From the perspective of the healthcare industry, type 2 diabetes is the perfect disease. Unlike, say, pneumonia, which necessitates an antibiotic for 14 days and then it’s over, type 2 diabetes starts with one drug, then two, and then three or more, not to mention the drugs used for associated conditions, such as hypertension, heart disease, kidney disease, eye diseases, and accelerated dementia. And all of these drugs are prescribed for years, often a lifetime (albeit shortened compared to those without diabetes), resulting in a pharmaceutical bonanza of profit. To the drug industry, diabetes is the gift that keeps on giving.
Here are some sobering statistics: There are now 30 million people with type 2 diabetes in the United States, three times this number with prediabetes. Costs likewise are staggering: $176 billion in direct medical costs and $69 billion in reduced productivity every year. Being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes adds, on average, $7,900 to an individual’s annual healthcare costs. (Before they smartened up, annual reports of publicly traded pharmaceutical companies gushed over the surge in people with type 2 diabetes, hailing the epidemic as an unprecedented opportunity for revenue growth. They recognized recently that this could become a publicity faux pas and stopped using boastful wording.)
But there is a major oversight in all this: Type 2 diabetes is a disease of lifestyle and poor food choices and, to a lesser degree, inactivity, nutritional deficiencies, and other modern disruptions, made worse by the advice of agencies who pose as health advocates. Yes, there can be a genetic predisposition to the disease, but the increase in the number of diabetes cases since 1980 and the even faster growth of prediabetes are almost entirely manmade phenomena. After all, the genetic situation in humans has not changed in a short 30-some years; it’s something we did in the years since E.T. and Poltergeist hit the big screen.
The choice is yours. Choose to control your diet.
Manage your blood sugar—before it controls you.
Here’s a basic fact: Eat carbohydrates and blood sugar rises. Every first-year medical student knows this, every nurse or diabetes educator knows this, every person with diabetes who performs finger-stick blood sugars before and after meals knows this. Eat any food with more than just a few grams of carbohydrates and blood sugar will rise; the more carbohydrates you eat, the higher blood sugar will rise. Everyone also knows that foods like butter do not raise blood sugar, nor will a fatty cut of meat, olives, green bell peppers, broccoli, or chicken liver. And since the 1980s, when the sharp upward climb in type 2 diabetes (and obesity) began, the only component of diet that has increased is carbohydrates, not fat or proteins.