Jul 29, 2015 09:03PM
Recently, John Vargas Eddy, founder of E4 Health & Wellness had the opportunity to interview one of the nation’s top specialists on diabetes, Dr. Wes Youngberg. The point of their conversation was to explore the latest research on the question of whether it is possible to reverse diabetes.
Dr. Wes Youngberg trained at Loma Linda University earning a doctorate in clinical preventive care and a master’s degree in nutrition. He is on the clinical faculty of Loma Linda University, is a board-certified nutrition specialist and is a founding director and fellow of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. Dr. Youngberg spent 14 years in Guam, researching the diabetes epidemic and directing the Wellness Center at the Guam Seventh-day Adventist Clinic. He returned to California in 2008 to develop lifestyle medicine programs for a large family practice group. He now operates the Youngberg Lifestyle Medicine Clinic.
JVE: Dr. Youngberg, how did you become interested in diabetes?
Back in 1985 when I was training at Loma Linda University, I heard a visiting world renowned expert in diabetes presenting peer-reviewed medical studies showing diabetes was reversible. I thought, this is amazing—it’s not just possible to prevent diabetes, you can actually reverse diabetes. Yet here we are in 2015, and much of the world, still, does not appreciate the fact that diabetes is often times reversible. But, and this is the big caveat, you have to understand all the factors that are contributing to the disease. And so that was my initial exposure to this great potential that we have to reverse Type 2 diabetes much of the time.
JVE: Indeed, Dr. Youngberg, it just boggles my mind that decades later this information is not in the mainstream.
Yes, it is in the mainstream medical journals—it has been published for many years—yet been a will to apply it clinically. That is what we are doing here. We are seeking to apply this information, get it to the people and to give them a whole new paradigm of understanding, to remove despondency and in its place, put hope.
JVE: Hope seems so foreign, so many people hear the diagnosis diabetes and they are worried and sometimes go into despair. Why hope?
Yes again, it's all about perception. I have practiced, I have spoken all-around the world and I have encountered this everywhere. I frequently tell people when they are diagnosed with diabetes, this is good news. They look at me like I am some type of sadist and say, 'What's wrong with you, how could this be good news, I have seen what diabetes can do to my own family members, I would not wish this on anybody.'
And I say, 'yes, but we will teach you, how you can either reverse the condition or if not fully reverse it, prevent its complications.' And ultimately, that is the bottom line, right? There is a certain percentage of people with diabetes that may have had it for so long that they won’t be able to completely reverse the condition, but the point is they can prevent the progression of complications.
And so regarding hope, my desire is that people start having this little ray of hope, building up within their heart and mind and get them to thinking—wow, is this really possible? And by following this quote from Norman Cousins, 'Don't deny the diagnosis, embrace the diagnosis and defy the verdict', they can go on to reverse the problem by treating the cause.
To hear the full 50-minute interview and learn more about E4Health & Wellness programs and free August workshops, call 301-250-1445 or visit e4ba.org/ts1.