05/19/2014 06:53 pm ET

These 3 Things Can Help Diabetics Get Off Medication

It has been predicted that by 2050, one in three Americans will have type 2 diabetes. But the diagnosis doesn't have to mean a life inundated with pills, which this diabetic learned after finding a way to stay off medication.

Phyllisa Deroza joined HuffPost Live's Ricky Camilleri to talk about being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes after her rising glucose levels sent her into a coma. However, for the past two-and-a-half years, Deroza has been completely off medication, which she attributes to three simple things.

The first two elements of Deroza's med-free life are a healthy diet and a rigorous exercise routine. The third involves going above and beyond the typical amount of glucose testing.

"I do test my glucose about five times a day, which a lot of type 2 diabetics don’t do," Deroza said. "Many people tell them that they can test once a day or twice a day, but I find if I’m testing frequently, I keep my numbers within a tight range, so that’s helpful for me."

Watch the full HuffPost Live conversation about diabetes below:


  • 1 Drink Coffee
    Go ahead and refill your cup. People who increased the amount of coffee they drank each day by more than one cup over a four-year period had an 11 percent lower risk for type 2 diabetes than those who made no changes to their coffee consumption, says a new study from Harvard School of Public Health.
  • 2 Eat Nuts
    Almonds, walnuts and other tree nuts, to be exact. Studies have shown that eating tree nuts frequently is associated with a reduced risk of developing diabetes. Even peanuts—classified as a legume, not a nut—can be beneficial. But frequent consumption doesn’t mean large amounts: keep the quantity to about a handful to avoid the calories from piling on.
  • 3 Skip The Heavy Alcohol
    Hold those multiple martinis. A new study suggests that binge drinking (consuming four alcoholic beverages within a two-hour time span for women and five for men) may increase the risk for developing type 2 diabetes by disrupting the effects of insulin in the brain.
  • 4 Walk After You Eat
    People who sit six to eight hours a day are 19 percent more likely to have diabetes, according to research in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. Something as small as a 15-minute walk a half hour after eating can lower your post-meal blood sugar levels for at least three hours.

    And a new study published in the journal of the European Association for the Study of Disease shows that brief bursts of intense exercise before meals is a more effective way to control blood sugar than doing one longer workout during the day.
  • 5 Lift Weights
    Weight lifting or resistance training can keep blood sugar levels lower then even aerobic exercise can, according to a study out of the University of Ottawa. In fact, because of this increased evidence of resistance training’s health benefits, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) now recommends it for adults with type 2 diabetes. (An added plus: It also helps maintain muscle mass and speed metabolism, which naturally decline with age. with increased age.)
  • 6 Cut out sodas
    Just drinking one or two sugar-sweetened (or non-diet) beverages a day can increase your risk of diabetes by 26 percent according to a Harvard School of Public Health review of studies. So ditch the soda and instead sip on green tea or seltzer flavored with unsweetened pomegranate or cranberry juice.
  • 7 Eat Less Meat
    Scientists from Harvard School of Public Health have found that higher consumption of red meat, especially processed meats may increase a woman’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes. A few marks against red meat: it’s a major source for saturated fat, cholesterol and animal protein. And processed meat fares even worse: it contains certain types of preservatives, additives and other chemicals which can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The study found that substituting meat with other foods, like whole grains, nuts, low-fat diary, fish and poultry could significantly lower diabetes risk.
  • 8 Have More Citrus
    A study from Preventive Medicine finds that oranges and orange juice can actually assist in the management of diabetes. And it’s not just oranges that help: grapefruits, lemons, lemons and other citrus fruits have protective powers. An earlier (animal) study found that citrus extracts have the ability to slow glucose uptake as well as inhibit its movement through the intestines and liver.