In medical school we were taught that Type II DM is a chronic progressive disease - once diagnosed, it could potentially be managed, controlled, but never cured.
The primary thrust of diabetic cares has been to try and control blood sugar with a goal of decreasing the risk of macrovascular (heart attack and stroke) and microvascular (kidney failure and blindness).
Conventional wisdom has been that 90% of diabetics require medication treatments that need to intensified over time to effectively prevent complication and that "delays in intensification of are common and may be due to unrealistic patient expectations." (1)
Evidence is accumulating that conventional wisdom has been wrong.
The Massive Toll of Diabetes
Diabetes rates globally are rising, driven by the obesity epidemic.
In Canada, 9% of the population is diabetic - this has grown from 3.3% in 1998 and is expected to grow to 12% in 2025.
Perhaps even more alarming, an additional 22% of the population are pre-diabetic, 90% of whom do not realize it. Over 70% of pre-diabetics will go on to develop diabetes.
Diabetes reduces lifespan by 5-15 years and accounts for over 10% of deaths in Canadian adults.
People with diabetes are:
Diabetics have a 25% greater chance of developing cancer. Diabetes is moderately associated with cancers of the:
Diabetes and depression create a self-enforcing viscous cycle: 30% of diabetics have clinically relevant depressive symptoms, people with depression have a 60% increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Adding to this massive clinical toll, the cost of diabetic care is staggering - in Canada we currently spend $15B on treatment and management of complications. With the rates of diabetes climbing the cost trend has been called an economic tsunami, with an expected doubling by 2025.
Looked at from both the clinical and financial perspective, it is clear that diabetes is the biggest healthcare challenge of our generation.
Stepping back, we can see that our traditional approach:
... is not working, for the simple reason: our current approach does not address the cause of diabetes.
The chronic and progressive nature of diabetes may have more to do with our management than of the disease itself.
In part II and III of this blog series, I will look at the powerful new evidence that Type II Diabetes can be reversed through a comprehensive lifestyle approach.
At Wellness Garage, we believe that the answer to optimal health and vital longevity lies in our lifestyle behaviors. We use comprehensive, evidence-based, precision health assessments to gain deep understanding of an individuals current health and behaviors. We then use this information to come up with a behavioral plan to address underlying illness and risk, while optimizing health.
If this approach makes sense to you, book a free consultation with us and we can help you get started.
In the coming months, Wellness Garage will be launching a comprehensive diabetes program aimed at disease reversal and remission based on evidence from powerful new studies. Part II and Part III of this blog series will explore this evidence and detail the Wellness Garage approach.
Dr. Brendan Byrne