Type 2 Diabetes: Lifestyle Adapted as a Medication? | NOW


1.2 million people in the Netherlands suffer from type 2 diabetes. Scientists and doctors around the world are looking for a cure for the disease. Wednesday is World Diabetes Day. A good time to see how worthwhile things are.

"Possible New Remedy for Diabetes," titled from Volkskrant three weeks ago, and other media reported "good news for patients with type 2 diabetes." The reason for this was European research led by Annieke van Baar, a medical researcher for gastrointestinal and intestinal diseases at the Amsterdam UMC.

Burning the mucosal layer in the duodenum can lead to better signals to the pancreas, with the result that the body becomes sensitive to the hormone insulin. Some diabetic patients, therefore, no longer need to inject insulin.

It is the latest research on global diabetes research. Since the discovery of insulin in 1922, many new discoveries have been made about the disease. Wednesday, November 14, is World Diabetes Day. Every year, attention is being given to patients with diabetes and diabetes on this day.

Type 2 Diabetes was an Old Age Disease

It used to be called the sugar of old age if someone had type 2 diabetes. According to the endocrinologist and internist Hanno Pijl, who performed research on diabetes at the Medical Center of the University of Leiden (LUMC), this reality has long overtaken us. More and more children are among the patients.

What goes wrong with type 2 diabetes is the action of the hormone insulin. Normally, our body produces this hormone to carry blood glucose into the tissues. Glucose serves as a food for, among other things, muscles. In diabetes 2 you do this, but the hormone does not work properly. The result: glucose can not get out of the bloodstream, and because of that the blood glucose level gets too high.

This very high glucose level is harmful according to Arrow; your body wants to balance the sugar level that is too high. As this does not work on the normal road, a chronically low inflammatory process occurs. These inflammations cause damage to the blood vessels. This is harmful in the long run; diabetes increases the risk of diseases of aging such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, ocular and kidney problems, and dementia.

To make the body more sensitive to insulin, the doctor almost always prescribes tablets. Then follow other medications to increase insulin. Many patients with diabetes, therefore, have to inject insulin. This usually works well.

However, Professor Pijl has his doubts. High concentrations of insulin have many side effects, raise blood pressure. In addition, there are indications that they promote the growth of cancer cells.

Many diabetic patients have to inject insulin to increase insulin.

Drugs do not address the central problem

With medication, according to him, you often end up with rain in the drip. In addition, they do not address the core of the problem: "You indirectly lower blood sugar levels by increasing insulin, but do nothing about inflammation."

Good news that work is being done on new medicines, such as the UMC in Amsterdam? Yes and no, says Arrow. The Amsterdam survey seems to suggest that the intervention may delay the use of insulin in people who should actually take the medication.

After one year, 90% of the nineteen study participants did not need insulin. So it can be a way to stop the progression of diabetes, Arrow thinks. But the long-term results are still not there. In addition, the intervention does not improve the subjects' health.

Type 2 diabetes should be reduced and reversed

That's why the teacher asks for more general practitioner lifestyle advice. Improving health is indeed possible. Type 2 diabetes has always been seen as a chronic illness that you never got rid of once you had. But that's not true. According to Pijl, it is one of the greatest discoveries of recent years; diabetes should be reduced and even reversed. With good nutrition, plenty of exercise, stress management and healthy sleep, many patients manage to reduce their sugar levels.

How is this possible? According to Pijl, lifestyle is one of the main reasons why the number of patients with type 2 diabetes has grown so dramatically in recent decades. We have come to live very differently from our ancestors from whom we inherit the genes. We eat much more sickly and we are much fatter.

Addressing the problem at the roots

Excess weight works with type 2 diabetes at hand. According to scientists, this is probably because the immune system that causes the inflammatory process is concentrated in adipose tissue, especially in the abdomen. In addition, fat cells like glands also produce hormones that counteract the effect of insulin.

Losing weight usually helps tremendously, according to Pijl. Because the less fat cells, the less inflammatory reaction, the better the insulin works. The chance of diabetes is reduced immediately if you lose weight. Even with a few pounds.

So eat lots of good vegetables and fats and leave the products with lots of salt, sugar and bad fats. So you avoid low grade inflammations. Moving also helps. You also need to deal with stress better, and regular sleep also helps.

Several studies give him the same; Patients with type 2 diabetes who switch to a healthy lifestyle no longer need to spray glucose or not use more. According to Pijl, the remedy to fight type 2 diabetes, because with the lifestyle intervention, you solve the problem at the roots.

What is the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes?

  • In type 2, the body produces less insulin and the body does not respond well to insulin due to insensitivity to insulin.
  • Type 1 diabetes is an immune disease: it usually occurs in a short time in people under thirty years of age. The immune system becomes unbalanced and attacks the cells that produce insulin.
  • One in ten patients with diabetes have type 1 diabetes, the other nine have type 2 diabetes.


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