When I see so much conflicting and often confusing information on nutrition, I feel very privileged to be experiencing and discovering how important a role nutrition has in preventing and reversing certain chronic diseases…caused by the Standard American Diet. The main problem, as I have expressed in recent posts, is not that doctors don´t recognize the importance of eating healthy, the problem is that they don´t understand how important a role nutrition actually plays. To a great extent, this is because of lack of personal experience as well as the decision to not further their education once the diploma is on the wall.
Case in point – TYPE 2 DIABETES
The 2010 Banting Memorial Lecture was delivered by Professor D.R. Mathews to the Annual Professional Conference of Diabetes UK, Liverpool, on March 4, 2010.
“We are currently facing a global pandemic of obesity and Type 2 diabetes. In some settings, the population prevalence of Type 2 diabetes is 50%, and half of those affected will die from diabetes-related complications. Eight centuries ago, an epidemic of bubonic plague swept across Europe, killing at least half of its victims. We here draw comparisons between these two pandemics, proposing close analogies between the ‘Black Death’ of the 14th century and the modern – day equivalent of Type 2 diabetes.”
Most researchers and doctors today acknowledge that diabetes 2 is a pandemic (worldwide epidemic). In the U.S. it has moved up to 3rd place on the list of killer diseases (Boston University, University of Pennsylvania, 2017) while in Mexico it´s now number one (Global Burden of Disease Project, 2017). Interestingly the US and Mexico also rank 1 and 2 in obesity. The predictions are that diabetes 2 will be the #1 killer globally, within the next few years. Although the disease was previously called adult onset diabetes, it was changed to type 2 diabetes because of the growing number of children being affected.
I´m amazed how many people I´ve met recently who have the disease or have the precursor, pre-diabetes. Recently, I met a woman at a friend´s house who had the disease and was told by her doctor that she will be on medication for the rest of her life, included insulin. I began to talk to her about the personal experiences of many doctors and health practitioners who are having undeniable success with diet and diabetes 2. Patients are not only surviving…they are thriving! I spoke to her about the real cause of the disease, which is not the same explanation given by most doctors… that sugar overload in the bloodstream is the problem. With that conclusion, the goal is to keep sugar levels under control with drugs…often including the use of insulin. Patients are told that diabetes 2 is progressive and the ultimate goal is to control the symptoms as best as possible. As a result, doctors keep their patients on drugs for the remainder of their shortened lives, lives that are filled with the potential dangers of leg amputations, blindness, kidney failure, alzheimers and heart and other chronic diseases.
What is the alternative?
According to the “wise” doctors, the first step is to recognize that the problem with the disease is not the increase of sugar in the bloodstream…that´s merely a symptom. The real problem is the buildup of fat, primarily in the muscles, that blocks the sugar from entering the cells in order to provide the energy needed for normal functioning. If the sugar can´t enter the cells, via the insulin produced by the pancreas, then it remains in the blood. This leads to insulin resistance, where the insulin is no longer able to perform its role.
If this situation continues…blood sugar levels rise and need to be controlled. If the cause of the problem, as I mentioned, is the excess fat covering the muscles, which blocks the sugar from entering and providing energy, and not the sugar in the blood itself, then it seems to make sense that, if we eliminate the fat, we can open the door to our muscle cells, so that the sugar can enter and do its job. Once normal sugar levels return, diabetes 2 can, in most cases, be completely reversed. This may sound so extraordinarily simple that we may eventually need a book titled “Reversing Diabetes 2 for Dummies.”
In Part 2, I´ll discuss the path to Diabetes 2 reversal