The principal cause of adult onset diabetes is a dysfunctional pancreas. That’s why you need to regularly have your insulin levels checked – at least every six months to find out what level of strain your’re putting on your pancreas. If the strain is high, you need to dramatically alter your diet and dramatically increase your level of physical activity.
What causes pancreatic dysfunction? The need to pump out every-increasing amounts of insulin to overcome insulin resistance. What this means is that the glucose in your blood stream is delivered to muscles, ready for action and the action doesn’t happen. The pancreas has to do all the work of removing the excess glucose from the blood and arranging to have it stored elsewhere on the body.
Persistently high levels of insulin, for years and years eventually causes the pancreas to ‘wear out’.
The cause? A high carbohydrate diet.
In simple terms it works like this:
Lack of Physical Activity
Due to lack of physical activity the excess blood sugar has ‘nowhere to go’. As the pancreas becomes more and more stressed, its ability to maintain the blood glucose balance becomes reduced. Eventually it becomes dysfunctional. It ‘gives up.’
You end up with persistent high insulin levels and later, when the pancreas is worn out, persistently high levels of blood glucose.
The more insulin in your system the fatter you become.
As you become fatter it becomes more and more difficult to support the mechanism which regulates the absorption of glucose from the blood and its utilization in muscles.
On the other hand, if you exercise with vigor on a regular and systematic basis the mechanism for getting glucose out of the blood and into the muscles is maintained in a healthy state, and you’ll maintain an ideal body weight.
The Wrong Diet
The wrong type of food at the wrong time.
Because of the refined, high density garbohydrate diet that we have been conditioned to eat at just about every meal (and in between) continually floods the blood with glucose; the pancreas has to work too hard, too often. Eventually, (and this is over many years) it becomes worn out and, unable to produce enough insulin to moderate blood glucose levels. As a result blood glucose levels escalate.
The high density carbohydrate are the sugars and starches. The starches are polysaccharides. That is they are made up of combinations of glucose molecules. Therefore in a short time after eating a starch meal, blood sugar becomes elevated.
If you look at the typical western diet it looks like this.
Cereal and toast.
Bread, with a sliver of salad or meat.
Pasta, followed by icecream or cake — more sugar and more starch.
The body is being continually flooded with sugar-type foods, the net effect of which is to bring about a rapid elevation of blood sugar which requires a response from the pancreas to pump out sufficient insulin to bring the level back to normal. Without exercise, the increase in insulin production may cause an over-correction, leading to low blood sugar. When your blood sugar is low you can feel tired, depressed and hungry.
At this point most people reach for a snack, chocolate or biscuits which introduces sugar and starch into the system starting the pre-diabetic food cycle all over again.
The wrong amount of food
If you eat too much, particularly the high garbohydrate starch and sugar meals and snacks. Lack of exercise and obesity bring about increased insulin resistance in muscles. It reduces the effective function of the mechanism designed to move glucose into muscles.
Lack of essential vitamins and minerals
Adult onset diabetes has been linked with a long line of vitamin and mineral deficiency. The effect of chromium dxefici9ency is well known.
It’s a complicated web of interactions which make it all that much harder for the blood glucose system to work properly. Visit our Health and Fitness Bookshop for the books containing more detailed information about diet and diabetes.
Pathway to Adult Onset Diabetes
Lack Of Physical Activity
Adult onset diabetes starts off with lack of regular, vigorous physical activity. The muscles are the main site for burning off excess blood glucose.
High Starch And Sugar Diet
A persistent high starch, high sugar diet places stress on the pancreas to pump out more insulin in order to keep blood sugar at an optimal level.
A high starch and sugar diet promote the production of insulin – the storage hormone. You get fatter.
Diabetes may be fueled by a vitamin or mineral deficiency, particularly chromium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, zinc, and vitamins C, B3, B6, biotin, B12, E.
Amber Light Flashing
If you’re a couch potato on a high starch and sugar diet, and if you’re more than 10Kg over your ideal weight the diabetic amber light is flashing even though blood glucose levels appear normal!
The situation is redeemable, providing you get 1000 Aerabytes per week and eat from the top of the Hourglass.
Alarm Bells Ring
Resting blood glucose levels start to rise, approaching 6, 7, or 8 mmol/l. Insulin resistance in muscles is definitely on the increase.
Your doctor probably hasn’t measured your insulin levels, preferring to focus on the symptom of a ‘shot’ pancreas rather than on the persistent overloading of the pancreas. Get your insulin level checked regularly.
The situation is redeemable, providing you exercise with vigor (1000 Aerabytes a week) and eat from the top of the Hourglass.)
Insulin resistance in muscles increasing.
Red Light Is Flashing
Insulin resistance has built up to the point where the pancreas cannot keep up with the demands for insulin. Insulin resistance has increased. Glucose levels in the blood go sky high, reaching 20 – 30 mmol/l.
The situation is less likely to be redeemable. Your pancreas may be permanently stuffed. You’re on the tablet for life! You’re at risk of all the complications that go with adult onset diabetes.
However, the best thing you can do is to take some of the load off your pancreas by exercising with vigor (1000 Aerabytes per week) and cutrting out all the ‘glucose dump’ carbohydrate foods. With some time, effort and thought you may well be able to minimize your dysfunction and moderate blood sugar levels.
Keeping Track of Blood Glucose Levels
A normal level of blood glucose is between 3.5 and 6 mmol/litre. It doesn’t much matter whether this is fasting or non-fasting. For some people fasting levels appear quite normal, whilst after a meal they may increase dramatically and show up a dysfunction.
Once it gets to 7 the amber light starts flashing. By the time it’s got to 10 the red light is flashing.
You will probable be experiencing periods when you are thirstier than normal and frequent urination. You can be certain that the pancreas is struggling and on the verge of giving up. Once that happens the blood glucose level can shoot up to 20 or more with dire consequences for health. You can end up going blind, having circulation problems where you end up having your legs amputated.
When it’s all boiled down, blood sugar level going too high is really a case of bad self management.
For starters you need to know what your resting and post prandial blood sugar levels are before they get out of hand. Either measure them yourself, (and this is easy if you have a blood glucose measuring kit) or have them measured at your pathologists on a regular basis. If you’re in the at risk group, (over 40, unfit and overweight) having your own kit to measure your blood glucose level is not a bad idea.
On top of that you need to keep yourself in good physical shape. It’s easy to do, doesn’t cost much, require expensive medical intervention or depend on rocket science.