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Is diabetes reversible or do you have to live with it for the rest of your life?

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Many people wonder if diabetes is reversible. According to an article on the Everyday Heath website, staff writer Taryn Winter Brill casts some light on that subject.

It is not surprising that people wonder about that since over 26 million people in the U.S. have diabetes, and 95 percent of those patients have type 2 diabetes.

Brill convinces us in the article that lifestyle choices contribute to type 2 diabetes. The writer cites two main risk factors:

  1. Not enough exercise
  2. Poor diet

According to Brill's article, Ronald Tamler, clinical director of the Mount Sinai Diabetes Center in New York City says, "It’s not just what we eat, it’s how much we eat. You can eat a lot of healthy food, but if you eat a lot of it, it will contribute to the obesity epidemic that we have, and ultimately to type 2 diabetes."

In reference to type 2 diabetes being reversible, Dr. Tamler suggests that diabetes is always a predisposition and is something that is with you; however, it can go into remission when a diabetic's blood sugar levels return to normal, and the patient no longer needs stabilizing medication. In other words, a patient may not be able to control the genetic risk, but changing the lifestyle can help tremendously.

Tamler advocates lifestyle changes and not just changes for a few months. Here are some of his suggestions:

  • Eat smaller portions. Use the plate method by filling half of your plate with fruits and vegetables, one quarter with high-fiber whole grains and one quarter lean protein. Speaking of plates, use smaller ones. You'll feel like you are eating more.
  • Limit your red meat intake to once a week with no visible fat.
  • Do not eat white bread or white rice. Choose whole grain bread and brown rice.
  • Eliminate sugar sweetened beverages from your diet.
  • Include physical activity in your schedule.

Statistics show that 26 million people have diabetics, but one-third of all Americans are pre-diabetic and don't know it.

If you think you are at risk of diabetics, take a diabetes risk test online at www.diabetes.org. It takes only a few minutes, and it will ease your mind about having diabetes.

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