Diabetes - How it Happens

Diabetes occurs when the pancreas can no longer make enough or any insulin needed to metabolize or burn off – sugars. The pancreas is a half-fist sized section of tissue attached to the duodenum, which is in turn attached to the first section of the small intestine through which primary digested food travels away from the stomach into the larger intestine as it is absorbed into the blood stream.

Insulin is a hormone produced by the body to utilize nutrients. Insulin metabolizes (oxidizes) glucose sugars which in turn provide energy for the body. That energy may be “burned off” in three ways: 1. by active muscles i.e. heart pumping blood, legs walking or arms lifting loads; 2. liver (& kidneys) filtering blood or; 3. stored in fat, increasing overall body mass/weight. A significant amount of glucose is metabolized during brain activity as well.

Carbohydrates (sugars) are molecular compounds of Carbon + Hydrogen + Oxygen.

In the case of sugars like glucose (also known as dextrose) – the molecular construct will look like a variation of (C6 H12 O6)x -  e.g. sucrose = C12 H22 O11

When the body burns off the Hydrogen component of sugars, it is simply combining the Oxygen from the air we breathe with the sugar H to create water (perspiration and urine) and release energy.

Insulin helps metabolize or convert primary proteins (amino acids - meat, nuts, fat, etc.) carbohydrates ‘carbs´ - glucose/dextrose/ maltose (grain, cereals, and tubers – i..e. potato & beans) and simple sugar such as fructose (fruits and honey), lactose (milk), sucrose (cane and beet juice).

Sugars / carbohydrates in the body of all living things must be carefully balanced and regulated in order to avoid diabetes.

Diabetes symptoms – increase in volume and frequency of urination, thirst (and appetite); unexplained weight loss, and fatigue.

Diabetes Type 1            - too little or no insulin because body’s immune system has destroyed the beta cells in the pancreas which produce it; usually develops in early childhood / teen years but may be present at birth.

Diabetes Type 2 – until recently, Type 2 usually developed after age 30. Type 2 is sometimes referred to as induced diabetes – because the victim’s choice of diet is to some significant extent responsible for destroying the pancreas’ ability to produce adequate insulin. Simply put – the individual has prematurely burned out the pancreas by forcing it to deal with a high sugar loads for too long. There is currently no way to revitalize or replace (transplant) dead pancreatic tissue.

Since the 1980’s, coinciding with the introduction of HFCS (high fructose corn syrups) used in processed foods, soda pops, and snack junk foods  - Type 2 diabetes has been occurring with higher frequency in younger North American adults. It is now classified as a quickly growing epidemic (widespread). According to dieticians, we are “choosing to eat sweet while young and then forced to eat bland for the rest of our life”.

Choosing to ignore or deal poorly with diabetes leads to vital tissue loss including – eye / retinal tissue and blindness, kidney failure, disease / inflammation and collapse of heart and nerve tissue resulting in poor circulation, burning pain, numbness, skin lesions, cold feet, and lower extremity limb loss,  i.e. – foot amputation. Ultimately, diabetic coma leads to death.

Obese, Fat or Fit?            Obesity is based on BMI - (Body Mass Index) calculated in metric weight kilograms divided by height in metres squared i.e. kg/m2  Ranking: BMI between 25 and 29.9 = overweight; BMI above 30 = obese. Example - a 176 lb / 80 kg male with very little pinchable belly or neck fat and a height of 5’10” or app. 178 cm would calculate 80kg/ 3.24 (1.8m x 1.8m) = BMI of 24.

(Diabetes Type “3” - Alzheimer’s dementia)            - recent advancements in Alzheimer’s research attribute the large quantities of modern diet soda pop/ processed food glucose being stored in brain tissue as a major contributor to the “tsunami” of Alzheimer’s in aging Boomers. It is a given that the Boomer echo and millennial generations will suffer the same rates due to HCFS glucose diets today.

Hearing loss – doctors specializing in hearing  loss have noted a burgeoning epidemic of hearing loss in  young adults and have suggested a direct link to modern high  decibel headphones and ear-buds as in  “listen to loud music now and go deaf younger” - but that is a health topic to cover in future Post issues. RR