Vegan Health ArticlesType-2 Diabetes – The Expected Adaptation to Over-Nutrition:Practical Steps to Cure Type-2 Diabetes
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From John McDougall, M.D.

If you are one of the millions of diabetic patients facing a hopeless future of worsening diabetes, obesity, loss of vision, kidney failure, heart attacks, strokes, gangrene, and early death and disability – even though you have visited your doctors regularly, and taken your medications faithfully – then it is time to break this downhill spiral by changing your diet and exercise program. At the same time ask your doctor to provide you with sensible, conservative, care. I do the following with my patients:

1) Stop diabetic pills and reduce or eliminate insulin. In most cases, I have my patients stop all of their diabetic pills the day they start the McDougall diet and exercise program and/or at least half of their insulin. If this reduction is not made in a timely manner, then they run a real risk of developing hypoglycemia (too low blood sugar). I increase or reduce medications based on the patient’s response and as a general guideline I try to keep their blood sugars between 150 to 250 mg/dl while I am trying to adjust their medication needs. Stopping and/or reducing the medications reverses the weight gain immediately. (Insulin cannot be stopped in type-1 diabetes, but the dosage is often reduced.)

2) Change them to a low-fat, high-fiber, plant-based diet: the McDougall diet. The diet should be based around starches with the addition of fruits and vegetables – there are no added vegetable oils. Sample foods are: oatmeal, whole wheat pancakes or potatoes for breakfast. Lunch can be soups, salads, and sandwiches. And dinner may be thought of in terms of ethnic dishes, like Mexican burritos, Chinese Mu Shu vegetables, Thai curried rice, or Italian whole grain pasta.

3) Ask them to exercise. Start at a comfortable level and gradually build up. Exercise should be increased to the equivalent of at least a half hour of walking a day.

4) Check their other risk factors for indications of serious disease, such as cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure. Then make diet and lifestyle modifications to correct these (for example, fewer fruits and juices with high triglycerides and cholesterol, and less salt with high blood pressure).

5) Have them take appropriate medications only. For example, I prescribe:

· Small doses of insulin for too much weight loss or if my patient develops symptoms of diabetes, like too frequent urination or excessive thirst.

· Cholesterol (and triglyceride) lowering medications in order to reach ideal levels of 150 mg/dl, especially for patients at high risk for a stroke or heart attack. (See my September 2002 and June 2003 Newsletters.)

· Blood pressure lowering medications, are sometimes indicated in high-risk patients whose blood pressure remains at 160/100 mm Hg or greater for months. (See my August 2002 Newsletter.)

A prescription of a low-fat diet and exercise can be taught by any interested physician or dietitian. Most diabetics respond within days – and with continued weight loss, most can be expected to stop all diabetic medications – and regain lost health and appearance. The most difficult task for people with diabetes is to break from tradition – the following words may help. “The diet recommended by the American Diabetic Association virtually guarantees all diabetics will remain diabetic,” claimed the pioneer nutritionist, Nathan Pritikin, 30 years ago. His experiences from treating thousands of people with this disease convinced him that type-2 diabetes is largely curable by following a healthy diet and moderate exercise. Obviously the failure of modern diabetic management has been known long before most diabetics developed their disease – yet nothing changes for the better. Your only chance is to rebel against commonly accepted advice. Don’t you think a revolt is long overdue based on the poor results you have experienced so far?

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We began this archive as a means of assisting our visitors in answering many of their health and diet questions, and in encouraging them to take a pro-active part in their own health. We believe the articles and information contained herein are true, but are not presenting them as advice. We, personally, have found that a whole food vegan diet has helped our own health, and simply wish to share with others the things we have found. Each of us must make our own decisions, for it's our own body. If you have a health problem, see your own physician.