Vegan Health ArticlesType-2 Diabetes – The Expected Adaptation to Over-Nutrition:Diabetes Is an Adaptive Response to Over-nutrition
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From John McDougall, M.D.

The malnutrition caused by the high-fat, low-fiber Western diet places serious burdens on the body and requires it to make adaptions in order to survive under adverse conditions. The calories consumed in excess of our needs cause us to gain fat – this is a natural, expected change. Soon a point is reached when this accumulation becomes counterproductive – a point when any further excess body weight is likely to cause serious physical harm. When this hazardous excess is reached, the body puts “the brakes on” in order to slow the rate of gain. This is accomplished by a variety of changes that cause the hormone insulin to become less potent. [13,14] In other words, our cells become resistant to the actions of the fat-gaining hormone, insulin – a state referred to as “insulin resistance.”

One of insulin’s primary jobs is to push fat into the fat cells – thus saving fat for the day when no food is available (which for Westerners never comes). If it were not for the adaptive mechanisms which allow for the development of “insulin resistance,” people would commonly expand until they became so large that they could not get out of bed or fit through a doorway – a very rare condition that does occur in 1000-pound sized people who need a forklift to move them to the hospital. (They make headlines in the newspaper.)

One of insulin’s other important jobs is to let sugar into the body’s cells – with a state of “insulin resistance” the sugar cannot get into the cells easily – so it rises in the blood. The hallmark of the diagnosis of diabetes is an elevated blood sugar above normal (usually normal is below 115 mg/dl fasting). With impotent insulin, the calories of fat and sugar we consume cannot easily enter the cells; the body is essentially starving itself from the inside in a desperate attempt to compensate for the overfeeding coming from the outside. To further reduce the burden of obesity, the body eliminates calories by allowing sugar to spill over into the urine, like water falling over a dam. At this stage sugar is found with a urine test – another common way to diagnosis diabetes. Most doctors and patients view the elevated blood sugar as the enemy to be beaten down with medications – the result is a fat, sickly patient with a slightly lower blood sugar.

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We began this archive as a means of assisting our visitors in answering many of their health and diet questions, and in encouraging them to take a pro-active part in their own health. We believe the articles and information contained herein are true, but are not presenting them as advice. We, personally, have found that a whole food vegan diet has helped our own health, and simply wish to share with others the things we have found. Each of us must make our own decisions, for it's our own body. If you have a health problem, see your own physician.