I know it will be hard for you to believe but type 2 diabetes did not exist before 1920. It wasn't fully documented in writing until 1933. I want you to think about what this means. Type 2 diabetes, a disease that is predicted to plague more than 1/3 of the American population by 2050 is LESS THAN 100 years old! People in the 1800's did NOT have type 2 diabetes. People at the turn of the last century did NOT have type 2 diabetes. I don't think this has sunk into the medical community's psyche and the general American population seems oblivious to this well documented fact.
Why is no one talking about the fact that type 2 diabetes did not exist 100 years ago and now is rising faster than almost any disease we've ever studied. And.. remember that type 2 diabetes is really part of a larger metabolic syndrome and leads to cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, eye disease, damaged nerves and damaged tissues, and an acutely weakened immune system!
Again, why? Why doesn't this story appear on the front page of every major newspaper in the world? Why isn't CNN, FOX news, and cNBC reporting on this daily with panels of experts?
Type 2 diabetes doesn't kill you immediately but it does kill you slowly and the lifespan of those who have it is significantly reduced as well! The quality of life is much lower in most cases.
When doctors first started seeing what we now call "type 2 diabetes" they had no idea what it was. At first, it was so rare it was a medical curiosity. However, this changed very rapidly and there was great buzz about this puzzling disease at medical conferences. If you thoroughly search the old literature, you can find this but it is carefully hidden away from easy access (I should write an article on this as well).
This incidence of this new modern disease rose exponentially during the late 1920s and 1930s, and as it did, doctors became even more baffled. Remember that type 1 diabetes did exist but even though the name is similar now, the underlying causes of the disease are VERY different. Type 1 and type 2 diabetes are not the same diseases at all. The names being so similar does confuse things quite a bit.
Let's look at the history of how all this came to be:
In the late 1800s scientists discovered that removing the pancreas from a dog made its blood sugar skyrocket uncontrollably. Thus, scientists knew something was produced by the pancreas that controlled blood sugar. However, it wasn't until 1922 that scientists found a way to isolate insulin from the pancreas of animals and inject it into people who had type 1 diabetes. After a 14 year girl's life was saved by injecting insulin, it was hailed as a medical miracle. In short order, injecting insulin into patients with type 1 diabetes became the standard medical treatment. It worked very well for a while but then along came a totally new seemingly related disease. It was similar in some ways but totally different in other ways.
In the mid to late 1920's, a real medical mystery started developing. Patients were showing up with high blood sugar that didn't respond to insulin in the same way as a type 1 diabetic. These patients were assumed to be diabetics because the way doctors diagnosed this was to test for sugar in the urine that "spilled out" from the blood. If the sugar was high, they were considered to be diabetics and automatically they were immediately put on insulin injections.
This procedure had worked so well on those who had high blood sugar for about a decade that doctors were really mystified when it suddently stopped working!!
It was a head scratcher for sure. At first, there were just a few cases but then the incidence of these mysterious cases of high blood sugar cases not responding to insulin grew exponentially, and by the middle of the 1930's, it was a major topic of discussion in the medical community. No one understood it but some doctors were already figuring out how to treat it successfully with diet. Note, changes in diet did NOT work with the type 1 patients, only with these new type 2 patients. BUT... remember that all patients who had high blood sugar were then simply called "diabetics" and the disease was called "diabetes" with no type 1 or type 2 as a prefix. This is because they did not fully understand at that time they were dealing with a totally different disease that just happen to have the same symptom: high blood sugar.
In the 1950s, a technique was discovered that allowed insulin levels to be measured. It was discovered that type 2 diabetes, a disease that was now running rampant, was associated with normal or even elevated levels of insulin. This was very different from type 1 diabetics whose bodies could produce little to no insulin.
Type 1 diabetics: produce NO insulin or very little insulin
Type 2 diabetics: often produce TOO MUCH insulin or produce normal amounts of insulin
Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes produce the same symptom of high blood sugar but they are obviously very different!
To recap, in type 1 diabetics, blood sugar was high but insulin levels were low. In type 2 diabetics, blood sugar was also high but insulin levels were either normal or elevated. Moreover, type 2 diabetics did not respond to insulin injections.
By the 1930s, type 2 diabetes had grown 1000%!!
In fact, by the middle of the 1930s, the new type 2 diabetes cases already outnumbered traditional type 1 diabetes. Today, type 2 diabetes accounts for approximately 95% of all diabetes cases in the United States.
95 out of 100 diabetics are type 2 today. However, 100 years ago type 2 diabetes did NOT exist.
This is alarming!
What's more alarming is that no one seems to be talking about it!!! Wake up news media... where are you on this issue (hint to my readers: advertising dollars! and handsomely lobbyists who strong arm our politicians making the rules).
Keep this amazing and little known fact in mind:
Type 2 diabetes was a completely NEW disease in the 1920s (less than 100 years ago!).
To me, this fact is astounding. I think this news media should be shouting this from the rooftops and reporting this fact on every news channel.
There must be some reason that type 2 diabetes suddenly appeared in the 1920s and so rapidly escalated in the general American population, right? Diseases don't just appear out of no where with no cause, right?
Here's a big clue: type 2 diabetes appeared at about the same time in some developed countries but was delayed in others by differing amounts of time. Hmmmm.... why?
What caused this mysterious new disease that is so crippling America and other industrialized nations today?
The answer is this type 2 diabetes mystery is widespread introduction of poisonous food into the food supply!
In the 1920s, hydrogenated oils and fats (trans fat) began to be sold in industrialized nations (well, most of them). Trans fat is an ARTIFICIAL food and not found in nature in a way that human beings would eat it. We now know that trans fat damages cell membranes and causes type 2 diabetes (insulin resistance). The vast majority of type 2 diabetes patients will never hear anything about this though, not even from their doctor!! Very sad. Money does evil things in this world and this is one of them.
Early marketing efforts of this "new and improved" hydrogenated oil totally failed. Products like Crisco (hydrogenated dirt cheap vegetable oil) was not accepted at first. However, given that the Great Depression hit everyone hard, the lower cost eventually made it more acceptable to people who were so strapped for money they were struggling for their very survival. Then, it evenually fully accepted with World War 2 escalated and the Americans go involved. Real butter was rationed so those on the home front were looking for alternatives and that's when margarine (another hydrogenated fat) finally become fully accepted.
Thus, this trans fat, a totally artificial substance posing as "food" began to be eaten by the masses at exactly the same time as we see the appearance and very rapid escalation of a brand new disease: type 2 diabetes.
Remember that "hydrogenated" or "partially-hydrogenated" fat of any kind is just a deceptive way of saying trans fat.
The introduction of hydrogenated oils and fats were motivated entirely by profit and greed. The hydrogenation process could turn REALLY CHEAP fats that are usually liquid at room temperature into solids at room temperature. Thus products like Crisco and margarine were born. These toxic fats largely replaced animal lard and butter and they were used everyday in a wide variety of food dishes. In other words, they were so ubiquitous, they entered the bodies of almost every citizen in industrial nations.
Hydrogenation also greatly increased the shelf life of food products which meant that mass scale production food and storage could be achieved. Food manufacturers were excited about how much more profit they could make this way and over the decades they protected this profit any way they could and money was no object as it meant making even more money.
Keep in mind that hand and hand with this sudden appearance of hydrogenated oils and new diseases like type 2 diabetes, we get the rapid expansion of Big Pharma and all the profits that go along with this.
For people wanting to reverse type 2 diabetes with diet and other natural means, this is the most important history lesson you've probably every read.
If you really dig deep into the literature of the time, you'll find that many scientists expressed serious concerns over the potential health hazards of these artificial foods. There was an outcry in fact. There is also a record of this as they expressed these concerns at conferences. However, the war effort soon far over-shadowed these concerns and with these distractions that the world was facing at the tiem, the food industry was left relatively alone to experiment in the lab and produce more artificial foods and also launch their marketing campaigns. If one wants to fully understand and appreciate how we as a people could have ever allowed the money-hungry food industry to put so many artificial toxic foods into our food supply, they have to understand how other historical events were over-shadowing any concern for health. When whole nations are fighting for their very survival on this planet, it's hard to be terribly concerned at that moment over your health.
Unfortunately, these artificial and toxic foods were not widely discussed again until the 1970's. By this time, hydrogenated oils were so integrated into our diets that no one really thought much about it. This is exactly what the big food companies wanted. They won and they have been profiting handsomely ever since by our distraction.
Someone has got to pay the piper though and that is what is happening today with our type 2 diabetes rates being higher than they ever have been. For a modern would with all this super science and technology at our fingertips, it is a shame that it has come to this.
However, it is time we step back and get back to basics. Food is a substance we put into our bodies every day. We stuff our faces as the modern expression states 3 or more times a day. What we put into our bodies matters. There is a big difference between putting toxic artificial foods that have been sitting in some warehouse for a year and organic wholesome fresh foods with no artificial ingredients! Big, big, BIG difference!!
Diabetes and all of its complications is also big business for the medical field. Basically, the idea of curing diabetes equals the loss of profit for many. The idea of removing hydrogenated oils and fats entirely from our food supply is a herculean task... BUT it really must be done or we are going to end up with our entire population having diabetes and dying from the complications of it.
This article is already very long so I won't discuss the details of the mechanism by which hydrogenated oils and other artificial toxic foods cause diabetes in detail but you can read about it here and elsewhere on this site such as my article on how trans fat causes diabetes. Briefly, however, the process of hydrogenation creates artificial trans fats and replaces the healthy omega-3 fats in our cell membranes. Trans fats are VERY rare in nature and their chemical structure is quite different than the healthy and natural omega-3 fats they replace. When we ingest trans fat, it becomes incorporated into our cell membranes and interferes with the process of glucose transport across the cell membrane. We become "insulin resistant" (the very definition of type 2 diabetes). So, even if the pancreas is producing adequate amounts of insulin, not enough glucose gets across our trans fat damaged cell membranes, glucose builds up in our bloodstream, our cells don't get the nutrients they need, and we can develop several different medical ailments from this same underlying cause.
Everyone, especially diabetics, pre-diabetics, and those at higher risk to develop diabetes, should stop eating trans fat entirely. You need to keep in mind that eating trans fat (hydrogenated oil of any kind has trans fat) is not like eating ice cream where eating it "in moderation" is okay. Trans fat is poison period. Not even a little should be eaten. PLEASE get busy learning exactly how to reverse your diabetes. Eliminating trans fat is a very important first step but there is much more to the formula and you need to know every step to really do it. To really learn how to reverse diabetes, you need to get this comprehensive guide that will explain every step in detail. It is very possible to reverse type 2 diabetes if you know how.