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Reverse Type 2 Diabetes with a LCHF diet. Is this a myth?

Discussion in 'Ask A Question' started by Little Bird, Nov 23, 2019.

  1. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Oracle

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    Well unless they are following a pure carnivore diet then every meal that everyone here eats will be "carbohydrate containing" I think you might need to tighten up your definition?
     
  2. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse · Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I meant a non-low carb meal.
     
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  3. JohnEGreen

    JohnEGreen Other · Master

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    I see OK just me being a little pedantic or taking things too literally :)
     
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  4. Resurgam

    Resurgam Type 2 (in remission!) · Expert

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    I noted that ice cream was included with 'rubbish' foods - but that too is a matter of definition - real icecream is a custard made from eggs and cream which is warmed to thicken it, whipped when cool, then frozen - no requirement for emulsifiers and colourings, sugar and starches. It was an adult food, often alcohol was added, with dried fruit or nuts, in moderation.
     
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  5. Little Bird

    Little Bird · Well-Known Member

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    Hi DarkHorse this is an interesting question but I suspect that many of us would not really be able to answer it. Overall weight loss and blood sugar reductions are things we can measure easily by ourselves. To measure fat loss from the liver would require a scan of some sort and those are not so easy for everyone to get. I don't know how accurately a liver function test could measure liver fats but even so you still need the Dr for it, so it might be better to look to the research for an answer rather than personal testimonials possibly. Good luck with your research, let us know if find anything of interest.
     
  6. mazza 2

    mazza 2 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Little Bird
    An interesting thread. My understanding is that there is no cure for type 2 diabetes. My aim is to keep my blood sugars levels within the range to which the medical profession have set and hopefully they won't change these ranges, unlike they do about safe alcohol limits!!!
    Therefore, if I were able to get into non-diabetic levels I would say I am well controlled. To my mind reversal means no longer having a condition and remission to me means a condition is dormant as of now, but could come back. With diabetes, it never goes away,( as far as I am aware,) and therefore if I ate foods like pasta, bread or potatoes, for me my blood sugars would rise too much, or if I'm unwell or stressed they would also rise. Obviously, it is better to keep blood sugars in normal ranges as hopefully it will help prevent complications, assuming that is the only reason complications happen. As for diet I think you have to see what works for you by testing blood sugars after eating as food affects everyone differently. It will be interesting if you discover anything new. Good luck and do keep us updated.
     
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  7. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse · Well-Known Member

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    There's seems to have been some misunderstanding here. Somebody else asserted that some of the people here have followed LCHF and 'reversed' diabetes with 'little or no weight loss'. I just wanted to check that they were saying that those people were achieving non-diabetic blood glucose levels after a non-low carb meal. You then answered that question by suggesting it was due to loss of fat from the liver and pancreas. I then posed the question of whether there was any evidence that this happened without weight-loss. Somebody else then answered that their fatty liver had gone following 'weight-loss'. My reply to them was just to emphasise that my question was about people who had 'little or no weight-loss' not people who had weight-loss.

    Just to repeat, my initial question was whether people who had followed LCHF with 'little or no weight-loss' were achieving non-diabetic blood glucose levels after non-low carb meals. This question would not need specialist equipment to be measured. I was not doing any research, I was just trying to clarify a comment made by someone else in the discussion.
     
  8. ziggy_w

    ziggy_w Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi @Dark Horse,

    If I am not mistaken, I believe scientists conducted an experiment (Dr. Robert Lustig has reported on this), which relates to your question. They took some kids/teenagers, who were overweight and had fatty liver. About half of them changed their intake of sugar and other fructose-containing foods and consumed starchy foods instead. There was no change in overall calories and they virtually lost no weight, but liver fat was improved significantly in the experimental group.

    As far as I remember none of the kids were diabetic (as it has probably taken a long time for many of us to progress from fatty liver to T2).

    Just googled this and here is a link https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2017/08/408151/switching-sugar-starch-leads-less-fatty-liver-kids.
     
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  9. ziggy_w

    ziggy_w Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi @Little Bird,

    Belated welcome to the forum and well done on normalizing your blood sugar readings.

    Personally, I think of myself as carb-intolerant (rather than diabetic) now. T2 diabetes, for me, would entail high blood sugar levels and having to fear complications. (So, maybe in this sense it might be understood as reversal because this condition is in fact much better than it was at diagnosis.)

    However, like others on this forum, I do miss a consideration of the role of insulin in this. There does seems to be significant evidence that elevated insulin levels (possibly a genetically determined response to a high carb intake) might be at the root of eventually developing T2.

    My guess would be that being low-carb has also helped to lower my insulin levels (though I'll never know for sure, as they haven't tested insulin at diagnosis). High insulin, even in the absence of high blood sugars, in my mind is also likely to be harmful in the long run.

    Could I eat higher carb now? I really don't know and honestly have no desire to find out. I prefer this way of eating. Also, I have a very strong family history of diabetes (father, maternal grandmother, paternal grandfather, and paternal grandmother died of pancreatic cancer), so there is almost certainly a genetic component in my case.

    Thinking of myself as carb-intolerant keeps reminding me of the genetic predisposition and the suitability of staying low-carb in my case.
     
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    #129 ziggy_w, Nov 26, 2019 at 10:06 AM
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2019
  10. Little Bird

    Little Bird · Well-Known Member

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    Apologies Dark Horse, I did misunderstand you.

    You are asking if there are any individuals out there who have followed a LCHF diet without losing outer body fat but have been able to lose enough liver fat in order to reverse their diabetes to the point that they can consume a level of carbs that exceeds their LCHF levels without any adverse reaction i.e. a non-diabetic reaction. Is that right?

    If so then the dearth of answers to your question would seem to suggest that aren't many, if any.

    Personally I would find it interesting to learn if anyone who had followed a LCHF diet, with or without outer body ft loss, had been able to reverse their diabetes to the point they could eat carbs that exceed their LCHF level without adverse reaction.

    As I have said before I have read many many testimonials of people achieving fantastic blood sugar control with LCHF but none who seem to have achieved this kind of reversal. It the very reason I have wondered if the reversal of diabetes with LCHF is a myth. I have pondered whether it is possible that by starving your body of carbs you actually make it more sensitive to carbs, though I don’t know how exactly this might work, its just a thought. However the testimonials seem to suggest that once you go down the LCHF road you have to stay on it for ever. Of course this throws up the question of what exactly does reversal mean, and that differs from one person to another. Enough said about this already.

    Then again it may just mean that not many people have read your question. Maybe post a new thread?
     
    #130 Little Bird, Nov 26, 2019 at 11:02 AM
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2019
  11. lucylocket61

    lucylocket61 Type 2 · Expert

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    It's Low Carb High Fat

    LCHF.
     
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  12. Little Bird

    Little Bird · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Lucylocket. I keep doing that don't I? I'm writing in a rush and not paying proper attention. :)
     
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  13. Oldvatr

    Oldvatr Type 2 · Expert

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    Let us turn Lustig on his head a bit. What his research demonstrated was that there is an association between fructose and fatty liver. For years nutritionists have been claiming that fructose does not produce a glucose response, and had not effects on the body. It was not absorbed and passed straight through, so was deemed to be safe for diabetics to consume in vast quantities.

    What Lustig demonstrated was that in fact fructose is not metabolised like other carbs, but does go straight to the liver where it is stored as lipid fat and eventually becoming a possible cause of NAFLD and Insulin resistant pancreas. So for a T2D, fructose has become a serious no-no and a food class to use only in moderation.

    I pose the question so far unanswered, and that is if fructose is linked to NAFLD, then what about the other sugar forms such as maltose, dextrose, and even lactose that manufacturers add to sweeten low sugar products? Given that, then how about the sugar alcohols malitol, dextrol, sorbitol etc. Do they also bypass the metabolism inly to end up in the liver as well? Is this the scourge of modern man causing death by a thousand processed meals?
     
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  14. ziggy_w

    ziggy_w Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi @Oldvatr,

    Really fascinating thinking. Entirely agree with you. Regretably there don't seem to be any studies on this.
     
  15. DCUKMod

    DCUKMod I reversed my Type 2 · Master
    Staff Member Administrator

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    I think it's probably worth noting a couple of things.

    Firstly, we're a busy forum, but even here, people can be fickle/easily bored/distracted or even just miss things. It often works out that a thread is busy to start with then as time moves on is populated by a smaller group of people, so whilst our member numbers are huge, not everyone reads every thread, and some just don't bother to answer, for whatever reason. That's all their choice and is just fine. That nobody posts about it doesn't necessarily mean it doesn't or hasn't happened.

    Secondly, when people change the way they eat, they often plain old eat less, because they are concentrating on what they're eating, rather than seeing something, fancying it, and moving forward, hardly acknowledging they've actually taken on board food or drink. This can be particularly prevalent in those whose previous eating and drinking behaviour included snacks.

    In all of that, what I'm saying is many people, when changing their diet, lose weight without trying. Indeed I was one of those people. I immediately started eating to my meter, but it took me a brief while to actually get a handle on what I, personally, could eat and drink.

    I have never been a snacker. Snacks didn't feature in my childhood, nor as a grownup, although sometimes at the weekend, we'd have kettle chips and dips, on the run-up hours to dinner.

    Frankly, I had trouble stopping losing weight, and that's not altogether uncommon either, so finding those who got things just right from the get go could be really rather rare.

    Of course there are those for whom losing weight is a real challenge and I feel for them. It can't be easy trying your hardest, and doing all the right things, only to find your scales stick at an unwelcome number when it appears everyone else is disappearing down to the charity shops with their wardrobes which they have shrunk out of.

    Diabetes is a very fickle condition.
     
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  16. Little Bird

    Little Bird · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Oldvatr, that's very interesting. The only work I've read of Robert Lustig's is Fat Chance and from that I understood that there is something unique about the way fructose is metabolized that causes NAFLD, so I personally do think it something of a scourge. I'm not aware of any similar known effect from other sugars, though that doesn't mean anything! I think I read somewhere that sugar alcohols or at least some of them pass straight through unmetabolised and that's the reason for their unpleasant after effects, least said about that the better!
    God I hope your wrong about lactose though I couldn't imagine life without a bit of crusty vintage cheddar!
     
  17. Mr_Pot

    Mr_Pot Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    No need to worry as the lactose is mostly removed with the whey in the cheese making process. Hard cheeses like Cheddar only have a trace of lactose and can usually be eaten by those with lactose intolerance.
     
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  18. Little Bird

    Little Bird · Well-Known Member

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    I thank you from the bottom of my heart Mr Pot, I heartily glad to learn this! Altogether now mmmmm cheese!
     
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  19. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse · Well-Known Member

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    Pretty much. To be more precise, my original question didn't include a reference to fat loss from the pancreas/liver - I only included that because you (as OP) had brought it up and I was willing to go along with the assumption that improvements in post-prandial glucose were likely to occur via that mechanism.

    Well, Prof Taylor suggests that weight-loss by any means [presumably including LCHF] may result in diabetes 'reversal'. Also, I'm fairly sure that some people on this forum have reported that after weight-loss through LCHF they have had normal post-meal blood glucose on the occasions when they have strayed from low carb. Whether anyone with diabetes who follows LCHF for a period will then get normal post-prandial blood glucose after a non-low card meal is another matter. The study quoted by @Brunneria earlier in this thread was interesting as that did seem to be the case for some people with metabolic syndrome ( a risk factor for diabetes).
     
  20. zand

    zand Type 2 · Expert

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    On occasions when I have had the odd non low carb meal my BGs have stayed within non diabetic ranges.

    However I have always thought that this was because my liver is no longer fatty and had therefore helped out by taking in the excess glucose....the opposite of the liver helping out with liver dump when extra glucose is needed on waking. That's why I haven't replied before because I wouldn't like to push my luck and continually eat carby meals. Logic tells me the liver would become fatty again if I ate high carb meals regularly or indeed if I consumed diet drinks again.
     
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