Why Diabetes is Not a Blood Sugar problem?

Dr. Dimitris Tsoukalas, MD

Diabetes mellitus currently affects one out of 10 persons in most developed countries. The number of people with diabetes worldwide has risen from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014while one out of four adults finds himself in a pre-diabetic stage.

The fact that diabetes is the most common metabolic disease is a fairly recent phenomenon. The effects of certain forms of the disease have increased by 700 percent over the last 50 years! 

Research in diabetes-related issues by endocrinologist Ron Rosedale leads to the following conclusions:

1.    The problem is basically not a problem in genetics, as the phenomenon appeared within one generation.
2.    The disease is linked to the radical change in lifestyle and diet that has taken place over the last 50 years.

The tremendous increase in the mass consumption of processed carbohydrates and the extent of processing of food in general, results in foods that are extremely low in nutritients while extremely high in calories. This, combined with a significant decrease in physical activity, has brought the human organism to its biochemical limits.

The human body is genetically programed to function within specific parameters. These have been altered to such a high degree as to lead to severe dysfunctions such as diabetes.

Life's basic characteristic 

The organism is a colony of cells. A hundred trillion cells, coexisting, communicating and cooperating, comprise the miracle that is called the human body. Life is made possible through the ability of the organism to maintain a state of homeostasis. 

The word 'homeostasis' comes from the Greek words 'homeo,' which means similar and 'stasis,' which means state, standing or posture. It describes the ability living organisms have to keep internal conditions stable (temperature, concentration of certain substances, etc.), despite changes in external conditions.

As long as the organism is able to maintain this stability, it is healthy. When homeostasis cannot be maintained anymore, disease sets in and the organism starts toward death. 

Two basic requisites have to be fulfilled for the colony of cells called the human organism to stay alive:

1. The cells must be able to produce high levels of energy and

2. Communication among them must be adequate so as to permit the adjustment of function.


The basic molecule used by the cells for energy production is glucose. All foods, no matter what category they fall into – fats, carbohydrates or proteins –, are eventually converted to glucose (sugar) which is then burnt to produce energy. There is a constant production and transfer of glucose within the organism.

The organism works very hard at keeping sugar levels constant so as to be able to supply all cells with enough energy at all times. Sugar levels between 75 and 110 mg/dl permit optimal function. This means that in the 4 liters of blood contained in the human body there is, in a dissolved state, less than a teaspoon of sugar.

A unique communication system 

Hormones are very powerful substances traveling throughout the organism via the blood stream to reach the various organs and systems which they regulate. The two major hormones related to the management of energy reserves in the human body are insulin and leptin.

While the role insulin plays in the regulation of sugar levels in the blood is broadly known the same cannot be said of the rest of its functions within the organism, especially those it performs in association with leptin.

Leptin was discovered fairly recently – about15 years ago. Leptin and insulin are the basic coordinators of the endocrine system. Leptin is produced by the adipose tissue, which makes fat the largest gland of the human body. Under normal conditions, leptin sends a message to the brain that enough food has been ingested and so we stop feeling hungry.

To fully understand the role of leptin and insulin, we have to have a look at what basic purpose they serve. The human organism has evolved over the past millions of years in an environment where food was scarce. In such conditions of constant food shortage, reserves form the main regulator of the organism's functions on mutlitple levels. If, for instance, reserves are too low, they cannot guarantee the organism's survival, much less the raising of progeny. In such a case, procreation is prevented through certain hormones until such a time when the energy reserves are replenished.

In a similar way and always in correlation with the energy reserves (fat), the organism regulates the function of the other glands and hormones: thyroid, testosterone, estrogens, adrenaline, cortisol etc.

Diabetes, a problem in communication

The excessive quantity of processed calories we consume continuously pushes sugar levels in the blood upwards. In order to keep the latter within the desired range, the organism secretes higher and higher quantities of insulin and leptin.

The faster food is absorbed, the faster sugar levels in the blood rise and the greater the need for insulin and leptin. The speed at which food is absorbed is directly proportional to how much processing it has undergone -- the more processing, the greater the hormonal imbalance as the organism gets used to the constantly elevated levels of these hormones and does not respond to them as before. Greater quantities of insulin and leptin present lead to a need for even greater quantities for them to be effective. This phenomenon is called "resistance."

After a few years of this regime, the pancreas becomes exhausted while the brain does not respond to leptin's signals anymore. Sugar in the blood starts to rise but the brain, believing that the organism lacks in energy reserves, urges one to eat more. The endocrine system ceases to function properly. 

Symptoms such as:

-       Weight gain
-       Intense hunger
-       Sexual deficiency
-       Predisposition to inflammation
-       Depression

are the result of this metabolic disturbance.

Diabetes is not a sugar problem

Focusing on reducing sugar levels in the blood does not remedy any of the above, leading only to health levels deteriorating further.

We know today that the damage isn't caused by high sugar levels in the blood but by elevated leptin and insulin levels. Those can be exceedingly high for years before sugar reaches the 126 mgr/dl limit which characterizes diabetes.

In 50 percent of the cases where diabetes is diagnosed, the patients already suffer from damage to the coronary arteries (the arteries supplying blood to the heart). This damage was not caused by high glucose levels but by high insulin levels.

The analysis of insulin and leptin levels in combination with the measurement of metabolic indices in urine can give us a complete picture of the organism's state of health at any particular time.

With the aid of advanced computer technology it is possible to analyze urine and detect chemical substances present in trace amounts. Every chemical reaction in the organism produces some chemical substance. By measuring the reactions' derivatives (metabolites) we can determine if there are deficiencies in vitamins, minerals or other micronutrients with great accuracy.

Remedying these deficiencies can restore the normal, healthy state of the body and decrease the need for medicine or high amounts of insulin to regulate sugar levels.

Diabetes is not just a sugar problem; it conceals a much wider metabolic disorder. Improving the overall metabolic profile and state of health is the only way to be healthy.

To your health!

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