By naturopath Margaret Jasinska
Researchers have found that type 2 diabetes can be caused by fat accumulation in the pancreas, even in people who don’t appear overweight. Fatty pancreas is a common diagnosis that can also happen in people who don’t have diabetes. Losing less than one gram of that fat can be enough to reverse the disease.
Type 2 diabetes affects 9 percent of the world’s population and is being diagnosed in increasingly younger people. It was once called adult onset diabetes but that name is no longer relevant because these days we commonly see it in children.
People with type 2 diabetes have too much glucose in their blood. This is dangerous because glucose is sticky and it can damage nearly any part of the body if present in excess. Therefore, diabetes can lead to some very devastating health consequences, such as blindness, kidney failure, erectile dysfunction, heart attacks and strokes. People with type 1 diabetes don’t produce enough insulin, therefore must inject it. In contrast, people with type 2 diabetes usually produce plenty of insulin; sometimes too much of it. The insulin just doesn’t work properly anymore.
A team of researchers from Newcastle University in the UK has recently found that fat accumulation in the pancreas can cause type 2 diabetes, and losing that fat can reverse the disease. According to Professor Taylor of Newcastle University, “For people with Type 2 diabetes, losing weight allows them to drain excess fat out of the pancreas and allows function to return to normal”. In this particular study, weight loss was achieved through bariatric surgery, but any weight loss method could produce the same result.
The problem is, losing weight is difficult, and it’s twice as hard if you have type 2 diabetes or insulin resistance. This is because the insulin resistance that occurs in these conditions inhibits the action of fat burning hormones and significantly increases appetite and carbohydrate cravings. Additionally, type 2 diabetes usually causes a fatty liver. When the liver is fatty, it can’t burn fat properly and metabolism slows down.