There are two types of diabetes.
Type I diabetes, often referred to as Juvenile Diabetes since it occurs early in
complete failure of the body to produce any insulin. It is caused by a haywire
immune system that destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.
The pancreas contains beta cells which make insulin, a
hormone that helps cells take in the glucose (sugar) they need. When glucose
builds up in the blood instead of going into cells, it causes two problems: It
starves your cells for energy and it produces complications in small blood
vessels, especially in the eyes, kidneys and heart.
Sometimes, the beta cells get wiped out and can not
produce insulin anymore. Without insulin, glucose stays in the blood instead of
going into cells. Insulin shots let your cells take in glucose. If you have Type
I diabetes, you must take insulin to stay alive which is why it is also referred
to as insulin-dependent diabetes. Type I diabetes accounts for only about 5% to
10% of all diabetes.
A recent study reported in The Lancet discovered
a link between Vitamin D supplementation and a decreased frequency of Juvenile
Diabetes. Children who took at least 2000 IU of vitamin D daily had a rate ratio
of 0.22 compared with those who regularly received less. Also children who were
suspected of having rickets during the first year of life had a rate ratio of
3.0 for diabetes mellitus compared with those without suspicion of rickets. The
conclusion of the study was: "Ensuring that infants receive adequate
amounts of vitamin D may help reverse the increasing trend of Type I diabetes
diabetes is a metabolic disorder resulting from the body's inability to make
enough, or properly use, insulin. It has historically been referred to as
adult-onset diabetes or non-insulin dependent diabetes and is the most common
form of diabetes, affecting 90% to 95% of all diabetics. It develops over a
longer period of time and is generally diagnosed in adulthood, hence the name.
Type II causes one's pancreas to shift into overdrive,
sending out spikes of insulin in a fear-stricken attempt to try keeping up with
ever-rising levels of blood glucose. Eventually, the pancreas may give up trying
to manage glucose control, and the unfortunate result is dangerously-high
glucose levels in the face of insulin breakdowns.
Type II begins when it takes higher and higher amounts
of insulin for the cells to open up and let blood sugar in. This resistance
generally continues undetected for years, since the pancreas is usually able to
compensate by producing ever-increasing amounts of insulin. After a time,
however, one of two things happens.
Either the quality of insulin lessens and eventually
the pancreatic cells start losing their ability to produce it or the cells
resist using insulin while their pancreas keeps producing more and more. This
excess insulin helps set the stage for high blood pressure and poor cholesterol
levels thereby increasing the risk of cardiovascular complications.
The recently published UR Prospective Diabetes Study (UKPDS)
suggests that before most patients are actually diagnosed with type II diabetes,
the pancreas has lost its ability to properly control post-meal blood sugar
levels for over eight years and insulin resistance has been present for up to 12
years. Until recently, the earliest Type II diabetes was seen in those in their
40s or older. But in the last few years, an alarming number of children have
been diagnosed with type II diabetes. Type II is appearing more frequently in
pre-pubescent children, and has even been documented in children as young as
four years old. (American Diabetes Foundation)
According to Endocrinologist Gerald Bernstein of Beth
Israel Hospital in New York and past president of the American Diabetes
Association, "Twenty years ago, only 2% of children diagnosed with diabetes
had Type II. Today it accounts for 30% to 50% of new diagnoses among children
ages 9 to 19."
Currently, one in every five American kids is obese.
And since obesity is directly linked to diabetes, the target market for diabetic
pharmaceuticals now extends clear down to four year olds. Adult-onset diabetes
has increased between 600% and 1000% in the last 60 years. It is currently
increasing at a rate of 6% a year, and that is expected to accelerate. According
to Dr. Emily Senay on CBS news, from 1990 to 1998, Type II diabetes increased
70% in 30 year olds.
According to Bernard B. Tulsi, a writer for Technology
Investor who did a piece in the January 2001 issue on diabetes called
"The Perfect Disease" (of course he meant from a business
perspective), "diabetes is one of the most costly health problems in the US
-- with an annual tab of more than $100 billion and growing. Diabetes drugs, the
fastest growing category, cost $3.5 billion a year... then there are diagnostic
systems, delivery systems, needles, etc." He maintains that 2200 new
diabetics are diagnosed every day and the American Diabetes Association (ADA)
estimates 798,000 people will be diagnosed this year.
"This disease accounts for one out of every 10
healthcare dollars," says Dr. Zachary Bloomgarden, associate clinical
professor at Mount Sinai Medical School. The ADA reports 10.3 million diabetics
have been diagnosed, but an additional 5.4 million people don't know they have
it and when they find out they will be faced with spending $2500 to $3000 a year
on needles, insulin and blood testing strips.
The total annual economic cost of diabetes in 1997 was
$98 billion. That included $44 billion in medical costs. The other $54 billion
is the indirect costs of disability and mortality.
Most doctors fail to tell their
patients that, even if they use the best conventional therapies available, type
II diabetes will only get progressively worse. Getting worse slowly is not the
same as getting better. When you look at the current treatment programs, this
shouldn't come as any surprise.
The whole idea in treating
diabetes is to bring blood sugar levels back to normal quickly. This must be
done immediately after eating and then gradually continue for several hours, as
food is being digested. In non-diabetic individuals, this process occurs very
smoothly because the body constantly adjusts its secretion of insulin depending
on the levels of blood sugar. The body uses a feedback system to monitor and
adjust insulin levels. Therein lies part of the dilemma with the use of
supplemental insulin--and other hormones. Supplemental hormones flood the body
and essentially shut off the feedback system. In an effort to compensate for
this problem there have been two basic forms of drugs used to treat type II
The older class of drugs, called
sulfonylureas, are longer-lasting agents (Diabenese, for example), which
stimulate the production of insulin from the pancreas. The newer drugs do
several things, like 1) block the liver from producing extra glucose (or blood
sugar), 2) increase insulin sensitivity, and 3) reduce the absorption of glucose
in the intestinal tract.
Unfortunately, without a feedback
system in place to determine the exact dosage needed for each meal, using either
of these drug types is a shotgun approach at best. When too little insulin is
released, blood sugar levels rise, causing the formation of triglycerides and
fat storage. When there's too much insulin, blood sugar levels begin to fall
(hypoglycemia), triggering a feeling of hunger and the constant need to eat,
which also causes weight gain and fat storage.
Hypoglycemia is a term for low
blood sugar. Diabetes is high blood sugar, or hyperglycemia. Hypoglycemia from
too much insulin can be a very serious problem with diabetics. Almost 2% of
diabetics die as a result of hypoglycemia. Thousands more (15% to 20%)
experience the problem during treatment and 60% of those require hospitalization
for 12 to 72 hours in an attempt to get the problem stabilized. Five percent of
those die. Hypoglycemia is particularly a problem in diabetics who: 1) are over
60 years old; 2) have cardiovascular or kidney problems; 3) practice
inconsistent eating habits; and 4) take other medications.
These problems explain why
diabetics treated with oral medications such as those described generally have a
weight gain of anywhere from 6 to 12 pounds or more and why this weight gain and
extra deposits of fat become part of the vicious cycle that causes diabetes to
Additionally, the roller-coaster
effect from constantly fluctuating blood sugar levels contributes to increased
blood fats, high blood pressure, increased stickiness of the blood and clot
formation, heart failure, poly-cyctic ovary disease, nerve pain and
degeneration, and damage to the small blood vessels, especially those in the
eyes, the kidneys, and the lower limbs.
Some oral diabetes drugs, such as
Glucophage, also have the side effect of raising one of the biggest markers for
heart disease, homocystine levels. Although no one is really sure why this
happens, it is suspected that the drugs interfere with the absorption of the B
vitamins, especially B12. If you take any oral diabetes drug, be sure to
have your homocystine level checked. You may also want to take a Folic
Acid B12 supplement to help insure your blood levels of homocystine stay in
the normal range. According to Dr. Bruce West, Standard Process Labs makes
the best Folic Acid B12 supplement. His recommended dosage is 3
daily. Dr. West also recommends the Mediterranian diet with lower
carbohydrates, eliminating bread and avoiding all wheat products for a
year. A good source of pure water that eliminates all chlorine and
fluorine is also very important.
Before you place complete trust
in your medication to take care of your diabetes problem, take a look at this
list of complications linked directly to progressing diabetes. It comes from the
American Diabetes Foundation.
Diabetes is now:
1) the leading cause of blindness in people age 20 to 74
2) the leading cause of kidney failure
3) the leading cause of amputation of the lower limb
4) responsible for 50% to 60% of the impotence problems in males over age 50
5) responsible for severe nerve damage in 60% to 70% of all diabetics
6) the major cause of stroke in the United States
7) known to increase the risk of heart disease by 2-4 times over normal.
Diabetes is one of those diseases
that can make the treating doctor look like an absolute genius. After placing a patient on diabetic medication, the doctor can predict with uncanny accuracy the chain of health problems that will begin to develop like clockwork in the upcoming years. Keep in mind, the chain of events will happen even if you comply perfectly with the therapy. In essence, the doctors can predict the progressive decline--but can do nothing to prevent it.
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the rest of this article:
the best Folic Acid-B12 supplement and how should it be taken?
American Diabetes Foundation:
list of complications linked directly to progressing diabetes
while on medication.
Medications Discussed, including Acarbose, Sulfonylurea Drugs, Metformin and Rezulin.
Why is type II diabetes
often observed in certain blood types?