Insulin and insulin resistance seem to be at the core of everything I read in relation to what keto helps improve.
Diabetes is still deemed as a progressive and irreversible disease. Treatment could include shots of insulin so that it helps bring blood glucose down. Once I learned the basics of how Keto works, it became hard to understand why diabetes, especially type 2, is still going up.
In the Keto community, there's an abundance of people that have reversed type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Yes, you could argue that is not a cure because if they stop Keto they will get it back. However, one could also argue that they are free from any biomarkers of the disease, are not taking any drugs, have lost weight and as far as everything else are healthier than ever. So our argument of that they will get T2DM again if they go back to eating unhealthy sugars and carbohydrates is no argument at all. Keto is sustainable and healthier than a low fat, high carb diet. And as such if they eat Keto for the rest of their lives, not only are they healthier, they are also free from diabetes, hence cure.
But how is carbohydrates linked to type 2 diabetes?
Dr. Jason Fung Lectures on Type 2 Diabetes is a great source of information on this so I will just steal some of his key points in hopes to make it easy to understand.
Carbohydrates are broken into glucose in the mouth, stomach and gut by enzymes. The glucose then enters the blood stream and is ready to be used as energy. Contrary to type 1 diabetes, in type 2 insulin is at the right level but it's not doing the job properly. It is now believed by many doctors that this is due to insulin resistance. We have consumed high levels of carbohydrates for so long that our cells became insulin resistant.
Insulin resistance or metabolic syndrome is now being named as the root cause for many diseases.
Insulin resistance is believed to be caused by long periods of high carbohydrates, fructose alone, insulin itself and genetic predisposition.
The solution could be to follow a very low carb diet. This will keep your glucose levels low. Because we are not relying on glucose, insulin is not required as much. On a ketogenic diet, we get our energy from fat, so the lack of carbohydrates does not impact our lifestyle, quite the opposite.
Another solution, and one that compliments LCHF approach is fasting, which Dr. Fung prescribes in his Intensive Dietary Management program.
Why are we not addressing the high blood glucose? Are we just assuming that nothing can be done?
Part of the problem is because health practitioners have to follow the standard and approved guidelines. And these guidelines (a subject for another post) recommend low fat and a good amount of carbohydrates. Another problem is the belief that all other diets are dangerous. Some doctors would much rather prescribe drugs and treat symptoms than treating the cause.
However, the good news is low carb and keto are gaining traction, both as a weight loss tool and health improvements.
Recently in the UK, Diabetes.co.uk, has been recognized by its efforts in attacking the disease using low carb high fat.
And it's not just Dr. Fung and the folk at Diabetes.co.uk that use LCHF.
Doctors and professors like David Unwin, Ted Naiman, Eric Westman, Jeffrey Gerber, Aseem Malhotra, Tim Noakes and more are spreading the word of low carb and its benefits.
Sometimes presenting the results in a form of a little competition.
Tim Noakes, himself diagnosed with the disease, has given several talks about diabetes like this one in Reykjavik last year.
Carl Franklin and Richard Morris, from the 2 Keto Dudes, have also reversed their own T2D diagnose and they talk about it in detail on their podcast, see episode 8 for example.
So, why isn't this way of treating type 2 diabetes the standard option rather than filling people up with meds? Big pharmaceutical companies, or ignorant governments?