Dr Peter Brukner OAM

What is diabetes?

2 mins read

Diabetes is a disease of carbohydrate intolerance, when eating sugars and starches leads to high levels of blood glucose (sugar) in the blood.

Why is it a problem?

Diabetes is a problem because it brings many health complications. Diabetics have higher risk of:

  • 4 x risk of cardiovascular disease – angina, heart attacks, strokes
  • Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease – which has been described as ‘type 3 diabetes’
  • Amputations through foot damage such as ulcers
  • Blindness (diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in adults)
  • Kidney disease and kidney failure (dialysis)
  • Skin infections, both bacterial and fungal
  • Nerve damage such as numbness, loss of feeling

What are the different types of diabetes?

There are a number of different types of diabetes:

  • Type 1 diabetes: Is an autoimmune condition that tends to affect younger people. It requires regular insulin injections because of the body’s inability to produce insulin.
  • Type 2 diabetes: Accounts for 85% of those with a diabetic disease and usually occurs later in life, often associated with obesity. It’s caused by insulin resistance and it’s treated with medication and lifestyle measures such as a low carb diet.
  • Gestational diabetes: Develops during pregnancy and affects 12-14% of pregnant women.
  • Pre-diabetes: A group of conditions such as metabolic syndrome, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and obesity which are linked to insulin resistance. They’re thought to lead in many instances to the development of type 2 diabetes.
  • Insulin resistance: A key factor in the development of type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases.

How does insulin resistance cause diabetes?

If you eat a diet high in sugar (from carbs, processed foods or high sugar foods), your body gradually becomes resistant to insulin. It requires more and more insulin to control your blood sugar level. These high levels of insulin lead to increased fat storage and salt retention (among other health issues). Eventually the pancreas fails. It simply can’t produce the insulin needed to counteract the sugar. Blood glucose levels start to rise and the result is type 2 diabetes.

So, what’s metabolic syndrome?

Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disease, when a cluster of conditions occur together, increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. Metabolic syndrome is a combination of:

  • high blood pressure
  • high blood sugar
  • obesity
  • high triglycerides and
  • low HDL cholesterol

It’s associated with insulin resistance and regarded as a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Is there a cure for type 2 diabetes?

There is a way to send type 2 diabetes into remission – and luckily you’re in the right place to find out how! With the help of Defeat Diabetes, many of you will be able to send their type 2 diabetes into remission, simply by changing your approach to food.

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