What is the main cause of diabetes?
Diabetes is rising in epidemic proportions, with over 9% population of the world now diabetic. According to WHO (World Health Organization), In 2014, 8.5% of adults aged 18 years and older had diabetes.  Some other studies suggest the number is closer to 11%. Accordingly to ADA (American Diabetes Association), diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death in the United States in 2015 based on the 79,535 death certificates in which diabetes was listed as the underlying cause of death. 
Suppose you have diabetes or care for a loved one who has diabetes. In that case, you know by now that diabetes is a metabolic disease in which the body becomes resistant to insulin or when the pancreas stops producing enough insulin. So in this article, we try to go deeper into proven causes of diabetes and how to irradicate or at least minimize those irritants which would facilitate diabetes reversal.
Multiple studies over the past several decades involving subjects from different ages and ethnic backgrounds have proven that animal fat (meat/cheese/milk) raises insulin level higher than an equivalent quantity of high-carbohydrate food. So much, so that same quantity of beef will increase insulin levels in people with diabetes more than the equivalent quantity of straight sugar. Now that sounds alarming, doesn’t it? It does. But let us look deeper as to why that might be the case.
If you have diabetes or care for a loved one that has diabetes you already know diabetes is a disease where the pancreas does not produce any insulin or enough insulin. Insulin is a hormone that has a vital role in body’s metabolism. Insulin is what regulates how the body uses blood glucose to convert that into energy that our body needs. If the body doesn’t create any insulin or enough insulin, the body’s ability to regulate the function to convert blood glucose into energy will be degraded. This causes the blood glucose, also commonly referred to blood sugar levels to go up. Instead of the blood glucose being converted into energy there is extra glucose floating around in your blood.
So how does insulin help convert blood glucose into energy? Well, insulin acts as the keys to the kingdom (cell of your body) that allows the glucose to enter the cell which then can be consumed by the cell as energy. Insulin attaching itself to the cell membrane opens the door for the glucose to get into the cell. For people with diabetes, this essential metabolic function of insulin attaching to the cell membrane for it to allow glucose to enter is degraded.
As Dr. Barnard explains it, think of cell of your body as a lock and insulin as the key to that lock. Ever wondered if that set of lock and key worked for you earlier then what has changed for the same key not to work for that lock? In simple terms, something must be stuck in the key hole of the lock for the key to open the lock. Imagine you using the same key every day to open your front door when you come home from work. But one day unknown to you, a mysterious kid on your block sticks a chewing gum in the key hole. When you get back home the same key you have used before would not work and you will be locked out of your house.
That is what happens inside the body for people with diabetes with their insulin and their blood glucose. Now that gum is stuck in the key hole, you need to remove the gum, and your key will work as it used to earlier. You can still open that lock with the same key as long as you clean out the key hole. So do you know what is stuck in your cell’s key hole that doesn’t allow it to be opened with the same key that used to work before?
Fat is what is inter fearing with insulin, not letting it attach to the cell membrane. The analogy used to explain how gum doesn’t allow the key to open the lock is exactly how fat doesn’t allow insulin to open the door for the glucose to enter the cell. So if you eliminate grease from your diet, that in-itself will serve as a huge help in controlling your blood sugar levels. If you want better control of your blood sugars the first thing you should do it cut-out the fat entering your system immediately and at the same time add exercise to your daily routine to reduce the fat that already exists in your cells. More about effective exercises for diabetics can be found here.
Inflammation is not always bad. Inflammation is a way for our bodies to fight infection and repair itself. It is our natural tendency to fight unwanted intruder in our body. Inflammation is a sign that our white blood cells are at work and trying to get us back to normal. Some common signs of inflammation are pain, sore throat, fever, headache, swelling, and itching. But often inflammation does not manifest itself in symptoms. That is when it is most dangerous. It turns into chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is a long developing syndrome which persists for a long time. And inflammation does increase insulin resistance and cause diabetic complications. So, in a nutshell, acute inflammation (symptoms are severe and sudden in onset) is natural. It is representative of a healthy system which is trying to protect and repair itself but chronic inflammation (no symptoms and persists for a long time) is damaging to our long term health. Chronic inflammation severely degrades insulin sensitivity causing diabetes or further complications.
Way out of chronic inflammation is simple yet we often neglected. Most people don’t even know they are suffering from chronic inflammation which adds to their diabetic complications. Most important thing to reduce inflammation and get out of chronic inflammation is to reduce stress. Reduce your emotional and mental/phycological stressors by meditating daily. Also, reduce your physical stress by avoiding foods that stress your digestive tract. More about diet needed for diabetes reversal can be found here. Other things will help reduction of inflammation – Eat well, avoid toxins (caffeine, cola, chemicals found in canned food, etc.) as much as possible. Sleep well, that is one the most neglected aspect of our natural healing tendency. Proper sleep provides your body the opportunity to repair and heal itself. Do not cheat on providing your body the opportunity to heal. Alkalize your body and maintaining a balanced Ph level which will expedite your recovery from chronic stress. Fuel your body mindfully, replenish it with macro nutrients. Start your day by having a nutrient dense alkalizing smoothie. The recipe can be found here.
There have been numerous studies performed on diabetes over the past several decades. None of the risk factors could explain all of the variances in the population. But one thing came out unambiguously, neuro endocrine changes induced by stressors have been proven contributor to diabetes. Studies have also shown that stress not only affects the onset of diabetes and it also exacerbates it if not kept under check.
Stress can be emotional, behavioral, mental or physical. Symptoms of stress manifest them in various forms. Some commonly known symptoms are shown in the picture. But it is important to note that a lot of time stress might not have any early warning signs. Often symptoms of stress are either ignored or misunderstood. It is easier to identify some types of physical stressors like fatigue, illness, and allergies. But a kind of physical stress that is neglected is the food sensitivity stressor. There are particular types of food that your body might have to exert higher than average energy to digest. These are not full-fledged allergies, and often people don’t even know they have individual food sensitivities. And then there are universally proven foods that fall into the category of foods that induce stress on the human body. Milk is the top culprit in this category.
Admittedly, there are contradicting studies out there, but we have growing evidence that cow milk contains A1 beta casein which triggers an autoimmune reaction. Autoimmune, as the name suggests is a response from our bodies to counter balance the introduction of A1 beta casein. This is achieved by producing antibodies against the beta-cells. And these beta-cells are what we need to produce insulin. Basically by drinking cow milk which contains A1 beta casein we are self-destroying our beta cells that produce insulin. Over repeated consumption of this type of milk, we gradually destroy these cells and induce diabetes. And if people with diabetes continue consuming this kind of milk and its byproducts they risk exacerbating their diabetes further.
Stress induces a fight or flight response in our body, and that elevates cortisol. And elevated cortisol increases inflammation in our body and at the same time undermines bodies ability to control insulin and blood glucose. Hence all forms of stressors should be reduced to gain better control of your blood sugar levels.
Almost all types of stress may it be emotional, behavioral, mental or physical can be reduced with meditation. Meditation is training the mind to attain consciousness and to concentrate on the awareness around it. Meditation is of various kinds, but two types of meditation are most beneficial for people with diabetes – mindful meditation and dynamic meditation. Beyond the medical benefits of meditation for diabetes, meditation also helps people attain a more peaceful state of mind which is vital for reversing diabetes.