The trend for adults with diagnosed Type II Diabetes in America is staggering. In just the past thirty years it has ballooned three fold from 493,000 to 1.8 million new cases each year.1
There are age, gender and race differences highlighting genetic influences, but all groups are trending in the wrong direction. Those with family members with diabetes have a dramatically greater likelihood of becoming diabetic themselves. We are also witnessing massive increases in pediatric Type II Diabetes.2
Type II Diabetes Background
Unlike those with Type I Diabetes, Type II Diabetics produce insulin. Type II Diabetes glucose spikes occur when the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin or where there is a lack of insulin sensitivity. The lack of insulin sensitivity is known as insulin resistance. Insulin resistance produces excess glucose that circulates throughout the body. It leads to damaged nerves and small blood vessels in the eyes, kidneys, and heart. The body’s health is further compromised when it then becomes dehydrated.
“Type II is the most common form of diabetes, affecting 90-95% of the 26 million American Diabetics.”3
Cause & Effect
There is some debate in the scientific community about the causes of this increase. Most nutritionists would agree that diet is mostly, if not entirely to blame. It is also influenced by a lack of physical activity.
There are two main drivers of this new insulin resistance:
- Increased oxidative stress. 4
- Sugars with high glycemic indexes, especially high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). 5
The body’s high oxidative stress environment is explained in our NAFLD post. These factors are interrelated as toxins present in the body compromise the intestinal wall overwhelming the liver and immune system resulting in oxidative stress.
This type of oxidative stress disrupts sensitivity to insulin in the body. The terms to describe this condition are known as Metabolic Syndrome 6 or Diabesity. 7 This is in addition to the chronic inflammation oxidative stress causes and leads to a multitude of other health issues.
Metabolic Syndrome is defined by common pathologies: obesity, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, and hypertension. Recent studies have also concluded that high fructose corn syrup has a similar outcome in reducing insulin sensitivity. The use for HFCS has increased 1000% in the past 40 years.8
Recently the food industry introduced agave a ‘natural’ as an alternative to sugar. Unfortunately, agave has an even higher glycemic index and might even accelerate this process. In response to this the American Diabetic Association has recommended that agave be limited in diabetic diets.9
- https://www.touchendocrinology.com/articles/non-alcoholic-fatty-liver disease and type 2 diabetes
- http.www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/magazine/issues/winter08/articles/winter08pg12.html The growing challenge of “Diabesity.” Mary Best, author.