Good news! Insulin is not always required with a type 2 diabetes diagnosis. Let me explain. Then we’ll talk about magnificent magnesium, including the science behind the “magnesium cures diabetes” argument.
You may not need insulin right away because lifestyle changes can be very effective for reversing type 2 diabetes in many people. So let’s talk about those.
Then if those changes don’t get your diabetes under control, you may need insulin if you maintain a diabetic state for a significant period of time.
The difference between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes and the role insulin plays
Type I diabetes was once called juvenile diabetes. This is because the majority of cases diagnosed were found in young adults and children. It is also possible to develop type I diabetes later in life. With a type I diabetes assessment, your body does not produce enough of the hormone called insulin. Without healthy levels of insulin, your body cannot process glucose properly.
Glucose is used as energy for your body. When it is stored away as fat rather than funneled to the parts of your body which require it for fuel (which happens in a diabetic state), you lose energy, become fatigued, and develop overweight or obesity. This leads to a number of health conditions. Since your body can’t produce enough insulin for you to use glucose efficiently, you need to take insulin from an outside source.
With Type 2 Diabetes, you may be producing enough insulin. However, due to certain physiological processes not working properly, your blood glucose levels are persistently high. An unhealthy diet and little physical activity are two lifestyle choices that can lead to high glucose levels. Your body is making enough insulin to handle normal levels of glucose, but you are bombarding your system with too much glucose, and your insulin can’t keep up.
With many cases of type 2 diabetes, increasing regular physical activity and making dietary changes is enough to bring your blood glucose back to a normal level.
This is why insulin injections are not always required with type 2 diabetes. When the condition is diagnosed early, simple oral medications and a smart diet, accompanied with regular physical activity, is often a successful protocol for beating diabetes.
Regular testing can reveal prediabetes
Another point that needs to be made here is the fact that in almost every instance prediabetes occurs before type 2 diabetes. If you ask your doctor every year or two to check for prediabetes, you may never have to deal with the more serious and dangerous type 2 diagnosis.
Prediabetes is a sign of things to come if you don’t make lifestyle changes, and making those changes usually keeps diabetes from developing.
Why insulin? Two reasons
ONE. In some cases, with type 2 diabetes you may decide to use insulin. This is because if your glucose level spikes dramatically and quickly, insulin is much faster at returning your blood sugar level to a healthy range than diet and exercise. Smart nutrition and physical activity form a lifestyle plan for beating prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, but when a dangerous spike in blood sugar is experienced, an injection of insulin is sometimes required.
TWO. There is another reason type 2 diabetes sufferers may decide to take insulin. Diabetes medications can be expensive. If they are not covered by your insurance, insulin could be a much cheaper option for getting your blood sugar under control.
But how about magnesium? Can magnesium help prevent diabetes?
According to estimates, less than 30% of US adults get their recommended daily allowance of magnesium. Many of us are only consuming half of the magnesium our bodies need to stay healthy. And that’s because of the prevalence of the Standard American Diet (SAD).
When you eat the Standard American Diet, your body becomes sad in return. This is a diet where you eat lots of processed red meat, a range of dairy products, artificial sweeteners, processed foods, fried foods and baked goods, and you consume large amounts of refined sugar, salt and white flour. You frequently eat away from home, consuming a lot of restaurant food and fast food. You subsequently get very few fresh fruits, vegetables, unprocessed fish, beans and legumes and whole grains into your body.
Looking at that definition of a SAD eating approach, you may notice this is the typical diet of most people in many modern, industrialized nations. This means the negative effects of the Standard American Diet can be seen in the typical men, women and children of Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Asia and other places where that unhealthy approach to nutrition is commonplace.
This means a magnesium deficiency is not only found in the United States, but most of what we consider the “western” world. If you eat an excess of processed foods and not too many fresh fruits and vegetables, you probably are not getting enough magnesium into your body to stay healthy.
Coincidentally, the SAD eating approach also makes you more inclined to develop diabetes.
The science behind the “magnesium cures diabetes” argument
It is no mere coincidence that diabetes patients usually show low levels of magnesium. While people generally think of magnesium as a mineral most associated with strong bones and a healthy heart, researchers in the early part of the 21st century are finding magnesium impacts a wide range of healthy functions and physiological processes.
This relatively new research shows that magnesium has been discovered in more than 300 different healthy enzymes in the human body. Some of those enzymes help regulate blood sugar levels. This shows that getting plenty of magnesium in the foods you eat, or taking a daily magnesium supplement, can prevent diabetes and even reverse the condition.
Which foods are high in magnesium?
There are several foods which are approved for diabetic meal plans. Dark leafy greens, nuts and seeds, wild-caught fish, beans, legumes and whole grains are all foods that help reduce diabetes symptoms. You will also find those foods recommended in many healthy diet plans.
The same is true for bananas, dark chocolate, avocados, yogurt without added sugar and other foods.
All these foods are high in magnesium. It is recommended that you get 400-420 mg of bio-assimilable magnesium into your body every day. That’s the NIH figure for men. For women, it’s a little less at 310-320 mg unless you’re pregnant or breast feeding.
Eat the foods we just discussed, or take a daily magnesium supplement, and you could help prevent or reverse a diabetic diagnosis.
If you’re looking for more detailed discussion about dietary magnesium, you can do no better than getting to know Dr. Carolyn Dean. She is a medical doctor, a naturopath and an expert on nutritional magnesium. She’s also on the Board of Directors of the non-profit Nutritional Magnesium Association. Her site has an in-depth information about magnesium. I was amazed and delighted at what I have learned from her.