Chapter 6:

Diabetes:

Sugar and refined carbohydrates are undeniably linked to diabetes. Researchers around the world have come to the conclusion that the consumption of refined sugar is detrimental to the health of people without diabetes and disastrous for those with it. Furthermore, excess sugar in the blood can cause the onset of type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes is all about sugar; the sugar in our bodies known as blood sugar or blood glucose. Every cell in our bodies must have a constant source of glucose in order to fuel metabolism. Our cells use glucose to power processes such as growth and repair. When we eat a meal the digestive system converts much of our food into glucose, which is released into the bloodstream. The hormone insulin, which is secreted by the pancreas gland, moves glucose from the blood and funnels it into the cells so it can be used as fuel. If the cells are unable to get adequate amounts of glucose, they can literally starve to death. As they do, tissues and organs begin to degenerate.

 

v 16 million Americans have type 2 diabetes (6% of the population):

v 26.9% of the people over age 65 have diabetes:

v 13 million have "pre-diabetes":

v 1 in 3 people with diabetes don't know they have it:

v In children and teens, more than one-third of the new diabetes cases, are of the type 2 variety:

v The total cost of diabetes, in U.S. alone, is $98 billion

 

Data from the 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet

Total prevalence of diabetes

Total: 25.8 million children and adults in the United States—8.3% of the population—have diabetes.

Diagnosed: 18.8 million people

Undiagnosed: 7.0 million people

Pre-diabetes: 79 million people*

New Cases: 1.9 million new cases of diabetes are diagnosed in people aged 20 years and older in 2010.

Under 20 years of age

Age 20 years or older

Age 65 years or older

Men

Women

Race and ethnic differences in prevalence of diagnosed diabetes

After adjusting for population age differences, 2007-2009 national survey data for people diagnosed with diabetes, aged 20 years or older include the following prevalence by race/ethnicity:

Among Hispanics rates were:

Morbidity and Mortality

Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness and kidney failure among adults. It causes mild to severe nerve damage that, coupled with diabetes-related circulation problems, often leads to the loss of a foot or leg. Diabetes significantly increases the risk of heart disease. And it's the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S., directly causing 70,000 deaths each year and contributing to tens of thousands more.

Type 1 diabetes, once called juvenile-onset or insulin-dependent diabetes occurs when the immune system attacks and permanently disables the insulin-making cells in the pancreas. It affects about one million Americans.

The other form of diabetes, type 2 diabetes, tends to creep up on people, taking years to develop into full-blown diabetes. It begins when muscle and other cells stop responding to insulin's open-up-for-glucose signal. The body responds by making more and more insulin, essentially trying to ram blood sugar into cells. Eventually, the insulin-making cells get exhausted and begin to fail. If the spread of type 2 diabetes continues at its present rate, the number of people affected in the United States will increase from about 14 million in 1995 to 22 million in 2025. Worldwide, the number of adults with diabetes will rise from 135 million in 1995 to 300 million in the year 2025.

In addition to the 16 million adults with type 2 diabetes, another 13 million have "pre-diabetes."  This early warning sign is characterized by high blood sugar levels on a glucose tolerance test or a fasting glucose test. Whether pre-diabetes expands into full-blown type 2 diabetes is largely up to the individual. Information from several clinical trials strongly support the idea that type 2 diabetes is preventable. Excess weight is the single most important cause of type 2 diabetes. Being overweight increases the chances of developing type 2 diabetes seven-fold. Being obese makes you 20 to 40 times more likely to develop diabetes than someone with a healthy weight. Losing 7-10% of your current weight can cut in half your chances of developing type 2 diabetes.

 

Data from the 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet

Complications of Diabetes

Heart disease and stroke

High blood pressure

Blindness

Kidney disease

Nervous system disease (Neuropathy)

Amputation

Cost of Diabetes

After adjusting for population age and sex differences, average medical expenditures among people with diagnosed diabetes were 2.3 times higher than what expenditures would be in the absence of diabetes.

Factoring in the additional costs of undiagnosed diabetes, pre-diabetes, and gestational diabetes brings the total cost of diabetes in the United States in 2007 to $218 billion.

As any diabetic knows it is very dangerous when your “sugar gets too high”.  One can think of sugar as a necessary poison in our blood. Our cells depend on a single simple sugar, glucose, for most of their energy needs. That's why the body has intricate mechanisms in place to make sure glucose levels in the bloodstream don't go too low or soar too high. Dangerously high sugar levels force the body to, with the help of insulin, take the glucose from the blood and store it in a protective way (as fat) to be used for energy at a later time.

When you eat, most digestible carbohydrates are converted into glucose and rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream. Any rise in blood sugar signals the pancreas to make and release insulin. This hormone instructs cells to sponge up glucose. Without it, glucose floats around the bloodstream, unable to slip inside the cells that need it.

Diabetes occurs when the body can't make enough insulin or can't properly use the insulin it makes. If one consumes too much sugar and/or carbohydrates the body may be unable to produce enough insulin to correct excessive glucose levels and additional insulin supplementation will need to be initiated.

A low-carbohydrate, zero sugar diet provides the nutrients that people need without the excess carbohydrates that cause high blood sugar levels, that require high levels of insulin. Excessively high serum insulin levels are toxic to the body and carry a number of effects that reduce longevity.

For those with diabetes, considering initiating "A Second Opinion's" recommendations for weight loss and wellness enhancement, a congratulations (with stipulations) is in order. It is our belief that, in many cases, diabetes can  be controlled by diet, however uncontrolled of over-controlled diabetes can precipitate disastrous results; before going on this diet, one should consult their physician who will advise (among other things) of the importance of closely monitoring one's glucose levels, as one may require smaller doses of insoline to stay within tolerable limits, if he or she begins the zero sugar and 20 grams of carbohydrates per day, "A Second Opinion", diet.

Also, it must be stated that if i26 and/ or i26 Fit is added to the diet that many bodily systems will re-balance and organ function will improve, and improved hormonal distribution could possibly lead to lower blood sugar levels or more production of insulin, such that again a close monitoring of glucose levels is mandatory, 

As any diabetic knows, high sugar levels are just a bad as low sugar levels/ and too much insulin is just as bad as not enough:

 

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