. This is unfortunately what happens to virtually every patient. The body is already overflowing with sugar.

The medications only hide the blood sugar by cramming it into the engorged body. The diabetes looks better, since you can only see the blood sugars. Doctors can congratulate themselves on a illusion of a job well done, even as the patient gets continually sicker. Patients require ever increasing doses of medications and yet still suffer with heart attacks, congestive heart failure, strokes, kidney failure, amputations and blindness. “Oh well” the doctor tells himself, “It’s a chronic, progressive disease”.

GettingWorse

Imagine that you hide your kitchen garbage under the rug instead throwing it outside in the trash. You can’t see it, so you can pretend your house is clean. When there’s no more room underneath the rug, you throw the garbage into your bedroom, and bathroom, too. Anywhere where you don’t have to see it. Eventually, it begins to smell. Really, really bad.

You needed to throw out the garbage, not hide it away. If we understand that too much sugar in the blood is toxic, why can’t we understand that too much sugar in the body is toxic too?

The end game

GangrenousFootWhat happens over time – 10, 20 years?

Every single part of the body just starts to rot. This is precisely why type 2 diabetes, unlike virtually any other disease, affects every part of our body. Every organ suffers the long term effects of the excessive sugar load. Your eyes rot – and you go blind. Your kidneys rot – and you need dialysis. You heart rots – and you get heart attacks and heart failure. Your brain rots – and you get Alzheimers disease. Your liver rots – and you get fatty liver disease. Your legs rot – and you get diabetic foot ulcers. Your nerves rot – and you get diabetic neuropathy. No part of your body is spared.

Medications and insulin do nothing to slow down the progression of this organ damage, because they do not eliminate the toxic sugar load from our body. We’ve known this inconvenient fact since 2008. No less than 7 multinational, multi-centre, randomized controlled trials of tight blood glucose control with medications (ACCORD, ADVANCE, VADT, ORIGIN, TECOS, ELIXA, SAVOR) failed to demonstrate reductions in heart disease, the major killer of diabetic patients. We pretended that using medications to lower blood sugar makes people healthier. But it’s only been a lie. You can’t use drugs to cure a dietary disease.
 

How to reverse diabetes

Once we understand type 2 diabetes, then the solution becomes pretty bloody obvious. If we have too much sugar in the body, then get rid of it. Don’t simply hide it away so we can’t see it. There are really only two ways to get rid of the excessive sugar in the body.

  1. Don’t put sugar in
  2. Burn it off

That’s it. That’s all we need to do. The best part? It’s all natural and completely free. No drugs. No surgery. No cost.

Step 1 – don’t put sugar in

The first step is to eliminate all sugar and refined starches from your diet. Sugar has no nutritional value and can therefore be eliminated. Starches are simply long chains of sugars. Highly refined starches such as flour or white rice are quickly broken down by digestion into glucose. This is quickly absorbed into the blood and raises blood sugar. For example, eating white bread increases blood sugars very quickly.

Doesn’t it seem self-evident that we should avoid foods that raise blood sugars because they will eventually be absorbed into the body? The optimum strategy is to eat little or no refined carbohydrates.

Too much dietary protein is also converted into glucose by the body. Therefore, you should avoid eating too much protein as this, too will only add sugar to the body. Protein shakes, protein bars, and protein powders should all be avoided. Instead focus on eating lots of vegetables and natural healthy fats.

Dietary fat, long shunned for its purported effect of causing heart disease, is back. Natural fats, such as found in avocado, nuts and olive oil are well known to have healthy effects on both heart disease and diabetes. The Mediterranean diet, high in natural fats, is well accepted to be a healthy diet.

time

Dietary cholesterol has also been shown to have no harmful effect on the human body. Eggs and butter are back. Most importantly, stick to eating whole, natural, unprocessed foods.

More: Low Carb for Beginners

Step 2 – burn it off

Fasting is the simplest and fastest method to force your body to burn sugar for energy. Glucose in the blood is the most easily accessible source of energy for the body. Fasting is merely the flip side of eating – if you are not eating you are fasting. When you eat, your body stores food energy. When you fast, your body burns food energy. If you simply lengthen out your periods of fasting, you can burn off the stored sugar.

Since type 2 diabetes is merely excessive glucose in the body, burning it off will reverse the disease. While it may sound severe, fasting has been practiced for at least 2000 years. It is the oldest dietary therapy known. Literally millions of people throughout human history have fasted without problems. If you are taking prescription medications, you should seek the advice of a physician. But the bottom line comes to this.

If you don’t eat, will your blood sugars come down? Of course.

If you don’t eat, will you lose weight? Of course.

So, what’s the problem? None that I can see.

More: Intermittent fasting for beginners

We can reverse type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes today, right now, immediately. All without cost, without drugs, without surgery, with an all natural, time-tested healing method. We only need to lead our bodies down the healing pathway and have the courage to apply our hard-won knowledge.

To learn more in a simple and entertaining way, have a look at our video course:

How to Reverse Diabetes Type 2 – Dr. Jason Fung

Earlier

How to reverse type 2 diabetes – the longer guide

The dawn phenomenon – why are blood sugars high in the morning?

A new paradigm of insulin resistance

How Gino reversed his type 2 diabetes by doing the opposite

Top videos about diabetes

  • How to Reverse Diabetes Type 2
  • Carb-Loaded
  • How to formulate a low-carb keto diet
  • "We are not designed to be chronically ill"

More with Dr. Fung

Dr. Fung has his own blog at intensivedietarymanagement.com. He is also active on Twitter.

His book The Obesity Code is available on Amazon.

The Obesity Code

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70 comments

  1. 1 comment removed
  2. Alan
    How fooliah i was to listen to Dr Berg and go on a Keto diet. That's when my glucose went from 5.1 to 7 and all broke loose.
    LCHF is a lie and will destroy your cholesterol and sugars and it will ruin your life.
    Instead go on a mediteranean or Rina diet.
    Reply: #73
  3. Bruce
    It really makes me sad how out of touch the establishment (dietitians) are. Science is ever changing. You can't form an entire industry around a single hypothesis and not expect change if better science comes along. Adapt, and we will survive. This is not a religion.
    Reply: #55
  4. Erik
    When you are referred to a "dietitian," run away in the other direction as fast as you can. Incredible that this person has all these "credentials" and is totally clueless.

    I'm sure he endorses the horrible recipes in the ADA's horrible Dietary Forecast magazine, where the cover often features such "healthy" choices and tacos, tortillas, cake and pasta.

    This is 1+1 = 2 stuff. If your diabetic you are insulin resistant and your sugars are out of control. So if your sugars are out of control, how about avoiding sugar, along with grains and starches that turn into sugar. Then exercise as much as you can.

    The scientific term for this advise is, "well, duh!" Except to this so-called dietitian and his brainwashed comrades.

  5. Erik
    This is a world-wide problem. New Zealand, Australia, South Africa Europe, US, Canada. It's like a world-wide cabal of so-called "dietitians" who have been completely brainwashed by "science" controlled by Big Pharma, Big Soda, Big Grain, and Big Diabetes Associations, all who have zero interest in promoting a simple way to virtually stop all new cases of Type 2 diabetes, and reverse many of them.

    And that simple way is very low sugar, grains and starches, lots of fats, and lots of leafy vegetables. No money in that for the Big's.

  6. 1 comment removed
  7. James Wade
    What grain did you stop eating .
  8. Glynna Schmehl
    I don't take these types of medications, but I do find Glucerna products very beneficial. They're like my secret weapon to fighting the problem with my weight. I try to intermittant fast but sometimes I just want to eat, and with Glucerna I can. I hope that's okay.
    Reply: #59
  9. bill
    From Glucerna's website, here are the ingredients:

    Water, Corn Maltodextrin, Milk Protein Concentrate, Fructose, Glycerine, Cocoa Powder (Processed with Alkali), Soy Protein Isolate, High Oleic Safflower Oil. Less than 1% of: Short-Chain Fructooligosaccharides, Canola Oil, Soy Oil, Potassium Citrate, Cellulose Gel, Magnesium Phosphate, Salt, Choline Chloride, Ascorbic Acid, Calcium Phosphate, Cellulose Gum, Calcium Carbonate, Natural & Artificial Flavor, Monoglycerides, Soy Lecithin, Sodium Citrate, Carrageenan, Potassium Chloride, Potassium Hydroxide, Turmeric Concentrate, Acesulfame Potassium, Sucralose, Ferrous Sulfate, dl-Alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate, Gellan Gum, Zinc Sulfate, Niacinamide, Manganese Sulfate, Calcium Pantothenate, FD&C Red #3, Cupric Sulfate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Thiamine Chloride Hydrochloride, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Chromium Chloride, Folic Acid, Biotin, Sodium Molybdate, Potassium Iodide, Sodium Selenate, Phylloquinone, Vitamin D3, and Cyanocobalamin.

    That's horrifying.

    Why not snack on bacon instead?

  10. babs booth
    i like eric's comment of the 29 march:

    "And that simple way is very low sugar, grains and starches, lots of fats, and lots of leafy vegetables. No money in that for the Big's"

    wouldn't it be fun to watch macdonalds and burger king etc etc go out of business if we all switched overnight to natural food!!!

    .... and how many millions they would spend trying to fight against it with their swanky lawyers and friends in high places!!!

    :)))

  11. am
    really good and helpful tips, and if you want to naturally reverse diabetes with no pills, careful created meal and needles then you must see this amazing book (the diabetes loophole)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9iReqXyP04Q&t=3s
  12. am
    really good and helpful tips, and if you want to naturally reverse diabetes with no pills, careful created meal and needles then you must see this amazing book (the diabetes loophole)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9iReqXyP04Q&t=3s

  13. Ram
    How should someone who is already on insulin approach this change in lifestyle? Doctor's don't recommend reducing insulin dosage, can there be adverse effects (low sugar) by eating lots of greens and vegetable while on insulin? Also, staying on insulin does not help weight loss, but I am afraid I can't just stop the insulin.
    Replies: #65, #66
  14. Deborah
    High fructose corn syrup is really bad junk. This is what gave me borderline diabetes. They put that garbage in EVERYTHING, and I believe it is even worse than regular sugar. Stevia is probably the best thing to use.
  15. cats
    You can do it by monitoring your blood sugar and making sure that the insulin and diet combine doesn't make your blood sugar go too low which is very dangerous. When you burn off all the glucose from your body which for me took 2 days with no sugar or carbs, you kick into ketosis. monitor your blood sugar. When you are in the normal ranges you should not be injecting.
  16. Claudia G
    I would talk to the doctor and let them know your plan. I would request and research and discuss insulins that maintains weight versus causes weight gain. then let them know your plan. Once you are on medication and maintains your way then will drastically change your diet and activity level. You are on the anti diabetes Olympic. You need to consult your dr when drastic changes in your diet and excersice levels. They will refer you to nutritionist, but before that happened with three books by doctors that guide you in reversing diabetes. Then tell The dietitian what your daily menu will look like. I read six books on this topic and narrowed it down to this: No caffeine, no coffee, no carbs, dairy, sugar, sugar substitutes, no processed food, fatty food.....basically this is what I ate. Organic everything chicken or fish and a non starchy vegtable. I lowered my sugar and am ok know but excersized everyday and walked 30 minutes at night.
  17. Ann
    I was told by my Wellness doctor that fasting would reset my body and my Type 2 diabetes would most likely be a thing of the past. The thought of a 3 day fast was too scary for me to attempt. Then I had some major stress in my family life, and could eat very, very little for weeks. I guess that was close enough to fasting because my numbers dropped drastically. I could eat things that would cause spikes in the past and now I stayed between 85 and 98 after eating. I haven't had a reading over 100 for over 2 months now and my A1C went from 6.3 to 5.8. Those numbers included one month of my diabetic numbers so I'm really excited to see the new number in 3 months. Don't know if the lack of food for those weeks did it, but my Wellness doctor said it's a good chance it accomplished what the 3 day fast would have. It's great to see numbers as low as 70 before meals. Unfortunately this won't work for Type 1.
  18. Jen
    LCHF didn't work for me; HCLF did. Everyone's body is different. Experiment to see what works for you.
  19. VPO
    I was among the masses looking for the perfect diet or exercise regimen--until I began reading posts and both popular and professional articles by Dr. David Katz. My comment will not end by recommending any book or program by Dr. Katz. I don't think he even sells a "program." Anyway, there is a misconception, perpetuated by the diet industry, that there is a magic diet, and what that diet consists of continuously changes with scientific findings. The one sentence of Dr. Katz's that finally woke me up was something along the lines of "the type of food required to provide proper nutrition to human beings has not changed since we came into existence." The simple truth of it is summed up by Michael Pollan: "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants." That's it! Forget keto, paleo, Mediterranean, blood type, body type, etc. Eat a plant-based (or mostly plant-based) diet and not only will your weight stabilize to a healthy level, you will likely reverse almost any medical condition you may have.
  20. 1 comment removed
  21. adrian
    all this so called doctors that think they know everything and then you ask them one simple question about type 2 diabetes ..... they couldn't answer it why ? because they only know the answers by the book simple as that.....we are the patients the victims who experience all that sickness and experience all the suffering and we are better doctors then them Lol I am not a doctor but i can give you an advice that works for me........first drink lots of water gradually during the day eat breakfast , lunch and dinner in time .....no snacks in between .....all the food you eat daily must include spice mustard ..beets 100% grain wheat bread 2 slices ..one glass coconut almond milk with half cup of organic ceylon cinnamon ..one boiled eggs....turkey sausage smoked ..light bowl of chicken soup..lots of vegetables in it..mango drink all natural no sugar added ..tomatoes juice V 8 low sodium..grapefruit one a day...please do not eat between meals .........Not to eat...cakes sodas anything that has high sugar in it..ice cream .....it works for me, i don't take pills ..not insulin nothing and my sugar level runs between 106 and 146....
  22. adrian
    Note ; only at night when i am at sleep that my sugar are very high because my body consumes sugar and energy from my body fat and water.........you will be free of diabetes when you lose all weight...Good luck
  23. deborah conner
    Nina Teicholz: The Mediterranean Diet originated from a survey of the eating habits of long-living Cretan peasants in the 1950s, who seemed to eat very little meat or dairy. However, they were surveyed shortly after WWII, when their economy was in ruins. Also, their diet was sampled during Lent, when animal foods were severely restricted. The data was therefore not any good and never grew any better. In fact, the reason that the Mediterranean Diet became celebrated and famous is that researchers fell in love with the sun-kissed, enchanting Mediterranean—and most of their studies and travel were funded by the olive-oil industry. It’s amazing how researchers, including some of the most respected people in the field today, thrived on the Mediterranean Diet conference junket. The actual science is far from impressive: it can only show that this diet is superior to the failed, low-fat diet (and what diet isn’t?). Tested against a higher fat diet, the Mediterranean regime looks far less impressive for weight loss or heart disease. Also, no one’s ever been able to pinpoint any special, disease-fighting powers of olive oil—which turns out not to be an ancient foodstuff after all but a relatively recent introduction to the Mediterranean diet.
    https://www.bewell.com/blog/big-fat-surprise-a-conversation-with-nina...
  24. 1 comment removed
  25. J
    Just stop eating, permanently. then you will lose weight and diabetes will go away.
    Put nothing in your mouth but the occasional glass of water.

    Everything else will make you sick and fat.

  26. Carol
    I don't have speakers available on this computer is there a written version of this information available.
  27. Kathy
    I have one rule of thumb for eating a healthy diet, for anyone, if it grows it's better. Think hunter gatherer, what is available if not for markets and fast food. What is around you if you had to gather your own food.

    Basically, don't shop the market aisles, where all prepared foods are, natural food is found around the perimeter of a market.
    Cheaper to eat this way too, packaged foods way more expensive, try it.

  28. 1 comment removed
  29. Misty S Boyer
    This is all true. I started exercising. One day I just found the motivation to get on the elliptical. I started out at 5 minutes a day and I was exhausted. Each week I noticed it was getting a little easier. I kept going until I was doing 30 minutes a day by working my way up 5 minutes at a time. I incorporated weight lifting. Just two pound weights every other day. Afterward I had a smoothie with protein powder. I did this for three months without even changing my diet much and when I went back to the doctor for my A1C I remember the look of confusion and shock because I’d gone off of my insulin and my A1C showed normal levels. It was her flustered confusion that I remember most. She asked what I was doing and I said exercise. And I walked out of that office feeling amazing. So I believe this guy ecause I lived it. You can reverse diabetes with exercise. I know because I did it.
  30. Shane
    The study that Time magazine wrote their article on was denounced by the NHS as ' dangerously misleading' It was industry funded and used flawed study design to make fat appear healthy.
    Cholesterol and saturated fat are still very much considered detrimental to health.
    'The link between dietary fat and heart disease is accepted as causal ' (The European Association of Cardiology ')
    Dietary fat also causes insulin resistance , so eating LCHF is just hiding the problem while making it worse
  31. Mike
    I agree, Deborah!
  32. Maura La Prova
    I have been on Ketogenic diet for about 2 months and my fasting blood sugar started off at 13 and is now down to 6.2. I also do fasting. I eat once per day. It is working for me and satisfies my need to feast. It's like going home to a buffet every day. I always end my dinners with a slice of low carb cheesecake. The blood readings can be volatile. For example, stress really affects the results. Not just food and lack of exercise. If your blood sugar is going up on a Keto diet, you are either NOT following your macros or are under a lot of stress. Note: You still have to exercise. A simple 30 min walk per day will do.
  33. Patricia
    I'm 65 and have been on insulin for 16 years. Off the pump but still using the Kwikpen. I've cut my insulin use from 100 units a day to 100 units a week. I've lost 50 pounds. I had to go off Metformin because it was affecting the pancreas and I am very active.

    I have just recently added the intermittent fasting with 16 hours of fasting. However, during the fast time my blood glucose rises. I take insulin to bring it back down but feel like I'm probably defeating the purpose of intermittent fasting.

    Should my glucose level be rising during a fast and if so how high can I let it go for optimal health benefits without harming something else?

    I have reversed Pulmonary Hypertension naturally and have seen my episodes of Sick Sinus Syndrome go from over 50% down to only 5% through natural treatments.

    Thanks so much for the help.

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