Effective Diabetes Treatment

The best Type 2 diabetes treatment is a plan which gets back to the basics, and that's where a ketogenic diet shines. It treats diabetes at the root cause, and is a much safer, more effective plan than injecting insulin to counteract the consumption of high carb foods.

I single out Type 2 diabetes above, not because a ketogenic diet can't help Type 1 diabetics, but because Type 2 diabetes is most often associated with diet related factors.

Type 1 diabetics can benefit from a ketogenic diet, but more medical care may be required to ensure that diabetic ketoacidosis is not misdiagnosed as normal benign dietary ketosis.

Treatment Goals

Let's look at the facts. The primary goals for treating Type 2 diabetes are to:

  • Lower and stabilize average blood sugar levels: keeping blood sugar low and at even levels throughout the day reduces the organ damage done by high blood sugar levels. Your doctor may track this with an Hemoglobin A1C or HbA1c test. This test is a measure of your average blood sugars over a 3-4 month time period.

  • Reduce and stabilize insulin fluctuations: lowering insulin levels reduces the inflammatory damage which uncontrolled insulin causes to the coronary vascular system. This reduces the risk of the heart disease issues so commonly associated with diabetes. This can be tracked with a fasting insulin test, although doctors don't usually order this test.

Controlling diabetes and managing blood sugar levels is not an easy task. It involves serious lifestyle and psychological changes, and newly diagnosed diabetics don't always get the correct information they need to make the best decisions.

For example, identifying and switching to the most effective diabetic diet is a challenge because the doctor recommended American Diabetes Association diet is too high in carbohydrates and makes blood sugar control very difficult.

The reasoning, I believe, that the ADA recommends a higher carb diet is to minimize the incidence of low blood sugar episodes, which can be dangerous when the patient is taking insulin.

However, if lowering carb intake is done gradually, and a reduction in medication is also managed at the same time, the patient can get off the blood sugar roller coaster that the ADA's higher carb diet exacerbates.

For more information on managing diabetes and controlling insulin with a ketogenic diet, pick up a copy of Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution: The Complete Guide to Achieving Normal Blood Sugars book.

In addition, new diabetics, who may have been dependent on processed high carb foods and fast food, have to learn how to put together and cook a diabetic meal plan, and switch to a whole new way of eating.

Diabetics also have to learn to use new tools such as glucometer to track their blood sugar, and learn new terms such as ketosis, ketoacidosis, gluconeogenesis, resistance training, dawn phenomenon and a long list of other new concepts that now impact their lives.


How a Ketogenic Diet Helps

After stumbling through the tasks listed above, most diabetics learn from hard experience that permanently restricting carbohydrate intake by adopting a low carb, ketogenic diet plan makes life on a diabetes treatment plan easier because:

  • Restricting dietary carb intake results in improved blood sugar control and insulin levels, and in addition, has been shown to improve the health markers for heart disease and metabolic disorders. And the effects can be maintained. This study followed a group of diabetics for almost two years, showing that improved blood sugar control with a low carb diet was possible over the long term. Here's another long term study with positive results on diabetic blood sugar control. And this more recent study shows that a very low carb, ketogenic diet is even more effective.
  • It eliminates the foods which worsen diabetes: a ketogenic diet plan eliminates the unhealthy high carb foods which lead to blood sugar control and insulin resistance problems. Eliminating grain based foods is an especially powerful diabetes treatment step.
  • It helps to reverse insulin resistance: A ketogenic diet is very effective for treating the health issues associated with being insulin resistant and for reversing the symptoms of a condition known as metabolic syndrome.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line rule of successful diabetes treatment is to stabilize and reduce blood sugar and control insulin fluctuations.

A ketogenic diet makes this task much easier, while at the same time improving the health markers which normally worsen in a situation of uncontrolled diabetes.

This research list has at least 55 other studies which support the use of a low carb diabetic diet to improve diabetic health outcomes.

If you have diabetes, I encourage you to look at the studies, read Dr. Richard Bernstein's Diabetes Diet books listed below, gather the facts and decide on your own diabetes treatment plan.

I also like Andre Chimene's site Diabetes is BS. He presents a series of videos for newly diagnosed diabetics which are truly helpful.

Resources for Further Reading

Done with Diabetes Treatment, back to Home

New Diabetes Book Coming!

I am currently writing a detailed book on treating diabetes with a ketogenic diet with my co-author, Dr. Keith Runyan, a type 1 diabetic himself. We hope to have that book available by December 2014. If you want to sign up for free updates, you'll get the announcement when it's available.

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