My topic today is an alternate treatment of Type 2 Diabetes, a chronic condition that affects the way your body metabolizes sugar (glucose) — an important source of fuel for your body. Specifically, I’d like to highlight the work of Dr. Jason Fung, MD a Toronto physician and the author of The Obesity Code. Dr. Fung is reversing type 2 diabetes using a treatment protocol that deviates from the model mandated by diabetic associations and probably your own doctor. In fact, he believes that the current model of treatment is harmful.
Dr. Fung, in his books and lectures, outlines 2 myths that are widely believed about diabetes and weight gain. He debunks the myth that diabetes is an inevitable and progressively worsening disease regardless of medical treatment. He does not believe that diabetes is an incurable disease. He has helped many diabetics get off insulin reversing their diagnoses.
The second myth, is that diabetes is a disease of abnormal glucose levels for which increasing doses of insulin is the answer. He argues that diabetes is a disease of insulin resistance with excessive insulin secretion, unlike Type 1, and that in prescribing insulin you are worsening the outcome for the individual. This is pretty revolutionary as most everyone I know who has developed type 2 diabetes has been prescribed insulin. As it turns out, insulin causes sugar cravings and leads to weight gain in most people further advancing their disease.
The protocol Dr. Fung recommends is a carbohydrate restricted, high fat diet with intermittent fasting and he is supported by many colleagues in this view point. His research has been based on the understanding that diabetes is caused by a hormonal imbalance and that irregular sugar levels are a symptom of this condition. Therefore, we must look at not just what increases our blood sugar levels but what increases our insulin levels and these are not always the same thing.
The hormones that drive weight gain are insulin and cortisol. These hormones create a body set weight that is too high and leads to weight gain and insulin resistance. An exaggerated insulin response to food makes you fat regardless of the foods you eat. Both of these hormones are key to carbohydrate metabolism which is why a diet low in carbohydrates is recommended.
Cortisol, the stress hormone, is downloaded into our systems when we are in fight or flight mode or in a continual state of stress. It keeps our glucose and insulin levels high. High cortisol levels are due to poor eating habits, lack of sleep, toxins, technology, constant eating, etc.
Dr. Fung states, “Excess calories do not cause weight gain, so reduced calories do not fix it. Lack of exercise did not cause obesity, so increased exercise can not cure it.” The low fat, calorie reduced diet prescribed for years has been ineffective and has led to rising obesity rates and diabetes in our society. Again this goes against what most people, doctors and weight loss experts believe and prescribe for their patients. As it turns out all calories consumed are not equal and what you eat and when you eat it are of the utmost importance. We can therefore conclude that the “eat less, move more” strategy is ineffective for most people battling weight issues.
So what does work? How can we lose weight and control our insulin levels to prevent diabetes:
Susanne Jakubowski is a holistic nutritionist, yoga teacher, Thai Yoga Therapist, and cancer survivor.