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CHAPTER 1 Catastrophic Impact of Diabetes & Our Broken Healthcare System

Diabetes is becoming the number one heath challenge for the westernized world and is fast spreading worldwide as other nations adopt the western, animal based, highly processed calorie dense diet. It is a primary driver of the US healthcare crisis. The Lancet, the leading British medical Journal, is only one of the many medical and health authorities worldwide characterizing the rapid increase in diabetes as a pandemic. In the US diabetes has increased an astounding 170% in the last decade alone. Its effects are incalculable in scope and catastrophic in magnitude. The economic burden is staggering, but is nothing compared with human suffering, disability and premature death that come in the wake of this Tsunami of destruction. A physician or home test can tell someone whether they are or that they are not pregnant. One cannot be “kind of pregnant�. But with diabetesII, the distinction between being diabetic and not being diabetic is not so obvious. When we are talking about this disease, the medical


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community has had to set somewhat arbitrary numbers to distinguish between “non-diabetics”, “prediabetics” and full-blown “diabetics”. The truth of the matter is that all of us who for some time have continued consuming the standard American diet (SAD) are either becoming “kind of diabetic” or have already slid down toward the bottom of the diabetes pit. Effect follows cause and because of our “rich” diets we are reaping poor health. A few statistics from the American Center for Disease Control (CDC) and other respected sources will suffice to give a telling glimpse of the scale of this wave of devastation. Here is a sample of the numbers. Almost half of all Americans 20 years of age or older are now either diabetic or pre-diabetic! That is - 11.3% of the population diabetic and 35% pre-diabetic. That makes the diabetic population in this nation


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more numerous than the combined residents of its top ten most populous cities combined! It is astounding to realize that Almost 27% of all Americans over 65 years of age are diabetic! What’s more, a full 50% of this age group are pre– diabetic! That leaves only a small minority of 23.1% of this population unaffected by the continuum of blood glucose disorder. Let me illustrate the magnitude of this destructive force. In the US the number of deaths in which diabetes was a contributing factor in the last decade was twice the number of Americans killed in all its wars since 1775. That is like a crash of a fully loaded Jumbo Jet with no survivors every day of the year, every year! That is like having a terrorist attack as deadly as 911, not just in one day, but every day of every summer, every single year. If it were a radical


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fundamentalist Muslim organization behind this kind of carnage, we would call it an “attack on America”, an “act of war!” But since it is perpetrated though such agents as a friendly clown in a yellow suit, we just call it a Big Mac attack and cleaver advertising! There are 1.9 million new cases of Diabetes diagnosed every year; that is as if the entire population of the cities of Washington DC, Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Seattle, Washington were to slide into this pit of disease every year. Diabetes is a major contributor to heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, blindness and non-traumatic lower extremity amputations. Diabetes is also linked to increase risk of cancer, erectile dysfunction (ED), dementia, disability and pre-mature death. If you a not yet diabetic you may be interested to learn how your weight can affect your risk. You may also be curious as to the risk of your loved ones. Use the chart on this page to


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see how weight and height correlate to risk of diabetes. If you are a woman of average height (5 foot 4 inches) and weigh more than 175 pounds, you classed at a level of obesity which at a 7 out of 10 chance of succumbing to diabetes. A man of average height (5 foot 10 inches) need only be 209 pounds or more to join 70% risk category! Here are a few more facts about the complications of this disease to enhance you motivation to avoid or escape this devastating disease. Heart disease and stroke •

In 2004, heart disease was noted on 68% of diabetes-related death certificates among people aged 65 years or older.

In 2004, stroke was noted on 16% of diabetes-related death certificates among people aged 65 years or older.

The risk for stroke is 2 to 4 times higher among people with diabetes.

High blood pressure •

In 2005-2008, of adults aged 20 years or older with self-reported diabetes, 67% had blood pressure greater than or equal to 140/90 mmHg or used prescription medications for hypertension.

Blindness


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Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults aged 20–74 years.

In 2005-2008, 4.2 million (28.5%) people with diabetes aged 40 years or older had diabetic retinopathy, and of these, almost 0.7 million (4.4% of those with diabetes) had advanced diabetic retinopathy that could lead to severe vision loss.

Kidney disease •

Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, accounting for 44% of new cases in 2008.

In 2008, 48,374 people with diabetes began treatment for end-stage kidney disease in the United States.

In 2008, a total of 202,290 people with end-stage kidney disease due to diabetes were living on chronic dialysis or with a kidney transplant in the United States.

Nervous system disease (Neuropathy)


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About 60% to 70% of people with diabetes have mild to severe forms of nervous system damage.

Amputation •

More than 60% of non-traumatic lower-limb amputations occur in people with diabetes.

In 2006, about 65,700 non-traumatic lowerlimb amputations were performed in people with diabetes.

Between 45 and 83 percent of diabetics will have an amputation due to diabetes-related complications in their lifetime.

Cost of Diabetes: 174 billion: Total costs of diagnosed diabetes in 2007 •

$116 billion for direct medical costs

$58 billion for indirect costs (disability, work loss, premature mortality)

Factoring in the additional costs of undiagnosed diabetes & prediabetes, brings total to in 2007 to $218 billion.


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The increase in diabetes incidence is due to the rapid increase in type II diabetes (DM-II) which accounts for about 95% of all cases. The other primary type is generally referred to as type I diabetes (DM-1). It is a completely different disease and has a whole set of different causes. Type I is the result of the destruction of the pancreatic cells that produce insulin and is therefore irreversible. Fortunately diabetes type II is reversible. This is the disease that this book will address. Type II is associated with excess abdominal fat. It results from the bodies resistance to insulin combined with the “fatigue” of the pancreatic cells which leads to a decreased production of insulin. When these two metabolic disorders are combined, clinical diabetes is inevitable. This type of diabetes has been described as a “lifestyle disease”. It has only one cause. It results from poor lifestyle choicesprimarily wrong eating habits. So much for the bad news, let’s talk about the good news. The good news is that this kind of diabetes is completely preventable and totally reversible and if appropriate measures are taken all of these complications and catastrophic conditions can be avoided. So why is this good news about DM-2 not being shouted from every rooftop and universally disseminated in every clinic, doctor’s office, health advocacy group and governmental agency? The short answer: We have a broken healthcare system! One might even question whether


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it even deserves the title. As it is structured, it may more accurately be described rather as a “disease care system”! And therein lies the problem. The money is not directed to wellness and maintenance of health, but to the treatment and management of disease. Though, there have been some nominal attempts at reform in the creation of such entities as so-called “health maintenance organizations”, even at the heart of such institutions, there yet remains the traditional medical model with its blinders keeping drug-treatment and surgical procedures as the almost exclusive means for the treatment and management of disease. The medical profession has precious little monetary incentive to change. Every charge for which a doctor or healthcare institution bills, must have a billing code; And there are no billing codes for mentoring people to make successful lifestyle changes in order to prevent or recover from disease. A billing code for a bypass surgery may gross $50,000-100,000, while, Teaching someone on the principles of a healthful diet, how to menu plan, grocery shop and prepare delicious and healthful meals nets $0. Rather than focusing on removing the cause of the disease the focus is almost exclusively on treating the symptoms and merely “managing” the disease. If you are anything like me, I am sure you would be much more interested in learning what is causing your illness so that you can remove the cause and permanently get rid of your disease.


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The experience told by lifestyle physician, John A. McDougall, MD gives us a revealing insight. . McDougall tells of his work at a hospital and healthcare center were he was employed at the attached wellness /lifestyle center. It seemed like the perfect setting. The medical center could refer appropriate and motivated patients from the hospital to him to help them reverse their coronary artery disease. The physicians at the hospital knew that the lifestyle program worked, but it turns out that they were not referring any of their cases, that is, except their loved ones and themselves. Why? If, they referred their patients to the lifestyle center in place of recommending bypass surgery, they would loose the $50,000 revenue the procedure would bring in! If such practices and institutionalized conflict of interests were found in any other field of service, there would be such public outrage and cry for reform that a grand jury would be tasked and Senate hearings would immediately ensue. The deafening silence regarding the simple, reliable remedy for diabetes II would be totally unconscionable if it were not for wide spread gross ignorance on this subject. But even then their remains a colossal load of guilt on the part of the largest players in the industrial medical complex, for the ignorance is often not only willful but also cultivated, promoted by premeditated promulgation of disinformation and corrupt suppression of the truth.


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No, I don’t see it all as a grand conspiracy perpetrated by some wellcoordinated sinister organization to keep us sick. But, I do see it as a trap that we have set for ourselves, and one that is fueled by vested interest, tradition and excessive self-esteem. I have a hard time putting the blame on those health care workers and professionals who find themselves in this dilemma. I work in this field myself. I work as an occupational therapy practitioner in a care center and am well paid for helping people recover their functional status after a catastrophic event such as a lower extremity amputation, heart attack, or stroke. It is much more lucrative to spend my days picking up the pieces and helping Mary or John try to get their lives back together than to teach a cooking seminar or conduct a healthy lifestyle course. In my off-hours, my wife and I do make time to do these things; however, we do not make any profit in doing so. I conduct wellness retreats at my home in the mountains and only ask that my guest contribute to pay for their share of the grocery bill. Maybe one day I will be able to suggest a donation, not in remuneration for my services, but to pay the expenses of the next guest, allowing for a sustainable effort. Or, maybe eventually, we would be able to give full time to our work; if our guests were encouraged to contribute 20% of what they would have paid for the medications their doctors take them off when they no longer need them. Though coaching people in healthful living would accomplish an inestimably greater amount of good in preventing and relieving suffering, debility and


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disease, sadly, it is not valued as such in our current system. The blame, however, cannot be placed entirely on the medical profession. How often do health professional who seek to encourage better habits disappointed by a patient who demands that the doctor fix the problem, while refusing to deny their appetites and addictions? And what about the food manufactures and fast food services that make their profits urging greater consumption of high fat and sugary foods. But, this book is not about placing blame; it’s all about getting rid of your number one health problem, diabetes! Our aim is to see to it that you gain the resources you need to replace your current “diabetes-friendly� lifestyle with one that will make this unwelcome guest leave and never come back! This book is about how to enjoy an abundant satisfying diet of the best that God has provided for our health and pleasure. We will share with you a diet lifestyle that will be sustainable, practical and easy to understand. There will be no math, no exchange system, no point system, no calorie counting and no portion size restrictions. You will eat to you fill of delicious food that will provide you with sustained, accessible energy, not stored fat. Are you ready to cast off the burden of diabetic fears and embark on an adventure to health? If so, join me as we celebrate the journey.

Kiss Diabetes Goodbye- Sample Chapter  

Sample of chapter 1 of upcoming book by Jon Shumway, Kiss Diabetes Goodbye.

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