By Christina Major | 9 June 2020
Curing type 2 diabetes is a challenge. And before we get too far into this, I want to make a little distinction between the two types of diabetes that are out there.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition that usually sets in during childhood.
People have no control over the onset of this type of diabetes, but many advances in the use of insulin and pumps make life as livable as people without diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is a lifestyle-induced disease.
With the rare exception of the few unusual medical cases, type 2 diabetes comes from overeating sugar over too long a time. You did it to yourself.
If you have type 2 diabetes, you face many challenges. Fortunately, if you did it to yourself, and with a diligent diet, exercise, and the right management, you can get your body back to the position of health.
What is Type II Diabetes?
When the body has just too many sugars over too long a period, two things happen. First, the cells in your body close down the receptors for insulin and sugar. They do that to protect themselves from poisoning. You see, if the cells take in too many sugars, the system gets overloaded and eventually self-destructs. So, the answer is to cut off the supply of sugar. This is known as insulin resistance.
Secondly, after working so hard for so long, your pancreas eventually wears out. The islets cells that produce insulin die from overuse. Your body then is just not able to produce insulin.
The only answer to the type 2 diabetes problem is to cut out sugars from your diet.
It’s not medicine, it's not injectable insulin, and it’s not a pump. These only cover up the problem until it becomes so overwhelming you find yourself losing your vision, your legs, and your life.
For a lot of young MMA, boxing, and competition martial artists, this is not something you pay attention to. But, how many of you know the fat old master that just can't keep up with you in the ring anymore? It's not because of age – but the rolls of fat and being unable to breathe. It’s one of the hallmarks of type 2 diabetes… and gout, heart disease, fatty liver, and so much more.
Wrestler and former NFL player Randy Thornton has type 2 diabetes, and knows it was his poor diet that caused it. Like he said, “I remembered I ate Popeye’s every day. I ate McDonald’s every day. I ate Burger King.” He also said, “I immediately changed my diet. I mean, immediately… I lost the weight because I stopped eating fast food, was only drinking water…” Now, Thornton controls his diabetes with food and exercise, and takes only the minimal amounts of medications. But, he’s also said that just one slip up can cause all sorts of problems, pain, and trouble.
How You Got Type II Diabetes
You ate too many sugars. You basically had too many breads, pastas, cookies, cakes, candies, sodas, energy drinks, and other processed foods.
Protein bars and drinks also interfere with sugar control, especially the ones that use artificial sugars. We’ll have a blog on the dangers of artificial sugar next month.
On average, the average American consumes over 300 grams of sugar and carbohydrates per day.
A trained martial artist who practices every day should consume somewhere around 100 grams of sugar per day. More sedentary people should stick to less than 60 per day.
So, if you’re eating like the majority of Americans, you’re getting in three times as many sugars as you should. You can’t burn this off with training – even all-day seminars and competitions. Eventually, this causes problems.
How To Fix Type II Diabetes
Cut out sugars.
To let your body heal from this abuse you put on it, you have to allow your body to relax. That means cutting out sugars to the point your pancreas does not need to work hard and your cells don't have to defend against the onslaught of sugar.
Ideally, people who follow a low-carbohydrate diet find their A1C levels and fasting blood glucose levels plummet rapidly.
Once the numbers are low for a consistent time, usually one to three years, the body begins opening up the receptors for sugar and eliminating insulin resistance. After about five years, the islets cells in the pancreas may begin regenerating.
The body may produce its own insulin again – as long as you heal.
To do this, follow a diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables and whole cuts of meat. Eliminate bread, pasta, processed foods, cakes, cookies, energy and protein drinks, snacks, pretzels, soda, ice cream, and any other processed food.
You can get your sweet fix from strawberries, raspberries, mango as well as peas and carrots. You can have apples baked with cinnamon and nutmeg for desserts.
The big idea is that eating a diet of whole foods allows your body to take care of itself. When you eat a much healthier diet, you gain energy, muscle strength, and endurance. Plus, a healthy diet allows your body to heal from bruises, abrasions, and sprains and strains faster.
Fortunately, you can overcome type 2 diabetes with a proper diet, just like Randy Thornton. It takes discipline, hard work, and the choice to do what's necessary for the best of your body. Sounds an awful lot like training, doesn't it?