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01 May 2019Can you really reverse Type 2 Diabetes (T2D)?

Can you really reverse Type 2 Diabetes (T2D)?

Diabetes is one of the leading causes of blindness in the UK. It is estimated that 1.5 million people have some form of Diabetic Eye Disease with 140,000 of those being visually impaired or blind as a result.

As a home visiting optician, I see people struggling with sight loss from diabetes all the time. How can this terrible complication of diabetes be prevented? I used to advice my patients to keep their diabetes as stable as possible; to take advice from their doctor or diabetic nurse … and that was about it. I would just wait and watch as their eye disease seemingly inevitably worsened. 

And as more and more of my patients started developing T2D I began to despair more and more until I was compelled to research T2D myself. I knew plenty about Diabetic Eye Disease, but not much about Diabetes itself. 

And what I found almost immediately was that T2D is often reversible! I was taught that it is a life-long condition. How did I not know that it is reversible? And how do you reverse it?

Well, there are three evidence based ways to put Type 2 Diabetes into remission

  • Bariatric Surgery - which is obviously extreme
  • Very low fat/ low calorie diet - which can be very hard to stick to
  • Low carbohydrate diet

The third option is the most intriguing when you consider what diabetes is:

“Diabetes is the inability to handle glucose/carbohydrate” Dr Zoe Harcombe, PhD in public health nutrition.

So, if your body can no longer tolerate sugar and carbohydrate (which your body breaks down to sugar once you’ve eaten it), surely reducing sugar and carbohydrate intake to a minimum will sort the problem? 

This might sound easier said than done and I’m not a dietician or even a nutrition specialist, so start by looking here

for more information on ways to reverse your diabetes. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are on diabetic medication, changing your eating habits in any way must be done under the supervision on your GP as this can dramatically affect your blood sugar levels. 

Ann McBay
Principal Optometrist

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