Causes Of Diabetes 101
Most people recognize that in the 21st Century the causes of diabetes stems from the food that we eat and how heavy we are getting.
There are more Diabetics and more food shops right?
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Well one theory of an increased number of Diabetics is that they are being found much quicker than before. Which is great because a lot of Diabetics have the condition for years before they are found- and damage to the body might have already started.
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The weight theory though is sometimes misinterpreted with Gestational Diabetes. Pregnant ladies do have a larger tummy however that is not the underlying reason for them obtaining Diabetes- it is also due to their pregnancy hormones that interfere with Insulin and they can become Diabetic through pregnancy, obviously affecting the child if the Diabetes is not controlled and monitored (having a heavy bouncing baby that is full of sugar is not good). After the birth, the Diabetes goes, but there is a much higher risk to the mother becoming Diabetic in the future.
The excess weight theory does gather evidence when it was found that in some patients who underwent a stomach reducing surgical technique and who had been on an “Insulin pump” had to be removed from the apparatus because of the disappearance of their Diabetes.
However, weight gain- the idea of a fat band around the stomach affecting Insulin and causing an increase in Diabetes is a very simplistic idea. Unfortunately it is not that straight forward as pockets of cultures who do not practice “westernized eating” also have Diabetes.
It is true that over the years more people have become overweight and obese and the incidence of Diabetes has increased but there are many deeper factors that could cause Diabetes and it is only now that we are starting to realize this.
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There seems to be chemical pathways within the stomach that were never identified before that seem to have an effect.
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There is even a widely recognized theory that we are predetermined at birth, and that birth weight, lifestyle (of the baby and parent) and other effects have a part to play.
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One theory that gathers evidence is the suggestion that Diabetes is caused in some by a virus. It is also known that in some people a virus could be the cause of gaining weight.
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Another theory states that when a certain chemical, that is found in some plastics, was introduced the incidence of obese people also increased.
Ultimately we really do not know why because as soon as one theory comes about someone will appear to contradict that theory. You can even get some larger people who do not get Diabetes but you can also find some thin people who do.
What is known is the following:
1- Diabetes can not be caught.
2- Diabetes, at present can not be cured. There are many websites and even celebrities that state “we have cured Diabetes”. Unfortunately they haven't. What they have probably done is to reduce, or drop their treatment down to a different form of treatment. There are many reports and literature that states that you can go from Insulin down to tablets, or from tablets down to a diet regime.
But again it depends on the person and their own circumstances. It is usually because they have dropped a very large amount of weight and increased their exercise regime. My wife found that a 20 minute walk after each meal kept her blood sugars at 5.5...every single time.
3- Healthy eating is a key goal or even just eating in moderation. Healthy eating to you and to me are probably 2 different things. One patient had a large jam donut- but they stated that it was “OK” as they scrapped off the sugar from the outside?!
4- A lot of the time it wasn’t your fault. Many patients beat themselves up about what they should and shouldn’t have eaten. Sometimes that is just the way the Disease is.
5- Minor fitness regimes and being active help. Some patients are large and can not run- they don’t have to! Running and jogging are not for everyone. Swimming, armchair exercises, walking around the mall, walking to the shops all help. The medical community have got answers for all different types of patients. In the UK, the family Doctor would even prescribe exercises, which were discounts to local gyms and swimming pools.
6- Talking to a professional once first diagnosed is much better than discussing it with family members. This is basically because a lot of misinformation can be picked up at the start and that can be hard to “unlearn”. Taking a family member along will help them understand.
7- Unfortunately Diabetes is a progressive disease, it can get worse but many patients do not realize this at all.
The treatment for Diabetes is another area where patients do not recognize the severity of the disease.
People who do not produce any Insulin are reverted to an Insulin regime that involves injection. Patients who have just obtained a reading of 7-8mmol/ltr are usually placed on a balanced nutritional diet. This diet is actually one that we should all be on and it is not really a specific “Diabetic diet”. Sometimes patients who are 7-9mmol/ltr also have a tablet added, Metformin, which tends to work if the blood sugars are not too high. Sometimes another tablet, a Sulfonurea is added to help reduce the blood sugars and works well with Metformin (with also has a weight reduction advantage effect).
Getting the blood sugars down to a “normal” level for that patient is the ultimate goal. So you might even find Doctors going straight into a tablet regime to be “aggressive” at the start. However blood sugars are also influenced by blood pressure, stress and cholesterol levels so patients will be on BP and cholesterol tablets and it is BP that is the hardest to reduce but will also have a great affect on complications and their Diabetes.