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Posts Tagged ‘surgery & diabetes’

I like coincidence–the apparent chance conjunction of happenings.

Last night in a long comment on my blog, Jill Littrel, a  clinical psychologist at Georgia State University in Atlanta, talks about the root causes of Type Two Diabetes.

This morning’s Guardian newspaper carries an article (http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/apr/13/obesity-surgery-treats-diabetes) about a study of people who have undergone surgery to remove excess body fat–and how this procedure has stopped the developement of the diabetes in a significant number of cases.

I am still digesting Jill’s piece (so to speak!), which is rich and written in scientific terms that are sometimes a little opaque for the layperson…. (I am going to ask Jill for a less technical version.)

The overall message is clear though: Type-two-ers have an insulin ‘delivery system’ that is faulty–the ‘goods’ (i.e. insulin) are not arriving where they are needed to do the job–to distribute glucose efficiently to the body’s cell system.

In the comment, she explains that there are a number of explanations.

One reason is the effect of excess fat round people’s middles on the body’s ability to self-regulate.

Which takes us to the article in The Guardian….

The theme here is getting rid of fat that is contributing to the breakdown of a healthy ‘delivery’ system.

According to the study, surgery to remove or reduce the fat can be effective in re-tuning the body and stopping the disease in its tracks.

It is easy to see the attraction of such a move.

Problem solved with a quick slice of the knife!

But doesn’t this conveniently sidestep the vexed question of why the person is overweight in the first place? Isn’t this just another ‘band-aid’ solution. How long will it take before the person puts it all back on?

For Jill Littrel the answer is to make lifestyle adjustments–e.g. more exercise, meditation to reduce stress, the use of certain spices like turmeric in cooking (I could add–a little cinnamon sprinkled on your breakfast choice!) which over time will help the body to readjust.

A British Department of Health spokesperson quoted in The Guardian agrees, saying in response to the findings of the study that surgery should only be considered as a last resort once weight-loss schemes and exercise programmes have been tried.

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Presidents John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on the same day (as far as we know, NOT of diabetes!)– July 4th, 1826 – 50 years to the day after they both signed of the Declaration of Independence.

I like coincidences!


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