Recently, a journalist contacted me looking for a person who had “reversed their diabetes” through diet and lifestyle changes. The journalist was writing a story for a national magazine.
While I think I understand the premise of this story…
It’s a story of hope…
I find it to be a false hope and a dangerous narrative.
Diabetes is a complex, chronic, degenerative disease.
While some people with Type 2 have been able to delay adding medication through lifestyle change, to tell the story in a way that says that will work for everyone is dangerous.
It leaves people living with Type 2 vulnerable to the blame & shame culture that says “if only you would exercise, stop eating sugar, and/or loose weight your disease will go away.” This is simply not true.
This also leads people living with Type 2 to feel like a failure when they get to the point that they do need to take medication. The idea that you should be able to “reverse” diabetes leads people to delay starting medication when they need it. Ultimately, this can lead to the complications (caused by poorly controlled diabetes) that people hope to avoid by making lifestyle choices.
My own story is that my A1C was over 13 when I was diagnosed. Today it’s substantially lower than that. I’ve made lifestyle changes and I take medication. I use all the tools available to me to manage my blood glucose.
Anything less would be foolhardy.