How to Reverse Diabetes with Dietary Management & Lifestyle Choices

by May 31, 2023Candela pharmacy: Health and Well-Being

  1. Pharmacy Retail Blog
  2. Candela pharmacy: Health and Well-Being
  3. How to Reverse Diabetes with Dietary Management & Lifestyle Choices
How to Reverse Diabetes with Dietary Management & Lifestyle Choices

Click  to Listen to the Interview

Dr. Mohamad Tahir Chaudhry is an accomplished medical professional specializing in the reversal of diabetes through food management and lifestyle changes. Dr. Chaudhry completed his medical education at Allama Iqbal Medical College in 1989 and pursued further postgraduate studies at Harvard Medical School in Boston, USA, with a focus on diabetes, nutrition, and related complications.

With an extensive career spanning 32 years, Dr. Chaudhry has been serving the community in Lahore, Pakistan. Initially practicing in various medical fields, he recognized the growing prevalence of diabetes and its detrimental effects on individuals. This realization led him to devote his expertise to this particular area of healthcare. Presently, his practice is dedicated to addressing diabetes, its associated complications, and its impact on vital organs such as the heart.

Dr. Chaudhry’s approach centers around empowering patients to manage their diabetes effectively through comprehensive dietary guidance and lifestyle modifications.

The LumenSoft team recently had the privilege of speaking with Dr. Tahir Chaudry. During our conversation, Dr. Chaudry generously shared his invaluable insights to help educate the general public about diabetes and its effective management. Read on for a comprehensive overview of the interview.

Can diabetes be reversed?[spacer height=”20px”]

To answer that question, it’s important to understand that diabetes is primarily of two types: Type 1 and Type 2.

In Type 1 diabetes, the pancreas ceases to produce insulin. This can occur due to various reasons, such as viral infections like dengue or COVID-19, exposure to hepatitis viruses, stomach infections, and other autoimmune conditions where the body mistakenly attacks its own pancreas, leading to a halt in insulin production. In Type 1 diabetes, insulin replacement therapy is required throughout one’s life, and reversal is not possible.

Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, involves the production of excess insulin in the body, but the insulin does not effectively enter the cells. The primary role of insulin is to transport nutrients from the food we eat and store them in the body’s cells, including fat cells and muscle cells. When there is an excess of insulin, its function becomes impaired, and it fails to supply glucose to the body’s cells adequately. As a result, glucose levels remain elevated in the bloodstream, leading to diabetes.

Both types of diabetes result in increased blood glucose levels. However, in Type 1 diabetes the patient needs to take insulin throughout his/her life. Type I is thus irreversible.

On the contrary, Type 2 diabetes can be reversed through a combination of appropriate medical treatment and dietary management. With proper dietary adjustments, individuals with Type 2 diabetes can often reduce or eliminate the need for medication.

Fortunately, Type 1 diabetes accounts for only about 5% of diabetes cases worldwide, leaving 95% as Type 2, which is potentially reversible.

Therefore, it is crucial to focus on the management and potential reversal of Type 2 diabetes. Even if we can successfully reverse 50% of Type 2 diabetes cases, it would be a significant achievement.[spacer height=”20px”]

There is a general perception that it is okay to consume honey or dates even if you have diabetes. What do you say?[spacer height=”20px”]

While honey and dates offer certain health benefits, they are not recommended for individuals with diabetes. For individuals with diabetes, it is advisable to avoid honey, dates, molasses, jaggery, and other sweeteners, as they can have negative effects on blood sugar control.[spacer height=”20px”]

Are there any case studies that demonstrate the reversal of diabetes?[spacer height=”20px”]

There are two types of case studies available: international and national. However, it is unfortunate that there has been limited local research conducted on the concept of diabetes reversal.

As an educator of doctors and a trainer of postgraduate students, I am astonished to discover that even they lack awareness regarding diabetes reversal. This is not their fault, but rather a result of our medical curriculum, which heavily emphasizes pharmaceutical-based treatments. Prevention strategies have not been adequately taught to doctors because those responsible for their training have not received sufficient training themselves.

The concept of diabetes reversal is actually a century old. However, its widespread acceptance has been hindered by the pharmaceutical industry, as the popularization of this concept could potentially disrupt the billion-dollar industry built around diabetes medications.

As far as international case studies are concerned, there are numerous success stories. Research conducted in America and various European countries has demonstrated the reversal of diabetes through significant lifestyle changes. In our own diabetes center, we have successfully reversed diabetes in nearly 100 individuals, and we maintain their records in our database.

It is important to note that the longer a person has had diabetes, the more challenging it becomes to reverse the condition. Reversal becomes more difficult when diabetes has persisted for 25, 30, or 50 years.

The message I want to convey is that individuals who have been diagnosed with diabetes for no more than 10 years have a good chance of reversing their condition. Even for those with diabetes lasting 20-30 years, there are benefits to be gained, although the rate of reversal may be lower. At the very least, individuals can reduce their reliance on insulin.

I state this with full responsibility: if you continue to treat your patients with insulin, you are endangering their lives in the long run. While insulin is a lifeline for those with Type 1 diabetes, the opposite is true for Type 2 diabetes.

Insulin usage in Type 2 diabetes leads to weight gain—it is impossible to use insulin without experiencing weight gain. Furthermore, the insulin dosage needs to be increased every year, potentially reaching 100-150 units. This significantly raises the risk of heart attacks, obesity, Alzheimer, and dementia—almost tripling the risk of developing dementia.

Considering these risks, would you prefer to control blood sugar levels using insulin when it can be effectively managed through dietary control?[spacer height=”20px”]

What causes sudden rises in sugar levels for diabetes patients who are on medication?[spacer height=”20px”]

Every diabetes treatment has a target, which is to achieve normal sugar levels. The targets typically include fasting levels below 130, random levels below 180, and an A1C test result below 7. If these targets are not being met, it indicates that the current treatment is not effectively managing the condition. It is common to attribute the blame to the doctor, but it’s essential to understand that the doctor’s role is only 10% of the overall treatment.

The responsibility for successful diabetes management lies largely with the patient. The doctor cannot practice prevention on your behalf, nor can they exercise for you. Even if you consult the best doctor in the world, if you begin your day with a milkshake, halwa puri, parathas, naan, and chanay (a high-carbohydrate and sugary meal), it becomes challenging to control your blood sugar levels with medication alone.

Instead of adding more to the vessel, we should focus on emptying it. This can be achieved through a combination of appropriate medication and regular exercise. By eliminating the source of excessive carbohydrates and sugar intake and burning out the existing contents through physical activity, the vessel (your body) will become empty, resulting in a natural decrease in blood sugar levels. This approach may enable you to manage your diabetes without relying solely on medication or treatment.[spacer height=”20px”]

Why do people experience low sugar levels?[spacer height=”20px”]

There are two types of individuals who may suffer from low sugar levels. The first type includes those who have diabetes and experience dips in their sugar levels. In such cases, adjustments may be needed in their medication regimen. It is possible that they are taking a medication that excessively affects their pancreas, causing it to release an excess amount of insulin, which in turn leads to low sugar levels.

Additionally, if they are taking too much insulin and there is a significant gap between meals, their sugar levels may suddenly drop. Such individuals require treatment adjustments to manage these episodes effectively.

The second type comprises individuals who do not have diabetes but still experience low sugar levels. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, they may have a pancreatic tumor known as insulinoma, which produces excessive amounts of insulin, leading to low sugar levels.

lumensoft team with Dr Tahir ChaudhrySecondly, in some cases, individuals consume excessive amounts of sugar, and their pancreas, which is still functioning well, produces an excessive amount of insulin in response to even a small intake of sugar. As a result, their sugar levels fall dramatically. Interestingly, people often instinctively consume sweet substances to address this sudden drop in sugar levels. However, this can lead to an overproduction of insulin when more sugar is consumed. To manage such cases, we prescribe medication that helps regulate sugar levels. These medications slow down the process of glucose absorption from food into the bloodstream, thereby stabilizing sugar levels.

Handling low sugar levels with the help of medication that lowers sugar is a technical approach aimed at maintaining a balanced and stable blood sugar level in these particular circumstances.[spacer height=”20px”]

Some women experience high sugar levels during pregnancy. And in some cases, the condition persists even after delivery. Why is this so?[spacer height=”20px”]

It’s important to understand that there are two types of pregnancy-related diabetes. Firstly, there are women who were already diabetic before conception. Secondly, there are women who develop diabetes during pregnancy despite not having it previously.

For women who are diabetic and planning to conceive, it is crucial to consult their doctors at least six months in advance to make necessary adjustments to their medication. It is not advisable to conceive when sugar levels are uncontrolled, as it can result in pregnancy termination or birth defects in the baby. The priority should be to bring sugar levels under control based on the recommended thresholds, such as fasting levels below 130, random levels below 170, and an A1C test result below 7.

Once sugar is controlled, the doctor can make appropriate changes to the medication regimen, as certain medicines may not be suitable during pregnancy. Regular checkups and consultations with the doctor throughout the pregnancy are essential.

In the second group, women who were not previously diabetic develop diabetes during pregnancy. As the pregnancy progresses, specific hormones are secreted in the body that affects insulin efficacy or lead to insulin resistance. These hormones start appearing during the third month of pregnancy and their levels increase each month. By the time of delivery, the amount of these hormones in the blood is significant, causing a decrease in sugar control.

In such cases, frequent visits to the doctor are necessary, ideally every fortnight or at least every month, to adjust medication accordingly. After delivery, the hormone levels subside, and sugar levels typically return to normal in most women without them becoming diabetic.

However, in some cases, this temporary diabetes can persist. This happens when women already had some issues with sugar control before pregnancy, which worsen during pregnancy. Additionally, cultural traditions of feeding women high-fat and high-sugar foods like pangeeri (a traditional sweet dish) and jaggery, as well as emphasizing bed rest, can contribute to spikes in sugar levels.

Furthermore, after delivery, the management of sugar levels may be neglected, leading to prolonged issues. It is important for women to visit their doctor and have their sugar checked every two months. If sugar levels are normal, annual checkups are sufficient. However, if sugar levels remain abnormal, consulting the doctor and following dietary plans for sugar management can help prevent the development of diabetes.[spacer height=”20px”]

Is insulin always used to treat pregnancy-related diabetes?[spacer height=”20px”]

Historically, insulin has been the conventional method for managing pregnancy-related diabetes. However, there are now alternative medications available that have demonstrated effectiveness in managing sugar levels during pregnancy without the need for insulin. These medications have been shown to be safe for both the mother and the baby.[spacer height=”20px”]

Some patients are averse to taking medicines and prefer alternative approaches. How can they manage their sugar without medication?[spacer height=”20px”]

This question has two aspects. Firstly, there are patients who are reluctant to take any form of medicine due to cultural beliefs or a preference for traditional remedies. It is important to emphasize the importance of seeking treatment from qualified doctors who have the necessary expertise. Consulting with healthcare professionals rather than relying on advice from neighbors or relatives is crucial for effective management.

For those who are averse to medication, adopting a proper dietary approach becomes paramount. It is essential to limit the intake of carbohydrates and sugar in meals. While sweets may be tempting, they only provide temporary energy and can be easily substituted. Artificial sweeteners, commonly used in cold drinks, sherbets, and bakery items, should be avoided, particularly during occasions like Ramadan.

Instead, the focus should be on consuming protein-rich foods such as eggs, milk, and various types of meat, with beef being a particularly beneficial source. If completely eliminating carbohydrates is challenging, it is still important to control their intake.

Additionally, it is crucial to understand that juices, whether fresh or bottled, are not suitable for health, regardless of whether one is diabetic or not. Fruits are meant to be eaten rather than consumed as liquids.[spacer height=”20px”]

What role does genetics play in diabetes?[spacer height=”20px”]

It was commonly believed that diabetes runs in families. But this happens primarily due to shared dietary habits and lifestyles within the family. Sedentary lifestyles, along with a high-sugar diet, tend to be passed down through generations. If a father has a habit of consuming excessive sugar and leads a sedentary lifestyle, it is likely that the children will adopt similar behaviors. Consequently, if they develop diabetes, they may attribute it to their family history.

While there is some truth to the notion that having diabetic parents increases the risk of developing the condition, it is important to understand that genetics alone do not determine the onset of diabetes. Lifestyle factors and environmental influences also play significant roles. Individuals with a family history of diabetes should be particularly cautious and prioritize healthy habits.[spacer height=”20px”]

What is your perspective on the role of the keto diet and other diet plans in managing blood sugar levels?[spacer height=”20px”]

There are several popular diet plans around the world, including the vegetarian diet (based on vegetables), the Mediterranean diet (based on seafood), the keto diet (based on proteins and fats), and the paleo diet. These diet plans do not necessarily conflict with each other.

As far as a vegetarian diet is concerned, it is important to note that a purely vegetarian diet may not provide sufficient protein for muscle building and energy production. This can lead to various deficiencies, such as anemia or pernicious anemia. Since muscles play a significant role in glucose disposal, inadequate muscle development due to protein deficiency can affect glucose metabolism. It’s worth mentioning that India has a high prevalence of diabetes, and relying solely on a vegetarian diet may contribute to this issue.

Regarding the keto diet, badly done keto diets can be harmful. Some individuals start the keto diet based solely on information from YouTube videos, without undergoing preliminary health assessments. It is crucial to consider factors like kidney function, triglyceride and cholesterol levels, and the body’s ability to tolerate increased protein and fat intake.

Additionally, it is essential to monitor whether the body is producing ketones during the keto diet. Ketone production should reach 1.5 millimoles or more to derive the benefits of the keto diet. Interestingly, individuals who cannot follow a strict keto diet can experience ketone production by fasting for 16 hours and consuming only water. This is why fasting and intermittent fasting are considered beneficial for health.

It’s important to seek expert opinions, such as consultations with dieticians or nutritionists, before embarking on any diet plan. Personalized guidance and professional advice are essential, as YouTube videos are not intended to replace individualized treatment plans.[spacer height=”20px”]

How do you address depression resulting from diabetes?[spacer height=”20px”]

There are two groups of patients to consider. Firstly, there are individuals who experience depression but do not have diabetes. However, their stress levels may lead to the development of diabetes. For such individuals, stress management becomes crucial. It is important to recognize that mental health issues should not be treated as taboo. Similar to other health conditions, mental health problems require proper treatment and care.

Secondly, there are individuals who discover they have diabetes and subsequently enter a state of stress. They may have immediate concerns about their well-being. However, the likelihood of immediate danger is low, both within the next six months and even after five years. Nevertheless, this does not mean that sugar management should be neglected.

Many people fear the risk of kidney failure associated with diabetes. It is important to understand that kidney damage occurs gradually and often starts before the diagnosis of diabetes. Diabetes exacerbates the process of kidney damage. If you are diagnosed with diabetes, it is crucial to consult a competent doctor, initiate immediate treatment, and implement dietary management. In newly diagnosed diabetes patients, it is highly possible to reverse sugar levels within 6 to 9 months.

Consistency in medication adherence is essential. Do not discontinue medication simply because your sugar levels are under control. It is important to note that the operation of kidney damage begins before diabetes diagnosis. Diabetes acts as a catalyst in the process of kidney damage. With a combination of medication and strict dietary control, it is feasible to reverse diabetes within 6 to 8 months. However, it requires determination and a strong desire to overcome diabetes.

It is worth mentioning that we have successfully reversed diabetes in at least 100 patients thus far. These patients have been closely monitored for one year, and there have been no relapses. However, they strictly adhered to the recommended diet plan.[spacer height=”20px”]

Are there any vaccines available for diabetes considering the significant progress made in the world?[spacer height=”20px”]

Currently, there is no vaccine available for diabetes. Although there have been recent discussions about a diabetes vaccine circulating on the internet, claiming to prevent the development of diabetes after a single injection. This vaccine was developed after research conducted in America.

However, it is important to understand that this vaccine is specifically targeted towards families with a history of type 1 diabetes. Before a baby is born into such families, tests can be conducted to determine the likelihood of the child developing type 1 diabetes. If the chances are within a certain percentage, this vaccine can be administered to potentially prevent the child from developing type 1 diabetes. It should be noted that this vaccine is not intended for individuals already diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, nor is it meant for the general population.

Furthermore, it is important to mention that the cost of this vaccine in Pakistan is reported to be significantly high, approximately 2 crores.[spacer height=”20px”]

What are your thoughts on alternative treatments for diabetes such as homeopathy or hikmat?[spacer height=”20px”]

A. I must clarify that I don’t possess the necessary qualifications or expertise to provide an opinion on alternative treatments like homeopathy or hikmat as I am not practicing or familiar with them. It would be more appropriate to seek advice and guidance from professionals who specialize in those areas.[spacer height=”20px”]

What is your perspective on the hype surrounding moringa as a magical herb that can cure diabetes?[spacer height=”20px”]

A. It is important to acknowledge that natural herbs, including moringa, have their own benefits and limitations. While moringa may offer certain health advantages, I do not agree with the notion that it is a cure-all magical herb, especially for diabetes. Believing in moringa’s role in managing diabetes is like believing in papaya’s role in curing dengue fever.

I believe it is crucial not to place unwarranted faith in exaggerated claims about its curative properties for diabetes or other ailments. If you want to add moringa into your diet, do so with realistic expectations and in conjunction with proper medical advice.[spacer height=”20px”]

What message would you like to share with people?[spacer height=”20px”]

A. My message is straightforward and focuses on two key aspects. Firstly, I urge individuals to prioritize their health and the well-being of their loved ones. A thoughtful gift idea could be arranging annual checkups for your parents on their birthdays. Many laboratories offer comprehensive checkup packages that can be valuable presents instead of traditional gifts.

Secondly, I encourage adopting dietary habits that can reduce the risk of developing diabetes and other diseases. This involves controlling carbohydrate intake, emphasizing the consumption of protein, and not being afraid of consuming healthy fats. Opt for natural fats such as desi ghee, mustard oil, or coconut oil for cooking, while reserving olive oil for garnishing or dressing. It’s important to avoid using all types of cooking oils.

Furthermore, I would like to caution parents about helping their children cultivate healthy eating habits. Limiting the consumption of fast food, sodas, and bakery items is crucial as they not only contribute to the development of diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease but also increase the risk of fatty liver, which is becoming increasingly prevalent.

Lastly, REMEMBER: diabetes does not have to be a disease solely dependent on medication. It is a REVERSIBLE dietary disease. By making healthy dietary choices and embracing a healthy lifestyle, you can manage and even reverse the effects of diabetes.

Related Article:  Sugar Management During Stressful Times

Share This

Share This

Share this post with your friends!