The Science behind Diet to Reverse type 2 Diabetes.

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Whilst I was researching into a diet to reverse type 2 diabetes, I began to look at the science behind why some people become diabetic, whilst others don’t. We all know that there is a link between obesity and diabetes, but why is it that some people become diabetic with a body mass index of 32, whilst others who have a morbidly obese body mass index and they don’t become diabetic? For instance Leo had a body mas index of 31 and developed type 2 diabetes, whilst mine was 45 and I had a very low risk of diabetes, because my glucose readings were very low.

We all know as well that diabetes can run in families, studies have shown that first connected relatives such as father and son, or sisters are at last three times more likely to become diabetic if there is a history of diabetes in the family.(Flores et al., 2003; Hansen 2003; Gloyn 2003). Mono zygotic, or identical twins share identical genes, yet in only about 1 in three cases both will be diabetics.

Clearly we are not hardwired to be diabetic, because there is no one diabetic gene, but that does not mean that more than one gene is involved in a predisposition to higher than average blood sugar levels. Of course it is not just genetic influences that make someone diabetic there are environmental factors as well.

Diet to reverse type 2 diabetes As recently as 15 years ago it was thought that if you had impaired glucose tolerance then the development of diabetes type 2 was inevitable. How depressing is that?

That is like saying to someone, oh dear you have IGT – go away and come back when you have developed full-blown diabetes and then we will put you on medication for the rest of your natural life. Oh by the way your life will be shortened for 15 years because the complications of diabetes are likely to kill you!.

The first ray of hope on the horizon was in 2002 when the New England Journal of medicine published day study in which an IGT group were randomly split the three treatment groups.

The first group received individual advice for 16 weeks about how to change their lifestyle and diet specifically towards losing weight and keeping it off. They were specifically advised to follow a low-fat, low-calorie diet and to exercise for 30 minutes for at least five times a week. The second group received no counselling and just a prescription for Metformin and the third group which was the control group were given a placebo or dummy tablets.

All participants were studied for four years and in each year of the study 5% of the lifestyle intervention group developed diabetes compared to 11% of the placebo group and those given medication fell somewhere between the two.

Those results are somewhat striking. Double the amount of people developed diabetes when no intervention was taken! Even after 10 years a follow-up study found that although there had been no further counselling or medication there was a 43% reduction in the development of diabetes in the lifestyle intervention group against the control group.

The next prevention trial for diabetes was published in 2003 in Finland. This study provided seven sessions in the first year and then every three months for the next three years with exercise sessions provided free of charge to all the participants. Over a three-year period 9% of those with IGT developed diabetes while 20% of those in the control group also developed diabetes. The control group could participate in exercise but they had no counselling or dietary advice..

Both of these studies showing a 50% reduction in the development of diabetes when efforts are made to change the lifestyle. That means that diet and exercise are more crucial in the management diabetes than medication. It demonstrates that not only can diabetes be prevented but impaired glucose tolerance can be reversed.

That didn’t answer the question of whether someone with diabetes could reverse it. In the last 20 years it has been noticed that those people who have undergone bariatric or weight loss surgery to deal with obesity have also dealt with their diabetes and reversed it. The end result of bariatric surgery is that it limits the calories absorbed through the got into the bloodstream. In one report 72% had reversed their diabetes by two years and a half of these remained without diabetes for 10 years.

So these studies show that it is possible to reverse diabetes. It may be your diabetes will not be reversed by tackling overweight and bringing your weight down into a safe margin will make the management of your diabetes so much more easy

Flores,J.C.,Hirschhorn, J., Altshuler, D.The inherited basis of diabetes mellitus: implicationsfor the genetic analysis of complex traits.Annu Rev Genomics HumGenet, 2003.4: 257-291.
Gloyn,A.L.The search for type 2 diabetes genes.Ageing Res Rev, 2003.2: 111-127.

Hansen,L.Candidate genes and late-onset type 2 diabetes mellitus.Susceptibility genes or common polymorphisms?Dan Med Bull, 2003.50: 320-346.

Diabetes prevention program research group, “reduction in the incidence of type II diabetes with lifestyle intervention or metformin”, New England Journal of Medicine, 346, (2002) 393 – 403.

Can I Pass Diabetes Type 2 on to my child


Diabetes Type 2 –Can I Pass it on to my Child?

Every prospective parent worries about the health of their unborn child, and that is perfectly normal. In today’s world we understand more about genes and it has increased the worry about what can I pass on to my child. Anyone who has type 2 diabetes knows that it is a serious condition and the complications of type 2 diabetes can be dramatic.

So Can I Pass on type 2 diabetes to my child?

The simple answer to the question of passing on of diabetes is yes it can be passed on, but that does not mean that it will be. Doctor Elliot Joslin started a twenty year scientific study about the genetic risk of diabetes in 1946 in a small town in Massachutas. That study is still going on in the Joslin foundation and its conclusions are no means conclusive.

About 1 in every 9 people will develop diabetes type 2 at some time in their lives, but these figures are increasing globally at such an alarming rate that it is almost an epidemic and that suggests that despite the fact that there is a risk of hereditary diabetes, there is another factor in play.

That factor is almost certain to be environmental triggers. In plain language that means that knowing the odds and looking at it as a numbers game is not that helpful as a way of assessing the risk. Too many people who have no hereditary risk of diabetes are contracting type 2 diabetes and that means that the environment and lifestyle choices are a major factor. Not everything in life can come down to numbers and statistics alone.

Gene pools do vary over time, but one generation is not significant in changes. Certainly there are clusters and outbreaks of diabetes that are unexplained by patters. For instance the incidence of diabetes in Northern Europe is higher than in Southern Europe, but some of the islands in Southern Italy have diabetic rates as high as in the North.

It does not take a mathematical genius to work out that the climate is warmer in Southern Europe, but if climate changes the risk then why do Sardinians have a very rate of diabetes? Certainly we do not have a any definitive answers at this time.

Many people who are type 2 diabetics will know of someone in their family who has also got diabetes. That does not mean that there is a diabetic gene which causes diabetes. Over ninety percent of diabetics are type 2 which means that they did not have the disease at birth they developed it at a later stage. Two things are evident here, the first thing is that because of the high number of type two diabetics they are almost certain to know someone else in their family with diabetes and if it was genetic they would have been born with the gene.

Families often share lifestyle choices. If you a child born into a family of couch potatoes, you are not very likely to develop a passion for exercise, of course you may in later make the change towards daily exercise but as a young child you are m ore likely to follow the examples set by your parents or siblings.

Families who eat a very healthy diet are not likely to give their young children the option of eating a large amount of sugar, simply because the sugar products will be in the house in high quantities. That does not mean when the children older and have their own pocket money that they will not buy sweets and chocolate, it merely means that their ability to get chocolate will be restricted when they are younger.

Overall this means that although diabetes runs in family because of the sheer number of people with type 2 diabetes, there are no definite scientific statements that can allocate the risk as a finite number.

Many of the causes of diabetes are not yet fully understood. It is your choice that makes a difference rather than being aware of the risks as a finite answer. Your choices are behavioral choice and there are many things that a diabetic can do to make the risk of passing on diabetes minimal.

The Factors that affect your Risk of passing Diabetes on to your child.

    A healthy lifestyle
    How much regular exercise you take
    The types of food you eat every day
    Overall control of your weight, and therefore your sugar levels

A healthy Lifestyle
A healthy lifestyle is eponymous, it is not just for after Christmas or to shed a few pounds for a party, it is for life. It means making choices on a daily basis that will have an impact on your health and then repeating those same choices the day after, and the day after that.

Exercise Regularly
Every adult should increase their heart rate for at least thirty minutes three times a week, or for fifteen minutes a day. That does not mean that you need expensive equipment or pay for a gym membership, it means a walk a brisk walk which is fast enough to raise your heart beat slightly.

Children need more exercise than that ideally they should have an hours exercise a day. Even that exercise does not have to be regulated; children play naturally and during play they hide, run away play tag or skip.

If you have young children take them to a nearby park or recreation ground or beach. If you live in a city there are many places to take them which are free. The bank of a river offers opportunities for exercise. Exercise together for added fun and quality time with your children.

The Types of Food you Eat Every Day.

Everybody eats unhealthy food occasionally even my husband who cured his type 2 diabetes eats a pudding occasionally! The operative word is occasionally, the types of food choices you make everyday determines how healthy your diet is overall. A healthy diet is not a chocolate biscuit in each hand.

An overall healthy diet has at least five portions of vegetables a day and two pieces of fruit. Whole grain foods are less processed so brown rice is healthier than white rice because it has had less of its goodness stripped out, the same goes for pasta and bread. Lean white meat and fish are healthier than hamburgers and oily fish such as salmon sardines and mackerel are also good for you. A healthy diet is influenced by fat and the way you cook affects your diet, grilling, steaming and casseroles are healthier than frying food. That does not mean that you can’t have fried chicken as a special treat – just don’t eat it every day.

How you eat also affects the amount of food you eat, fast food joints have upbeat music and bright lights both of which encourage you to eat more. Try to avoid mindless eating, eat at a table and don’t do anything else but eat, turn your phone off

Keep control of your weight
One massive catalyst for diabetes is obesity, eat healthily to be fuller for longer and listen to when you are hungry. If you eat slowly and chew your food you can feel when you have had enough.

In conclusion all of the lifestyle choices you make on a daily basis will have more impact on whether you can pass on diabetes to your child. The choice is yours and yours alone because lifestyle choices can change the course of genetic predispositions.

Causes of Type 2 Diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes which used to be known as middle aged diabetes, is the most universally widespread form of diabetes, but the causes of type 2 diabetes are not clear cut they are caused by a combination of factors, which include insulin resistance, this condition occurs when your liver, muscles and fat cannot use insulin.

Insulin helps muscle, fat, and liver cells absorb glucose from the bloodstream, lowering blood glucose levels. Insulin stimulates the liver and muscle tissue to store excess glucose. The stored form of glucose is called glycogen.

One of the causes of Type 2 diabetes develops when the body can no longer produce enough insulin to compensate for the impaired ability to use insulin. Symptoms of type 2 diabetes may develop gradually over a long period of time, and they can be subtle; some people with type 2 diabetes remain undiagnosed for years. Fifty years ago diabetes was called the silent killer because often it did not present symptoms until it had developed to the complications stage.

Causes of Type 2 Diabetes.

Causes of type 2 diabetes are not fully understand, but non the less there are some fairly accurate pointers. Type 2 diabetes develops most often in middle-aged and older people who are also overweight or obese. The disease, once rare in the young is becoming more common in overweight and obese children and adolescents. Scientists think genetic susceptibility and environmental factors are the most likely triggers of type 2 diabetes.

Genetic Susceptibility to type 2 Diabetes

Genes play a significant part in susceptibility and causes of type 2 diabetes. Having certain genes or combinations of genes may increase or decrease a person’s risk for developing the
disease. The role of genes is suggested by the high rate of type 2 diabetes in families
and identical twins and wide variations in diabetes prevalence by ethnicity. Type 2
diabetes occurs more frequently in African Americans, Alaska Natives, American
Indians, Hispanics/Latinos, and some Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific
Islander Americans than it does in non-Hispanic whites.
causes of type 2 diabetes
Recent studies have combined genetic data from large numbers of people, accelerating
the pace of gene discovery. Though scientists have now identified many gene variants
that increase susceptibility to type 2 diabetes, the majority have yet to be discovered. It is unlikely that there is one diabetic gene which causes type 2 diabetes. The known genes appear to affect insulin production rather than insulin resistance. Researchers are working to identify additional gene variants and to learn how they interact with one another and with environmental factors to cause diabetes.

Studies have shown that variants of the TCF7L2 gene cause type 2 diabetes. For people who inherit two copies of the variants, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes is about 80 percent higher than for those who do not carry the gene variant.1 However, even in those with the variant, diet and physical activity leading to weight loss
Genes can also increase the risk of diabetes by increasing a person’s tendency to become
overweight or obese. One theory, known as the “thrifty gene” hypothesis, suggests certain genes increase the efficiency of metabolism to extract energy from food and store the energy for later use. This survival trait was advantageous for populations whose
food supplies were scarce or unpredictable and could help keep people alive during
famine. In modern times, however, when high-calorie foods are plentiful, such a trait
can promote obesity and type 2 diabetes.

However modern research at Newcastle university is identifying one of the causes of type 2 diabetes as a result of crossing your personal fat threshold.This would account for the fact that some obese people will never develop diabetes.

Obesity and Physical Inactivity

Physical inactivity and obesity are strongly associated with the development of type 2
diabetes. People who are genetically susceptible to type 2 diabetes are more vulnerable
when these risk factors are present.

An imbalance between caloric intake and physical activity can lead to obesity, which
causes insulin resistance and is common in people with type 2 diabetes. Central obesity,
in which a person has excess abdominal fat, is a major risk factor not only for insulin
resistance and type 2 diabetes but also for heart and blood vessel disease, also called
cardiovascular disease (CVD). This excess “belly fat” produces hormones and other
substances that can cause harmful, chronic effects in the body such as damage to blood

The DPP and other studies show that millions of people can lower their risk for type 2
diabetes by making lifestyle changes and losing weight. The DPP proved that people
with prediabetes—at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes—could sharply lower
their risk by losing weight through regular physical activity and a diet low in fat and
calories. In 2009, a follow-up study of DPP participants—the Diabetes Prevention Pro-
gram Outcomes Study (DPPOS)—showed that the benefits of weight loss lasted for at
least 10 years after the original study began.

Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance is a common condition in people who are overweight or obese, have
excess abdominal fat, and are not physically active. Muscle, fat, and liver cells stop
responding properly to insulin, forcing the pancreas to compensate by producing extra
insulin. As long as beta cells are able to produce enough insulin, blood glucose levels
stay in the normal range. But when insulin production falters because of beta cell
dysfunction, glucose levels rise, leading to prediabetes which can develop into full blown diabetes.

Abnormal Glucose Production by the Liver

In some people with diabetes, an abnormal increase in glucose production by the liver
also contributes to high blood glucose levels. Normally, the pancreas releases the hormone
glucagon when blood glucose and insulin levels are low. Glucagon stimulates the liver
to produce glucose and release it into the bloodstream. But when blood glucose and
insulin levels are high after a meal, glucagon levels drop, and the liver stores excess
glucose for later, when it is needed.

For reasons not completely understood, in many people with diabetes, glucagon levels stay
higher than needed. High glucagon levels cause the liver to produce unneeded glucose,
which contributes to high blood glucose levels. Metformin, the most commonly used
drug to treat type 2 diabetes, reduces glucose production by the liver.

The Roles of Insulin and Glucagon in Normal Blood Glucose Regulation

A healthy person’s body keeps blood glucose levels in a normal range through several complex mechanisms. Insulin and glucagon, two hormones made in the pancreas, help regulate blood glucose levels

• Insulin, made by beta cells, lowers elevated blood glucose levels.
• Glucagon, made by alpha cells, raises low blood glucose levels.

When blood glucose levels rise after a meal, the pancreas releases insulin into the blood.

• Insulin helps muscle, fat, and liver cells
absorb glucose from the bloodstream,
lowering blood glucose levels.
• Insulin stimulates the liver and muscle
tissue to store excess glucose. The stored
form of glucose is called glycogen.
• Insulin also lowers blood glucose levels by
reducing glucose production in the liver.

When blood glucose levels drop overnight or due to a skipped meal or heavy exercise, the pancreas releases glucagon into the blood.

• Glucagon signals the liver and muscle tissue
to break down glycogen into glucose,
which enters the bloodstream and raises
blood glucose levels.
• If the body needs more glucose, glucagon
stimulates the liver to make glucose from
amino acids.