Demystifying Type 2
Welcome to our first blog post! I’m Ken Hampshire, founder of Syntratech.
A little about me
I’m a passionate researcher on the topic of unhealthy blood sugar. It’s been 19 years since I first began my investigations. In that time, I’ve talked with thousands of people with high blood sugar, and I am always surprised by the lack of clarity these patients seem to have. By the way, when I say high blood sugar, I am referring only to those with type 2. Type 1 is a totally different topic.
The accepted method of treatment of type 2 in the US is terribly misdirected and ineffective. It calls type 2 something it is not and treats symptoms while ignoring the cause.
What we know
I often meet people who are either deeply influenced by the medical/pharmaceutical community, or those who believe and buy into a more natural, herbal approach to curing high blood sugar.
But neither of these positions is totally correct.
High blood sugar should be more accurately categorized as a disorder than a disease. Diseases are things like measles, mumps, smallpox, and typhus. They have an external cause and medical technology has a resolution.
Scientific literature tells us that at the point of initial diagnosis for type 2, we have already lost between 25% and 45% of our functioning beta cells. These are the insulin-producing cells in our pancreas. Once lost, we never get them back. We lose our beta cells during the early, sub-clinical stages of the disorder when insulin resistance increases.
As a result, our bodies compensate by calling on the beta cells of our pancreas to produce more and more insulin. It is not uncommon for people with early-stage subclinical diabetes to produce 25, 50, or even 100% more insulin than normal.
But eventually, our beta cells can produce no more insulin. They are at 100% of production, and as a result of being overworked for so long, they begin to fail. The longer our blood glucose is above normal, the more damage is done to our beta cells.
Disease or disorder?
Type 2 acts more like a disorder than a disease. A disorder is, loosely, something that disrupts usual and effective function. They’re more chronic, and may not have a clinical resolution (like an antibiotic).
The reason I suggest patients rethink type 2 as a disease is that this allows us to see it as a disorder that can be managed. If you have strep throat and take an antibiotic, the problem resolves. If you are diabetic and take insulin, you must continue to take insulin. Type 2 is never cured.
But type 2 has a component that you can actually control. This is where the natural-management folks are onto something.
It doesn’t mean your life is over.
If you look at it this way, you have a lot of agency in changing your life in a way that minimizes the impact of high blood sugar. If we allow ourselves to believe that high blood sugar is in fact a real disease, then we believe that it just happened to us. That we are a victim
But it didn’t just “happen to us.” We lived life in a way that allowed it to happen. That means that what we do, how we behave, eat, exercise, and live makes a difference. A big difference. We are not victims.
Calling and believing high blood sugar a disease makes a difference in terms of how we as individuals see ourselves, which in turn makes a difference in how we treat our condition. Type 2 is devastating if we do nothing and equally devastating if we depend on someone else (our doctor) to “make us better.” Your doctor has nothing that will successfully halt the progression of diabetes.
I hear it all the time…”No, if I could just get the right medication, or the right dosage of medications, or the right combinations of medications then I would be fine.”
And I answer, “You don’t get it do you? You think that you are the only one who these medications are not working for? They don’t work for anybody.”
Medication alone is not the answer. But there is a lot we can do to slow and stop the progression of type 2. More on that in our next blog. In the meantime, if you want to be up to date with the latest Syntratech content, you can sign up for our Newsletter below.