Why diabetes is more serious than other illnesses - discussion & summary of upcoming chapters.
Compares diabetes rates today with rates years ago. Trends and disturbing predictions for tomorrow.
What malfunctions in the body that causes diabetes. Covers autoimmune - thymus damage - natural killer cells
Diabetes = 12 year loss of life - increased rates of blindness - heart disease - cancer - kidney loss.
CAUSES OF DIABETES
Study after study links diabetes to chemicals in home products - pesticides - cosmetics - food additives & more!
People experiencing true remission - defines honeymoon - suprising facts on beta-cell regeneration.
Research finding same chemicals causing diabetes cause obesity. Discusses obesogens - how & why
Time to take conclusions of scientists and put into real-time practice. Are doctors resisting?
WHAT THE SCIENCE IS TELLING US
The following report concludes a 6 month investigation through the National Library of Medicine in an attempt to identify and summarize the latest scientific research on what is causing the rapid rise in child and adult diabetes. While it typically takes 10 or more years to go from research to clinical practice in a physician's office, this issue is one of such importance that this time lapse must be reduced dramatically.
In just a moment, you'll read studies from Harvard, University of Illinois, Princeton, Tennessee State, Duke Medical and the National Institutes of Health and many other reputable research facilities all finding the same common denominator:
The primary cause for the rapid rise in diabetes is not increases in obesity or aging, but instead, is being fueled by specific chemical compounds in consumer products for the home as well as other environmental & work place sources.
HOW THESE CHEMICALS GRADUALLY DAMAGE THE BODY TO CAUSE DIABETES
The identified chemical compounds are reported to cause disruptions in gene expression - autoimmunity - copying and disruption of natural hormones in the body - as well as damage to the thymus gland and critical immune system cells called natural killer cells (both of which protect us from diabetes and health disorders related to diabetes). This new information on the causes of diabetes provides a foundation for accelerating research into new directions for treatment, some of which have begun and are showing unprecedented reversal of diabetes.
The percentage of the U.S. population with diabetes has increased dramatically over the past 20 years and continues to accelerate with each passing year. Numbers show 14% of the adult U.S. population had diabetes in 2012 and over 35% had pre-diabetes. Adult diabetes is increasing 3% per year in the U.S. and 5% per year for children under age 5, however, newer numbers, to be discussed shortly, suggest we are on the cuff of a dramatic increase that will make these numbers look miniscule by comparison. Failure to address the causes for these increases will result in unprecedented human suffering and financial hardship in all industrialized countries around the globe in the next 10-20 years. This investigative project brings to the forefront the research and statements from concerned scientists around the world. All information here-in has been published in peer-reviewed medical journals from the National Library of Medicine.
Richard Pressinger, who has organized this project, holds a Masters Degree in Education from University of Florida and was motivated to begin this project after his son Alan, at age 12, developed type-1 diabetes in May 2016. Other researchers who wish to contribute and provide direction to either published or non-published research please contact us from the contact link. Full anonymity will be provided upon request.
WHY THE INCREASE IN DIABETES?
Whenever purchasing diabetes test strips at the pharmacy, I ask each pharmacist the same question - Why do you think diabetes rates are increasing so rapidly? Their answer is always the same - bad eating habits or obesity. Seems like a plausible explanation since obese people do have higher rates of diabetes. However, scientists who study diabetes are finding evidence it is not that simple, in fact, diabetes is growing fastest in our tiniest of children of normal weight ages 1 to 4.
WHY ONLY SOME OBESE PEOPLE GET DIABETES
Adding further mystery to the obesity connection - when researchers studied blood samples of 2,016 adults from the 1999-2002 National Health and Examination Survey, they found a fascinating pattern: Some people with obesity (who share something in common) had very low rates of diabetes while others with obesity (who share something else in common) had extremely high rates of diabetes. So what was going on? Turns out these higher rates of diabetes had nothing to do with exercise or eating patterns, but everything to do with having high levels of six specific chemicals in their blood. In fact, people with the highest levels of these six chemicals had a whopping 38-fold increase rate of diabetes. For understanding the magnitude of this number, for every 1 out of 100 people with diabetes who had low levels of these six chemicals, there were 38 people with diabetes if they had the highest levels of these six chemicals. In other words, high levels of just these six chemicals dramatically increases your chance of getting diabetes. Along with this, having high levels of these six chemicals would depend on such things as consumer product choices - food choices - when their house was built - where their house was located - their driving habits - choices of materials when building the house as well as choices made by residents who lived in the house before them. Getting interesting isn't it? In fact, when scientists analyzed the numbers, people whose bodies had the highest 10% of these six chemicals were the ones with the 38-times greater risk of diabetes. This study is clearly trying to tell us that if we avoid the circumstances and consumer products that elevate these chemicals in our blood (which can be done) - we can dramatically lower our chance of getting diabetes. It's also tapping us on the shoulder saying that if you have diabetes, and remove these six chemicals - your condition could very well be halted and possibly reversed.
FLAWS IN EPA GUIDELINES ALLOW DIABETES PROMOTING CHEMICALS
The fact of having a combination of just six specific chemicals in your blood can increase your risk of diabetes by 38-fold is not only dramatic, but shocking. Most people assume the government has procedures in place to protect the public and keep this type of thing from happening. Sorry to say - no such procedure exists. First, it is important to understand that the United States EPA doesn't test the chemicals before allowing them into your food or consumer products, but instead, the companies that make the chemicals do their own testing. EPA's job in this is to set up guidelines and tell the chemical companies what tests need to be done and to then report the results back to them. After EPA reviews the results, it decides whether to allow the chemical onto the market. While EPA requires tests to be done checking for cancer, birth defects, organ damage and others, there is currently no test requirement to determine if a chemical can increase autoimmunity over time (called a chronic study) and cause diabetes or other autoimmune illnesses. These tests could be easily done by looking at autoantibody levels in test animals over time and the measuring the quality of systems that protect from autoimmunity (such as natural killer cells and our thymus gland). Another large gap lies in the fact that safety testing of chemicals used in consumer products is done in isolation - only one chemical at a time. While this is a necessary first step in testing, it falls dramatically short as it doesn't tell us if a chemical can combine its effects with other chemicals or react with other chemicals to create a far worse outcome in the body. Case in point - let's assume that a new food pesticide was found to cause a one in one million increased risk in cancer. The EPA may consider this an "acceptable risk" - however, if the new food pesticide was combined with 5 other pesticides (as is sometimes the case in agriculture), the risk may go up to one in 100. This is certainly not an acceptable risk, but as you can see, we wouldn't know this with current testing procedures since chemicals are only required to be tested one at a time. The only way we can find out about this is if an independent univeristy or research facility decides to later test this theory.
If you would like to read more about this break-through study on the six chemicals linked to dramatically higher rates of diabetes - it can be seen in the July 2006 journal Diabetes Care, Volume 29(7), pages 1638-1644. If you are reading this online, you can view the study from this link.
What we've learned from this one study is that the obesity/diabetes connection is not as cut and dry as previously believed. The connection between obesity and the diabetes explosion weakens even further when we remember that the fastest growing group for diabetes is not among those who are overweight, but is occurring in our youngest children of normal weight. This fact will be repeated throughout this report because of its critical importance - and is definitely food for thought.
IS IT THE OLD FOLKS?
One might think that growing older is also another main reason for the diabetes explosion. This also makes sense since the risk of type-2 diabetes is higher in older populations. So, to determine if aging is responsible for the diabetes epidemic all we need to do is to look at the number of people with diabetes for those who are in their 70's and 80's. If aging were the culprit, the diabetes rates would be increasing there and not in younger ages. So, when checking the numbers what do we see? Yes, the number and percent of people with diabetes is increasing for those in their 70's, but the funny thing is, it is also increasing for people in their 60's - and 50's - and 40's - and 30's - and 20's and even in children in their teens. It is increasing in people who are obese and among people who are not obese. Do I have your attention yet?
A fascinating pattern of diabetes rates appeared in a study from a country with one of the highest rates of diabetes in the world - Saudi Arabia: People born before World War II (who were 70 or older at the time of the study) had a 5 percentage point lower rate of diabetes than younger people age 60-69. Yes, you heard that correctly - people who were 71, 72... 75 or 80 years old, had a lower 64% diabetes rate while those 10 years younger had a higher 69% diabetes rate. This loss of pattern in diabetes rates among their oldest citizens immediately discounts the premise that aging is the primary underlying reason for this horrible disease.
This leads us to the next line of thought which is - there must be something unique about people born before World War II. Why this statistical anomaly is present will make for some great conversation at your next cocktail party, but for now, it simply provides us with evidence that aging is not the primary reason for the increase in diabetes. The chart below shows the rates of diabetes in different age groups from Saudi Arabia in 2007. These figures were reported in the 2011 journal, Annals of Saudi Medicine. Again, note that people in the 60-69 age bracket had a higher diabetes rate of 68.6% while those 70 and older had a lower diabetes rate of only 63.8%.
|70 & Older||63.8%|
The finding that people born before 1940 had a lower rate of diabetes than younger people born after this date strongly supports the concept that something must be different for among this pre-World War II group. Factors to consider include such things as - lower exposure to petroleum chemiclas used in consumer products, pesticides and less exposure to vehicle exhaust to name a few.
All of these exposures increased exponentially after World War II which allows us to state with accuracy that our oldest members of society were exposed to far less petroleum compounds during their childhood and development in their mother's womb than people born after World War II. This also leads us to consider the possibility that pancreas' beta-cell growth and maturation during pregnancy and the first few years of life could be compromised in one way or another. In fact, in another upcoming study of autopsied children who died in accidental deaths, researchers found that the total number of beta-cells in their pancreas could vary as much as 5-10 fold, thereby leading to an earlier appearance of diabetes for those children with lower total numbers.
Vol. 31(1) 19-23, Jan-Feb 2011
SHOULD WE LISTEN TO THE SCIENTISTS?
The number of medical and scientific studies linking modern chemicals with diabetes had increased to such an extent by 2010, that the National Institutes of Health held an International Workshop in Research Triangle Park in Durham, North Carolina in January, 2013. This meeting brought together esteemed scientists from around the world to discuss conclusions of their research investigating links between modern chemicals and diabetes. A summary of their "workshop" was published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives: Vol. 120(6), June 2012.
Along with presentations by scientists linking diabetes with exposure to specific types of chemicals in consumer products and the environment, another conclusion was strong support for the "developmental obesogen" hypothesis, which suggests that chemical exposures can increase the risk of obesity (and I'm quoting their report here) - "by altering the differentiation of adipocytes (fat cells) or the development of neural circuits that regulate feeding behavior." To put this another way - many of the same chemicals now linked to diabetes are also being found to "fool" hormones in the body and cause increases in body weight and obesity.
All of this supports the argument that obesity and aging are not the main culprits underlying the diabetes epidemic, but that something else is going on, and that "something else" must be discussed and acted upon no matter how much we dislike admitting we've been doing something wrong for so many years. Momentum doesn't make something right and people don't like change, I get that, but failure to address and correct these issues immediately will result in truly dire consquences for us and our children in the very near future.
In my 62 years on this planet I've come to the conclusion that people come in two sizes - those who focus their attention on the present - and those whose behavior and decisions are guided by how it will affect our children tomorrow. If you consider yourself part of the latter, we certainly need your help as every indication suggests time is running out.
To provide you with the latest findings from scientific research from the National Library of Medicine, we have created concise summaries of this research in an easy to read and comprehensive format. To insure accuracy of all information - each journal summary includes the journal name, date and research centers involved in the study along with a link to the original journal article in the far right column. We begin with a discussion into the latest numbers of diabetes and why we believe this disease will be the first to literally break the back of modern society.