Diabetes is one of the fastest growing diseases in Canada with more than 60,000 new cases every year. For people living with this diagnosis, 90% of them have Type 2, which means their pancreas isn’t producing enough insulin or their cells aren’t using it efficiently. What is not commonly known is that this type of diabetes is preventable… and in most cases, reversible.
The Bad… Diabetes is expensive! It costs our health care system and economy over $14 billion annually.
Medications do not prevent the morbid complications that result from the disease, such as blindness, heart disease, nerve damage, erectile dysfunction and stroke; they only reduce the risk of developing them. Conventional dietary guidelines only focus on counting carbohydrates (sugars), and not optimizing one’s nutrition, which can actually alter the course of this disease.
The Ugly… Compared to the general population, people with dia- betes are more than 3 times more likely to be hospitalized with cardio- vascular disease, 12 times more likely to be hospitalized with end-stage kidney disease, and more than 20 times more likely to be hospitalized for non-traumatic lower limb amputation. [Cdn Diabetes Assn] And although it was once called ‘adult onset diabetes’, it is now being diagnosed in increasing numbers in children. This has got to stop.
The Good… because there is always good to be found!
Diet and lifestyle habits are going to have the greatest longterm impact on your overall health. Can I simply list my recommendations here? No. Because there is no quick fix and there is no ‘one size fits all’ protocol. Your treatment plan needs to be personalized for you (taking in to account your family history, lab tests, mobility, etc.) and will include the continuation of your medications; only once your blood sugar is well regulated will you work with your prescribing MD to modify the dose of your meds.
Bottom line: Diabetes is a nutritional & lifestyle issue with serious consequences, and only by making drastic changes to these habits will the course of the disease be altered. And in most cases it can be altered.
For more information & motivation check out these documentaries:
- Forks Over Knives
- Sugar Rush; Jamie Oliver
- Simply Raw: Dr. Cousins