Diabetes mellitus currently affects 1 out of 11 European. Approximately 75 million people suffer from this condition in Europe, whereas one out of four adults is in a pre-diabetic stage.
Diabetes is the most common metabolic disease, having expanded so broadly fairly recently. The increase of the effect of certain forms of diabetes exceeds 700% within the last 50 years!
According to the endocrinologist Ron Rosedale, researcher in diabetes-related issues, this observation leads us to the following results:
- 1) It is a problem that is not fundamentally due to genetic reasons (genes), as this phenomenon appeared within the same generation.
- 2) The problem is linked to the radical change of lifestyle and diet within these 50 years.
The turn to mass consumption of processed carbohydrates and the great extent of food processing, in general, result in food of very low nutritional value (substances) and many calories. All the above, together with the significant reduction of physical action, have brought our bodies to their biochemical limits.
The human body is genetically programmed to function under certain specifications. We have entirely modified these instructions for use and operation and as a consequence, severe dysfunctions appear, such as diabetes.
The basic characteristic of life Our body is a colony of cells. A hundred trillion cells coexist, communicate and cooperate, making the human body the miracle that it is. Life is strong due to the ability of organisms to maintain a state of homeostasis.
The word “homeostasis” is derived from the words homeos [the same] and stasis [state] and describes the ability of living organisms to maintain the conditions of their internal environment stable (temperature, concentrations of various components etc), despite the external changes.
As long as an organism maintains the same environment, it is healthy. When it is not able to maintain a state of homeostasis, it starts to become sick and is led to death.
In order for life to be maintained in the cell colony of the human body, two basic preconditions have to be fulfilled:
- 1) Its cells must be able to produce adequate energy
- 2) To be able to contact each other so that they adjust their function accordingly.
Glucose for Energy
The basic molecule used by our cells for the production of energy is glucose. All foods irrespective of the category – fat, carbohydrates and proteins – are eventually converted to glucose which is burnt too release energy.
There is constant transfer and production of glucose within our body. Our body thus works very hard to keep sugar levels stable in the body, so that there is available energy in all cells. Sugar levels allowing for an optimal function are between 75-110 mg/dl. This means that in the 4 liters of blood circulating within our body any minute, less than a tablespoon of sugar is diluted.
Insulin and Leptin
A unique system of communication Hormones are very powerful substances transferred through the blood and regulating the operation of various organs and systems within our body. The two dominant hormones in energy reserves management within the human body are insulin and leptin. Whereas the role of insulin in the regulation of sugar levels in blood is broadly known, the same does not apply to the rest of its functions within our body, particularly in cooperation with leptin
. Leptin was discovered fairly recently – 15 years ago or so – and together with insulin they are the basic arrangers of our endocrine system. Leptin is produced by the adipose tissue, thus making our fat the greatest gland in the human body. Under normal conditions, leptin sends a signal to our brain that we received enough food and so we stop feeling hungry.
In order to better understand the role of leptin and insulin, we need to examine the basic purpose they serve. Our body has evolved for millions of years in an environment of food shortage. In an environment where food is scarce, energy reserves are the basic arranger for the operation of the body in several levels. If, for instance, our body does not have sufficient energy reserves, it cannot ensure survival and raising children. In this case, it averts having children via the corresponding hormones until the energy reserves are restored. Similarly, and depending on the energy reserves (fat), the body regulates the operation of the other glands and hormones: Thyroid, testosterone, estrogens, adrenaline, cortisol etc.
Diabetes: problem of communication
The large quantity of processed calories constantly drives sugar levels in blood upwards. Our body excretes increasingly higher quantities of insulin and leptin, in an effort to maintain blood levels within the desired range. The faster the absorption of food, the greater the speed at which sugar levels in blood rise, and the greater the needs for insulin and leptin. The more a food is processed, the quicker it is absorbed and the more enhanced this hormonal imbalance becomes. Our body gets used to the constantly elevated levels of these hormones and does not respond in the same way. Greater quantities of insulin and leptin result in greater needs for these hormones. This phenomenon is called “resistance”. After a few years, the pancreas is exhausted whereas the brain does not respond to leptin signals. Sugar in blood starts to rise whereas the brain considers that we do not have energy reserves and encourages us to eat as much as possible.
The whole situation leads to the dysregulation of our hormonal system and as a results to symptoms like:
- – Weight gain
- – Intense hunger
- – Sexual insufficiency
- – Predisposition for inflammation
- – Depression.
The one-sided emphasis on reducing sugar levels in blood does not fix any of the above disorders, resulting in a constant deterioration of our body health. Nowadays we are aware that most damages are not caused by high sugar levels in blood, but from high leptin and insulin levels that remain as such for many years before sugar exceeds the 126 mgr/dl that characterized someone as suffering from diabetes.
Upon diagnosis of diabetes, 50% of the patients already have a damage in the coronary vessels (heart vessels). This damage was not caused by sugar, but from high insulin levels. The evaluation of insulin and leptin levels together with the measurement of metabolic indices in urine may provide us with a complete image of the body at that particular moment. Advanced computer-aided technological applications may detect infinitesimal amounts of chemical substances excreted through our urine.
Any chemical reaction within our body produces a chemical substance. By measuring the derivatives (metabolites) of these reactions, we may evaluate whether there are deficiencies in vitamins, minerals or other micronutrients with great accuracy. The coverage of these deficiencies may restore the normal, healthy condition of our body and reduce the need for pharmaceutical support or the amount of insulin required for the adjustment of sugar.
Diabetes is not just a sugar problem, it conceals a broad metabolic disorder. The total improvement of the metabolic picture and our health is the only way to be healthy.