Diabetes falls into two broad categories: type 1, and type 2.
They share a name because they share a symptom, and side effects. The
symptom is very high blood sugar if un- or improperly treated. The
side effects are the same, the result of the symptom.
Side effects are vision changes, and eventual retinopathy
(hemorrhaging on the retina), which leads to extremely reduced visual
acuity, or blindness; cardiac and circulatory problems; reduced kidney
function, leading to failure, necessitating kidney dialysis to sustain
life; severely reduced feeling in the extremeties, usually more
pronounced in the feet, with, strangely enough, often severe pain or
tenderness in the extremeties, even though superficial sensations are
reduced-- this is called neuropathy; and the previous is generally
caused by reduced circulation to the extremeties, which results in
extremely slow healing, or no healing at all, which allows secondary
infections to establish in the extremeties, and can and will lead to
gangrenous conditions, and eventual loss of the appendages and limbs.
As stated, the two large types of diabetes share a common symptom, but
the causes are worlds apart. Type 1 is the result of an autoimmune
attack on the Islets of Langerhans, also called beta cells, in the
pancreas. These are the entities responsible for manufacturing
insulin. The disease, or condition, if you prefer, is thought to
originate with the body's immune system being triggered for an as yet
unknown reason to attack the insulin circulating in the blood, and
then the immune system broadens its attack to include the
aforementioned Islets of Langerhans, eventually destroying or
'deactivating' them. Thus, the type 1 patient is left with no insulin,
which is the prime mechanism by which the body feeds glucose to the
cells, by means of 'transporting' glucose across cell boundaries.
There are many, many, many other duties which insulin performs, but
they are beyond the scope of this paper.
I will note, briefly, that a couple of insulin's 'secondary actions'
is to charge the liver with glycogen, which is the body's means of
storing glucose-- akin literally to the gas tank in a car, and the
production of fat from excess glucose.
Type 2 diabetes is almost a polar opposite of type 1, in that the body
is actually awash in insulin, but the cells of the body exhibit a
condition known as insulin resistance, which means that the body
resists the action of the insulin, in its attempt to transport glucose
into the cells. This results in elevated blood glucose levels. The
body's 'glucose thermostat' then continues to demand more and more
insulin in the attempt to control blood glucose levels. For
illustration, a nondiabetic or type 1 individual may require X amount
of insulin to control glucose when fed a given meal, while for the
type 2 individual, the insulin requirement may be 10, 20, or 50 times
as much insulin.
This gross amount of insulin in the body then reverts to its secondary
function of producing and storing fat, and it is quite common for type
2 individuals to be overweight, even morbidly overweight. It isn't
necessarily that 'being fat' causes type 2 diabetes, it is more that
being type 2 diabetic leads to 'being fat'. Of course, simple
overeating can and does lead to excess weight, and thus there can be a
combination of the two causes.
While the causes and original trigger of type 1 diabetes are at best
poorly understood, the treatment is generally well understood. Insulin
must be injected into the body to metabolize the food and feed the
cells. The intent is to provide a 'base load' amount of insulin, plus
additional insulin to metabolize the food intake which occurs
periodically through the day. Diets are modified so that the surges of
blood glucose are minimized, easing the considerable and dangerous
task of balancing food input with insulin injections. Blood sugar is
monitored and food and insulin inputs adjusted in the effort to
maintain as close as possible a 'normal' level of glucose in the
It has been observed that the condition known as hypoglycemia, a
condition of low or extremely low blood sugar is very, very commonly a
precursor to type 2 diabetes. So far, what I have presented is
'medical orthodoxy'. From here forward, I will begin in some of the
details to deviate from that orthodoxy.
Hypoglycemics suffer from a condition best described by analogy--
insulin, with its blood-sugar reducing properties I will describe as
an 'air conditioner'. When the 'termperature' (blood sugar level)
rises a few degrees above, let's say, 100, the 'thermostat' triggers
the 'air conditioner' to start and begin to reduce the 'temperature
level' (blood sugar). The air conditioner reduces the 'temperature',
but the 'thermostat' fails to turn off the 'air conditioner' when the
temperature is reduced back to 100. The 'air conditioner' (insulin
production) continues to run, and the temperature (blood sugar)
continues to fall.
If the 'temperature' (blood sugar) only drops a few degrees below 100,
it is a condition of 'no harm, no foul'. But in hypoglycemics, the
temperature (blood sugar) may fall to 80, 70, even 60 or below. This
is into the realm of hypoglycemia, characterized by many symptoms, not
always exactly the same in all patients. Some become mentally slow or
confused, some exhibit aberrant behavior, some become extremely
irritable, some become unable to move and function, some break out in
sweat, sometimes hyperactivity is exhibited, sometimes a trance-like
state results, shakiness, often there is extreme hunger, or,
conversely, nausea. These exhibited symptoms are not always the same,
and the same individual may exhibit different and different
combinations of symptoms.
The treatment is to eat, or, in the analogy, 'turn on the heat'. But
the individual must be most careful to not drive up the 'temperature'
(blood sugar) too far, or the body's 'thermostat' will again demand
more insulin, restarting the process, and the body will enter an
oscillation of blood sugar from low to high to low to high.
While very fast carbohydrates (raw sugar, fruit juice, soft drinks,
candy) work most rapidly to bring the blood glucose level up to proper
levels, they also have a great risk of elevating the sugar levels too
far. Again, the body can go into an oscillating low, high, low, high
condition of blood sugar.
The commonly accepted treatment for hypoglycemia is to reduce 'fast
carbohydrates' to essentially zero, and to eat a diet of regular
meals, spaced not too far apart, or with 'snacks' in between the
standard three meals to maintain blood sugar at near constant and
slowly changing levels. Meals should be heavily weighted towards
vegetables and protein, with only 'slow' carbohydrates such as beans.
Raw sugar and fast carbohydrates (potatoes, for instance) are to be
strictly avoided. Snacks, if necessary and employed, should contain
food relatively slow to enter the blood stream as glucose. Peanut
butter, nuts, sunflower seeds, and the like are common staples.
At this point, you may ask what does this have to do with the insulin
resistance of type 2 diabetes. That can be answered thusly-- the body
hates low blood sugar-- literally hates it. And, in the case of many
individuals, begins a process of building a 'protein sheath' around
the individual cells, to retard the insulin's ability to transport
glucose, and thus retard the insulin's ability to lower blood glucose
As this progresses, soon enough the body begins to exhibit the
symptoms and conditions of type 2 diabetes.... insulin resistance, the
necessity of the body to produce often HUGE amounts of insulin to
control the blood sugar levels. And, simultaneously, the body often,
usually begins to produce fat.... often large amounts of fat.
The body has thus alleviated the distress of low blood sugar-- at the
cost of very high blood sugar, and resulting damage to eyes, heart,
circulation, kidneys. In the effort to control this soaring and
uncontrolled blood sugar, standard medical practice is to give the
patient what amounts to pancreatic stimulant, so even more insulin is
produced. Eventually, the condition progresses until supplemental
injected insulin is required, until, often HUGE amounts of injected
insulin is required. Without drastic changes to the diet, the type 2
diabetes, and the treatment of it, are on a dead end street. Heart
disease, kidney failure, blindness, amputations, eventual literal
A recent development in the treatment of type 2 diabetes is an
injected drug called Byetta. It is, literally, the active ingredient
in Gila Monster venom. It was noted that the Gila Monster ate very
infrequently, but when it did feed, it was usually a very large meal.
Researchers wondered how such a small animal with very limited insulin
production capacity could properly metabolize the large meals, and
discovered that the Gila Monster venom 'potentiates'-- multiplies the
effectiveness of-- the animal's insulin. And the drug Byetta was
The Atkins Diet is based on a removal of carbohydrate from the diet.
Its intent is to make the body 'reset' its metabolism. Atkins
specifies an almost total removal of carbohydrate from the diet for a
period of a few weeks, and encourages the individual to eat protein
and fats-- bacon, eggs, meat, butter, and the like, along with what
are called 'free vegetables' in the old-time diabetic lexicon. There
is no limit placed on how much of this protein/fat/free vegetable can
be eaten under the Atkins regimen. The 'free vegetables' are,
generally, greens-- lettuce and spinach and the like-- green beans. I
will leave it to the reader to visit Atkins-related web sites to find
specific menus, and specific vegetables which may be eaten, and which
are to be avoided.
Every gram of carbohydrate must be 'counted', and the daily intake
kept below stated levels.
Over the course of weeks, the body's metabolism resets, and the
oscillations of hypoglycemia, or the insulin resistance of type 2
diabetes recedes. Gradually over time, the 'allowed' level of
carbohydrate is increased, until the 'allowed' level approaches a
modest, limited, 'sane' level of carbohydrate input. The type 2
diabetic who is taking pancreatic stimulants (pills) or injected
insulin must CLOSELY monitor blood sugar levels during this process,
or hypoglycemia, low blood sugar, WILL result.
Over the period of a few months, the type 2 diabetic will find that,
commonly, much weight will be shed, the necessity of pancreatic
stimulant pills and injected insulin will cease. That is, they will
find themselves cured.
It has also been noted that the extract of gardenia flowers causes a
vast reduction in the necessity of pancreatic stimulants and insulin.
This was discovered a few years ago with strictly controlled,
clinical, scientific experiments and examination. It was trumpeted at
the time, then it dropped completely off the radar. This is because
those doing such clinical work are busily at work in developing a
standardized, 'patented medicine' using the active ingredients in the
gardenia. Big Pharma does not want and will not allow, within its
ability, patients to take control of their own situation.
This gardenia treatment is not a cure. The Atkins Diet is literally a
cure. With the gardenia extract, continuing treatment with the
extract is required to keep the necessity of pancreatic stimulant and
injected insulin at bay.
I strongly recommend that type 2 diabetics cure themselves with the
Atkins Diet, over the use of the gardenia extract. But there is a
caveat-- healthy kidneys in a normal individual process the heavily
protein-weighted diet just fine. But one of the first casualties in a
type 2 patient's body is the kidneys. They become weakened, even
debilitated. Therefore, the Atkins Diet is simply not possible for a
type 2 individual with compromised kidneys. Your physician can and
probably already has informed you of the kidney situation.
That leaves the gardenia extract with a strict reduction in
carbohydrate input as the only option for type 2 patients with
compromised kidneys. This gardenia extract was a staple in Chinese
herbal medicine for thousands of years, the efficacy is well known and
established. The gardenia extract can be found wherever herbs and
'health foods' are sold, as well as numerous places on the web.
I will close with a description of how a condition of type 2 diabetes
can develop. And individual rises, is usually pressed for time, and
eats a 'quick' breakfast-- coffee or tea, usually with sugar. Toast,
perhaps with jelly. BANG, the body is fueled, and the individual is
off to the daily grind. But, it gets to be 10, or 11 AM. Suddenly the
morning's fuel runs out. Extreme hunger, shakiness, etc ensue. So the
individual has sweetened coffee, or a soft drink, or something from
the candy machine. Here we go again, the body is fueled. But that
sugar will run out. Comes lunchtime, and lunch may well consist of a
heavy load of carbohydrates-- a burger and fries and a soft drink, or
a shake. Then it gets to be 3 or 4 in the afternoon. The gas tank is
empty. The body has burned or stored as fat the heavy-carb, light on
protein lunch. Time for the sweetened coffee or soft drink, perhaps
another visit to the candy machine.
Supper (dinner) may be the only meal during the day that could be
called 'appropriate', and even then it could be heavily weighted with
carbohydrates. Then midnight snack, probably more carbohydrate.
This brings me to the end of the treatise. Do please feel free, anyone
reading this, to post me at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions,
requests for clarification or amplification, or any other concerns or
Be well, and stay alive.