Friday, 16 June 2017

Understanding Type Two Diabetes

Dr Jason Fung is a Canadian nephrologist, a specialist in kidney disease. I've written about him as an expert here. This issue concerns us all. Although we might not have yet developed type two diabetes, most of us are on track to do that. One in five of us will become diabetic, unless we take corrective action. The best time to take corrective action is 20 years before diabetes develops in your body. For many of us; too late for that. Act NOW, understand the issue, it's not too hard.

With regards to type two diabetes, Dr Fung says that if we have a disease where given the best treatment, patients continue tho decline and eventually die of the disease. Perhaps we should reconsider what we are doing. Maybe the "treatment is wrong." This is exactly the position Dr Tim Noakes takes too. Dr Noakes' father was diagnosed with type two diabetes, and treated in the same way most diabetes is still treated today, and died of complications caused by diabetes 18 years later.

Dr Noakes himself, having run marathons for much of his life, having eaten a high-energy high-carbohydrate diet, as recommended for athletes for 30 years, was also diagnosed with type two diabetes. This got Dr Noakes rethinking everything he thought he knew about healthy diets. Professional colleagues in the USA pointed him in the right direction. Noakes discovered a very-low-carbohydrate diet. He now has no symptoms of type two diabetes.

With his new knowledge, Dr Noakes became involved in a new initiative to improve the diet of South African's. They started a company called "The Real Meal Revolution" and produced a book of that name and an online training programme, both for people who wanted to learn how to eat better food, and for people who want to be nutritional consultants based on the principles of "The Real Meal Revolution." The success of this venture caused conflict between the traditional establishment which supported the Dietary Guidelines for South Africa, and the very outspoken and popular Dr Tim Noakes.

In the following video, Dr Jason Fung, explains that if there is excess glucose in the blood, taking medication to remove the glucose from the blood doesn't cure the problem it merely shifts the problem elsewhere. It's the same problem a city has in disposal of sewerage, we can put it into a river or into the sea, but it doesn't go away, and wherever we put it, a new problem is created. As ecologists tell us, "there is no such place as 'away'."

In this video Dr Fung is talking to the public, so his focus is on blood glucose management. It's simple; don't eat and your glucose levels will go down.

When talking to medical doctors Dr Fung doesn't talk about blood glucose control. For a medical practitioner, blood sugar control in the patient is the wrong target. The right target is to reduce, minimise and eliminate insulin resistance. Since a doctors time is limited, Dr Fung doesn't recommend a very-low-carbohydrate diet. (Training people to understand nutrition and to choose food wisely, simply takes up too much time.) Dr Fung recommends intermittent fasting.

Type two diabetes is not a chronic irreversible disease. You can cure yourself, but you need to understand the problem. First, all carbohydrates become sugar in the body. Diabetes is a problem of too much sugar in the body, so shifting it from the blood into glycogen stores, or into adipose tissue, isn't a solution. You must find a way to get it out of the body, or stop it from getting into the body. So your diet is critical.

Try to understand the issue. If you eat excessive carbohydrates for a long time, slowly your body becomes insulin resistant, and eventually you become fat and diabetic. That "disease" cannot be cured by taking medication. The only solution is to change your diet. Intermittent fasting, is a quick and dirty solution that works. A better solution is to understand nutrition and to improve your diet, but that takes time and effort. Until you've done that, perhaps you should fast, or use the "Take Out Diet" as I've recommended for two years.

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