Does Sugar Cause Diabetes? - Discussion
Does sugar cause diabetes?
Many people assume that sugar intake causes diabetes, due to the fact that people with diabetes have higher blood sugar levels than normal. Theres no evidence at all that people who eat a lot of sugar get diabetes at a higher rate than anyone else, says Steven Edelman, M.D., founder and director of the nonprofit group Taking Control of Your Diabetes.
Does that make sense? We shall dig deeper into this issue.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetics have a metabolic disorder in which the cells cannot properly absorb the sugar molecules essential for life giving energy. The sugar starved cells send messages to increase production and uptake, which leads to a build up of sugar in the blood because the sugar cannot get into the cells.
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A note about Does Sugar Cause Diabetes? - Discussion
In natural health and healing, we believe in holistic health and healing, as we realize that different parts of the human body are highly interlinked, often beyond Man's understanding. We also believe that the body has the ability to heal itself of any disease, even supposedly incurable diseases.
In order to do so, the body needs the support of some basic dietary and lifestyle good health habits, such as a full body detox and a proper understanding and application of nutrition. No matter how remote or unrelated a health condition may seem, these fundamental health steps will greatly magnify the effects and benefits of any of our health-promoting efforts, including the use of specific natural health remedies.
Different Types of Diabetes
Before we further discuss the question of "does sugar cause diabetes", let us briefly understand the different types of diabetes.
Diabetes can be categorized into one of four types. In Type I diabetes, the insulin producing beta-cells within the pancreas undergo destruction, resulting in deficiency. Some researchers believe this may be due to an acute infection. Type I, formerly called juvenile diabetes because it usually occurs in children, requires immediate insulin.
Type II diabetes, the most common type of diabetes, involves resistance to insulin effects. Experts see a correlation with obesity and many overweight children have now been diagnosed with the condition. The treatment for this type of diabetes involves various combinations of pills to control blood sugar. Insulin acts as the last treatment step.
Initially, the patient should take aggressive measures to modify weight, blood pressure and blood lipids. We can help insulin work better in our bodies by eating well-balanced meals (a mixture of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats), eating high sugar and high calorie foods only in moderation, keeping weight in a normal range, and exercising daily. Diet appears to be a key. Diabetics must learn what to eat, acceptable portions, how to cook, and how to recognize and eliminate harmful foods from their diet.
Type III diabetes, also called gestational diabetes, occasionally occurs during pregnancy. It can affect the unborn child and result in large infants with health problems.
Type IV diabetes covers a number of rare disorders that affect blood glucose, such as some tumors.
Does Sugar Cause Diabetes?
So, does sugar cause diabetes? The issue with diabetes and sugar stems not so much from what is consumed but from the quantities. Untreated diabetics do tend to be attracted to sweets, though ingesting sweets in and of itself will not lead to diabetes.
Problems begin to arise when an individual becomes overweight. When one consumes food, the pancreas releases insulin into the bloodstream. In turn, insulin stimulates the bodys cells (specifically the muscles and liver) to take in sugar. Sugar can then be converted into energy, stored as starch in the muscles and liver, or converted into fat stored in fat cells. All excess calories, regardless of form, must be stored, and excess calories lead to weight gain.
When an individual predisposed to diabetes gains an excess amount of weight, the body produces insulin less efficiently or fails to respond to insulin, which causes blood sugar levels to rise. When glucose levels remain too high for extended periods of time, the body begins to suffer progressive damage - especially deterioration of kidneys, corneas, blood vessels and nerves. This results in heart attacks, strokes, the need to undergo regular dialysis treatment, or possibly the need for organ transplants.
Individuals with advanced diabetes have had to have limbs amputated because the blood can no longer properly circulate to the extremities. Thus, this is roughly the answer to the question "does sugar cause diabetes" - while sugar in combination with other foods can contribute to the onset of diabetes, too much sugar alone cannot cause diabetes.
Rather, high caloric intake remains the primary triggering factor. Any type of carbohydrate (including the simple sugars and fruit, grain or dairy groups) can be easily converted to glucose when digested. Fats and proteins also convert to glucose, though the process occurs more slowly. An ideal diet consists of all food groups in the proper combination so that energy can be maintained throughout the day.
So, in summary: Does over-consumption of sugar cause diabetes? It could, but not necessarily so. Generally speaking, then, does sugar cause diabetes? In a way, yes. In considering the question of "does sugar cause diabetes", it is important to bear in mind that a person who doesn't directly consume much sugar can still get hit by diabetes, whereas someone who actually eats a fair bit of sugars may not get the disease. As mentioned above, it's the total caloric intake which is the more critical factor.
Physicians now screen for diabetes at every opportunity. A simple fasting blood test can pick up the diagnosis. Over the last decade, the blood sugar levels at which the medical community considers an individual to be afflicted have been continuously tightened. Currently, as at time of writing, a fasting blood sugar level over 7.0 mmole/L will now render one diabetic. An individual with a fasting blood level between 6.1 to 6.9 mmole/L has impaired glucose tolerance, and most likely will be told to change his / her eating and exercise habits.
Once mild diabetes has been diagnosed, attempts at diet modification can delay the need for any type of medication. How well a diabetic can control blood sugar over time continues to be monitored with further blood tests that may well continue for a number of years.
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