I have explained this over and over to both my patients and other medical providers.
It is not widely understood, and that is a TRAGEDY.
This is such a critical and basic fact about Type 2 Diabetes, yet most people you meet (doctors and patients alike) will not know this.
Type 2 Diabetes is caused by TOO MUCH INSULIN. In medical speak, we call this hyperinsulinemia.
First, I want to break this down for you so that it is very simple in Part 1.
Then I want to talk about what this means when you start treating Type 2 Diabetes with medications in Part 2.
As a teaser for Part 2, I want to point out briefly that you don’t have to straight up inject insulin to be on medications that elevate insulin in the body.
Now, let’s dig in. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that signals the body to:
- Take up glucose (or blood sugar) to burn for fuel
- Stop burning fat and start storing it
When insulin is high, you gain weight and you cannot access fat stores for fuel. When it is high ALL THE TIME, you develop insulin resistance where your body does not respond to insulin even when it is there.
To make this clearer, let’s use the example of alcohol addiction. When a person drinks alcohol only every now and then, they don’t require more than 1 or 2 drinks to feel the effects of the alcohol. But, when a person drinks often, say every day, they become less sensitive to it. Pretty soon, they are needing more and more alcohol to get the same effect. This is because their body has become resistant to it. Therefore, frequent exposure leads to resistance.
The same “adaptation” happens when your insulin level is high most of the time. Your body learns to adapt and becomes less sensitive to it, or resistant. When you become insulin resistant, you need more and more insulin to have the same effect. Just like with too much alcohol.
What’s worse is that when you develop resistance, your body has to make MORE insulin to overcome the resistance. And then you become MORE RESISTANT! And then you need more insulin and so on.
INSULIN RESISTANCE DRIVES ITSELF!
This process goes on for an average of 10 years before you ever see elevated blood sugars and receive a diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes.
So how do you break this cycle?
Well, it’s not going to be by taking more insulin. It’s by allowing your insulin levels to fall and stay low for periods of time so that you can regain sensitivity to it.
Insulin is released when you eat. Foods that require the most insulin are the foods that raise blood sugar, or carbohydrates such as starches and grains.
The more highly refined and concentrated the carbohydrates (e.g., flour and sugar), the more insulin is required to clear the rapid rise in blood sugar.
So, let’s reflect on some of the dietary “wisdom” that most of us have accepted as truth:
- You must eat breakfast because it is the most important meal of the day.
- You need to eat every 2-3 hours to keep your metabolism up and avoid low blood sugars.
- Eat more protein, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Eat less fat.
So, what you notice here is that we are supposed to believe that eating all the time is healthy.
Eating carbohydrate-rich foods constantly is what is causing obesity and Type 2 Diabetes, because both of these diseases are caused by too much insulin.
It’s very simple; however, you may have been told a number of reasons why you have Type 2 Diabetes, such as:
- You are overweight or obese
- It runs in your family and you will get it no matter what
- Your pancreas quit on you
And then your doctor gives you medications to help bring your blood sugars down.
So what is the explanation for this?
Join me in Part 2 where we get to the bottom of this conundrum. When you understand the answer to this question, you’ll be so much better equipped to take care of your diabetes.
And by the way, you don’t have to wait for my blog posts to arrive to get informed and get busy controlling or reversing your Type 2 Diabetes. Visit my website to access a wealth of information and learn what it’s like to work with me.