In the last fifty years, the reported cases of Type 2 diabetes in the world have exploded. In 1985 there were about 30 million. In 2010 that number went up to 285 million. Since that time, the reports have only gotten worse.
This is such an important topic that it warrants a section in our navigation bar. Not only are type 2 diabetes numbers soaring, but the costs of simply trying to manage the problem are also skyrocketing. In this complete section, we're trying to stress the importance and relative ease of actually defeating the disease, thereby saving not only unnecessary sickness and death, but also millions of dollars in healthcare costs.
I've included the following video in another page within this section. But it so important and so relevant to our focus on prevention and reversal rather than settling for dispensing pills that I've added it to this page as well.
Habits begin early but the consequences don't always arrive until much later. Bad eating habits and lack of exercise are major factors in childhood obesity. Excess weight is a contributor to the factors leading to many health challenges including type 2 diabetes.
We've also been plagued by years of misinformation about low-fat diets. The depth of this failed experiment will last for decades.
And there may be a hidden danger that leads to a long list of deadly diseases, among them heart disease, stroke, dementia, some cancers and early aging.
That danger is called "diabesity" which combines diabetes and obesity. It is a term coined by Dr. Mark Hyman, M.D. who wrote the best selling book, "The Blood Sugar Solution." Dr. Hyman is the chairman of the Institute for Functional Medicine which works to treat the fundamental causes of disease as opposed to waiting to treat symptoms.
Here is the progression to Type 2 diabetes...
The pancreas secretes insulin which is a growth producing hormone. When we eat, sugars and carbohydrates are converted to blood glucose, (blood sugar). Insulin then drives this blood glucose into cells which become fuel for our body.
But bad diets including too many carbohydrates or sugar-laced foods along with lack of exercise and increased stress don't allow the cells to take in all the blood sugar. The cells resist the action of the insulin to deliver fuel and begins the process toward diabetes.
As the cells are not able to take in all the blood sugar, the pancreas responds by producing even more insulin as the body attempts to heal itself. The insulin levels increase but because the cells cannot take in the blood sugar, those levels remain high.
Another growth hormone is leptin. In our page about leptin resistance, you'll read about how this hormone is linked to insulin. This link is one of those root causes.
If doctors only test blood sugar levels and not insulin levels, the problem is not detected. As with most conditions, early detection is vital to reversal. Diabetes blood sugar levels are indicators, but not a root cause.
As time passes, the cells become even more insulin resistant. The pancreas continues to pump out more insulin and both blood sugar and insulin pour into the blood. As leptin levels also rise, the crucial signals to our brain that we don't need anymore food are blocked.
This is generally where doctors will notice the elevated blood sugar levels and diagnose as pre-diabetic. As the blood sugar levels rise even more, type 2 diabetes develops.
Then the tie in to cardiovascular system failure begins. It is often noted that diabetes leads to kidney disease, problems with vision and wounds especially in the feet heal much slower. The blood in these areas flow through very small vessels.
The extra insulin begins to thicken the walls of these tiny vessels. In the kidneys the capillaries are so small that only one cell can pass through at a time. So any blockage causes immediate damage.
Using the example of a dying tree, first the leaves at the end wither and then the process works backward through the smaller branches. When the body cannot deliver blood to the eyes through the microscopic blood vessels, the eye tissue dies and blindness occurs.
Diabetes is correctly cited as the cause of these conditions but in reality the cardiovascular system is being slowly decimated in the process.
So what do you do? Well this may surprise you. Change your lifestyle! Type 2 diabetes can often be cured by a better diet, exercise and weight loss.
Since diabetes and heart disease are the 1-2 punch to the the most vulnerable parts of our body, the reversal is also the same. At the end of this page I've linked to a list that includes several postings about much better food choices to overcome this fully reverseable disease. I've also included some pages about very dangerous choices.
Get an hour of exercise such as walking every day. Add in some situps or anything of an aerobic nature. Exercise causes positive reactions in your body. Technical analysis aside, it will fix things. You'll feel better.
Learn some easy relaxation techniques. Stress is noted in all cardiovascular issues and diabetes is part of that discussion.
Type 2 diabetes can be avoided. And if you already have it, you can reverse it. Diabesity can be avoided with the same regimen. Childhood obesity can be reduced with early planning and good parental examples.
We can't fix everything yet, but this condition never needs to be a health concern. Here is a link with some more information.
Just below are our companion pages. In these postings you will find some great advice from some of our expert authors, including some whose work is located in our list of classic books.