A Future By Design Blog Type 2 Diabetes: The Disease Process What Is Happening In My Body?

Have you ever taken something apart to figure out what is broken?

Totally logical thing to do, right?  If you want to see how to fix something, you have to understand what isn’t working properly.

Understanding the problem informs the solution.

That is why I think this topic deserves focus.  Once you can see clearly what is behind Type 2 Diabetes, you can see how to reverse it.

Most of the people I meet with that are having trouble controlling their blood sugars have never learned this critical information.  No one has explained it to them!

Unacceptable.  😤  And it ends right here!

#1 Type 2 Diabetes is a disease of TOO MUCH INSULIN

If you haven’t heard me say it before, this might be the first time you have heard this basic fact.

Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that signals the body to:

  1. Take up glucose (or blood sugar) to burn for fuel.
  2. Stop burning fat and start storing it.  This is why I call insulin a fat storage hormone.

When insulin is high, you gain weight and you cannot access fat stores for fuel. When it is high ALL THE TIME, you develop insulin resistance where your body does not respond to insulin even when it is present.  

The body adapts to too much insulin by becoming tolerant to it.  It stops responding to it.  It loses sensitivity to it.  It becomes resistant.

#2 Insulin resistance begins in the liver and drives itself

Insulin drives your body to STORE glucose as glycogen (long chains of glucose) in the liver and muscle cells.  This is like food in a refrigerator.  It is readily available and easy to access later when you are not eating.

When your capacity to store glycogen is maxed out, insulin directs your liver to turn glucose into fat and STORE, STORE, STORE fat.  Fat stores are like food in a deep freezer.  It’s harder for your body to access, so glycogen is burned first.

Carbohydrates in our diet are processed through our liver into glucose, a major fuel our body uses to make energy.  Carbs are either:

  • Simple: examples are fructose (sugar found in fruit), sucrose (table sugar), lactose (found in dairy)
  • Complex: examples are starches (wheat flour, corn, potatoes), whole grains (oatmeal, rice), beans and legumes

The standard American diet (S.A.D.) involves eating a great deal of carbs frequently throughout the day and even into the night.  This kind of diet and eating pattern requires the body to produce insulin in large amounts constantly.

This means we are constantly in a fat-storage mode and rarely in a fat-burning mode.  When insulin levels are rarely low, our bodies have an opportunity to become resistant to it.  Our cells stop responding to it.

The first place this happens is in the liver.

Imagine your liver on a S.A.D.  It is being tasked with processing a lot of carbs.  It is working tirelessly to convert those carbs into glucose and then either glycogen or fat.

But most of us are consuming much MUCH more than we need to burn for fuel.  So the liver is packed full of stores.  It’s maxed out its capacity for glycogen.  It’s turning a lot of glucose into fat.  So much fat is being generated that the liver cannot ship it out fast enough to store in your love handles and rear end.

A lot of fat is being stored in the liver.  So the liver is packed FULL of glycogen and fat.  There is NO ROOM left.  No wonder it isn’t responding to insulin to keep storing!

When insulin is not able to keep up with the task of moving all that sugar (glucose) out of the blood, the body responds by making MORE INSULIN.  More insulin should overcome the resistance, right?

And it does for a while, until it doesn’t.  More insulin creates more insulin resistance.

What’s the answer?  MAKE MORE INSULIN, which just drives more resistance.

See how this process drives itself?

#3 Storing fat where it’s not supposed to be leads to full blown disease

Remember how the liver is overwhelmed with all those carbs and is working overtime to convert it into stores of glycogen and fat?

The fat is supposed to be shipped out and moved into our fat cells (adipose tissue), where it can be safely stored for a famine.

Our capacity to store fat is determined by our genetic programming.  Some of us are able to store hundreds of pounds of fat in our subcutaneous tissue (under our skin).  But others have limited capacity, as is seen commonly in Asian populations.

Whatever the case, fat is not safely stored in and around our abdominal organs.  When stored in our organs, fat deposits interfere with proper functioning.  We see this with fatty liver disease, which almost ALWAYS precedes a diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes.

But it isn’t just our liver that is affected by harmful fat stores.  We see this in the pancreas as well.  And in the muscle tissue (think well-marbled ribeyes).  When fat is stored in these places, insulin is not able to find its target and have its intended effect.

Fat is literally BLOCKING insulin from binding to its receptors.

We also see that the pancreas stops producing insulin properly when it is storing fat.

When the process reaches this step, insulin production cannot keep up with insulin resistance, and …

💥  BOOM!  💥

High blood sugar ➡ Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes ➡ Diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes

#4 The solution becomes obvious

If this entire process is put into motion and driven forward by high levels of insulin, wouldn’t it be obvious that this is where we should intervene?

We wouldn’t, for example, want to focus on just bringing the blood sugars down without addressing the high insulin level.

Though, this is precisely what happens in healthcare.  Medications, EVEN INSULIN!, are prescribed to reduce the blood sugar.  Now that you understand that this doesn’t reduce insulin, it explains why people with Type 2 Diabetes usually need more and more medications to control blood sugar over time.

In fact, after 10 years of treatment for Type 2 Diabetes, most people have uncontrolled blood sugars regardless of the medications being used to “control” the disease.  🤦‍♀️

So the most important question to ask is: How do we bring insulin levels down?

The answer is simple, my friends.

By NEEDING LESS INSULIN.  We reduce our need for insulin when we reduce our intake of carbohydrates, especially the most harmful ones.

When we stop eating so many carbs (especially refined carbs like sugar and flour), we give our livers a break.  We create the opportunity to EMPTY OUT stores.  We burn off fat and glycogen stores.

Insulin is able to have its intended effect, and we reverse insulin resistance.  We become sensitive to insulin again.  Our pancreas empties out its fat stores and starts working properly again.

🤸‍♀️  And we are on our way to reversing Type 2 Diabetes.  🎉

It is possible to heal your body.  And the sooner you do it, the better.  

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