The quick answer: it depends.
Mostly, it depends on which type of diabetes a person has because that determines the types of treatments that are necessary, as well as the outcomes one can expect.
For patients with Type 1 Diabetes, which is usually diagnosed during childhood, reversing the disease is not possible because the body has stopped producing insulin. While the body may kick into gear and produce insulin again from time to time, the patient will need to rely on traditional medicine to regulate insulin levels through medication.
One thing to keep in mind, however, is that Type 1 Diabetes is usually the result of an immune-mediated attack on the Beta cells of the islets of Langerhans of the pancreas, which produce insulin. This autoimmune tendency may have been triggered by a viral condition that preceded the diagnosis. Naturopathic medicine can be extremely helpful in balancing the patient’s immune system to prevent further autoimmune conditions from developing later in life.
Type 2 Diabetes, on the other hand, is both treatable and reversible. People with this type are still making insulin, but the insulin is ineffective due to poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, environmental exposures and stress. The body perceives that the insulin is ineffective so it pumps out more and more insulin quickly. It also produces more insulin receptors in an attempt to compensate for elevated glucose. The unfortunate side effect of this is craving sugar, weight gain around the middle and fatigue, which perpetuates the condition.
However, regaining healthy glucose metabolism is a very achievable goal. Eating a whole foods diet and following a regular exercise routine can work wonders for the body’s ability to produce insulin that does the job correctly. It is the cornerstone of Naturopathic treatment along with detailed patient education and a multitude of herbal medicines that balance glucose. For more information on treating and reversing type 2 Diabetes, read our post on diabetes treatments.
Photo Credit: Jill A. Brown
Are you living with type 1 or type 2 diabetes? Schedule an appointment with Dr. Tighe at Trillium Natural Medicine to learn more about how you can support your body to reach optimal health at trilliumnatural.com/contact or 412.571.9355.