In 1917 John Harvey Kellogg of the Medical and Surgical Sanitarium of Battle Creek, Michigan, United States fame, published a book simply entitled The New Method in Diabetes. This book outlined the scientific approach used, and the results achieved, by the sanitarium staff in treating more than 1,200 patients with diabetes at “the San” (as the sanitarium was commonly known). The book came with a section full of recipes used in their treatment. Although this was before the discovery of insulin, it highlighted the scientific work of pioneers in the treatment of this disease.
We have come a long way since then—in more ways than one. At no time in recorded history has there been more people in the world with diabetes, despite the record-breaking array of medical and surgical approaches to its treatment. While it’s difficult to reduce anything as complex as diabetes to a one-sentence summary, the evidence bears witness to this simple truth: type 2 diabetes, as currently defined, is largely a disease of lifestyle.
For us at Wildwood Lifestyle Center and Hospital (and for all Seventh-day Adventist lifestyle centers and programs), “lifestyle” involves all the dimensions of life and living. In other words, lifestyle involves the whole person. It follows, therefore, that our approach to diabetes and all other so-called chronic degenerative diseases (CDDs) must address all aspects of life: physical, emotional, relational, cognitive, and spiritual. In recent years many in the mainstream scientific community have acknowledged what Adventists have been teaching since the 1800s: how you live is a significant determinant of how and when you will die.
To be healthy, we encourage a lifestyle that discourages the development of type 2 diabetes, “diabesity” (a form of diabetes associated with obesity), and prediabetes. Unhealthful life habits have to be replaced with more wholesome ones. While some health-care professionals settle for “managing” these life-robbing infirmities and promote living well with them, health-conscious professionals should go further and present the case for reversing the process and living without those harmful lifestyle habits whenever possible.
Components of a healthful counter-diabetes and counter-CDD lifestyle include adequate regular exercise; sleep and rest; water instead of sugary or alcohol-laced beverages; sufficient sunshine (or vitamin D3 supplements for those in nontropical areas); low glycemic-index foods rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals such as chromium, vanadium, and magnesium; judicious use of medicinal herbs, fruits, and plants; plant-based proteins and monounsaturated fats; appetite and portion control; gratitude and helpfulness; and stress management.
Relief obtained by practicing these biblically based health principles promotes whole-person health.
Current scientific evidence regarding the benefits of healthful living inspires hope for those with type 2 diabetes and other common troublesome conditions. Such research is presented in journals such as the Journal of Health and Healing and Vibrant Life—Adventist health periodicals that are well worth reading.
We thank God for the medical and surgical options that are available today when needed. Yet the old adage is still true: prevention is better than cure. Countless patients who are seen in our practice, who attend a seminar in the church or in the community, or participate as patients or guests in our centers, can attest that the lifestyle choices we make and put into practice can provoke complex and far-reaching consequences.
Our Creator is in the business of restoring us to health and well-being through knowledge and its wise application. Let’s take advantage, whenever possible, of the preventive remedies He has provided.
To learn more about the Wildwood Lifestyle Program, visit www.wildwoodhealth.org/lifestyle/.