My Dad Died of Type 2 Diabetes Complications (Scientifically Proven to be Reversible)
My dad passed away in tremendous pain in our neighborhood hospital some years back from a multitude of type 2 diabetes complications.
Dad was never healthy in the last decade of his life. He was a regular ‘guest’ at our neighborhood hospital. My dad passed away a the age of 72; he lasted that long mainly because of my mother’s love and care as a trained nurse.
However, the toll on my mother was great. I still vividly remembered how tired my mother was doing 2 jobs 24/7, one during her hospital shift and another looking after my dad after her shift.
The memories of my dad’s suffering are ingrained into my brain. I can still mentally relive many of the painful moments in my father’s dying years.
I have lost count of the number of times he had surgery or was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance. I dreaded the shock of seeing all the tubes sticking into my father’s body after major surgeries.
There was even once when we received a call from the hospital to rush over as my father’s heart had stopped. They managed to resuscitate him before we arrived, but my mother and I had to spend another sleepless night antagonizing over what happened. I recalled that we were both too exhausted to even cry that night.
I now know through my research into diabetes that my dad’s health complications could have been avoided. Type 2 diabetes can be reversed. I wished I had that knowledge while my father was still alive.
What shocked me even more in my research is that 415 million people are estimated to be living with diabetes globally, or approximately 1 in 11 of the world’s adult population. This figure was projected to increase to 642 million people by 2040.
I want to share my story and the findings of my research in the hope that unnecessary tragedies can be avoided.
What is Diabetes
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”):
Diabetes is a chronic (long-lasting) health condition that affects how your body turns food into energy. Most of the food you eat is broken down into sugar (also called glucose) and released into your bloodstream. When your blood sugar goes up, it signals your pancreas to release insulin.
When your pancreas is unable to release enough insulin to regulate your blood sugar (glucose) level or your cells stop responding to insulin, your condition comes under a group of diseases known as diabetes mellitus.
Our body needs glucose as an important source of energy for the cells that make up our muscles and tissues, including our brain. However, too much glucose can create health issues.
Diabetes is classified by type.
Types of Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes
The International Diabetes Federation estimated that around 10% of all people with diabetes have type 1 diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes usually develops in children or young adults due to a malfunction of the body’s autoimmune system attacking the cells that produce insulin. That deprives the body of the needed insulin to regulate the blood sugar level. The causes are attributed to a combination of genetic and environmental conditions.
The daily insulin injections prescribed by doctors are usually for people with type 1 diabetes to control their blood sugar levels. Without their daily dose of insulin, people with type 1 diabetes will die.
Currently, there is no official cure for type 1 diabetes. However, new research on mice using stem cells has produced promising results.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes accounts for around 90% of all diabetes cases. It is more prevalent in adults over age 45, but a disturbing trend has been emerging of younger adults also developing it.
Type 2 diabetes is generally characterized by insulin resistance where your body is unable to make effective use of the insulin that it produces. Doctors usually prescribed people with type 2 diabetes with oral drugs and/or insulin to keep their blood sugar levels under control.
Fortunately, type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed with healthy lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, eating healthy food, and being active.
Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM)
Gestational diabetes mellitus or GDM affects about 1 in 6 births and is concentrated mainly in low- and medium-income countries. It happens when the hormones produced by the placenta during pregnancy cause your cells to be resistant to insulin, resulting in too little glucose entering your cells.
Complications include high blood pressure, large birth weight babies, and obstructed labor. Studies have revealed that around 50% of the women with GDM develop type 2 diabetes within 5 to 10 years of delivery. The babies of women with GDM are more likely to develop obesity in their teens and would be prone to develop type 2 diabetes later in life as well.
Prediabetes is a medical condition where your blood sugar levels are abnormally high but just fall short of being diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. In the USA, more than 1 in 3 Americans have prediabetes, putting them at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
The CDC has recognized the prevalence of prediabetes and has developed a National Diabetes Prevention Program. This program can help you make prevent or delay type 2 diabetes through lifestyle changes, and even reverse prediabetes.
Symptoms of Different Types of Diabetes
Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes signs and symptoms can appear relatively suddenly and may include:
- Abnormal thirst and dry mouth
- Frequent urination
- Bed-wetting in children who previously didn’t wet the bed during the night.
- Constant hunger.
- Sudden weight loss.
- Irritability and other mood changes.
- Fatigue and weakness.
- Blurred vision.
Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes
The symptoms of type 2 diabetes are similar to those of type 1 diabetes and include:
- Excessive thirst and dry mouth
- Frequent and abundant urination
- Lack of energy, extreme tiredness
- Slow-healing wounds
- Recurrent fungal infections in the skin
- Blurred vision
- Tingling or numbness in hands and feet.
These symptoms can be mild or absent and so people with type 2 diabetes may live several years with the condition before being diagnosed.
Symptoms of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus
The symptoms of GDM include:
- Sugar in urine (revealed in a test done in your doctor’s office)
- Unusual thirst.
- Frequent urination.
- Frequent vaginal, bladder, and skin infections.
- Blurred vision.
Symptoms of Prediabetes
Many people with prediabetes do not have clear symptoms, so it often goes undetected until serious health problems such as type 2 diabetes show up. The good news is that prediabetes can be reversed. So watch out for the tell-tale precursors of prediabetes such as:
- Being overweight
- Being 45 years or older
- Having a parent, brother, or sister with type 2 diabetes
- Being physically active less than 3 times a week
- Ever having gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) or giving birth to a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds
- Having polycystic ovary syndrome
Studies have shown that African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, American Indians, Pacific Islanders, and some Asian Americans are at higher risk of prediabetes.
Risk Factors for Diabetes
Risk Factors for Type 1 Diabetes
The risk factors to look out for type 1 diabetes include:
- Family history. Your risks increase if a parent or sibling has type 1 diabetes.
- Environmental factors. Circumstances such as exposure to a viral illness likely play some role in type 1 diabetes.
- The presence of damaging immune system cells (autoantibodies). Sometimes family members of people with type 1 diabetes are tested for the presence of diabetes autoantibodies. If you have these autoantibodies, you have an increased risk of developing type 1 diabetes.
- Geography. Certain countries, such as Finland and Sweden, have higher rates of type 1 diabetes.
Risk Factors for Prediabetes and Type 2 Diabetes
- Weight. The more fatty tissue you have, the more resistant your cells become to insulin.
- Inactivity. The less active you are, the greater your risk. Physical activity helps you control your weight, uses up glucose as energy, and makes your cells more sensitive to insulin.
- Family history. You’re more at risk if a parent or sibling has type 2 diabetes.
- Race or ethnicity. Studies have shown that Black, Hispanic, American Indian, and Asian American people, are at higher risk.
- Age. Your risk increases with age.
- Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM). If you developed gestational diabetes when you were pregnant, your risk of developing prediabetes and type 2 diabetes later increases. If you gave birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds (4 kilograms), you’re also at risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome. For women, having polycystic ovary syndrome — a common condition characterized by irregular menstrual periods, excess hair growth, and obesity — increases the risk of diabetes.
- High blood pressure. Having blood pressure over 140/90 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) is linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels. If you have low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good,” cholesterol, your risk of type 2 diabetes is higher. Triglycerides are another type of fat carried in the blood. People with high levels of triglycerides have an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Your doctor can let you know what your cholesterol and triglyceride levels are.
Risk Factors for Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM)
Any pregnant woman can develop gestational diabetes, but some women are at greater risk than are others. Risk factors for gestational diabetes include:
- Overweight and obesity.
- A lack of physical activity.
- Previous gestational diabetes or prediabetes.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome.
- Diabetes in an immediate family member.
- Previously delivering a baby weighing more than 9 pounds (4.1 kilograms).
- Women who are Black, Hispanic, American Indian, and Asian American have a higher risk of developing gestational diabetes.
Complications From Type 1, Type 2, and Prediabetes
Diabetes is a slow killer, like in the case of my father.
The health complications develop gradually and can be devastating and long-lasting. Studies have confirmed that the longer you have diabetes the higher the risk of disabling and even life-threatening complications.
These complications include:
Your chances of having heart diseases or stroke increase substantially with diabetes.
Nerve Damage (Neuropathy)
My father had difficulty walking and even fractured his hip through an unexpected fall in the later years of being a diabetic. I now understand that it was due to the excessive sugar in his blood that damaged the walls of the tiny blood vessels known as capillaries. Capillaries are essential conduits to bring nourishment to the nerves, especially in the legs.
Side effects of nerve damage include tingling, numbness, burning, or pain that usually begins at the tips of the toes or fingers and gradually spreads upward.
Kidney Damage (Nephropathy)
There are millions of tiny blood vessel clusters in the kidney known as glomeruli. Glomeruli filters waste from your blood.
Severe damage to the glomeruli filters caused by diabetes can result in kidney failure or even irreversible end-stage kidney disease. For survival, regular dialysis, or even a kidney transplant may be needed.
Eye Damage (Retinopathy)
The blood vessels of the retina (diabetic retinopathy) can be damaged by diabetes, resulting in cataracts, glaucoma, and potentially leading to blindness.
I recall the frequent cuts and blisters appearing on my late father’s feet and was perplexed. My research confirms that diabetes can damage the nerve in the feet from poor blood flow. Such cuts and blisters often heal poorly and may ultimately require toe, foot, or leg amputation.
Bacterial and fungal infections of the skin are more frequent in diabetes patients.
People with diabetes are more susceptible to developing hearing problems.
The risk of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease, is increased with diabetes.
Not surprisingly, with so many health issues, depression often sets in for people suffering from diabetes.
Complications of Gestational Diabetes
The good news is that most women with gestational diabetes deliver healthy babies. However, abnormalities in blood sugar levels need to be treated to avoid complications for the mother and the baby, such as:
Excess glucose crossing the placenta can trigger the baby’s pancreas to produce extra insulin, causing the baby to grow too large. This condition is known as macrosomia, with large babies likely to require a C-section birth.
Low Blood Sugar
Mothers with gestational diabetes sometimes give birth to babies who develop low blood sugar shortly after birth because their own insulin production is high. This condition is known as hypoglycemia. The good news is that hypoglycemia may be overcome with prompt feedings or an intravenous glucose solution to return the baby’s blood sugar level to normal.
Type 2 Diabetes Later in Life
The children of mothers with gestational diabetes have a higher risk of developing obesity and type 2 diabetes later in life.
Gestational diabetes in its worst form can result in a baby’s death either before or shortly after birth.
Complications in The Mother Include:
- Preeclampsia is a pregnancy complication that usually starts after 20 weeks of pregnancy in women. It is characterized by high blood pressure, excess protein in the urine, and swelling in the legs and feet. Preeclampsia can lead to serious or even life-threatening complications, often affecting the liver and kidneys, for both mother and baby.
- Recurring Gestational Diabetes. Gestational diabetes is likely to recur with subsequent pregnancies. The mother is more prone to develop type 2 diabetes as shes ages.
Complications of Prediabetes
Prediabetes may develop into type 2 diabetes.
How to Reverse Type 2 Diabetes
Scientific studies have confirmed that type 2 diabetes is a reversible condition. It can be reversed through diet, exercise, fasting, and surgery. A narrative review of the evidence of reversing type 2 diabetes is provided by the National Institutes of Health.
Through a judicious balance and combination of diet changes and weight loss, you may be able to reach and hold normal blood sugar levels without medication.
Role of Ceramides in Insulin Resistance
A scientific paper cited by PubMed Central reported that:
Human studies indicate a connection between ceramides and insulin resistance. The accumulation of ceramides can increase in tissues due to excessive supply of either saturated or unsaturated fatty acids, most likely as a result of sphingolipid recycling or the salvage pathway activity.
Scientists at the University of Utah have found that lowering ceramides could reverse signs of diabetes and metabolic disease.
A number of phytonutrients (plant-based food) are reported to be potential anti-diabetic agents. They include biguanides, resveratrol, lycopene, thymoquinone, and quercetin. Clinical trials are still underway to establish suitable formulations using these phytonutrients against diabetes.
Recommended Diet To Reverse Type 2 Diabetes
The recommended diet to reverse type 2 diabetes by most doctors is:
- reduced calories, especially those from carbohydrates.
- healthful fats.
- a variety of fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables.
- whole grains.
- lean proteins, such as poultry, fish, low-fat dairy, soy, and beans.
- limited alcohol.
- limited sweets.
Some of my friends with diabetes have tried various diabetes diet remedies and supplements and have also passed them to me. I am not diabetic and cannot attest to their efficiency but I enjoyed the healthy recipes that I took for prevention. There is also a lot of useful information about the usefulness and effectiveness of the various natural ingredients used for the given recipes.
Healthy and Fit the Easy Scientific Way
Exercise alone has allowed a number of people to successfully reverse their type 2 diabetes by making the body more sensitive to its insulin. In combination with a healthy diet, exercise can reduce the demand for insulin in the body and therefore help reverse diabetes.
You need to stay active to overcome or keep diabetes at bay. If you are clueless about the exercise routines to follow or are looking for home exercises, you are in luck.
If you need to stay fit and want an easy scientific way of doing so, follow the routines in my article “Health and Fitness 101: Science-backed 20-minute Routines (Easy and Fun)”.
If you do not want to leave your home and are looking for home exercises to stay fit, follow the routines in my article: “Fitness At Home 101: 7 Endorsed Workout Routines in 2020 (Health Benefits Guaranteed)”
Invigorate your body and your life with these researched routines that are safe and effective.
How Long Does It Take To Reverse Type 2 Diabetes in 2020
According to ScienceDaily, people with type 2 diabetes can reverse the condition through a low calories diet.
Dr. James Barnard of UCLA confirmed that “There is much we can do with a healthy lifestyle alone, no medications needed, to prevent diabetes”. Dr. Barnard is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus at UCLA and author of more than 200 studies on the relationship between lifestyle habits and chronic diseases like diabetes.
Reclaim your life with the healthy natural recipes and exercises recommended above to bring down your diabetes within about 3 weeks.