Not thought of enough as a North American epidemic, let alone a worldwide phenomenon, diabetes is attacking younger and younger people and without discrimination. Pediatric clinics, once nearly the sole domain of type 1 diabetes, are now overrun with obese adolescents with type 2 (diabetes). In the US over 52% of adults are sick enough to be classified as either diabetic or prediabetic; in Japan, 80% of all new cases are type 2 with a prevalence rate of well over 13%, and in China the rate increased from 1% to nearly 12% over the past three decades. The problem is not trivial.
The International Diabetes Federation estimates by the year 2045, the worldwide rate of diabetes will reach 1 in every 8 adults! They recognize that it is one of the fastest growing health emergencies of the 21st Century. The World Health Organization (WHO), in April 2021, launched their Global Diabetes Compact, a global initiative aiming for sustained improvements in the prevention and care of diabetes with a specific focus on supporting low- and middle- income countries where rates of diabetes are rising fastest in the world.
Despite these catastrophic statistics, recognitions, and WHO initiative, as a world, we continue to miss the mark. We NEED a paradigm shift! An approach that considers the most appropriate lab markers and recognizes the importance of using a different lens for the prevention of diabetes and prediabetes. While a fasting blood glucose and cortisol level are optimal markers, gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) is THE single most quantitative factor that is most highly associated with the development of type 2 diabetes. Not obesity, not blood sugar, and not insulin levels. When we consider the liver as the master orchestrator of metabolic function, this makes sense. Yet, this is not common practice. Nor is it mainstream to consider factors contributing to impairment of cell membrane which affect the uptake of insulin into cells. Factors such as insufficiency of Omega-3 fats and/or CoQ-10 are begging for our attention. Redox imbalance MUST be considered. Oxidative stress from increased cortisol, suboptimal RBC magnesium, and use of statins and steroids as contributing factors are by and large, not considered. We consistently miss the mark on prevention and early diagnosis.
The detrimental effects are expansive. Oxidative load fuels inflammation, wreaking havoc throughout the systemic body –this has debilitating downstream effects and becomes a vicious cycle. If the lens is changed of how we view type 2 diabetes, we recognize it is preventable and reversible.
It is clear in the research that this is not purely a genetic disease or part of the normal aging process. Epigenetics is the gateway to gene expression and plays a vital role in the prevention, diagnosis, and reversal of this fatal disease. As a nation, we need to develop a keen intelligence and consider lifestyle, nutrition, and supplementation of key (co)-enzymes, nutrients, and vitamins. Then, we will once and for all put an end to this worldwide epidemic.
Participant Learning Outcomes
This presentation provides practical solutions to a worldwide phenomenon which is setting record highs and projected to keep rising. Not only will it appeal to clinical providers but to academicians, nurses, researchers, and all healthcare professionals. The content can be used to expand research and teaching and provides details with specific takeaways that can be put into practice immediately.
Audience Take Away Notes:
- Discuss the significance and detrimental impact of type 2 diabetes on communities around the world
- Distinguish between current practices for the prevention and diagnosis of type 2 diabetes and best evidence-based practices
- Construct a new paradigm taking into consideration factors leading to insulin resistance and the development of metabolic syndrome
- Formulate strategic pursuits to advance the reversal of type 2 diabetes