Friday, June 16, 2006

What Causes Diabetes?

The prevalence of diagnosed diabetes has increased in recent years.
More than one out of every three individuals in the United States has diabetes or impaired fasting glucose, a condition that increases the risk of developing diabetes, new study findings suggest.

What causes diabetes?

Insulin can be called the master hormone of human metabolism, because it is involved in the regulation of blood pressure, the production of cholesterol and triglycerides, and the storage of fat. High blood pressure, elevated cholesterol and triglycerides, diabetes, and obesity are disorders resulting from a disturbance in metabolism - excess insulin and insulin resistance.
There are no medications that treat excess insulin and some medications actually make matters worse by causing the body to produce even more insulin.
Patient Scenario: a patient gains weight and subsequently develops high blood pressure, for which the doctor prescribes a mild diuretic and low salt. The patient returns with better blood pressure, but now a slight elevation in cholesterol and is put on a low-fat diet. He returns no lighter, with little change in cholesterol, but now his triglycerides or blood sugar have risen, too. The progression occurs because all these disorders are related through a single disturbance (excess insulin) that is actually being aggravated by the treatment.
Heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes kill twice as many people every year as were killed in both world wars, Korea, and Vietnam combined.
How do we know that these disorders are actually caused by diet and not by some other factor or combination of factors? Just as with most aspects of medicine, some degree of uncertainty persists, but we've got a pretty good idea from data from three different research approaches - historical, current epidemiological, and direct experimental.
Many people - especially those with heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol or obesity in their families - have inherited a tendency for the insulin sensors on the cells to malfunction with age, illness, stress, or assault by years of high sugar and starch consumption. As these sensors become sluggish, the condition of insulin resistance develops. Because it's crucial to get the sugar out of the blood and into the cells, the pancreas will compensate by making more and more insulin to force the sluggish sensors to respond. Thus begins a vicious cycle of requiring ever more insulin to keep the system going. Finally, some people become so resistant to insulin that the amount necessary to make the sensors respond and clear the sugar from the blood is more than their pancreas can make; that person become an adult diabetic.
Excess insulin stimulates a variety of other metabolic systems: it encourages the kidneys to retain salt and fluid; it stimulates the production of cholesterol by the liver; it fuels an increase in triglycerides production; it thickens the muscular portion of the artery walls, increasing the risk for high blood pressure; and it sends a strong message to the fat cells to store income sugar and fat. Glucagon sends signals to the kidneys to release excess salt and fluid, to the liver to slow down the production of cholesterol and triglycerides, to the artery wall to relax and drop blood pressure, and to the fat cells to release stored fat to be burned for energy. When insulin levels in the blood are high, however, they overwhelm the system, suppressing glucagon's actions.
Since food is what mainly controls the production of these two hormones, we have been able to create a nutritional structure that maximizes the release of glucagons and minimizes the release to insulin, creating a closer balance between these two hormones. Under these conditions the actions of the glucagons predominate, allowing the metabolism to heal and the malfunctioning sensors to regain their sensitivity. Once this healing occur, the metabolic disturbances that insulin resistance caused improve or disappear. If elevated, your cholesterol and triglycerides return to normal, blood sugar stabilizes, and you can effectively lose excess stored body fat. All these benefits accrue not by treating they symptoms - the blood pressure, cholesterol problem, overweight, or diabetes - but the root cause, chronically elevated insulin and insulin resistance. There are no medications yet to treat this disorder - the right diet is the only remedy.

This expert was from Dr. Michael Eades' revolutionary and best selling book, Protein Power.


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