For Big Pharma and others who profit from human disease, type 2 diabetes is the gift that keeps on giving.
Approaching one trillion dollars in worldwide costs, type 2 diabetes is largely a man-made condition. For the majority of people, type 2 diabetes (and, to a substantial degree, type 1 diabetes also) is created by:
- Cutting dietary fat and cholesterol–as advised the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the USDA, the American Diabetes Association, the American Heart Association, and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
- Increased consumption of grains–that raise blood sugar higher than table sugar, as also advised by the same agencies
- Big Food and the soft drink industry–who have made high-carb grain-based products and soft drinks the centerpiece of their business model, while paying the same above agencies/experts to divert attention away from carbs and sugar and advocate silly notions like “everything in moderation”
The situation is further worsened by other silly notions, such as statin drugs to “reduce cholesterol” and the use of common blood pressure-reducing and antidepressant drugs that raise blood sugar. Over 300 prescription drugs are known to raise blood sugar and take you a step or three closer to diabetes. And those are just direct effects; there are also many drugs with indirect blood sugar-raising effects, also, such as stomach acid-blocking drugs Prilosec, Protonix, and Nexium that lead to intestinal dysbiosis that, in turn, leads to insulin resistance and higher blood sugars. The food industry also makes an indirect contribution through use of aspartame, saccharine, emulsifying agents (e.g., polysorbate 80, carageenan), and other ingredients that are disruptive to bowel flora.
In other words, type 2 diabetes is not caused by infection, inadvertent injury, nor genetics (although there is some variation in genetic potential); it is largely caused by conventional dietary advice, the foods you eat, and the drugs you take. And, if you eat foods that cause type 2 diabetes for too long, it becomes irreversible. This is because high blood sugars cause a process called “glucotoxicity” and lead to high blood triglyceride levels that cause “lipotoxicity,” both of which damage insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas that cannot be reversed (with rare exceptions). If sufficient damage is done, you become reliant on more drugs and injectable insulin.
But never forget that healthcare is a zero-sum game: your loss is their gain. As your healthcare costs-per-individual in the U.S. approach $10,000 per year, that money doesn’t just vanish—it goes into the pockets of Big Pharma, the medical device industry (making implantable defibrillators, coronary stents, operating room supplies, dialysis equipment, etc. used to deliver the many procedures diabetes require), hospital systems, and the many others who profit from this enormous wealth transfer. Healthcare in the U.S. now consumes an unprecedented 17.5% of GDP—and healthcare insiders want it to be 19% or more.
Before they smartened up, the drug companies that manufacture diabetes drugs used to gush over the boom in the diabetes market, throwing parties over the growth in this market and the anticipated surge in revenues. Over the past 20 years, they realized that they should shut their mouths and quietly enjoy their billions of dollar of annual revenues without highlighting the fact that the blundering, inept, or dishonest dietary advice given Americans was responsible for a windfall in executive salaries and market capitalization. But I don’t believe that a vast conspiracy created this awful mess. It was dietary misinformation and demagoguery that led to the disastrous U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans. It was indifference to nutrition that allowed doctors to embrace such ridiculous dietary advice. Only then could Big Food and Big Pharma step in, recognizing what a financial bonanza was created for them, then paying off agencies and “experts” to help them sustain this cash cow.
If people smartened up and realized that, for the majority, type 2 diabetes is a choice you make, tens of billions of dollars in revenues would dry up overnight, as tens of millions of Americans (and hundreds of millions outside the U.S., especially China with many more type 2 diabetics than the U.S.) would no longer require Victoza, Trulicity, Bydureon, Symlin, Januvia, Tradjenta, and the dozens of other drugs used to profit from this man-made disease.