The following are some of the more frequently asked questions about diabetes, nutrition, drugs, reversing diabetes, and our Death to Diabetes program.
In addition, there are some additional web pages listed (at the bottom) that may answer some of your other questions. If you can't find the answers to all of your questions, please contact us with your questions or concerns.
1. What is diabetes, and what is the difference between Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes?
There are 3 major types of diabetes:
- Type 1 Diabetes (insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, IDDM) is associated with the inability of the pancreatic beta cells to produce insulin. This disease is classified as an autoimmune disease that attacks and kills the insulin-producing beta cells.
- Type 2 Diabetes (non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, NIDDM) is associated with the body's inability to effectively utilize the insulin produced by the pancreas.
- Gestational Diabetes is also associated with the body's temporary inability to effectively utilize the insulin produced by the pancreas.
Despite the similarities, Type 2 Diabetes is a much different disease than Type 1 Diabetes. Type 2 Diabetes is a lifestyle disease with trillions of metabolically defective cells. Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease with dead or dormant pancreatic beta cells that are not producing insulin.
2. Is Type 2 diabetes a genetic disease? In other words, is diabetes passed down from one's parents?
Since it appears that diabetes runs in families, family members may have a genetic pre-disposition to become diabetic. However, I believe that what children inherit that leads to Type 2 diabetes are the poor eating habits of their parents and other family members. Consequently, if children change their eating habits, they can prevent the onset of Type 2 diabetes.
3. What are the risk factors that may indicate a high probability of developing Type 2 diabetes?
The major risk factors include the following:
- Abdominal fat: a waistline greater than 40 inches (for a man), or 35 inches for a woman; Body Mass Index (BMI) greater than 25
- Poor nutrition: too many processed foods; and, not enough fiber, water, plant oils, and nutrients from vegetables and fruits
- Sedentary lifestyle: very little physical activity or exercise
- Age: 45 years or older
- High blood pressure (130/80 or higher)
- High triglycerides (over 150), Low HDL cholesterol (under 40 for men, 50 for women)
- High C-reactive protein, high homocysteine and/or small, dense LDL particles, indicators of high levels of internal inflammation
- Non-Caucasian ethnicity: Hispanic American, African American, Native American, Asian American (partially due to societal "isms")
- A family history of Type 2 diabetes or cardiovascular disease
- A history of gestational diabetes during pregnancy
- Tobacco/alcohol consumption
4a. How can I prevent myself from becoming a Type 2 diabetic?
By avoiding the processed foods, fast foods, excess animal meat and a sedentary lifestyle, while eating more whole foods such as vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains; and exercising on a consistent basis.
4b. What if I've been diagnosed as a pre-diabetic? Will I still become a diabetic?
If you've been diagnosed as a pre-diabetic, you can prevent the onset of full-blown diabetes, but you must heed the warning and take action to change your eating habits and lifestyle.
Begin eating more whole foods such as vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains; and start exercising on a consistent basis. In addition, cut back on eating the processed foods, fast foods, excess animal meat and living a sedentary lifestyle.
If possible, try to avoid taking any diabetic medication! One of the primary diabetic medications (metformin, Glucophage) may lower your blood sugar, but it doesn't do anything to prevent the onset of Type 2 diabetes! So, don't start taking a diabetic pill thinking that the pill is going to stop the diabetes from developing in your body. It won't.
5. What are the blood tests that are used to diagnose whether you're a diabetic?
During a physical exam your doctor may discover that you have a high fasting blood glucose reading of 126 mg/dl or higher. Your doctor will follow up with one or more of the following tests to determine if you are diabetic:
Fasting Blood Glucose Test
For this test you will be required to fast (not eat) for at least eight hours on two separate days. Your doctor will draw your blood and measure your glucose level each time. If your blood glucose level is 126 mg/dl or greater both times, then, you are diabetic. If your doctor is not fully certain that you are diabetic, then, he/she will perform the Oral Glucose Tolerance Test.
Oral Glucose Tolerance Test
For this test you will be required to fast for at least eight hours. Your doctor will give you a sugar solution to drink and measure your blood at one-hour intervals during the next three hours. If your blood glucose level is 200 mg/dl or greater each time, then, you are diabetic.
6. How do I figure out which foods will help me control my diabetes?
It is very important that you measure your blood glucose before and after meals to help determine how your body responds to specific foods. You should eliminate those foods that cause your blood glucose level to rise and stay high.
You should also purchase a book such as "Death to Diabetes" to provide some nutrition-based guidelines for you to follow.
7. What are the key foods that a Type 2 diabetic should eat?
In general, a Type 2 diabetic should focus on eating healthy plant-based carbohydrates such as broccoli, spinach and Brussels sprouts; healthy proteins such as fish, nuts, seeds, beans, skinless chicken breast; healthy fats such as extra virgin olive oil; and healthy liquids such as filtered water, green/white tea, and raw vegetable juices.
These foods will help to cleanse/detoxify the body and give a diabetic the necessary energy to exercise and burn fat. More importantly, these foods help the body to reduce its production of insulin, which is the hormone that causes the body to produce and store more fat. Excess insulin production also inhibits fat metabolism.
Just as important, a Type 2 diabetic must avoid eating processed foods, vegetable oils, most bottled beverages, grains, most dairy, fast foods and foods that contain flour, wheat, gluten, sugar, artificial sweeteners, and trans fats.
8. What is the most common mistake that Type 2 diabetics make after they have been diagnosed with diabetes?
They either ignore their doctor or they start taking a diabetic drug like metformin, thinking that it's going to help them even though the statistics say otherwise.
In either case, the diabetes will continue to progress until the diabetic begins to feel some discomfort. Unfortunately, by then, the disease has taken a strong foothold in the diabetic's body.
9. Which diabetic complications do I need to be the most concerned about?
Most, if not all, diabetic complications are serious, so, you should be concerned about all of them. Most diabetics eventually develop one or more diabetic complications because the disease is a rotting disease that destroys your cells, tissues, and organs. These diabetic complications lead to amputation, blindness, kidney failure, heart attack and stroke.
However, you can prevent these complications. If you are already experiencing one of these complications, you can still prevent it from getting any worse by using the Death to Diabetes Wellness Program to help you.
10. What are some of the key areas that a Type 2 diabetic needs to manage in order to control his/her diabetes?
Four of the key areas are: nutrition (or diet), consistent exercise, blood glucose testing, and doctor appointments/medical tests. Your attitude and drive/motivation are also very important.
11. Why is a diabetic's blood glucose level high even though he/she is eating right?
A diabetic may think he/she is eating right, but, in most cases, the diabetic is mistaken. For example, so-called healthy foods such as wheat bread, cereal, milk, and oatmeal are not healthy foods for most diabetics.
Knowledge about the proper foods is very important.
12. Why are ethnic groups more at risk for acquiring Type 2 diabetes?
Most ethnic groups (including African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, Native-Americans, and Asian-Americans) are more likely to develop diabetes for several reasons.
- Poor eating habits: too much processed foods, fast foods, fried foods, excess fatty animal meat, processed vegetable oils
- Lack of knowledge about proper nutrition.
- Denial, stubbornness, and a lack of willingness to change
- Living environment: surrounded by fast food restaurants, limited access to fresh vegetables, fruits
- Improper placement of blame on the doctors and not taking responsibility for one's health
- Sedentary and stressful lifestyles: many African-Americans are under tremendous stress, e.g. working two jobs and not having the time to exercise; being unemployed and not being able to work at all
- Societal "isms" that affect education, employment opportunities, financial resources, healthcare coverage, and accessibility to other resources. Consequently, some African-Americans either have limited healthcare insurance or no healthcare insurance, and a lower quality of services and treatment from healthcare and medical personnel.
14. Why is it so important to understand that Type 2 diabetes is more than "just high blood sugar"?
Most diabetics take a diabetic drug like metformin, which lowers their blood sugar. And, because most diabetics think that diabetes is a "blood sugar problem", they believe that the drugs are working and actually helping with their diabetes.
High blood sugar is a symptom of diabetes, not the cause of the disease. So, if you fix the symptom but not the cause, then, the diabetes doesn't go away. In fact, the diabetes gets worse while the diabetic thinks everything is okay.
It's not a coincidence that 100% (that's right -- 100%) of all diabetics who start out on pills end up on insulin if they live long enough. Why 100%? Because the pills do absolutely nothing (that's right -- nothing) to stop the progression of the disease.
14. Doesn't it cost more to eat healthy foods?
Yes, it will cost more initially to purchase healthy foods, but you will save money in the long run because you will be spending less money for medications, doctor appointments, hospital visits, etc. You will also miss less work due to illness.
15. Why is there so much about diabetes in the news?
Type 2 diabetes is reaching such epidemic levels that this disease affects at least one out every three Americans. There are more than 30 million people in the United States and 220 million people worldwide with this disease that leads to amputation, blindness, kidney failure, heart attack or stroke.
And, now, more of our children are developing Type 2 diabetes. In addition, the medical and healthcare costs continue to rise at an accelerated rate, costing more than $135 billion a year, but with more than $200 billion in profits.
16. How is diabetes normally treated by doctors?
Type 2 diabetes is usually treated with drugs such as Glucophage and insulin, if you have been unsuccessful with diet and exercise. However, most doctors will admit that these drugs are only treating the symptoms of the disease.
Consequently, most diabetics will have to take these drugs for the rest of their lives. In fact, the number of drugs that a diabetic takes gradually increases over a period of years. These additional drugs usually include drugs for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and blood thinning.
16. Why is there never enough time during my appointment with my doctor?
It's not your doctor's fault. Doctors are under a tremendous amount of pressure. It is up to you to take the time and prepare for your doctor's appointment. Diabetes requires that you take more responsibility for your health and bring your blood glucose readings and other information to your doctor, so that he can determine how well you are managing your diabetes.
And, don't expect your doctor to have all the answers. You are ultimately responsible for your health, not your doctor. You can make your appointment more productive by bringing your blood glucose readings and a list of questions. You should also listen to your doctor and take notes during the appointment. Bottom-line, if you work with your doctor, your doctor will work with you.
Additional Questions & Answers
Can I really reverse my diabetes?
Yes, as long as you're really serious about changing your eating habits and lifestyle, and you continue to follow the program on a consistent basis.
Can I get off the drugs?
Yes, once you change your eating habits and your blood glucose level stabilizes for at least 3-6 months. Once your blood glucose returns to the normal range, your body will no longer require the drugs to artificially lower your blood glucose.
What are the major diabetic complications?
The major diabetic complications include retinopathy, nephropathy, neuropathy, and heart disease. Other complications include high blood pressure, gum disease, loss of bladder control, erectile dysfunction (or sexual dysfunction in women).
Is it too late for me?
It's never to late -- unless you're dead ...
How will I know if your program will work for me before I buy the book?
Just follow the program steps on the website; and, make sure you measure your blood glucose. Within several days, you will notice your blood glucose starting to come down. Then, you'll know that the program will work for you.
Once my blood glucose starts to come down, why do I still need the book?
Because there's more to the program than just changing your diet. The program consists of 10 steps, which is explained in detail in the book.
How long will it take to reverse my diabetes?
It depends on several factors: diet changes, exercise frequency, age, how long you've been diabetic, how many drugs you're taking, etc. In general, it will take anywhere from 6 months to 15 months. In general, you will notice your blood glucose begin to lower within the first 10-14 days. After 30-60 days, you should experience consistently lower blood glucose readings, and by the 3rd to 4th month, you should notice that you have more energy, and you should notice some weight loss by then.
We can't promise that you'll completely reverse your diabetes, but, we can promise that you will be healthier after 3-4 months. How healthy you will be is dependent on you, your drive/motivation, and the previously-mentioned factors.
How do I get started?
Start with breakfast -- stop eating cereal, oatmeal, toast, and other grains as your primary carbohydrate. Replace the grain with a vegetable such as broccoli or spinach -- raw or lightly steamed. Add 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil for the fat; an organic egg or 3 oz. canned wild salmon as your protein; and a glass of filtered water or raw vegetable juice as your beverage.
Once you're comfortable with breakfast, change dinner by following a similar protocol, with an extra vegetable and a 4-5 oz. of free-range skinless chicken breast for your protein.
Then, change your lunch and snacks.
Got more questions? You want answers? You want the truth?
So, can you handle the truth? -- about your diabetes? about your own accountability? about your doctor? about the healthcare system? Can you handle the truth (and not get upset), but take action to get better?
Unfortunately, I have met people who have lost a leg, or had a heart attack, or take 7 different drugs (12 pills) each day, and they defend their doctor and the rationale for taking all the drugs ... they're not ready for the truth. But, are you ready?
If you think you can handle the truth, then, start here to learn more about diabetes, about the right foods, about preparing meals the right way, and about how to take back your life.
This will allow you to take responsibility and control over your diabetes and eventually be able to reverse it. Now, if you're really ready, then, do one (or more) of the following:
- Buy the Death to Diabetes book
- Buy the "Super Meal Recipes" Cookbook
- Buy the "Power of Juicing" book
- Sign up for a health coaching session
- Join us on Facebook
If you're not ready, then, call us or just bookmark this page for now; and, come back when you are ready ...
FYI:Here is a list of our major science-related web pages, if you want more details about diabetes and how it works in your body:
Disclaimer: This site does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
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