Conventional Medication for Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is typically treated with the following classes of drugs:
- Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors
- Dipeptidyl-peptidase 4 (DPP-4) inhibitors
- Sodium-glucose transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors
These medications vary in their mechanism of action. Some increase the secretion of insulin, others inhibit the release of glucose from the liver, and still others suppress appetite.
But none of them address the real, underlying causes of type 2 diabetes: the environmental factors that lead to blood sugar problems in the first place.
These include poor diet, lack of exercise and too much sitting, and poor sleep, among others.
****While there’s no doubt that some people with type 2 diabetes do need medication (those that have completely lost the ability to produce insulin, for example), the list of side effects suggests that these drugs should only be used when other safer—and often more effective—treatments fail.
A Paleo/ Kick Start Nutrient Dense Diet for Type 2 Diabetes
A diet which emphasises real, nutrient-dense food is key. It features meat and fish, vegetables and fruits, nuts and seeds, and some starchy plants like sweet potatoes.
Studies have shown that the Paleo diet is an effective treatment for type 2 diabetes and metabolic problems in general. For example:
- A study which compared the Paleo diet with a standard, low-fat “diabetes” diet in people with type 2 diabetes found that the Paleo diet lead to greater improvements in weight, blood sugar, triglycerides, blood pressure, body mass index, and waist circumference than the diabetes diet. (1)
- Another similar study compared the Paleo diet with a low-fat diet in obese, postmenopausal women and found that the Paleo diet led to greater fat loss and metabolic improvements than the low-fat diet. (2)
- A third study (also of obese postmenopausal women) found that a modified Paleo diet improved several metabolic markers, including weight, waist circumference, blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, and kidney function. The Paleo diet also decreased the amount of fat stored in the liver by 50%. (3)
These studies clearly indicate that a Paleo diet is not only an effective treatment for type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, it is often more effective than the standard “low-fat” diabetes diet that is recommended by Many GP’s and Medical practitioners.
Lifestyle changes are also key.
Sitting less, getting enough exercise, sleeping 7–8 hours a night, healing your gut, and managing your stress are also important steps you can take to prevent and even reverse type 2 diabetes and metabolic problems. These changes can often have profound effects:
- People who work at a standing desk burn up to 75 percent more calories per day than people who sit for most of the day. (4)
- The more breaks you take from sitting, the lower your waist circumference, body mass index, and triglycerides, and the more stable your blood sugar. (5)
- A single night of partial sleep deprivation causes insulin resistance even in healthy people with no preexisting metabolic disease. (6)
My goal as always is to give you the best information I can to help you become a diet and health detective and this includes conflicting information you may get from your GP.
I’d love to hear your views tweet me @RachelHolmes