9 times out of 10 when I tell a patient their results show they have type 2 diabetes the respond with “thats impossible, I don’t eat that much sugar!”
There’s a few things you need to know about this increasingly common disease. Firstly type 1 and 2 diabetes are extremely different diseases – type 1 tends to affect younger children and adults – these people are unable to produce any insulin at all, their pancreas (the organ that makes insulin) has been destroyed by the body’s own cells. These patient’s need insulin every day for the rest of their lives.
Type 2 diabetes is very different – it tends to affect older adults (however, scarily we are now seeing children and teenagers with this) and is to do with weight, lifestyle and some genetic elements – essentially these people make insulin but their tissue does not respond to it as well so the sugar level stays high and more and more insulin is needed to try and normalise the sugar levels. Obesity is a MAJOR contributor to type 2 DM, so is lack of physical activity.
Unlike type 1 diabetes, type 2 is VERY lifestyle dependent and weight loss is the KEY way to reducing risk of type 2 diabetes or trying to control the high sugars once the diabetes is diagnosed.
So eating sugar alone really doesn’t have anything to do with diabetes. Its about your weight, how much exercise you do, what your diet is like – so I guess the news is don’t blame the sugar!!! There’s a whole lot more to it!