Sunday, July 17, 2011

The True Cause(s) of Diabetes

I remember back in the late 80's, when I first started practice, very few of my patients (and people I knew in general) had type 2 diabetes. Now a days it seems like virtually everyone and their brother has it, or is about to get (pre-diabetic) it. According to the CDC the ratio is now one in every 4 Americans, they also say that the number has quadrupled since the 80's. Quadrupled! Astounding!

How can a disease that is non-communicable, and not very common pre 1980's, all of a sudden, in the space of less than 30 years, become a raging epidemic? The answer is, of course, that it couldn't unless it had some help. As it turns out, it has had lots of help. If you look at the diabetes disease charts its rise correlates nicely with advent of the governments "Food Pyramid", the current medical practice of treating heart disease by suppressing cholesterol levels, the acceleration of processed foods to the market, and the almost complete replacement of sugar with High Fructose Corn Syrup.

Hopefully by now you realize that a diet high in carbohydrates, especially grains and fructose, as per conventional medicinal recommendations, is a diet guaranteed to create disease. Obesity, heart disease, cancers, and diabetes, just to name a few. While both these drive up the blood sugar levels and create adverse insulin reactions, fructose also has a nasty side effect of not suppressing Ghrelin (hunger hormone) so you are more hungry and suppressing leptin, so you don't feel full. Either way you are driven to eat more than you should, mostly more processed foods laden with grains and fructose.

Fructose also has a nasty habit of converting fat at an alarming rate. While 120 calories of sucrose (regular table sugar) will convert 1 calorie to fat, that same amount of fructose calories will convert 40 calories to fat. As such fructose promotes obesity at a much faster rate and subsequently, diabetes.

However this past year at least 3 scientific studies have come to light (apparently there are many more) proving another cause that I have suspected for over a decade. You see in the mid to late 90's I began noticing something odd. Up to that time most type 2 diabetics where very obese. I had begun noticing elderly Indian immigrants brought over here from India by their children were very often diabetic. The strange thing was they were slender, and had not become diabetic until they had been here for 1-2 years.

At first I thought the cause was the change in their diet to American processed foods. It turned most of them didn't like American food and they had mostly retained their native diet which was pretty healthy. Eventually I found out that almost all of them went to American doctors soon after their arrival and of course were diagnosed with high blood pressure and high cholesterol. They were put on blood pressure meds and statins for the cholesterol. Within the year they became diabetic.

The pattern was too consistent to be coincidence. I was certain it was one or both of the drugs, but had no prove. Well the research has finally shown who the culprit is... the statins. Not only do statins rob your body of essential nutrients, particularly vitamin D and CoQ10 but now it turns out that they elevate blood sugar and increase blood insulin. They make you diabetic! If you read my article on cholesterol not being the cause of heart disease, then you realize there is little if any credible scientific evidence proving they help in reducing heart disease. The research has shown for a long time that not only do statins not do

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