Can you reboot your pancreas?

Type 2 Diabetes Blog

Can you reboot your pancreas?

There’s no doubt that Type 2 diabetes has a big impact on the lives of people living with it.

We know that medication only manages the glucose levels, there is no medication which treats the underlying cause of the disease.

But - new research is showing that there is another way to get the liver and pancreas back to normal function and treat the underlying cause.

It is insulin resistance that is the real disease - diabetes is just the symptom.

What is insulin resistance?

Let’s go back to the beginning and have a look at the amazing systems your body has in place to make sure your cells have all the energy they need.

Your pancreas and liver are the powerhouses when it comes to managing your blood sugars.

This is what happens in a non-diabetic

  • Your cells need energy to function.

  • All cells have a door on them called an insulin receptor - this lets glucose into the cell.

  • Insulin is the key that opens the door and lets the glucose in

In Type 2 Diabetes it’s a totally different story. The cells lose some of their ‘doors’ (called insulin resistance) so a destructive cycle starts happening:

  1. Cells want glucose

  2. Insulin is released. The pancreas will go into overdrive producing, even more, insulin - banging on the ‘doors’ trying to get them to open up.

  3. Insulin opens every door they can find, but there are not enough doors.

  4. Cells still need more glucose, so they tell the liver to produce some glucose.

  5. Liver pumps out glucose(created from glucose stores or from protein).

If this continues the pancreas gets exhausted and starts burning out and can’t keep banging on the ‘doors’.

The glucose starts building up in your bloodstream - it has nowhere to go. The extra glucose is running around in your bloodstream and starts sticking to your red blood cells.

This coats the red blood cells and gives them a ‘candy coating’ - but instead of it being smooth like an M and M - it’s rough and jagged.

This is what causes the damage that comes with diabetes.The jagged coated blood cells bounce around, bumping into things and damaging them.

The smaller the blood cells - the greater the damage. This is why the eyes, kidneys and nerves in your fingers and toes take the brunt.

There are 3 main ways to break this cycle

  1. Eat fewer carbohydrates - means your body has less glucose to manage and takes the pressure off the pancreas.

  2. Exercise - it creates more ‘doors’ for insulin to open.

  3. Tell the liver to stop pumping out MORE glucose.

How to regenerate the pancreas and control the liver

So eating fewer carbs and exercising people can do but how do you control the liver and get it to stop dumping extra glucose into your system.

Science is finding the answers.

In a study published in Journal Cell reported some surprising findings.

Following on from positive studies in rodents researchers wanted to uncover if fasting would have the same benefits in humans. In mice it was found that fasting caused the pancreas cells to reboot and start producing greater amounts of insulin.

Dr Valter Longo, from the University of Southern California, stated:

"Our conclusion is that by pushing the mice into an extreme state and then bringing them back - by starving them and then feeding them again - the cells in the pancreas are triggered to use some kind of developmental reprogramming that rebuilds the part of the organ that's no longer functioning.

The human study recruited 71 people that fasted for 5 days every month.

“The fasting-like diet reduced body weight and body fat lowered blood pressure and decreased the hormone IGF-1, which has been implicated in aging and disease. A post hoc analysis replicated these results and also showed that fasting decreased BMI, glucose, triglycerides, cholesterol, and C-reactive protein (a marker for inflammation). These effects were generally larger in the subjects who were at greater risk of disease at the start of the study.”

The diet that the subjects followed on fasting days was low-calorie, low carbohydrate, low protein and high in unsaturated fat. For the remaining days of the month, they returned to their normal diet.

What does this mean for Type 2 Diabetics?

This is more proof of the benefits of intermittent fasting. The researchers warn that this type of fasting must be done under supervision and support.

  1. Lowering carbohydrates will help with weight loss and controlling blood sugars

  2. Exercise create more ‘doors’ for insulin and will help gain better control of diabetes

  3. Intermittent fasting is a potent tool when it comes to protecting your health and controlling diabete

Mary has worked with type 2 diabetics for over 20 years. She is determined to turn the type 2 tide by giving people the information at that they really need to make the best choices for them. She knows that a diet sheet and a prescription isn't the answer. Mary is on a mission to eradicate complications for type 2 diabetics. Download Mary's FREE GUIDE  to help you take charge of your diabetes and your health.