What if we're wrong about diabetes?

John Crowley
By John Crowley Latest Reply 2013-09-12 18:31:32 -0500
Started 2013-09-05 14:38:13 -0500

I just watched this incredible video about type 2 diabetes. It's a TED Talk from a doctor named Peter Attia. He talks about how we may have everything backwards in our thinking about the relationship between obesity and insulin resistance.

The implications of his ideas are huge. If insulin resistance causes obesity (instead of obesity causing insulin resistance), then many of the treatments and theories that we've been operating under for years are completely backwards. And the chances to get things right are greatly improved if we get a full understanding of which one comes first.

It is a fascinating and powerful video. You should watch it. Here's the link: http://www.diabeticconnect.com/diabetes-video...

13 replies

GabbyPA 2013-09-10 20:03:05 -0500 Report

This is what I think is the way it goes. That diabetes hits us far before we are diagnosed. Our bodies work hard to balance things until it just can't. However, how to you treat something you don't have yet? We all know that diet and exercise fix so much of what ales us, but we don't do it. I know I didn't and I was overweight my whole life. It's a chicken and egg issue that sometimes we just need to look for the cow.

Nick1962 2013-09-11 12:17:28 -0500 Report

I like the chicken/egg/cow analogy.

What I took away from this was that Attia was hinting around that we know/suspect overloading of sugar causes insulin resistance, but nobody has ever studied where that tipping point is. With the majority of diabetics being T2, it’s pretty clear that overconsumption is a major contributing factor to it. I suspect that in a short time there will be studies out showing a direct and concise correlation between diet and insulin resistance. The data is already there, someone just needs to compile it.

What blows me away is just how seemingly simple Attia’s view seems to be. Just last week there was some “revelation” that the Harvard School of Public Health came out with stating that consuming whole fruits rather than fruit juices can lessen the incidence of diabetes. I had to slap my forehead on that one. Geez, who knew concentrated sugar isn’t good for you right? Well, ask any diabetic which is better on your blood sugar, whole fruit or juice, and they’ll look at you like you’re some kind of idiot.

Hmmm. Controlling the incidence of diabetes by yearly A1c tests throughout one’s life and assessing their risk to prevent it? So crazy it just might work. Would sure beat the “wait until hospitalized or 50” method we use now.

GabbyPA 2013-09-11 15:53:21 -0500 Report

Yes, I saw that news about blueberries. Eat 5 servings a week, but don't drink the juice. DUH....you are so right. That is why we have to really bang our heads with our doctors. They are so stuck in a rut. I am glad that he will be devoted to this. I hope it helps find things ahead of time. I tell you...HFC is one of the culprits. It's in everything and I mean everything. Companies are getting the message though and many are taking it out. It will be interesting to see what the next 50 years brings us.

Nick1962 2013-09-11 19:00:43 -0500 Report

Even the next 10 years will be interesting. I hope he does manage to make a difference and becomes a “Mercola version 2”. Up until now, Mercola’s messages weren’t ready to be heard, but I think the time has come.
As you probably have figured, this is one of my subjects of intense interest. I signed up with Attia’s website “The Eating Academy” and you may find some interesting things there. Especially his blog “Is Sugar Toxic” from May 28 http://eatingacademy.com/ (and I gotta get me one of those “Praise The Lard” t-shirts he’s wearing in his “about me” section).

It’s ironic that whenever you look up daily nutritional requirements, you always get the daily MINIMUM requirements, but never the maximum. He brings up toxicity and points out “…..some argue that fructose consumption impacts subsequent food consumption in a way that glucose does not. In other words, eating sugar may fail to satiate you and/or make you subsequently hungrier…..” and pretty much upholds your theory on HFC. While the product itself may not be toxic “in doses” by definition, we as humans may actually be consuming it in “overdose” amounts and no one has tested it’s toxicity to those levels. I don’t get that logic – if one potato is safe to eat, 20 wouldn’t be a problem right? Or would they?

I think it’s long past time that we look into just how much you can safely consume (no matter what it is) to determine the upper limits. Bloomberg’s soda ban may not look so stupid if we do discover that a 64 oz./day soda habit can cause pancreatic cancer.

GabbyPA 2013-09-12 10:46:47 -0500 Report

I like Mercoal too and you are right. People are finally starting to listen to the "past quacks" and I hope that they can help get us going on the right path. You are so right about the potato analogy. Moderation is preached, but what is that? It's different to everyone and based so much on what we are "used" to. He is very inspiring, indeed. I hope your 10 site is right. I would like to see it help sooner than later.

Funny you should mention lard...I have been buying it and trying to get myself to use it. Its a little intimidating, mostly because it goes into all of those yummy things we shouldn't eat. LOL

Nick1962 2013-09-12 15:34:36 -0500 Report

Well no doubt if Attia is successful, some paradigms will shift. If you did a hole deep enough, you eventually hit something dangerous or unsavory enough to make you claw your way out. It’s a shame the CDC, ADA and the like have to wait until they’re ankle deep in in the bottom. Last Tuesday’s little media nugget “CDC targets needless deaths due to poor lifestyle habits” really makes me wonder if the staff actually lived on the planet prior to writing it. Another forehead slap for me!

sincitylady 2013-09-10 09:46:42 -0500 Report

I agree with you, the changes in diet and exercise can cure diabetes. But then I think diet has a lot to do with our health. We have been programmed by advertising into the unnatural world of additives in our food. I not so sure it's better living thru chemistry.

_Sean 2013-09-09 00:36:57 -0500 Report

Well maybe this theory works for people who are type 2.

John Crowley
John Crowley 2013-09-09 10:00:01 -0500 Report

Sean, you're exactly right. I should have been more clear. And though there are a few type 1's who do have insulin resistance and struggle with obesity, the issue is much more common in type 2's. Thanks for pointing that out.


swinaz 2013-09-08 20:33:49 -0500 Report

Thank you for your post. It sure makes you think doesn't it! I am definitely going to check out the video.

Nick1962 2013-09-05 16:19:19 -0500 Report

I’ve enjoyed TED talks since they came on-line in 2006. They are about the most thought provoking short lectures I’ve ever seen, and this one is no different. Powerful stuff there!

The statement “scientific truth isn’t final, but constantly evolving” hits home for me. Especially with diabetes. If scientific truth were final, and never challenged, this website and the tablet I’m viewing it on would never exist. Much of our current world wouldn’t exist in fact.

I’ve always have to bite my tongue when someone says “diabetes can’t be cured” or “once you have it, you will always have it”. My question is “who says so?”

What if, as Dr. Attia suggests, we are all abiding by the “final truth” theory, and that anytime a person has high blood sugar, automatically has diabetes? Why are we so content to accept diabetes is the only answer/diagnoses to high blood sugar.

Like Dr. Attia, I’ve changed my diet, lost weight and as a result got my numbers under control. My doctor has put my diabetes in the “past issues” column and no longer “treats” me for it. At a recent check-up I asked him what exactly (other than it’s common for my age and lifestyle) would cause him to believe I was diabetic, and what tests are there to prove I still have it? My A1c wouldn’t warrant any further testing, my last OGTT came back just fine, as have my fasting and random plasma tests. I have no neuropathy, retinopathy, or diabetic symptoms. I have yet to have anyone, professional or otherwise, tell me exactly what test will prove at this point that I’m still diabetic.

What if diabetes was, in my case, just a convenient and commonly accepted diagnosis for what is really a case of insulin resistance? And what if, that insulin resistance was brought on by (as Dr. Attia suggests) the crappy diet I developed. And again, what if that insulin resistance can be reversed? If you drink too much you get drunk and suffer hangovers. What if food were the same way – once I stopped eating the junk to excess, the hangover (or diabetes in this case) goes away?