Don’t let the title fool you. Type 2 diabetes really exists, however, the question was posed because the ROOT CAUSE has never addressed (as if it doesn’t really exist!) This form of diabetes is a type that RESULTS in elevated blood sugar. The reason the word results is highlighted is because todays health care system attempts to address this end result. This would be analogous to going to a dentist and having cavities drilled and filled without any further instruction to the patient on their responsibility in PREVENTING these cavities from developing in the first place. Drilling and filling is not what dental hygiene is all about. Eating the right foods, brushing multiple times on a daily basis and flossing are the tasks that need to be performed to reduce the chances for cavities. Good health is not about a “wait and see” approach. Good health requires ACTIVE participation BEFORE signs and symptoms of disease show their ugly side.
Type 2 diabetes develops as a result of insulin resistance. I have written about this many times and recently had a wonderful blogger friend (ChangeIsPossibleBlog.wordpress.com) post a you tube video interviewing Dr. Jason Fung on this subject. He was able to clearly explain this point. The you tube link can be found at:
There is controversy over the cause of insulin resistance. Some claim it an auto-immune disorder; some claim it a lifestyle disorder and some claim it a genetic disorder. Regardless of your belief, the common overlapping agreement is that insulin resistance is the problem.
Once insulin resistance develops, blood sugar levels rise. As long as a healthy pancreas has functioning beta cells, the ability to produce insulin is not a problem. In fact, too much insulin becomes an early outcome of this disease. Since the receptor sites for insulin become impeded interfering with the process of sugar uptake by these cells, the brain is under a false assumption that not enough insulin is produced. As long as insulin resistance persists, no amount of insulin production will correct the problem.
In general, the medical field has focused on dealing with blood sugar levels. In doing so, this allows this disease process to progress and become a chronic lifelong condition. Usually, the quantity of insulin required over time increases as well as the number and types of medications. There is a constant juggling act between the different prescriptions to sustain sugar values. The question EVERY patient diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes needs to ask their physician is, “how do these prescriptions INCREASE THE SENSITIVITY AND QUANTITY of receptor sites allowing normal sugar uptake by the cells?”
Does this mean there is no hope to live a long and healthy life if diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes? Absolutely not!! What are the steps required to “reverse” this disease (defined as no longer needing to take medications?) The answer is lifestyle modifications. People resent the fact that a disease limits their ability to eat foods they want. This is flawed thinking. A desire to live a healthy life (whether one is predisposed to a disease or perfectly healthy) is a better reason for limiting food choices. No one feels frustrated when they can’t have arsenic and cyanide. These substances are poisonous and will kill you. Today’s processed foods filled with preservatives, heavy metals, genetic modifications, pesticides and other carcinogenic properties are no less poisonous than arsenic and cyanide. The biggest difference is the timeframe required before these poisonous substances cause a more painful, drawn out and sufferable form of death. If you looked at poor quality food in this light, resentment about limited food choices would fade rapidly!
What changes should Type 2 diabetics make to become healthy?
Increase insulin receptor site sensitivity. Seems like common sense, but how do we do this?
• Stop bombarding your body with sugar. Start eating a diet higher in protein and fat. Include low glycemic healthy vegetables and fruits in smaller quantities. Include omega 3 fatty acids, green tea, insoluble dietary fiber, and cinnamon. Avoid trans fats, and fructose.
• Reduce the need for your body to produce insulin. Sugar is the primary fuel the body uses under normal conditions. Burn this fuel without producing insulin by incorporating light to moderate exercise. This leads to a natural reduction in levels of blood sugar. (Side Note: High intensity exercise leads to an increase in blood sugar for energy utilization. This is not a form of exercise I would recommend in the beginning while attempting to reduce blood sugar and increase receptor site sensitivity.)
• Reduce emotional and physical stress. Stress stimulates the hypothalamus to trigger the adrenal glands to release two very important stress hormones; epinephrine and cortisol. This creates a “flight or fight” response by the body as if you were running for your life from a lion. Blood vessels in your extremities dilate to provide muscles a channel for fuel. Sugar levels rise to provide these muscles the energy needed to “survive.”
These proposed changes are a good starting point. I have learned that too much information at one time can overwhelm people when attempting to modify their lives. These suggestions will increase receptor site sensitivity and allow proper sugar uptake as long as the disease is caught early enough. I equate this with an overheated radiator. Give it a chance to cool down and provide it with the proper food (coolant) it needs, and the radiator will begin functioning normally again. Abuse it by repeatedly allowing it to overheat, never flush it to clear out impurities, and fill it with poor protection (just water), and watch in breakdown and never recover. Our bodies (although commonly more durable) respond the same way.
If your approach to correcting this form of diabetes has not resulted in better health, why not discuss these suggestions with your doctor. Do you really want to treat this disease with medications for the rest of your life and watch the quality of your health degenerate over time, or do you want to ACTIVELY participate in restoring your health to a level where you can maximize living?