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Can you cure diabetes?

As the New Year season approaches I have begun contemplating next years resolutions.   I also think a lot about my diabetic patients.   In my ongoing quest to find the perfect message that will convince all my diabetics to shape up, change diet, and seize the opportunity to conquer their disease, I came across an interesting article that got me thinking….

Can Diabetes Be Cured?

Can diabetes be cured?

In a recent study presented in JAMA (Journal of American Medical Association) entitled

Intensive Weight-Loss Intervention Linked With Increased Chance of Partial Remission from Diabetes

I came across the term Diabetes Remission.  I discovered that I liked that term because it conveys a sense of cause and effect, action and result.

When people have cancer they seek treatment, given the life-death scenario, many are very motivated to change their lifestyle, pursue painful and difficult treatments with the hope of remission.  For some remission equals cure, for some remission equals more precious time and improved health–at least for awhile.

The same really applies to diabetes (Specifically Type 2) except my experience with patients reveals that many simply don’t view Diabetes in the same “Life-or-Death” light.  Motivation wanes, changes with the season, and often never reaches a level that triggers the changes necessary to overcome a genetic tendency fueled by lifestyle.  Cancer can seem like a sprint, diabetic remission can seem like a marathon.

I’ll admit, diabetes has a genetic component, but as I’ve commented before, nutrition and lifestyle play a much larger role than genetics in the outcome.

So the article mentioned notes that with intense lifestyle interventions (ILI) 9-10% of diabetics do achieve remission after 1 year.  Years 2-4 of the study revealed waning remission, as adherence to lifestyle modifications either declines or is not effective.

My professional experience tells me personal motivation plays the biggest role in success.  Half-measures, part-time effort, and lack of commitment factor heavily in the progression of diabetic complications.  The often snail-pace progression of diabetes complications fools the unobservant.  Diabetics are often surprised when they’re told they have retinal damage, blindness, or kidney function decline.  They ask, “How could this happen so fast?”  But the damage is already done.

I’ve blogged numerous times on the Tribe on fitness topics, even more on necessary nutritional concepts.  Limiting processed sugar, seeking whole foods, encouraging essential fats and proteins combined with regular exercise CAN cure diabetes.  One must only commit like someone facing cancer….

I’m an optimist.  I challenge those looking to lose weight, reduce high blood pressure, or cure diabetes,  focus on what really matters, become personally committed to taking charge of your diabetes.  Pills don’t cure diabetes and there’s no magic cure.  Your doctor and family members can’t make diabetes go away….only you can.

Please share your success  with the Tribe!  Forward to your diabetic friends/family, encourage them to seize the New Year as the year they re-claim their health!

The harder the struggle, the more glorious the triumph. Self-realization demands very great struggle.

                Swami Sivananda 

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