The Reality of Obesity with Diabetes
In a talk on TED-MED, Peter Attia MD, told the story of his disdain for a diabetic patient he treated during his residency stint in the emergency room. (Disdain he now very much regrets.)
The reason for his disdain? She was obese, and to his mind, it was her own fault, as was the diabetes it caused.
But then he unexpectedly gained forty pounds. Worse, his blood tests didn’t look all that good. How could that be? He exercised all the time. And his diet was a wonder to behold, never varying so much as a millimeter from the government-inspired, government-created food pyramid.
Desperate for an answer, he hit the books. Only to learn the culprit was his diet! His government-approved, medicine-approved, don’t-change-a-thing diet caused both his weight gain and his insulin resistance.
Well, now, see, I love it when that happens. Not that I ever wish anybody ill, but when ill-conceived theory gets blown out of the water by reality, it’s a great day.
Meeting up with reality brought me back to health, and reality also worked for Dr. Attia. In fact, it works for everybody who tries it, but conventional wisdom exerts a powerful hold that needs to be resisted for truth to have a chance.
His information is still relatively new, but Dr. Attia bet his career on it by going into research.
Obesity doesn’t cause diabetes
What did he find? Obesity doesn’t cause diabetes. Obesity is the body’s response to insulin resistance, a situation where we get flooded with insulin because our cells can’t deal with it. Tests blame the blood sugar that insulin is supposed to handle but doesn’t, but high blood sugar is a result not the cause.
If you are obese but not insulin-resistant, your health risks don’t go up. The risk is, once again, from insulin resistance, not obesity.
Packing on the pounds is the body’s normal coping mechanism as it tries to save you from moving from insulin resistance to full-blown diabetes.
And here’s the bad news that really news: Insulin-resistant folks who don’t chunk up are in far worse trouble than those who do. Risks skyrocket when bodies lose the ability to do what they were born to do, in this instance, flab out. Well, who knew?
I’ve said it before, and I’ll surely say it again-and again-diet is a huge part of health. And the diets you read and hear about pretty much everywhere cause a world of hurt, what with being rooted in theory instead of reality.
Dr. Attia’s news is big-time stuff, but there’s much more I hope he’ll get to.
First, diabetes is an endocrine disease, and no endocrine gland suffers alone. If the pancreas is in trouble (diabetes), the other glands are bailing like crazy trying to help. That’s why diabetes causes such wide-ranging problems.
But, as I’ve mentioned before, doctors aren’t taught how the endocrine system actually works. So they don’t know its inherent domino effect or that good health requires getting all the glands to march to the same drummer.
Second, our food supply offers puny nutrition, so we need to add supplementation. And here again, it’s important to discover what’s real and what isn’t.
Meanwhile, let’s all praise Dr. Attia for his bravery in pursuing-and publishing-truths that drug manufacturers, dietitians and the media would just as soon ignore.
Let me end with one quick tip: High fructose corn syrup plays a big role in insulin resistance; don’t let it pass your lips. It’s everywhere, so you’ll have to read labels and avoid fast food, but whatever it takes is worth it.
God is good,
Copyright by Bette Dowdell. All rights reserved
P.S. Bette Dowdell is not a doctor, nor does she purport to be She’s a patient who’s been studying and successfully handling her own endocrine problems for more than 30 years. She offers introductory teleseminars and an in-depth 12-month subscription program, “Moving to Health” about living well with endocrine issues. She explains how things work-or don’t, discusses what things to avoid as well as the things that help, and she provides a lot of well-researched nutritional information. Subscribe to her free e-zine at Information is power.