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The modern day health epidemic that you should know about: Diabesity

The modern day health epidemic that you should know about: Diabesity | Mr Vitamins

The New Worldwide Epidemic

Have you heard about the new life threatening epidemic that is steadily growing around the world? In the southern hemisphere, it is Australia’s most rapidly increasing chronic disease, in the northern hemisphere, it already affects one in every two Americans including 80% of those overweight and nearly 40% of healthy weight people. This disease is quite often the reason behind cancer, heart disease, diabetes and dementia as well as acne, infertility, sexual dysfunction and depression. Furthermore this insidious health problem is responsible for nearly twice as many deaths every year as infectious diseases, even in the developing world. By far the most frightening fact however, is that 90% of those suffering from this condition don’t even know they have it! Doctors have not been trained to diagnose it, and they don’t yet know how to treat or prevent it, but it makes up the majority of their patient consultations each day.

The Good News

What is this disease that is rife amongst the worldwide population, but is almost 100% preventable, treatable and reversible?

It's Diabesity

So what is Diabesity?

Dr. Francine Kaufman, a well-known American endocrinologist came up with the term Diabesity (diabetes + obesity) to describe metabolic dysfunction ranging from mild blood sugar imbalance to insulin resistance to Type 2 diabetes. Food that we eat is broken down into glucose and released into the blood stream where the hormone Insulin is released by the body to clear glucose from the blood and bring levels back to normal. When this system is impaired, a blood sugar imbalance, insulin resistance and more seriously – Type 2 Diabetes may occur. What this means is that a person can experience any the following:

Signs of Diabesity:

  • abdominal obesity (think of the spare tyre, or muffin top you see sported over the top of jeans)
  • elevated cholesterol
  • high blood pressure
  • high blood sugar
  • systemic inflammation
  • a tendency to form blood clots

Symptoms of Diabesity:

  • Sugar cravings, especially after meals
  • fatigue after meals
  • frequent urination
  • increased thirst and appetite
  • difficulty losing weight
  • sexual dysfunction
  • vision problems
  • numbness and tingling in the hands and feet
Diabesity is not as prevalent in Australia as it is in America, however there are still 280 Australians who develop diabetes every day. Currently there are about 3.2 million Australians who have been diagnosed with Diabetes, or have a pre-diabetic condition. But 60% of Type 2 Diabetes cases can be prevented before they occur! It’s almost impossible to overstate how serious and far-reaching Diabesity is. It affects more than one billion people worldwide, including 100 million Americans and 50% of Americans over 65. More than half of Americans are overweight, and a full one-third are clinically obese. 24 million Americans have type 2 diabetes, with one in three unaware that they have it.

Who gets Diabesity?

Type 2 Diabetes used to be a disease of the middle-aged and elderly, but this is changing. A recent Yale study indicated that nearly one in four kids between the ages of 4 and 18 have pre-diabetes (glucose intolerance). Some regional studies show type 2 diabetes in children has jumped from less than 5% before 1994 to 50% in 2004. Thin people too can suffer from a range of blood sugar imbalances, even Type 2 Diabetes. Someone who is thin, yet has insulin resistance, abnormal blood glucose levels and/or abnormal cholesterol and fats in the blood stream is termed “metabolically obese”. Meaning that their metabolism behaves as if they’re obese, even when they’re not. Diabesity is the leading cause of modern, chronic disease and it is apparent that the standard treatment for this condition is not only ineffective, but could even be contributing to the problem. Even prominent organizations such as the American Diabetes Association have been recommending a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet as a treatment for diabetes for decades.

It is clear we need to update our approach to Diabesity

In this series, we’ll replace the outmoded way in which we look at Diabesity by looking at the current research into this epidemic. See Part 2 of our series Diabesity: Myths that Keep you Sick