“How to Cure Type 2 Diabetes” or so some people claim

The claim of a cure

I recently chanced upon a blog post titled “Dr. Jay Wortman Cured His Type 2 Diabetes with Low-Carb Eating” from a blog site called Diabetic Mediterranean Diet. I clicked a link in this post which led me to the blog post “How to Cure Type 2 Diabetes” from the site called Diet Doctor. (Please feel free to search for them.) While I generally ignore blogs, ads and articles with similar titles and claims, I read a few from time to time just to see what non-science based mumbo jumbo is out there. So against my better judgment, I checked these posts.

The main post (How to Cure Type 2 Diabetes) features self-professed diet doctor Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt’s interview with Dr. Jay Wortman, a doctor who is also a Type 2 diabetic, while they were on a low-carb cruise. This post and the repost refer to how Dr. Wortman apparently cured his Type 2 diabetes by adopting a very low-carb diet.

My angry reaction

This is not the first time that I’ve come across claims of a cure for Type 2 diabetes. I usually am merely annoyed by the ludicrous claims. But this time, my reaction to the posts was more than exasperation; it was anger. The way the posts are written, by  medical doctors (I don’t really know but I’ll take their word for it), made it seem that a very low-carb diet can cure Type 2 diabetes, and by implication is the only way to address this illness, disorder, condition or whatever else you want to call it. I found the posts nothing more than a cheap, disingenuous and manipulative ploy to sell low-carb and very low-carb diets.

My stance on low-carb

Don’t get me wrong. I have no beef with low-carb diets.

Before I move on, let me make clear that I do not call my diet low-carb. The closest description, if that information is important to you, is probably “lower carb,” by which I mean my carb intake is generally lower than that of most Western population, but is not necessarily low-carb. Sometimes I say I’m a moderate-carb person.

But, I have no problem with low-carb diets as a whole. I’m a Type 2 diabetic for heaven’s sake! I acknowledge the significant role that reduced carb diets play in managing and controlling one’s diabetes. And it works for many, many people, both non-diabetics to lose weight and be healthy, and diabetics to lose weight, stay healthy and control their diabetes.

I do have a major problem with those who brandish low-carb diets about as a cure for Type 2 diabetes. Low-carb, very low-carb or, let’s take things to the max, zero-carb, diets do not cure or reverse Type 2 diabetes. (If I’m wrong, please tell me the science and which research and scientific study I should read to realize my mistake.) A low-carb diet, together with exercise, medication, insulin or even stress release (in various combinations), will certainly help many people living with diabetes achieve blood sugar levels close to a non-diabetic’s level, most of the time. Low-carbing alone may even be enough, as shown by Dr. Wortman’s example, but it does not rid one of diabetes. Low-carbing diabetics may claim to have no complications, but they are still diabetic.

Is it a question of semantics?

Dr. Eenfeldt thinks so. In the comment section of the post in question, Dr. Eenfeldt also asked “Do you really still have a disease if you are completely symptom free, possibly forever?” It sounds clever, doesn’t it? But it’s faulty. The question was raised regarding a Type 2 diabetic who controls his diabetes through a very low-carb diet alone. But this question equally applies to a Type 2 diabetic who controls his diabetes through other means. So, does a Type 2 diabetic who takes medication really still have diabetes if he is completely symptom free, possibly forever? If we apply the logic behind the original question, then many Type 2 diabetics can claim that they are “cured” through medication and without having to subject themselves to a dietary regimen that does not work for them. Yehey. We should all rejoice!

The reality

But I don’t dwell in fantasy land. The fact is, regardless of how I control my diabetes, I am not cured. If I have to keep taking medication to keep my blood glucose level under control, then I’m not cured. By the same token, if the only way I can have a blood glucose level that is the same as my non-diabetic husband’s, is to restrict my carb intake per meal, per day, every day, for the rest of my life, then how can I or anyone else claim that I’m cured?

For as long as I cannot eat chow mein and treacle tart with vanilla ice cream on the side, without my blood glucose going through the roof, then I am not cured. Whether or not I want to stuff myself with loads of carbohydrates every meal is beside the point. But personally, I want to have a large bowl of fruits, or a huge serving of mashed potatoes, or a plate of spaghetti aglio olio e peperoncino, every now and then, whenever I want to without worrying about my blood glucose. If I can’t do any of those despite adopting a very low-carb diet, then I’m not cured.

I may be healthier than a lot of non-diabetic people, I may have the A1c of a non-diabetic, and I may have staved off diabetic complications, but I’m not cured. I will consider a “cure” as a cure if and only if, after going through the “cure”, I can eat the amount of carbs that my husband can eat and get his blood sugar levels.

Misrepresentation

Now, can someone please tell me why some low carb advocates need to resort to gimmickry and false premises to lure people to their diet? Why is it not enough to credit low-carbing as an important tool in a diabetic’s arsenal to control diabetes? Because that is what it is, a tool, not a cure. The claim that low-carbing is “how one cures Type 2 diabetes” is a misrepresentation, and a misrepresentation is just a fancy name for a lie. And that does not sit well with me at all.

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13 thoughts on ““How to Cure Type 2 Diabetes” or so some people claim

  1. mjohnson9706

    I call it remission because I know reverting to the old me would have Type 2 Diabetes in control all over again and I do not want that. While I enjoyed the video, I wish he hadn’t called it “cured”. I don’t think he was lying, just his experience. I’m a low carber and I refer to it as “remission” because that is my experience. Maybe when I have ten years under my belt like Dr. Jay Wortman, my opinion will change, but probably not.

    Reply
    1. runningwithoutsugar Post author

      What I call a lie is the claim that low-carbing per se CURES Type 2 diabetes. I do not for a moment question Dr. Wortman’s good lipid profile and blood glucose levels. As I’ve written, I have no problem with low carbing. I do it when necessary (like when I was injured and can’t exercise) and it’s important in controlling diabetes, but it’s not a cure. Claims of a dietary cure like this set some people up for failure and a miserable life – people who for one reason or another can’t have a happy and satisfactory life on a low-carb, much less a very low-carb, diet for long.

      Reply
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  3. Phil Ruggiero

    Wow…another who thinks like me. I truly believe there is a special place in the after-life for those who offer false hope to people who have Diabetes. Regardless of our A1c – we will always be Diabetics. Controlled Diabetics, yes, but Diabetics none-the-less. If I don’t stop now, I will go on a rant…and that would not be a good thing.

    Oh, to have ice cream and spiced apples, again, and not worry. Oh, well.

    Thanks for the great post.

    Phil

    Reply
    1. runningwithoutsugar Post author

      Thanks. False claims of a cure, regardless of where it comes from or the purpose behind them, are not good. They make me angry because it takes advantage of people’s vulnerability, gives false hope and are likely to set people up for failure and unnecessary disappointment, among other reasons.

      Reply
  4. Raymond Neville

    At 64 yrs I completely reversed my Diabetes Type 2 by:

    1 Stop eating foods with “Trans Fats”.
    2 Eat a fistful of Walnuts per day.
    This replaces the accumulated buildup of man made trans fats in your cell fat membranes and restores them to normal so that your insulin can work as intended. Walnuts are a very good source of essential natural fats.
    3 Do for 7 months … my Diabetes Type 2 completely reversed.
    Wrote a short eBooklet (10 pages) free on Kindle Prime called

    “The Walnut Cure for Diabetes Type2”

    Hope it helps someone.

    Reply
    1. runningwithoutsugar Post author

      I’m leaving your comment in only because I have faith in the ability of my fellow Type 2 diabetics to think for themselves, to have knowledge and information on basic science and what constitutes pseudo-science, and to not fall for false or unsubstantiated claims of a cure.

      Reply
      1. Marcia

        The man said he ‘reversed’ his diabetes, he didn’t say he cured it.

        I’d be curious to learn how you’re controlling or improving your diabetes…

      2. runningwithoutsugar Post author

        If he reversed his diabetes, then he doesn’t have it anymore, right? Unless there is another definition of reverse that I’m not aware of, it sounds to me like he’s saying he cured himself of diabetes.

  5. David

    Thank you! It is SO frustrating to listen to people talk false cures. One man told me that a clinic cured him. In reality he lost a lot of weight and no longer needs to take medication. I do not consider that a cure–a good treatment. I suspect that if he put the weight back on he would once again need to take medication. I hope he never has to find out.

    Reply

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