In Part One of this extended article, we outlined some of the various elements that make type 2 Diabetes a mosaic of chronic illness. We examined how each organ system plays a part in type 2 Diabetes, and how each organ system is affected by type 2 Diabetes.

In this 2nd part, we will outline and briefly examine some of the causes of type 2 Diabetes.

Causes of Type 2 Diabetes

There are several very important causes of type 2 Diabetes which must be addressed in order to successfully prevent, treat, reverse and ultimately eradicate the disease. Addressing only one of the causes may bring some improvement, but often will not bring the complete results sought after. Some of the causes of type 2 Diabetes include:

  • Poor Nutrition
  • Genetics
  • Sedentary Lifestyle
  • Iatrogenic
  • Stress

Let’s take a look at and examine each one of these causes:

Fast FoodPoor Nutrition – This is indeed a major key both in the development and in the treatment of type 2 Diabetes. It is a well known fact that poor nutrition in the form of too many refined foods, packaged foods, fast foods, junk foods, white flour and sugar contribute greatly to the development of type 2 Diabetes. In addition, the advent and widespread consumption of hydrogenated oils and trans-fats further add to the break-down of the digestive system in general and the liver/pancreas complex in particular.

Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in the mid-1800’s, foods have been increasingly produced in the world-wide marketplace to encourage maximum production, extended shelf life, and enhancement of taste – for maximum financial benefit of all the industries involved: agribusiness, meat, poultry, dairy, etc. In addition, topsoil and nutrient depletion of the soil is a result of poor standards of food production. This is a major factor in the upward worldwide trend of type 2 Diabetes, making nutrition a vital cause of the illness.

Genetics – Western science has asserted that genetics can play a factor in the development of type 2 Diabetes. There is a certain genetic factor prevalent in some ethnic groups, including those of Asian, African and Native American descent. This genetic factor may increase the chances of developing type 2 Diabetes. Interestingly, this gene seems to be most prevalent in individuals of Asian descent. According to the American Diabetes Association, Asians who follow a traditional Asian diet do not tend to develop type 2 Diabetes despite the fact that they seem to have a certain protein that shuts down the insulin receptor, creating insulin resistance. So despite the fact of genetics playing a role in the development of type 2 Diabetes, it is promising to note that the actual onset can be avoided through proper diet and other measures.

The bottom line is that I do not consider genetics to play a major role in the development of type 2 Diabetes, as this can be largely controlled with dietary elements and good nutrition.

Sedentary Lifestyle – The human body is designed for balanced periods of movement and non-movement. In today’s society, the scales have tipped way too far to the side of non-movement. Our sedentary lifestyle of watching TV and the widespread use of electronics has become a significant factor in the skyrocketing numbers of those with type 2 Diabetes – especially among youth and young adults. There are several reasons why exercise/moving the body is vital:

  • Increases blood circulation
  • Tones the vascular system
  • Tones the muscles
  • Strengthens the functioning of the organs
  • Allows the body to utilize energy and burn fat more effectively
  • Moving the body is crucial in preventing and treating type 2 Diabetes.

Iatrogenic – This is a term that means that an illness is developed or caused by Western allopathic medicine. There are certain medications that can actually contribute to or exacerbate type 2 Diabetes.

One such category of medications is statin drugs that lower cholesterol. This is not to say that you should stop taking your statin drug – at least not without the close supervision of your doctor. But it does become somewhat of a “Catch 22,” because once type 2 Diabetes or even pre-Diabetes is discovered, many doctors will automatically prescribe a cholesterol-lowering statin drug along with any blood sugar lowering medication.

Blood sugar medications are another category that can actually exacerbate type 2 Diabetes by creating another type of “Catch 22” situation for the patient. In this case, the medication may create the problem of hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, prompting the person to quickly eat something sweet (candy, orange juice, etc.) in order to offset the effects of the medication.

This, in the long run, can be counter-productive, and for most people becomes bare-bones management of type 2 Diabetes, rather than actual treatment and reversal of the disease.

Again, simply stopping the medication(s) without a concrete plan and close supervision from your doctor is not advised, as it can cause more harm than good if you are already taking medications.

Stress – This includes worry, emotional upheaval and long-term depression. It is said that stress is the cause of all chronic illness, including type 2 Diabetes.

Think about it: how do you feel when you are happy, playful and carefree? By contrast, how do you feel when you are angry, fearful, frustrated or sad? These latter negative emotions, if held onto long-term, affect the body in non-optimal ways. Stress affects:

  • The entire digestive system, including the pancreas and liver
  • Sleep patterns
  • Hormone secretions, including the adrenals, thyroid and sex hormones
  • The nervous system
  • The immune system

This area of stress can perhaps be the most challenging and complex area to overcome in the treatment of type 2 Diabetes.

In part 3 of this extended article, we will discuss an optimal multifaceted plan for the treatment of type 2 Diabetes, focusing on nutrition and stress reduction.