How to Reverse Diabetes Naturally – Are You At Risk?

Diabetes rates are rising, in fact it is now considered an “epidemic” in the medical community. The American Diabetes Association reports that:

  • 23.6 million Americans have diabetes
  • 57 million Americans are pre-diabetic
  • 1.6 new cases of diabetes are reported each year
  • For those over age 60, almost 1 in 4 have diabetes
  • Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death
  • Diabetes increases heart attack risk and 68% of diabetes related death certificates report heart related problems
  • 75% of adults with diabetes will develop high blood pressure
  • Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness, kidney failure and nervous system disorders
  • Diabetes costs $174 billion annually

Diabetes is a well-established problem and a multi-billion dollar industry. It is medically characterized by Fasting Blood Glucose higher than 126 mg/dL , which ranges between 100-125 mg/dL are considered pre-diabetic and ranges below 99 mg/dL are considered normal.  Studies are finding that a fasting blood glucose below 83 mg/dL is actually a better benchmark, as risk of heart disease begins to increase at anything above that.

Some medical professionals use an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT) to test for diabetes. If you’ve ever been pregnant and had to drink the sickeningly sweet sugar cocktail and then have blood drawn, you are familiar with this one. Basically, a patient is given 50-75 grams of glucose in concentrated solution and his blood sugar response is measured. I’m not a fan of this test because no one should be ingesting that much concentrated glucose, and the test is not a completely accurate measure. (Just a side note: if you are a drinker of the “Big Gulp” drinks or large amounts of soda, you are putting your body through a similar test each day! Eventually, your body will respond, probably with something like “Fine, you want diabetes, I’ll show you diabetes!)

A OGTT glucose of less than 140 ml/dl is considered normal, with 141-199 being pre-diabetic and levels above 200 mg/dL considered full-blown diabetes. From my research, I believe that  OGTT blood sugar levels above 140 mg/dL , especially regularly, can increase risk of vision problems, cancer, stroke and cardiovascular disease, even without an official diabetes diagnosis.

It’s obvious that diabetes is a big problem, but what causes it? Some would have you believe it is genetics, other claim a lifestyle or dietary cause…what is it really? Let’s go back to the biology…

Biology 101: Sugar, Carbohydrates, Insulin and Fat

Any food that you ingest is processed and metabolized by the body. Food is broken down into the various building blocks the body needs, and what cannot be metabolized or used is processed and removed by the liver. Protein and fats are used for muscle and tissue regeneration and other processes in the body. Carbohydrates are typically a fast fuel for the body, but when more are eaten that the body immediately needs, they must be stored. A simple explanation from a previous post:

Any form of carbohydrate is eventually broken down by the body into glucose, a simple form of sugar. While the body can use glucose for fuel, levels that exceed what  is needed are toxic to the body. In the long run, that whole wheat muffin, cup of millet, or bowl of oatmeal turns into the exact same thing as a cup of soda, a donut or a handful of candy.

The problem is, glucose is actually toxic if it is just floating around in your bloodstream, so that body has a defense mechanism. Any glucose that is not immediately used is stored as glycogen in the liver and the muscles. This would be all well and good except that your body has a limited number of glycogen receptors. When these are full, as they almost always are in inactive people, the body only has one option left: to store all the excess glucose as saturated fat within the body.

To make matters worse for the inactive, carb addict, when the body senses glucose in the bloodstream, the pancreas releases a hormone called insulin (perhaps you’ve heard of it?) to signal the body to store the glucose as glycogen. If the glycogen receptors are full and it can’t do this, the body thinks that the cells didn’t get the message and releases even more insulin.

When this happens for a period of time, the cells start to become resistant to the presence of insulin, causing a vicious cycle. The body then releases even more insulin, trying desperately to get the cells to uptake the toxic glucose. The presence of excess insulin in the bloodstream is also toxic and further damages the receptors on these cells. Eventually, the insulin allows the glucose access to your fat cells to get it out of the bloodstream. In other words- Fat isn’t stored as fat in the body- Sugar (from carbohydrates) is stored as fat!

So, there you have it: excess sugars and carbohydrates increase insulin levels, and when this happens over a period of time, weight gain and insulin resistance occur. Seems pretty simple, right? If only it were… there are other confounding factors involved.

Grains, Sugars and Omega-6 Oils

These three are the axis of evil in the nutrition world. They are all new introductions to the human diet, especially in the forms they are most eaten in (processed flour, table sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup and vegetable oils).As we already know, grains (especially in a highly processed form) not only raise insulin levels but can damage the lining of the gut, even in those with no official celiac disease. Grains also cause inflammation in the body and can initiate an immune response.

Sugars raise insulin levels, and over extended periods of time, damage the pancreas and cause insulin resistance, a precursor for diabetes. Fructose is the top offender in the sugar world, as it is recognized as a toxin the body and has no proven benefit to the body. Fructose is immediately taken to the liver, where it must be processed, and some doctors now suggest that this may be a large factor in development of fatty liver disease. Excess sugar in the bloodstream also increases the release of cortisol and adrenaline (more on those in a minute), slows the immune response, decreases necessary Leptin levels and promotes fat storage. There are various types of sugar and sweeteners, and while all should be limited, some are worse than others:

  • Glucose-Found in almost all carbohydrates and a precursor to glycogen, which the body needs for energy. It should be limited, but is ok in moderation, especially for healthy individuals
  • Fructose- A toxic substance that the body does not need in any amount. If consumed, it should be from fruit and not sources like High Fructose Corn Syrup, which greatly increases risk of the above problems from sugar.
  • Sucrose- What we know as table sugar. It has a 1:1 ratio of glucose to fructose and creates an insulin response in the body. Should be limited or avoided.
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup- Highly concentrated fructose that is dangerous to the body. Should be avoided
  • Honey, Maple Syrup, Agave, Molasses, etc- Natural sweeteners that still contain high levels of fructose. Should be consumed only in moderation by healthy individuals with good insulin sensitivity.
  • Sugars in fruit- Fruit contains a lot of natural sugar, and while most are ok in moderation, their juices should be avoided as they are concentrated sources of sugar and raise blood glucose and insulin. Best fruit sources are those high in antioxidants and comparatively low in sugars, such as berries.

Omega 6 oils are also a relatively new addition to the diet, making their appearance in the early 1900s. Oils in this category include vegetable, canola, cottonseed, soybean, corn, safflower, sunflower, etc. Consumption of these oils increased in the 1950s when they were promoted as a “healthy” alternative to saturated fats (they weren’t). Research is now showing that consumption of these oils increases risk for obesity and can damage thyroid function. They contribute to insulin resistance and inflammation, further aggravating the poor pancreas.

Omega-6 fats should be consumed in ideally, a 1:1 ratio with Omega-3 fats. Most Americans consumer a ratio closer to 20 or 25:1, greatly increasing risk of diabetes and obesity.

Stress, Toxins and the Adrenals

Since the body functions as a whole, it is logical that when one hormone or part of the endocrine system is suffering, the other would be affected as well. This is the reason behind the recent research linking high stress levels to diabetes and other health problems. Most people think of stress only in the mental context (as in, “I’ve got a million things to do, I’m running late and I don’t have time to get anything done… I’m so stressed”) but stress can be physical, psychological, emotional, or mental and can be triggered by many factors including:

  • Lack of sleep
  • Poor diet
  • exposure to toxins
  • infection
  • disease
  • overexercising
  • outside stress

When stress occurs, whatever the source, the hypothalamus signals the adrenals to release cortisol (and adrenaline). These hormones are life-saving in true “fight or flight” situations like running away from a charging animal or hoisting a car off a small child, but they cause big problems when they are regularly produced in excess. Excess cortisol can contribute to hormone imbalance in the body since the body uses hormones like progesterone to manufacture cortisol. Excess cortisol absent of a charging animal can also interfere with the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar, reduce fat burning ability, raise insulin, suppress thyroid function and cause gain in belly fat.

Even stress from lack of quality sleep for just a few nights can elevate cortisol, decrease insulin sensitivity and elevate blood sugar. Most moms have probably felt the hangover-like effects of this during the first weeks of caring for a newborn.

Genetic Factors

Genetic factors do play a role in any disease, but I put this factor last for a reason. Genetic predisposition to a given disease will increase the chances of getting the disease, but not in a vacuum. People with a strong predisposition to liver disease manage to avoid it, and some with a family history of heart disease remain heart-attack free. Even studies among identical twins show that in most cases, twins will get the same diseases, even in different environments, but sometimes they don’t. This means there are other factors involved (see above).

It was once assumed that environmental factors took generations to affect a gene change, but research is now finding that a bad enough toxin or environmental stress can alter genes in a single generation. While genes can pre-dispose us to disease, the disease will only present itself in the presence of factors like toxins, poor diet or stress. A predisposition to diabetes, for instance, might be activated from toxins in foods, pesticides, herbicides, chemicals, or from a poor diet, especially when any of the above factors are also present.

In other words: genetic predisposition can increase your odds of a disease, but genetics alone won’t necessarily give you the disease without other factors. If you know you have genetic predisposition to a given disease, you should certainly be more careful about taking steps to maintain health and prevent it.

Genetic predisposition to liver problems or certain autoimmune diseases often correlate to higher rates of diabetes. This is likely because proper insulin response is handled by the pancreas and liver, so problems here could affect the body’s normal response. Studies have linked certain autoimmune disease and leaky gut syndrome with higher instances of diabetes also, so this correlation is logical as well.

How do we fix it?

All of the above contributing factors don’t usually happen by themselves. Since the body functions as a whole, a problem in one area will usually correlate to problems in others. A combination of the factors above can be the catalyst for a full blown case of diabetes (or a lot of other diseases). While researchers often look at a single variable when trying to discover a cure for a disease, often the best approach is one that addresses the body as a whole. As with all diseases, the best cure is good prevention, but certain measures can help reverse disease once it has occurred.

Unfortunately, most people are not given the benefit of this approach. When diagnosed with diabetes, most people are told to avoid sugar (good step, not the solution). If the problem is bad enough, they are told to take medication to give the body insulin. The problem is, as we saw above, diabetes is a problem with the body’s regulation of insulin, caused by a resistance to insulin and an overproduction to remove toxic amounts of glucose in the bloodstream. Insulin is also dangerous if it is left circulating the the blood. Somehow, treating too much circulating glucose and insulin with more insulin doesn’t seem like the right approach…

It isn’t just keeping blood sugar levels down through insulin control that helps diabetes, but fixing the actual problem causing the diabetes. Addressing just one aspect of the problem (blood sugar or insulin) ignores all the other factors like poor diet, toxins, stress, gut problems, immune issues etc. Instead, this single focuses approach can contribute to the problem, making insulin resistance worse and eventually leading to insulin dependent diabetes when the pancreas shuts down completely. Many doctors and nutrition experts recommend the typical 6-11 servings of complex carbs from whole grain sources daily, suggesting that the fiber helps mitigate insulin response. As I have shown before, 6-11 servings of carbohydrates a day is bad for anyone, but is gasoline on a fire to anyone with an impaired insulin response.

Seven Steps to Help Your Body Reverse Diabetes

The good news (about time!) is that most individuals with Type II diabetes are able to reverse or dramatically mitigate their disease with the proper steps. If you’ve been around my blog much, you might be able to guess what I’m going to suggest:

  1. Get Insulin Problems Under Control- Diabetes is triggered by insulin resistance and regaining proper insulin sensitivity can help reverse the process. Limit consumption of sugars, grains and processed carbohydrates and focus on healthy proteins, fats and green veggies.
  2. Get Your Fats in Good Balance- Overabundance of Omega-6 fats in the diet is a contributing factor in diabetes. Pay attention to your intake of  Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats and try to get them closer to a 1:1 ratio. For many people, supplementing with a good quality Omega-3 oil can help while dietary adjustments are being made. Avoid Omega-6 seed oils and their sources (these are used at almost every restaurant). Eat fatty fish like salmon and sardines for the Omega-3s.
  3. Fix your Gut- Not the beer gut, your intestines. Grains and toxins cause damage to the intestinal lining and facilitate leaky gut syndrome. Depleted beneficial bacteria in the gut caused by poor diet, antibiotic use or being bottle fed as a baby can make the problem worse. Remove the grains, avoid toxins whenever possible and take a high quality probiotic to help the intestines heal. As a note: some people will have continued damage to the gut with exposure to grains, especially gluten, as little as only every 10 days or even every 6 months.
  4. Exercise- Even the mainstream medical community recognizes the advantage of exercise, as it increases the muscles ability to use insulin and over time can help fix insulin resistance. All exercise isn’t created equal though and fortunately, smaller amounts of high intensity exercise have been shown to have a better effect on insulin levels (and weight loss) than an hour of daily moderate cardio. According to the Healthy Skeptic: “A pair of studies done at McMaster University found that “6-minutes of pure, hard exercise once a week could be just as effective as an hour of daily moderate activity“, according to the June 6, 2005 CNN article reporting on the study.” I recommend high intensity exercise anyway for its various health advantages, and it is great for diabetes control. too.
  5. Lose Excess Weight- Obesity and Diabetes often go hand in hand, and while the debate still rages on if one causes the other, studies show that losing weight can help mitigate diabetes, and also lowers your risk of getting it to begin with. Certain dietary and lifestyle improvements can help you lose weight and are beneficial for diabetes reversal as well.
  6. Reduce Stress-  Stress raises cortisol and can lead to hormone imbalance, insulin issues and increases risk for certain types of disease. Work to reduce your sources of stress from lack of sleep, exposure to toxins, mental and emotional sources and poor diet. Getting quality sleep every night can help reduce stress hormone levels and is great for blood sugar.
  7. Supplement- Supplements can help your body heal from diabetes, especially while your body works to gain proper insulin reactions again. Supplements often associated with helping diabetes symptoms and improving the disease are cinnamon, omega-3 fatty acids, alpha lipoic acid, chromium, coenzyme Q10, garlic, and magnesium

Monitoring the Problem As It Improves

Anyone with diagnosed Diabetes should consult a physician before making any changes to a diabetes regimen, and especially before changing medication dosages. That being said, improving your diet and eating the foods to help your body heal is your prerogative and your right. For the 65% of America that is overweight, including the 37% that are clinically obese, there is a good chance that many are operating in a pre-diabetic state, or may even have undiagnosed diabetes. Even those without any signs of disease can figure out their insulin levels by at home glucose testing.

I’ve done this for years and I do it each time I’m pregnant in place of the glucose test. It is a cheap and easy way to keep insulin levels in check and see how your body responds to certain foods. While I can offer general advice on the amount of carbohydrates that should be consumed, at home glucose monitoring allows you to know exactly what your body will and won’t handle.

What you need:

  • A glucometer – One of those little finger prick machines that diabetics use to test blood sugar. The machine and the strips can be found at most large stores and drugstores.
  • Test strips-Get the strips to go with the machine you buy. Be sure to look at the price of the machine and the strips. It is pretty easy to find an inexpensive machine, but the strips can get pricey.
  • Small notebook to keep track of readings and food intake.

What to Do:

Once you have the necessary supplies, take readings of your blood sugar, according to the instructions on your meter, at the following times each day for a week:

  • First thing in the morning before eating or drinking anything
  • Before your normal lunch
  • One hour after lunch
  • Two hours after lunch
  • Three hours after lunch

NOTE: Do not eat or drink anything else during the three hours of testing. You may be able to get an accurate baseline of your insulin response after only a few days, but a week provides more data. If you are already diabetic, you probably have close ideas on these numbers, but take readings at the suggested times anyway to figure out your baseline.

Other Important Steps

  1. Food Log- Keep an accurate food log of everything you eat and drink and the times during your week of testing your blood sugar. This will help you determine your reaction to specific foods. Don’t make any special effort to diet or eat healthy foods during this time as you want an indication of your normal reactions.
  2. Carbohydrate Spike Test-On one day of your blood sugar readings (after at least 2-3 days of testing) eat a food high in simple carbs at your test meal (a potato, rice, etc) along with any vegetables, but in the absence of any fats or proteins. This will test your basic glucose reaction to high levels of glucose not mitigated by fat. Record these numbers as usual. Important note: if you usually eat a low-carbohydrate diet, this number might seem higher than it should be. This is because of decreased tolerance to carbohydrates and is not a cause for concern.
  3. Determine Results-Based on your food log and blood glucose readings, note any specific foods that caused higher readings. I suggest imputing your food log into a website like fitday.com to give accurate analysis of your total carbohydrate, protein, and fat consumption and see which days were the best and worst for your blood glucose.

What Should Your Numbers Look Like?

Ideally, you want your numbers to be as follows:

  • Fasting blood glucose below 83 mg/dL
  • Pre-meal reading-below 90 mg/dL, or at fasting level
  • 1 hour reading- under 140 mg/dL
  • 2 hour reading-under 120 mg/dL (preferably under 100)
  • 3-hour reading-back to pre-meal level
  • No readings above 140 mg/dL

If you have readings higher than this, your body is not processing glucose optimally and you likely have some level of insulin resistance. Reduce the amount of carbs in your diet and remove processed foods entirely. Make sure you are getting good fats and proteins as well. Implement the “Seven Steps” above.

If you have readings on the high end of the pre-diabetic range or in the diabetic range (over 175-180 mg/dL at anytime) consider consulting with a specialist in addition to implementing the “Seven Steps” above.

Even if you don’t have any underlying glucose issues, testing your blood sugar occasionally will help you pin point which carbohydrates you tolerate well and which you don’t. It can help you have a better understanding of your body’s reaction to foods and take control of your health. It is also an accurate alternative to the pregnancy test for gestational diabetes, so talk to your doctor if you’d prefer to test yourself, though you may have to explain your reasons!

Research is constantly giving us more information on diabetes and the various factors that contribute to its steady rise in society over the last few decades. Since most theories on diabetes are just that- theories, research for yourself and figure out your best way or preventing or reversing diabetes. I’ve compiled the best of my own research above, but do your own, too! At the least, please consider making some positive changes to help keep yourself disease free (or become disease free).

Note: I am not a doctor and cannot take the place of your doctor. Before making any changes, especially to medication, consult your doctor or health care professional.

Do you struggle with diabetes? Have you overcome it?

Reader Comments

  1. Dave, RN says

    A few years ago I was on the brink of diabetes. Even though at 6’0 and 185 lbs, I didn’t consider myself overweight, but secretly I knew better. After a couple of years following the ADA dietary disaster and realizing it doesn’t work, I ditched grains and vegitable oils and began eating just Real Food. No processed foods at all and lots of fat from butter, raw goat milk, grass fed beef, ghee, coconut oil and even learned how to render my own tallow. I practice intermittant fasting as well. After 4 months, my OGTT dropped from 198 to 100. My fastings went from 128-132 down to 70’s-90’s. It hardly ever goes over 110 post meals. I also lost 30 lbs and have my high school body back, except even better.
    So it can be done. I even went on the ADA discussion board to tell people what they could do for themselves. For my trouble I was told I was a “dangerous extremest” endangering peoples health!

    • says

      Congrats Dave! Such an inspiring story. I’m impressed you can render your own tallow. That is on my list to learn, but haven’t gotten brave enough yet! It is so frustrating that doctors put people on low-fat whole grain diets and consider that safe, but when we eat real foods,we are extremists. Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Larry says

      Methinks a”dangerous extremest” endangering peoples income! As Dr Richard Bernstein “Diabetic Doctor’s Diabetes Solution” shows so well, diabetes I and II can be controlled without drugs, with green veg, good protein, good saturated fat. I guess you have to find out yourself how to eat and control your own weight and blood sugar — orthodox medicine is not interested in helping you. Obviously you have the results to prove your health — why would everyone not be interested??

      • Emily says

        Type 1 needs insulin regardless. Good eating habits and exercise encourage good glucose levels, but insulin is still required for Type 1. Please don’t give people false hope. I am Type 1 myself, and have been since I was a baby. The only thing I disliked about this post was it should have specified that you were discussing Type 2 Diabetes. Shockingly a lot of people still don’t know the difference.

        • Robin says

          Re-read the beginning of Wellness-Mama’s post, She states it is for Type 2….Quite clearly,,,,Why so hateful? I really dislike reading posts such as this. Please pay attention to what you are reading. In-spite of this being an older post.

    • says

      You’re only dangerous because you’re a threat to Big Pharma’s profits. The more people are healthy, the less for their bottom line. Congratulations! Great! Bravo! I am working toward that goal. Changed my diet tremendously and losing weight, a little at a time. Trying to be consistent with the exercise/walking thing. Thanks for sharing, all the best to you….

  2. rosee says

    Thank you for this post.  I have been attempting to make the changes to a real foods diet, but — wow — the opposition I am experiencing (especially from medically trained professionals in my family who learned textbook medicine).  I have several health issues: IBS, mental health, prediabetic — have gained 80 pounds in 2 short years!  I think will be following Dave and other “extremists” in searching for my health solution.  I haven’t given up on allopathic medicine but I am seeing it’s limitations — and the consequences on my body.  Thank you for the at-home diabetic testing method.  I often test “normal” but have obvious symptoms of insulin resistance.

  3. Jennifer says

    First of all I would like to say your blog is fantastic! But, as a parent of a Type 1 Diabetic, I would encourage you to distinguish between the two diseases.  It is extremely hard to explain to my 8 year old daughter (who has had type 1 since she was 2) that diabetes cannot be cured (type 1 that is) or that she cannot reverse her chronic disease. 
    Thank you for all the information that you give each day on health.  It truly makes it easy for me as a parent to find healthy choices for all of my kids. 

    • Gaye says

      As a type 1 for 30 years,it is discouraging to know that there is no cure for me. However, I have decided to try to live best I can, to reduce the results of my disease. Unfortunately, doctors just tell me to use the ADA’s diet, excercise and stay on insulin. THERE IS MORE you can do to help yourself….this website is a great place to start.

  4. Renedlt says

    I have type 2 diabetes. I am sure it was caused by stress : lost my business,house ,income. I am not overweight,my cholesterol and blood pressure are in check. How can I reverse this desease?

    • Olson says

      I would be interested in the same question. Diagnosed at age 50 with type 2. I weighed 165 lbs and am 6’2″. I’m now down to 140 lbs, don’t eat the processed food anymore and have tried various foods to try and reverse mine. Nothing works. I don’t smoke, blood pressure perfect, no problems whatsoever with cholesterol and yet diabetes stays. In fact, now I’m finding it hard to keep weight on. I was convinced that stress was what brought this on in my life as well. I hear these stories about how people have reversed it through diet and that is great. Just can’t figure out why after cutting out pretty much all simple carbs, all sugar and eating right has had no affect on me.

      • JJ says

        get blood works done and check your LDL. do you exercise sir? what is your blood type? high level of cortisol (aka stress induced) will do it. been diagnosed since march and have reduced it a lot. exercise and diet is key. and reduce your stress level.

      • Trish says

        I’ve read that lifting weights is good for high blood sugar. There are also supplements designed for diabetics, natural herbal type, they work for me. Don’t worry too much about this, that will increase your stress, and thus, your blood sugar.

      • lucy says

        I have the same problem. 49, no family history, never been overweight. (five foot 2 125 pounds) For the past four years, I go to my doctor for blood test and they tell me I have pre diabetes. I haven’t had any sweets in four years, or juice either. I limit carbohydrate to maybe one-two piece of wheat bread a day. My number continue to go up. My fasting blood sugar is always around 98-104 and my a1c went up from 5.4 to 5.7

        My 88 year old mom has perfect blood sugar. My father, died at 86, and his last fasting blood sugar was 84. My 95 year old uncle still has perfect blood sugars.

  5. JC Stokes says

    Sorry to tell you this, blood testing causes stress, I have personal experience, our doctors don’t give out blood testing equipment these days here in Britain, at least mine doesn’t .

  6. Anna says

    When you go behind politics we see that type 2 diabetes has already been reversed. Dr Liu in Denmark revealed how to reverse diabetes without any medications.

    No one needs a drug to reverse type 2 diabetes. All of this information was taken from the Spirit Happy Diet people in Denmark. http://spirithappy.org

    Diabetes has been reversed in over 10,000 people by using a specialized diabetes diet. The diet also reversed body fat in people trying to lose weight. Scientists showed food chemicals is the cause of almost all diabetes. They also showed how to reverse your own diabetes without medications. The diabetes drug caused cancer and makes 5 Billion a year in profit

    Reverse your own diabetes!

    just google SPIRIT HAPPY DIET

  7. Harriett Wright says

    I know this is a fairly old post, but it speaks to my search for target blood sugar readings, and I hope someone will answer my query. The post says that a fasting reading should be below 83. When I first wake up my number is in the 90’s, but by the time I sit down to breakfast it has fallen considerably. For example, on 12/30 it was 98 when I first woke up, but an hour and a half later, right before I ate breakfast, It had fallen to 84. Of course both numbers were fasting levels. Is this normal/acceptable, or should I try to find a way to lower my early morning number? (By the way, the next morning right before I breakfasted on oatmeal, it was 81, but 2 hours after breakfast it was 140. So it’s back to bacon and eggs for me!)

    • says

      That is normal, especially if you eat somewhat paleo/low-carb or have been stressed lately. Taking a tablespoon of gelatin powder in some hot tea before bed might help get fasting levels a little lower, but yours dont seem that high…

      • Harriett Wright says

        Thank you for your reply. I suppose I tend to be a bit paranoid about my symptoms, but I do have a horror about the dreaded complications. The truth is that although I was diagnosed with prediabetes two years ago, I didn’t start monitoring my blood glucose until very recently, mainly because my doctor didn’t put any emphasis on it. Fortunately I found this forum and other informative web sites, and am taking my condition very seriously now.

  8. Hatfield says

    DIABETES CAN BE CURED ! JENNIFER, I HAD BEEN DIABETIC FOR 32 YEARS TYPE 1 INSULIN DEPENDENT. GOING ON A FRUIT,VEGETABLE, AND RANGE FREE DIET OF MEAT AND FISH I AM INSULIN FREE. IT TOOK ME LONGER THAN I WANTED BECAUSE IT IS SUCH A LIFE CHANGING DIET, I SLIPPED UP ALOT. I’VE MET PEOPLE WHO HAVE DONE IT IN SIX MONTHS. CHECK OUT THE PALEO DIET IT WILL SAVE YOUR BABIES LIFE I PROMISE.

  9. Chelsea says

    What I am about to say is in regards to Type 1 Diabetes. All of the information can be found in the most comprehensive study on nutrition ever conducted called The China Study by T. Colin Campbell PHD.

    Did you know that when an infant is fed formula too soon or throughout pregnancy can cause Type 1 Diabetes.

    The cows milk from the formula reaches the small intestine and it is broken down into its amino acid parts. Some infants cannot digest it all so some amino acid chains or original protein fragments hangout in the intestines.It

  10. Lina says

    Thank you for writing this. It is the most detailed valuable piece I have read on the web. Thank you!!!

  11. Debbie says

    hello, I am the opposite I suffer with hypoglacemia, Im fine in the morning before I eat after food at times my glucose drops to 40 sometimes even 30. I’ve never had high levels only my fasting insulin is around 30 which I believe im producing too much insulin. I eat healthy sometimes if I do no carbs it drops… sometimes if I do just a half a cup of hot oatmeal it drops mostly when im real hungry but only after I eat… I cant figure this out Im a health coach myself so this is frustrating. I am menopausal and do have hasimtos thyroditis. any suggestions?

  12. Amy Pennington says

    I am 24 weeks pregnant and started testing my own sugar levels today. My fasting level was 75 upon waking. At 8:52am I proceeded to eat some boiled white potatoes, which I never ever eat. My 1 hour level was 159 @ 9:52am. You mentioned that if you primarily eat a low carb diet (I eat Paleo/Traditional foods) then it will be higher. My 2 hour level was back down to 71 @ 10:52am. Considering my normal diet, and the fact that I ate something very high in carbs as my testing meal when I never eat carbs, do you think I am okay? I plan on testing again after I eat my (normal) lunch and then testing once every 3 hours like you recommend.

      • Amy Pennington says

        Thank you! Will do.

        I proceeded to test my levels after eating a normal paleo meal and they were all well below 100, except for 117 when I had a snack with some dried mango. So I guess all is well! Thank you for the quick response! I was testing my own levels so I would feel more confident turning down the 1 hours glucose test at my next prenatal visit.

  13. Karen Yorke-Gilbert says

    I have been pre-diabetic since the age of 32 i am now 48. Until now i
    have managed my weight and diet well enough to keep my blood sugar
    levels below 126mg. This year I slipped into depression, it snuck up on
    me and i didn’t even realize it was happening to me. I run a business
    and I was over-worked and stressed. I ignored my health and the signs of
    my body(headaches, diarhea, nausea, bloating cramps, emotional upset).
    This all happened in the last 3 -4 months. My weight ballooned up to 200
    pounds. I usually am around 180-185 at 5′ 4″. I work hard physically on
    my horse ranch and I ride alot which is the only healthy thing I have
    done right. But i noticed even that is becoming increasingly difficult. I
    suffer from joint and muscle pain as well as nerve pain in my neck
    arms, hips and legs. My ankles are swollen at night when i got to bed.
    So I started checking my blood sugar levels this week. I am terrified to
    report that every single time i check my levels they have been above
    126mg! I had one that was 121. This scares me. i have been able to stave
    off going on medication for over 16 years. I know that i have let my
    life style choices and stress take over and lead me to this scary place I
    am now. My question is, can I get back on track? Can I go back to my
    healthy habits and reverse the problem or stop it in its tracks? My
    sugar has been testing 121-160 before meals with my morning one being
    highest.

    • Javed Shaikh says

      You are the most important member of your health care team.
      You are the one who manages your diabetes day by day. Talk to your doctor about how you can best care for your diabetes to stay healthy.

  14. Caitlin says

    I understand eating protein, veggies and fats but somedays after eating high carb I wake up extremely dizzy and trembling, I feel like my sugar dropped, instead of sugar and grains how would I make it better?

  15. Jenny Virginia Hart Schubert says

    Thank you for all your research. Someone I love will benefit from this. You can’t imagine how much I appreciate this.

  16. Wes Peters says

    10 years ago, I was having extreme trouble sleeping, falling asleep at work every afternoon, and generally feeling awful. I talked to my doctor, who had me do fasting labs, and he said I was diabetic based on the then-new revised standards. We discussed alternatives to medicine, and I resolved to beat diabetes rather than fall prey to it.

    I’m 5’11” and at the time weighed 283 lbs. That’s not as alarming as it sounds, I have a very stocky build and was a weightlifter as a young man, in peak condition I have 29″ diameter thighs; I weighed 205 lean lbs when I started college at 18. Still, I was at least 70 pounds overweight, and could not comfortably walk more than 100 yards without sending my back into spasm.

    At the time, I lived in apartment that had a pool. I dug out my bicycle, pumped up the tires and lubed the chain, and started riding. Initially it was a struggle to ride around my (large, 1-mile) block, but I kept it up. I alternated bicycling and swimming 6 days a week. Initially I wasn’t getting very far on either one, but over the course of the first 8 weeks, I got strong and more capable. Then a small miracle occurred.

    I rode around the block without stopping, and I didn’t have to push my bicycle up the final hill. I swam 20 laps in the pool (a small one) without stopping. I added ‘water walking’ to my regimen; jump in the pool just deep enough you don’t float off the bottom and walk as fast as you can against the resistance of the water. It’s fabulous exercise, low impact and your muscles shed heat into the water, it is a really good way to burn a lot of calories very quickly, and a good cool-down from a fast-paced bicycle ride.

    I started trail riding with friends, and grew quickly in endurance and skills. I also learned how to fall off a bike pretty well, which can be dangerous at 43.

    In 11 months, I was down to 213 lbs, and could ride 22 miles on dirt trails in the mountains and survive the trip. Not only was I not falling asleep at work, I felt invigorated after a lunch-time ride, had much more energy at work and after, I completely changed my life.

    Life has had its ups and downs, and for various reasons I wasn’t able to maintain my fitness levels, and am now struggling again. Your recommendations here are spot on, with the exception of recommending a small number of short, intense workouts. Your life will be far better if you find some way to exercise every day, preferably at least twice a day. If you can work a few intense aerobic workouts into that, you will find yourself even healthier, but find a way to work a couple of ‘non-smoke’ breaks into your day and go walk around the block, or your building or a parking lot. Pump that blood up out of your legs, get your heart beating just a little faster, and move the air in your lungs.

  17. Christine says

    Thank you so much for this post. You saved my day today…an hour ago I was crying after reading that my symptoms that I’m currently experiencing are pointing towards diabetes and now I am hopeful and ready to make some very necessary changes to my lifestyle and eating habits.

    Christine

  18. sri says

    Thank you for your post and all the comments.
    I had GD during my pregnancy which was controlled with diet and exercise( walk). However, I did not manage my diet after my delivery. At 2 months postpartum, I had the 2 hour Glucose tolerance test done and it showed one abnormal reading and my doctor advised me to be maintain my diet and exercise. I had not really done my part and after 4 months, I checked my Blood sugar levels and found abnormal reading and got scared and since then I maintained diet and am doing exercise. However, my fasting blood sugar levels are always high ( always around 6.5 mmol/L) though my BSL reading after dinner ( 1 hr ) is always below( 7.8 mmol/L). I also started taking a protein shake ( 1/2 cup Astro Greek yogurt but plain and not non-fat) . I prefer the plain one over non-fat one as it is very yummy.
    So even if I take this protein shake before going bed, it is not helping me at all except for overcoming those hunger pangs.
    I should also admit that apart my diet, I drink 1 cup of french vanilla( little diluted) from Tim Hortons 3 times a weeks. Although, my reading comes back to normal at 2 hr check.
    I read in the above comment from wellness Mama, on “Taking a tablespoon of gelatin powder in some hot tea before bed” and found out that it is an animal by product ( made out of pig, chicken and fish) Is there any other way to reduce my fasting blood sugar levels?
    Please help and is it something I can control just with diet? please help.

  19. Dr Robert Jones says

    As a medical professional l appreciate the article but at least we now have a healthy and scientifically proven
    weight loss method helping build confidence

  20. toby says

    I have been on organic unrefined coconut oil for a month and a half. My glucose readings have been normal. I take two teaspoons four times a day. After a month and a half my numbers are getting higher. I am not sure what to do. [I haven't done anything different.] I would appreciate your input.

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