• Decrease font size
  • Default font size
  • Increase font size

Article Index

Disarming Diabetes
By Dr. Hans Diehl and Dr. Aileen Ludington

             Since World War II diabetes has been advancing relentlessly in developed countries where it is now one of the leading causes of death. If present trends continue, babies born today will have a one five chance of becoming diabetic in their lifetimes, recent times, there has been no known cure.
             No more! Today many people are beating diabetes. They are normalizing their blood sugars and getting insulin by making healthful lifestyle changes.
              In America a new diabetic is discovered every 50 seconds.
What exactly is Diabetes?
             Diabetes occurs when the body become unable to handle glucose (sugar), which builds up to dangerous levels in the blood. A diagnosis of diabetes is usually made when a blood sugar test is consistently above 125 mg% (7.0 mmol/L) after an eight-hour fast. Fasting blood sugar (FBS) levels of 100-125 (5.6-6.9 mmol/L are known as pre-diabetes.
             There are two kinds of diabetes. Type I afflicts about 5 percent of diabetics. They are usually thin and rarely overweight. This type of diabetes usually begins in childhood and is commonly known as juvenile diabetes. Since these diabetics cannot survive without insulin, it is now officially called insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus(IDDM).
            Type II diabetes is different. Called adult onset diabetes or noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM), it is the most common kind, affecting more than 90 percent of diabetics. While this type generally hits around age 50 as people get older and fatter, some people with the recent epidemic of obesity are developing this disease now in their teens. In contrast to the juvenile diabetics, most Type II diabetics have plenty of insulin in their bodies when diagnosed, but something blocks the insulin so it cannot do its job properly.

            The Bible says, "Your body is a temple" (1 Corinthians 6:19). Treat it that way!
Walk Away From Diabetes

hat are the warning signs of diabetes?
              The classical symptoms are polydipsia (excessive thirst), polyphagia (excessive appetite), polyuria (excessive passage of urine). Early in the disease, however, few symptoms show perhaps some increase in urinary frequency and thirst. Of 116 million diabetics in America it is estimated that 7 million don't know that they have it.
              As the disease progresses, its effects are devastating, affecting all organs of the body and gradually destroying them. Consider the risks of unrecognized or poorly control led diabetes:

  •   Eight out of ten diabetics develop eye problems. Diabetes is the leading cause of new blindness in developed countries.
  •   Diabetics are 18 times more likely to experience serious kidney damage than are nondiabetics. Some 25 percent of kidney dialysis patients are diabetics.
  •   Diabetes is a potent promoter of atherosclerosis (plugging of the arteries). The result is that diabetes more than doubles the risk of heart attacks and strokes. It can also lead to sexual impotence, hearing impairment, intermittent claudication (disabling leg cramps) and gangrene (half of all foot and leg amputations in adults are from this cause).

What causes adult-onset diabetes?

            Studies demonstrate a strong relationship to fat—both fat in the diet and fat on the body. The disease is rare in areas of the world where fat intake is low and obesity uncommon.

            Normally insulin, a pancreatic hormone, enables body cells to use glucose and controls blood sugar levels. But most of the time the problem in adult-onset dia­betes is not a defective pancreas unable to produce sufficient insulin, but a lack of sensitivity to insulin. This resistance of the cells to insulin appears to relate directly to obesity and to excess fat in the diet and possibly in the liver.

But isn't sugar the culprit?

            James Anderson, M.D., professor of medicine and clinical nutrition at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine and a widely respected authority on diabetes, evaluated the effect of diet on blood sugar levels. Just as others had done before him, Dr. Anderson was able to turn lean healthy young men into mild diabetics in less than two weeks by feeding them a rich 65 percent fat diet. A similar group, fed a lean 10 percent fat diet plus one pound of sugar a day, did not produce even one diabetic after 11 weeks when the experiment was termi­nated.

So what's the best way to treat this disease?

            Several treatment centers have convincingly demonstrated that most Type II diabetics can normalize their blood sugar lev­els, often within weeks, by fol­lowing a simple diet, very low in fat and high in fiber, coupled with daily exercise.

            Lowering the amount of fat, oil and grease in the diet plays the crucial role. When less fat is eaten, less fat reaches the bloodstream and the liver. This begins a complicated process that gradually restores the sen­sitivity to insulin, which can then facilitate the entry of sugar from the bloodstream into the body cells. The effect is often dra­matic. A Type II diabetic who lowers daily fat intake to about 10 percent of total calories can often bring blood sugar levels to normal ranges in less than eight weeks. Many are eventually able to get off diabetic medication entirely—both pills and injections.

            Eating more natural, fiber-rich foods plays an important role by helping stabilize blood sugar levels. When foods are eaten without their normal complement of fiber, blood sugar levels can quickly shoot up. Normally a surge of insulin counteracts this. People who consume refined foods, drinks, and snacks high in calories but low in fiber may experience hikes and dips in blood sugar levels all day long. High-fiber foods, on the other hand, smooth out these blood sugar fluctuations and stabilize energy levels.

            Active physical exercise has an insulin-like reaction in that it burns up the excess fuel (blood sugar and fatty acids) more rapidly.

            The foremost recommended lifestyle modification for diabetes, however is losing excess weight. Obesity is far and away the most common non-genetic component contributing to the development of diabetes.

            Normalizing body weight is often all that is necessary to bring the blood sugar back to normal. The low-fat, high-fiber diet will greatly aid this effort, as will regular, active exercise.