April 27, 2017

Diabetes, Type 1 and 2 Confusion

Other bloggers are writing about this, and I am now writing about the topic – the ADA mess up in titling of the types of diabetes.

  1. The ADA titles diabetes to blur the lines for the general population
  2. The ADA objective in the titles is to satisfy Big Pharma and Big Food
  3. The ADA aim is to obscure the real causes of the different diabetes types

The ADA mission:
  • is to secure donations to extend their employment
  • ingratiate themselves with their true “constituents” (#2 above)
  • is not to serve people with diabetes

The titles have gone through several different titles:
  • IDDM: Insulin dependent diabetes mellitus
  • NIDDM: Non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus

The current titles include the following:
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Pre-diabetes – while discussed it is not an official ADA classification
  • LADA - Latent autoimmune diabetes in adults – Generally discussed as a part of Type 1
  • MODY - Maturity-Onset Diabetes of the Young – Presently there are six or seven types of MODY based on the genetic location

Those with Type 2, as we know, typically over produce insulin for many years.
Why would someone who over-produces insulin, NEED insulin? For two reasons:
  1. The poor lifestyle advice that leads to the need for huge insulin production, leads to insulin resistance, leading to the need for even more insulin to do the same job. And,
  2. After years of this insulin over-production, the pancreas “wears out,” or insulin producing cells are destroyed. Therefore, insulin becomes necessary to be injected.

That is not all that is happening. People with Type 1 are often told from childhood to “eat like every other child and just cover with enough insulin.” Here is the thing…the diet for the average child in America is leading to obesity and Type 2 (previously never seen in children). Therefore, it’s not good for ANY child!! After years of following this poor dietary advice and using large doses of injectable insulin, those with Type 1 will begin to become overweight and insulin resistant.

What is at the heart of it? Poor dietary advice. The right dietary advice (if applied early enough) can often keep those with Type 2 from becoming insulin dependent. In fact, when adopting a healthy lifestyle, many people with Type 2 are able to manage their diabetes without medication. The right dietary advice will also keep those with Type 1 from becoming insulin resistant. It can help both Types to maintain a healthy weight.

I think there needs to be a reclassification of diabetes Types as well, but with emphasis on cause. If we identify diabetes Types by cause, the focus on treatment will be clear.
  • Type 1 diabetes should be classified as “autoimmune” diabetes (not reversible, yet), insulin needed.
  • Type 2 diabetes should be classified as a “lifestyle” diabetes (preventable AND reversible). In fact, the esteemed Dr. Robert Lustig, world renowned Pediatric Endocrinologist and obesity specialist, recently quipped that Type 2 should be called a “processed food disease.” If we classify Type 2 in this way, it would put the focus on using lifestyle to treat and reverse Type 2 diabetes. The majority of lifestyle management would be directed toward diet, with the other factors being things such as exercise, proper sleep, stress control, and balancing hormones.

Some might balk at calling Type 2 a “lifestyle” disorder, saying that it is strongly genetic. I feel your pain. I do find that I must work much harder than many of my healthy eating friends to keep my blood sugar and weight regulated. But, as the saying goes, “genetics loads the gun but environment pulls the trigger.” In other words, we can’t change what we have inherited. But we can do our best with what we have been handed…it doesn’t have to rule us or be our destiny. Through great effort, and by adopting a healthy lifestyle immediately upon diagnosis, many people have been able to achieve non-diabetic health markers for several years.

So why is the right dietary advice so elusive? As I have said before…diabetes is big business. And there are a lot of organizations and people in the business of diabetes. Unfortunately, there is much money to be made when people are sick.
Please, don’t line the pockets of organizations that are increasing their bank accounts on the very advice that increases your drug dependence and your waistline.

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