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Diabetes Epidemic Expected to Double

December 15, 2009 | 42,726 views

diabetesAccording to recent estimates, the total number of Americans with diabetes will almost double in the next 25 years -- from the current 23.7 million to 44.1 million in 2034. Annual costs for treating those patients are expected to soar, nearly tripling from the current $113 billion to some $336 billion.

The figures are, if anything, on the conservative side, since they are based on the notion that obesity levels will plateau, and even decline, by 2033. If actual prevalence outpaces these estimates, the cases of diabetes, and resulting costs, could be even higher.

Past estimates often dramatically underestimated just how quickly the problem would grow. Figures from 1991 projected that some 11.6 million Americans would have diabetes by 2030. In fact, that's fewer than half of the total number of Americans with diabetes right now.

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

Diabetes cases are growing at lightning speed. Nearly 14 percent of men and 12 percent of women over 30 in the United States have diabetes, and close to one-third of them don’t know it.

But even worse are those with pre-diabetes, who are a hair’s breath away from the full-blown disease. Nearly one in four people in the U.S. have pre-diabetes.

That is just absolutely amazing. ONE IN FOUR. Please read that again a few times. Again, many are walking around clueless that they have this illness.

Further, in the next 25 years the number of people with diabetes is expected to double to over 44 million, while annual costs for treating those patients are expected to nearly triple from the current $113 billion to $336 billion.

Most of my paternal relatives (my dad included), have, or have died from, diabetes, so this is an issue very close to my heart. It’s also a disease that is becoming so commonplace that it’s easy to overlook the very serious consequences it can have on your health.

But diabetes is not a disease to be taken lightly. It increases your risk of heart disease and brings on fatal and non-fatal heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular events 15 years earlier than in those without diabetes, as well as significantly shortens your lifespan.

The additional health complications that diabetes fosters are numerous, and quite serious, including:

  • Heart disease and stroke

  • High blood pressure

  • Blindness

  • Kidney disease

  • Nervous system disease

  • Amputations

  • Dental disease

  • Pregnancy complications

Why are Diabetes Cases Surging?

The latest statistics on diabetes in the US are a very sad testament and a major clue that conventional medicine has it all wrong; their standard diabetes recommendations -- both in terms of medication and nutrition -- are incorrect.

At best, they simply do not work. At worst, they’re aggravating your problem and speeding up the deteriorating disease process.

By some estimates, diabetes has increased more than 700 percent in the last 50 years. What does this tell you about the advice you’ve been given and the direction you’ve been led in by conventional medicine?

There’s no doubt in my mind that if government agencies and the medical community would do the right thing; i.e. stop catering to the greedy demands of the industries of sugar, grain and pharmaceuticals, and start issuing recommendations that actually promote health rather than deteriorating it further, this modern epidemic would be curbed in fairly short order.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of physicians are still seriously confused about this issue, which is why most doctors cause diabetics to D. I. E.

Serious Problems With Conventional Diabetes Recommendations

Diabetes is NOT a blood sugar disease like your doctor may have led you to believe.

Type 2 diabetes is a disease caused by insulin resistance and faulty leptin signaling, both of which are regulated through your diet.

Until that concept becomes well-known in both the medical community and by the public at large, the misconception about what diabetes is and the appropriate way to treat it will continue to be promoted.

Conventional treatment that is focused on fixing the symptom of elevated blood sugar, rather than addressing the underlying disease, is doomed to fail in most cases. Treatments that concentrate merely on lowering blood sugar while raising insulin levels can actually worsen rather than remedy the actual problem of metabolic miscommunication. It just trades one evil for another.

Since most treatments for type 2 diabetes utilize drugs that either raise insulin or lower blood sugar, the tragic result is that the typical, conventional medical treatment for diabetes contributes to the additional diseases and the shortened lifespan that diabetics experience.

Let me assure you, the cure for type 2 diabetes has NOTHING to do with giving insulin. Giving someone with type 2 diabetes insulin is one of the WORST things that can be done. Any physician doing this is suffering from ignorance of insulin physiology.

If You Have Diabetes, You Need to Know About Leptin

The hormone leptin is largely responsible for the accuracy of insulin signaling and whether you become insulin resistant or not.

Leptin, a relatively recently discovered hormone produced by fat, tells your body and brain how much energy it has, whether it needs more (saying "be hungry"), whether it should get rid of some (and stop being hungry) and importantly what to do with the energy it has (reproduce, upregulate cellular repair, or not).

In fact, the two most important organs that may determine whether you become (type 2, insulin resistant) diabetic or not are your liver and your brain, and it is their ability to listen to leptin that will determine this.

When your blood sugar becomes elevated it is a signal for insulin to be released to direct the extra energy into storage. A small amount is stored as a starch called glycogen in your body, but the majority is stored as your main energy supply -- fat. Thus, in this regard insulin's major role is not to lower sugar, but to take the extra energy and store it for future times of need.

Insulin lowers your blood sugar as a side effect of directing the extra energy into storage.

This is why treatments that concentrate merely on lowering blood sugar for diabetes while raising insulin levels can actually worsen rather than remedy the actual problem of metabolic miscommunication.

Please understand that if you only implement strategies to treat your blood sugar level, you are destined for premature death. Taking insulin is one of the WORST things you can do, as it will actually make your insulin and leptin resistance worse over time.

Most Diabetes Cases Can be Cured With Lifestyle Changes

Nearly 100 percent of type 2 diabetics can be successfully treated -- meaning you will no longer have the symptoms of diabetes, or the high risk of developing health complications -- if you are willing to implement the recommendations I provide below.

If you follow these recommendations, your likelihood of successfully going off of drugs and having normal blood sugars is close to 100%, as treating type 2 diabetes is simply a matter of implementing some basic strategies to improve your insulin and leptin resistance:

1. Exercise

Exercise is an absolutely essential factor, without which you’re highly unlikely to get this devastating disease under control. It is clearly one of the most potent ways to lower your insulin and leptin resistance.

Typically, you’ll need large amounts of exercise, until you get your blood sugar levels under control. You may need up to an hour or two a day. Naturally, you’ll want to gradually work your way up to that amount, based on your current level of fitness.

We are going to be launching a new exercise site soon that you use to help get your fitness program on track, but in the meantime you can view my comprehensive exercise program video for some tips to get started.

2. Eliminate Grains and Sugars

For the last 50 years, many people have been following the nutritional recommendations dictated by conventional health agencies, which advise a high complex carbohydrate, low saturated fat diet. The end result has been a 700 percent increase in diabetes in the same time frame and many have come to view diabetes as an incurable chronic disease…

This is clearly not true; rather, it’s the inevitable result of seriously flawed dietary recommendations. Instead, you’ll want to eliminate foods that your body will react to by creating insulin, which includes all types of sugars and grains -- even “healthy” grains such as whole, organic grains. This means avoiding all breads, pasta, cereals, rice, potatoes, and corn (which is in fact a grain). You may even need to avoid fruits until your blood sugar is under control.

3. Eat Right for Your Nutritional Type

Exercising and avoiding grains and sugars might not be enough unless you balance your protein, carb and fat ratios for your unique and specific genetic biochemistry. You can read more about nutritional typing here.

4. Monitor Your Fasting Insulin Level

This is every bit as important as your fasting blood sugar. You’ll want your fasting insulin level to be between 2 to 4. The higher your level, the worse your insulin receptor sensitivity is.

The recommendations mentioned above are the key steps you need to achieve this reduction.

5. Optimize Your Vitamin D Level

Interestingly, optimizing your vitamin D levels can not only help improve type 2 diabetes if you have it, but can likely eliminate the risk of type 1 diabetes in your children if you are pregnant. It’s also vital for infants to receive the appropriate amounts of vitamin D in their early years for these same reasons.

Ideally, you’ll want to do this by exposing a large amount of your skin to appropriate amounts of sunshine (or a safe tanning bed) on a regular basis, year-round. Your body can safely create up to 20,000 units of vitamin D a day this way.

However, if neither of these options are available, you may want to use an oral vitamin D3 supplement. But remember, if you choose to take an oral supplement it’s essential that you get your levels tested regularly by a proficient lab to make sure you’re not reaching toxic levels, and are within the therapeutic range. Maintaining your vitamin D levels around 60-80 ng/ml can significantly help control your blood sugar.

These are the top steps you should take, starting today, if you have type 2 diabetes. Doing so will virtually guarantee that your diabetes will disappear. And if you want to make sure you are not one of the millions impacted by the coming diabetes epidemic, these same steps will help you to stay healthy and diabetes-free.

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