The Metabolic Miracle Explained
The metabolic miracle in truth describes the amazing, but predictable phenomenon that occurs when people with Type 2 diabetes lose weight. A high percentage of people in this situation will, by reducing their weight below the “diabetes threshold”, cure their Type 2 diabetes simply through weight loss. Because Type 2 diabetes results from weight gain in most cases, working very hard to reduce weight, pays big dividends in the form of reversing the development of the diabetes disease process. For each person the threshold weight at which their body is no longer able to properly handle and metabolize the blood sugar is different. And this threshold weight changes over time as we age. So what we find is that a variety of factors put us at risk for Type 2 diabetes, namely our own genes and our own intrinsic metabolism. But, then two powerful factors determine when and if we will actually develop diabetes and require medicines or insulin injections to maintain control of our blood sugar. These two factors are: chronological age, and weight. So pure and simple, as we age our risk of developing Type 2 diabetes goes up. Unfortunately there is really noting we can do about aging, at least until the anti-aging science develops some concrete solutions for us all! But, the even more powerful factor that determines when, and if we develop Type 2 diabetes is our weight. We do have tremendous control over our weight!
I have helped so many people who came to me with a story along the lines of this one: a patient named Judy had developed Type 2 diabetes after her weight increased and surpassed 240 pounds. She was forty-seven years old and found herself suddenly required to take two different types of oral medicines to control her blood sugar. After another year passed her doctor was increasing the doses and she was being told that she may soon need to move on to insulin injections to control her blood sugar. She was very discouraged and the combination of this depressing news, life stress, and a sore lower back all contributed to steady and increasing weight gain. Now she was 250 pounds and it seemed like her future was bleak. I helped Judy reorient her thinking about Type 2 diabetes and see that she could actually exert a lot of control. We talked about how taking extra medicines (one of which has as its chief side effect-you guessed it, weight gain!), along with finger sticks and checks of her blood sugar, and the possibility of injecting herself with insulin were all fairly “extreme” behaviors. She had previously viewed very intensive weight loss strategies as “ to extreme” and had therefore rejected them. I asked her to consider whether it really seemed all that extreme to follow a medically supervised, protein based meal replacement shake diet with very careful monitoring of her calories and blood sugar for fifty-two weeks, when compared to the extreme life changes she was forced to undergo to treat her diabetes. Over time Judy looked through what was involved in seriously embarking upon a medically based weight loss program and she changed her opinion about it. She realized that the sacrifice and pain and suffering involved in blending protein shakes and carefully monitoring her calories paled in comparison to the pain and suffering of taking more medication, seeing her health deteriorate and watching her blood sugar numbers rise. Once she made this mental leap, there was no turning back. Judy began losing weight and steadily, month by month lost more and more weight until the day arrived that her wight had dropped below 190 pounds. At that point she began having sustained normal blood sugar readings day, after day, after day even while reducing and finally eliminating her diabetes medicines altogether. Her primary care doctor was astonished to say the least. Now let’s be clear, not every single person with diabetes can experience the metabolic miracle and watch their diabetes melt away through a medically based weight loss system. For example: people with Type 1 diabetes generally will not expect to see this kind of result. And there are also a small percentage of people with Type 2 diabetes that has arisen because of their genetic make up and not because of weight gain. But, for the vast majority of people whose Type 2 diabetes does largely stem from weight gain, the metabolic miracle is waiting to happen. Given that 95 percent of diabetes in this country is Type 2 diabetes, and given that around 90 percent of those cases stem in significant part from weight gain, we are talking about tens of millions of people just in the United States alone and if you add the additional 70 million people with pre-diabetes whose blood sugars have begun to rise and whose metabolic machinery is well on the path toward full blown diabetes, you are talking about a rather sizable percentage of the overall population who stand to benefit right now from the approach outlined in this book to achieve the metabolic miracle of diabetes resolution.