By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness
April 13, 2012
- The new understanding about diabetes and obesity
- The 7 nutrients you need to dodge the diabesity bullet
- Take a Mediterranean vacation without leaving home
You already know that being overweight comes with a higher risk of a long list of illnesses and conditions. And Type 2 adult onset diabetes is at epidemic proportions.
But you might not realize just how connected these two are. So connected that some doctors have coined a new term…
Until now, we have considered these twin epidemics. But with this new name, and this new understanding of the root causes behind the epidemic, we now have more ammunition against it.
Even if your doctor has not diagnosed you with diabetes, you may be one of the millions of people who could be placed on what is now being called the ‘diabetic continuum.’ The list includes: insulin resistance, obesity, pre-diabetes, metabolic syndrome, syndrome x, adult onset diabetes and type 2 diabetes.
Most conventional doctors simply treat the symptoms of these various conditions, as they arise. High blood sugar gets a pill. High blood pressure, another pill. High cholesterol, yet another pill. Each of these medications comes with a lengthy list of side effects… and the snowball effect begins.
But Functional Medicine physicians – like myself – prefer to focus on the root causes of this epidemic. Whether you already have symptoms or not, the following approaches will address the root cause of this metabolic imbalance… which is the most effective way of staying healthy over the long haul…
The symptoms of diabesity stem from problems with our diet, lifestyle, and the way environmental toxins interact with our unique genetic makeup. If we treat the symptoms, we may be able to manage or slow down the disease. But we don’t actually cure it. This is why so few people believe diabetes can be reversed.
And yet, in my practice, I see the reversal of diabetes and obesity all the time. I see people heal themselves by making powerful changes to their lives. Using nothing more than food, necessary supplements, and exercise.
I firmly believe this is the difference between managing symptoms and addressing the root cause.
For example, in 2008, the ACCORD study had to be stopped midway through because they found that aggressive blood sugar lowering with medications led to more deaths and more heart attacks. Same with a recent study that found statin use was causing diabetes, which was causing an increase in heart attacks. The exact opposite of the intended effect.
These studies point to the fact that managing symptoms does not change the problem. And in some cases, exacerbates it. After all, if the medications worked, the rate of diabetes, obesity – and diabesity – would be going down, not up.
So, here’s what I find really works…
There is an epidemic preceding the epidemic. Namely, nutritional deficiency due to processed foods, too much sugar and high fructose corn syrup, and at least 7 specific nutrients that are either missing or dwindling from our diet.
If you address this root problem, you have a much better chance of avoiding diabesity completely.
The following nutrients have each been shown in tests to help prevent and treat diabesity. And yet, they are dwindling in our bodies, and more difficult to get through our diet and lifestyle. They are:
• Vitamin D
• Omega-3 Fats
• Antioxidants in general, ALA (Alpha-Lipoic Acid) in particular
You see, food – and the nutrients it provides – isn’t just energy. It is in a symbiotic relationship with your cells, and even your DNA, and can either turn on or turn off the genetic mechanism causing disease.
If you’re willing to eat a healthier diet consistently, that includes these nutrients and steers clear of processed foods, you can take yourself off the diabesity continuum completely.
Here’s what I suggest…
You may have heard of the Mediterranean diet. It refers to the traditional fare of the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. It consists of fresh vegetables and fruits, nuts and seeds, beans, whole grains, healthy fats that are high in Omega-3, and modest amounts of lean animal protein. It even includes moderate amounts of alcohol, and cannot be considered a starvation diet by any stretch of the imagination.
In fact, it’s downright delicious.
While many physicians still recommend a low-fat diet, studies have shown the Mediterranean diet is better at controlling blood sugar and helping people lose or maintain their weight.
And last year new research showed this diet curbed the spectrum of metabolic syndrome symptoms. You know, symptoms like high blood pressure, abdominal obesity (aka belly fat), high cholesterol levels, and insulin resistance.
Needless to say, this diet doesn’t have any of the side effects of the various pharmaceuticals being used in the treatment and management of diabetes. And because it works on the root cause of diabesity, rather than just the symptoms, the positive effects can last your entire, healthy, active, lifetime.
In the next issue, I’ll share with you why dieting fails, and what you can do instead.
- Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes Study Group (ACCORD), Effects of intensive glucose lowering in type 2 diabetes. N Engl J Med. 2008 Jun 12;358(24):2545-59. Epub 2008 Jun 6.
- Lazarou C, Panagiotakos D, Matalas AL., The role of diet in prevention and management of type 2 diabetes: implications for public health. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2012 May;52(5):382-9.