Alleged Misconceptions About Diabetes

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I subscribe to regular notifications from academia.edu, and while many of these articles aren’t of any particular interest to me, the lead article from today’s email was indeed an interesting one.  Some researchers conducted a study among diabetics in certain demographic groups, low income and minority populations, to assess their understanding of diabetes, and it was found by the researchers to be quite lacking.

So I thought, I should look at this to see how they define lacking, which I assumed would just mean out of step with what the medical profession believes, or perhaps it really was lacking, as in things like you can catch diabetes from someone who has it or the like.

In any case, I thought it should be plenty interesting.  The objective of the study was to assess the patients’ knowledge about the disease and about medications that could hinder optimal disease management.

So they certainly set the bar high here, optimal disease management?  Already I’m thinking, optimal disease management to them surely means short term A1C control, and sadly that’s the prevailing belief among the medical profession, but this does not manage the disease at all as it turns out, let alone do so optimally.

So they asked the participants a number of questions, with the first one being whether or not they think that blood sugar of less than 200 mg/dl is normal.  Of course that’s way off the truth, although interestingly enough, at the rate we’re going, that might be the case some day, where this would at least be the mean, which normal is generally derived from.

A more interesting way of asking this would be to ask them if they considered blood sugar of less than 200 to be acceptable, and you could actually make a pretty good argument that it would be.  Even the ADA deems blood sugar of less than 180 to be acceptable, and if one medicates down to this or lower, that has been shown to be a bad idea if you’re not looking to increase your mortality rate that is.

From the evidence we have, below 200 might even be too tight, and in fact if we look deeper at the mechanisms and effects of artificially lowering blood sugar with medications, this may only be a good idea to save someone life should they get diabetic ketoacidosis.

I(t’s actually pretty funny to reflect on the alleged benefits of tighter control, and correlation is indeed the hobgoblin of small minds, and when it comes to medical correlations, it’s halloween all year round.

So they start with looking at rates of complications among people with high blood sugar, and not surprisingly, we see this correlated.  The mistake they make though is assuming that it’s the high blood sugar that causes it, and it actually does contribute, but the higher insulin levels that you get with high blood sugar is an even bigger problem.

You just can’t compare someone whose natural blood sugar is lower with someone who is made lower with medications, as the two situations are different.  So they end up wanting to increase insulin levels further, the blood sugar comes down, but people start dying more, and oops, we’ve made things worse, but no matter, let’s just keep doing it and we can pretend this stuff doesn’t happen.

29% of respondents believed that their doctor will cure them of diabetes, and that’s actually 29% who are clearly misguided.  Even the doctors would not claim that though.  I would have liked this to be asked as to what percentage of people think their doctors will improve their condition, and anyone who answers yes would be misguided, although the expected answer would be yes.

For those who think that they do help, we can just ask, where’s the evidence of that?  It’s not in short term blood sugar control.  What about the long term affects of this?  Well they score terribly here, their treatment even fails to control blood sugar well in the end, and that’s not treating the disease anyway, which is actually an even bigger deal.

They don’t even know what diabetes even is, let alone know how to treat it.  It is not high blood sugar, that’s just one of the effects, no more than a fever is the disease when someone gets an infection.  If you just treat the symptom, the fever, that’s pretty stupid, but stupid is allowed in conventional medicine, it’s actually expected and required.

23% said that there is no need to take their diabetic medications when their blood sugar is normal.  I guess the idea here is to suggest otherwise, but if someone is on medication and their blood sugar is normal, at the very least they are being overmedicated, and this is aside from the question of whether people should be taking these medications in the first place.

Lowering blood sugar is always a risk and reward thing even if you believe that lowering blood sugar with medication is actually ever a reward, which it actually never is.  So even if the assumptions that they are making were true, that it’s just all about blood sugar, and high blood sugar is the sole enemy, there are risks involved with medications and at some point the risks outweigh even the most trumped up benefits, so a balance must be sought.

This balance is not normal blood sugar, and this is why some doctors actually become alarmed when people report even only slightly elevated blood sugar, even when it is achieved without medication, although there’s never risks in that.  The excessive risks of medicating to these normal or near normal levels are ones that are even evident to these practitioners.

12% responded that they only have diabetes when their glucose levels are high.  This is how these people define the disease though, and if you get screened for diabetes you will only be said to have it if your blood sugar is high enough.

If that’s the definition, then it logically follows that anyone who is outside this range does not have diabetes, and the 12% would be right here.  What happens though is that if you’ve ever been that high, they put blood on your door and sentence you to life with this disease, which of course excludes the possibility of ever getting better in itself.

It makes sense to at least make the distinction here of one having non diabetic blood sugar on their own, versus those who are below the threshold by way of medication, at least if diabetes is to be understood as high blood sugar.  If we really want bonus points here we can look at hormonal levels to see how one is doing, such as insulin and glucagon, requiring these plus blood sugar to be normal before we can say one is not currently a diabetic.

If these levels are normal, where is the pathology anyway?  Well there wouldn’t be one, at least as far as diabetes goes.  Of course we rarely test for insulin levels and never really test for glucagon, so how would we know where our patients are at with this anyway?  Certainly not just with blood sugar.

We don’t want to damn them either, but damning them is very convenient for those who want to milk us for life.  Not everyone wants to be on this farm though.

The researchers need to do this survey themselves, only with the questions asked a little differently, to look to expose their own misconceptions, which are considerable.

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3 Comments on “Alleged Misconceptions About Diabetes

  1. can you point to some studies that showed that high insulin level and glucagon level were the cause of diabetes.

    1. Roger Unger actually discovered this through his experiments in the 60’s and 70’s and this has spawned further research. It’s easy to show this stuff, you elevate insulin, you get insulin resistance, in a dose dependent manner. Glucagon in excess directly raises blood sugar. Glucagon is the actual culprit with diabetes, what high insulin does is cause glucagon to go up over time. This is all well known to science but there still are a lot of scientists who haven’t done their homework and make a lot of the same incorrect assumptions that the medical profession makes, such as the problem with us is that we don’t secrete enough insulin. Dr. Unger discusses his findings over the years in an excellent video which I did a series on, called The Heart of Diabetes, here’s the link to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VjQkqFSdDOc. It talks about both type 1 and type 2 but the type 1 discussion is pretty interesting as well.

  2. I also want to connect the dots here a little more for people who may not have read much about this, on this site or elsewhere. We need to start by looking at what diabetes is, and it turns out that the issue with us is varying degrees of glucose overregulation. This is not a condition whereby our blood sugar is high because we don’t get enough glucose into our cells, it is due to an oversecretion of glucose primarily, with adrenal hormones in the presence of this higher level of glucagon adding to the effects and piling on so to speak. We have shown in fact that all of the hyperglycemia is from this, not from the diet, and we’ve shown that we can handle even a high carb diet if not for this extra glucose, which actually goes up and not down after meals. So that’s the fundamental defect. This system is designed to keep our blood sugar from going too low, but in excess, it causes it to go too high. This increases our insulin levels further, to try to deal with this excess glucose. So we end up in a state where both insulin and glucagon are too high, and this is what we find when we measure these hormones in T2 diabetics. With T1 diabetes, the problem is also excess glucagon, although it is accompanied by insulin deficiency, and without enough insulin controlling glucagon secretion, it goes very high. We know that hyperinsulinemia causes excess glucagon release, where the cells that primarily secrete this become resistant to insulin’s normal inhibitory effects, and this happens from too high insulin levels exerting greater levels of toxicities upon the cells, which happens in all cells, but with the glucagon secreting cells, this causes them to not be suppressed as they normally would. Glucagon goes up so much that in spite of higher insulin levels, the insulin to glucagon ratio in the portal vein is such that our livers perceive this as a hypoglycemic state. So our blood sugar is high, our pancreas isn’t sensing that and it thinks it’s too low, and the liver has become more insulin resistant from exposure to the toxicities of high insulin over time that it detects the insulin less as well, causing it to secrete even more glucose to try to save us, and we can be running in the 300’s or higher and this will continue on until it decides our blood sugar is high enough. How high we go depends on the level of damage to the alpha cells in our pancreas and our liver. So the only way to fix this is to look to reverse the insulin resistance that caused all this, not increase it further, which is the strategy that conventional medicine uses for the most part. Given what we know about the effects of insulin resistance, and the condition is described by everyone as too much insulin resistance, we would be paying attention to that, measuring that, treating that, but this isn’t the case in practice, but it needs to be.

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