Strate­gies needed to com­bat di­a­betes

Prairie Post (East Edition) - - Opinion -

Ed­i­tor:

Di­a­betes Canada is ap­peal­ing to us to urge our gov­ern­ment to give them money.*

I am not in sup­port of that ap­peal. We need strate­gies that does the fol­low­ing: one, pre­vent the de­vel­op­ment of Type 2 di­a­betes; two, re­verse the pro­gres­sion of this dis­ease.

I see no ev­i­dence that Di­a­betes Canada is of­fer­ing us any such strate­gies.*

In the mean­time, var­i­ous groups around the world are of­fer­ing new strate­gies that does that. Sev­eral are re­port­ing that peo­ple with Type 2 di­a­betes are low­er­ing their HbA1c, body wight, and medicine use. A grow­ing num­ber of peo­ple with pre-di­a­betes and Type 2 di­a­betes are achiev­ing a sta­tus of “cur­rently not di­a­betic.”

These strate­gies are based on an emerg­ing un­der­stand­ing that the cur­rent di­a­betes epi­demic is driven by our cur­rent eat­ing pat­tern, namely that we eat too of­ten and too many car­bo­hy­drates.

The re­sult of this eat­ing pat­tern is that our bod­ies too of­ten have to deal with high lev­els of blood su­gar and in­sulin. Those of us who are pre­dis­posed to Type 2 di­a­betes can­not tol­er­ate such high lev­els. We be­come pre-di­a­betic. Then, if we con­tinue to fol­low that eat­ing pat­tern, we first de­velop Type 2 di­a­betes and, even­tu­ally, we di­a­betic com­pli­ca­tions.

The log­i­cal strat­egy to pre­vent the de­vel­op­ment of Type 2 Di­a­betes is to pro­vide peo­ple with the knowl­edge, sup­port, and tools to eat less of­ten and to re­duce the car­bo­hy­drates in­take to the level their body can tol­er­ate.

Di­a­betes Canada is not of­fer­ing this strat­egy. In­deed, they do not of­fer any strate­gies that pre­vent the de­vel­op­ment of Type 2 di­a­betes or halt its pro­gres­sion. The cur­rent di­a­betic epi­demic at­tests to that. Five mil­lion Cana­di­ans have di­a­betes. Six mil­lion are at risk of soon be­com­ing di­a­betic. In turn, di­a­betic are at risk of de­vel­op­ing di­a­betic com­pli­ca­tions. Di­a­bet­ics are 25 times more likely to ex­pe­ri­ence vi­sion loss; 12 times more likely to be hos­pi­tal­ized for kid­ney fail­ure need­ing dial­y­sis; three times more likely to be hos­pi­tal­ized for heart at­tach, stroke and heart fail­ure; 20 times more likely to be hos­pi­tal­ized for not-trau­matic toe, foot, and leg am­pu­ta­tions. In ad­di­tion to hu­man suf­fer­ing, this epi­demic will re­sult in an im­mense strain on our health care sys­tem.

We sorely need strate­gies that does the fol­low­ing: one, pre­vent the de­vel­op­ment of Type 2 di­a­betes; two, re­verse the pro­gres­sion of this dis­ease. At the mo­ment we have at least one such op­tion. There are groups that is will­ing and able to pro­vide us with the knowl­edge, sup­port, and tools we need in or­der to pe­ruse a lifestyle of eat­ing less of­ten and re­duc­ing the car­bo­hy­drates in­take to the level our bod­ies can tol­er­ate. Let’s use our tax money to sup­port such groups.

In the mean­time, for those who are in­ter­ested in pur­su­ing the strate­gies based on the un­der­stand­ing that di­a­betes is driven by our cur­rent eat­ing pat­tern of eat­ing too of­ten and too many car­bo­hy­drates, such in­for­ma­tion is avail­able on nu­mer­ous web sites.

For a Cana­dian op­tion, go to “In­ten­sive Di­etary Man­age­ment” (idm­pro­gram.com). Other ex­am­ples are: “di­et­doc­tor.com”; “Virta Health.com,” ; “thenoakesfoun­da­tion.org”, and “Di­a­betes.co.uk.”

* This ap­peal ap­peared in an 8-page in­sert in the Globe and Mail on Satur­day, Novem­ber 3, 2018.

Else Marie DePauw

Swift Cur­rent, Saskatchewan

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