What comes to mind when considering the term “inflammation”? A festering pimple, or perhaps a high fever, an infected tooth, toe, abscess? These are typical examples of inflammation. Inflammation may exist in many other forms however, including possibly obesity.
Inflammation describes the immune system when it is activated. The presence of pus or fever are obvious forms of this. More subtle forms of inflammation can exist in the body. Recently, researchers from Australia, presented evidence that obesity itself is associated with abnormal activation of the immune system, or in other words, inflammation. This inflammation might in turn, cause type 2 diabetes. It is already becoming clear that the inflammation associated with obesity contributes to insulin resistance, the first step in the development of type 2 diabetes. In a study just published in the June volume of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (95:2845-2850, 2010), patients with either type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes were evaluated for the distribution of inflammatory blood cells before and after gastric band surgery. Abnormal immune activation or inflammation was detected in this group. After an average of 13% weight loss following gastric surgery, the scientists found up to an 80% reduction in inflammatory blood cells. Many of the patients were able to significantly reduce their diabetic medications after the weight loss. The conclusion is that inflammation may result from obesity and is reversible when significant weight is lost. Metabolic problems like diabetes improve as the inflammation is reduced, as well. Therefore, inflammation may be part of the reason people develop diabetes as their weight increases.
Studies like this will provide new avenues for attacking the development of type 2 diabetes due to excessive weight gain, and possibly to help find ways of combating obesity, as well.
Gary Pepper, M.D.
I have another 2 cents to put in about egg yolks. For some reason they have been demonized and demoralized. People have been led to believe that if you eat egg yolks, or cholesterol for that matter, they will somehow cause a heart attack. NOT TRUE. For the majority of people, consuming cholesterol will actually cause a feedback loop to kick in and reduce your bodies own production for the day. Cholesterol is REALLY REALLY important for producing Vitamin D, cortisol, estrogen, testosterone and other hormones, as well as cell membranes and brain tissue! IF cholesterol gets oxidized (from too much pollution/toxins and too few antioxidants) then you may have a cholesterol problem. So cut down on toxins and increase antioxidants to address that problem!
BUT back to the yolk of the egg… that is where the MAJORITY of nutrients are found. The yolk contains omega 3 fatty acids (especially if the chicken is fed properly), vitamins, minerals, carotenoids and choline. Choline is essential for producing acetylcholine, the “memory” molecule. So, don’t forget to enjoy 1 or 2 eggs EVERY DAY to boost your intake of these essential nutrients. Eat whole, organic eggs high in omega 3 fatty acids to give your brain and your body a boost!
Well….we tried. Thanks to everyone who voted for my Diabetes Show idea for the Oprah channel. With only 40 votes so far and 4 days to go, there isn’t much hope of my idea getting recognized by the judges for the Oprah network contest.
I still think it would be great T.V. to have a behind the scenes and personal look at the lives of people with diabetes and their relationships with their health care providers.
Maybe someday I’ll get another opportunity to promote the idea.
Thanks again for those who supported the idea.
Dr. G. Pepper
Hey everyone. It’s been a while since i checked back w/you guys so here’s an update- it will be 11 months on the 25th of July for me. I have continued to gain in spite of my efforts -cutting calories, upping activity, working on my stress levels etc … I have gained 22 lbs back of the 30 I had lost before I quit. I have gone to the doctor and gotten checked out and it may actually be a thyroid problem [my TSH is deficient ..?..] Evidently smoking not only assaults the lungs but also other things… You guys may want to talk to your doctors even if it’s just to rule out anything. I’m hoping that she’ll put me on meds to tell the truth. If it’s low but not enough to do anything… I really don’t think I can handle the thought of that right now… Anyway, I’ll let you all know what happens-cross your fingers n send me some good vibes Good luck everyone
During the past decade researchers have discovered that lack of adequate sleep can cause metabolic defects similar to those of diabetes. Blood sugar tends to be higher and insulin resistance more pronounced in people who don’t get adequate sleep. To create these abnormalities in blood sugar metabolism for studies, researchers typically deprived subjects of sleep to an extreme degree for several days. Recent research however, showed that less drastic sleep deprivation can create the same diabetes-like problems in metabolism.
In a study just published in the June edition of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (95:2963-2968, 2010), researchers in the Netherlands allowed normal subjects to sleep for only 4 hours for a single night. They found that after one night of sleep deprivation the body was not able to respond nearly as well to insulin as after a normal night of sleep.
Can this type of sleep deprivation eventually lead to permanent blood sugar problems? A group of researchers from Columbia University found that people who habitually sleep less than 5 hours per night are twice as likely to develop diabetic levels of blood sugar compared to those who sleep more.
What is the connection between sleep deprivation and diabetes? The thought is that lack of sleep fosters an inflammatory environment in the body. Whether this is because during sleep the body removes inflammatory cells and toxins or whether sleeplessness increases the production of inflammatory agents is not known. Inflammation, in turn, creates the basic metabolic defect in type 2 diabetes known as insulin resistance. Since insulin is the hormone that regulates blood sugar, if the body is resistant to insulin than high blood sugar (diabetes) can develop.
Conclusion? Work and worry less, sleep better and longer, and reduce your risk of getting diabetes. (Did I hear you say he must be dreaming?)
This article is for educational purposes only and is not meant as medical advice or treatment.
Gary Pepper, M.D.
The adrenal glands sitting on top of the kidneys make several hormones critical to life. The central part of the adrenal makes the hormone we refer to as adrenalin, technically from the group known as catecholamines. This is the stress responsive hormone causing rapid heart rate, sweating, increased mental alertness, preparing the body for “fight or flight”. The outer portion of the adrenal makes the hormone cortisol, also known as cortisone. Cortisol maintains, among other things, the blood pressure, fluid and salt balance. Without sufficient cortisol production by the adrenals, life cannot be sustained. What is surprising is that excess cortisol can be as harmful to health as insufficient cortisol.
Deficient cortisol production is referred to as adrenal insufficiency (Addison’s disease is one form of this), while excess adrenal function is termed Cushing’s Syndrome. During certain types of stress such as severe infection the adrenal gland can produce up to 10 times the normal amount of cortisol. If cortisol levels remain elevated for prolonged periods of time the hormone’s destructive nature is revealed by the break down of soft tissue such as skin and muscle and weakening of the immune system with frequent and aggressive infections occurring sometimes with fatal outcome. Heart disease has not been associated with high cortisol levels until a recent study suggested this possibility.
Researchers from the U.K. examined morning cortisol levels in 1066 men and women with Type 2 diabetes participating in the Edinburgh Type 2 Diabetes Study. A positive relationship was discovered between cortisol levels and the occurrence of heart disease such as heart attack and angina. The higher the cortisol levels were the greater the risk of heart disease. Cortisol levels in diabetics were found to be higher than in non-diabetics, in general. The researchers could not explain why the cortisol levels caused heart disease or why levels were higher in diabetics. (From the April edition of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 95:1602-1608).
‘Adrenal fatigue’ is a recently proposed diagnosis used to explain a variety of general symptoms such as fatigue, moodiness, muscle aches, and diminished mental function. Supposedly, adrenal fatigue results from mild impairment of cortisol production. Practitioners who diagnose “adrenal fatigue” are prescribing synthetic versions of cortisol as treatment. The possibility of heart disease resulting from excess cortisol should be a factor that patients and medical professionals must consider before embarking on adrenal “supplementation” programs.
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice or treatment.
Gary Pepper, M.D.
C’mon gang! Since I posted a request for support for It’s a Sweet Life, not a single vote was registered. Oprah will never take this idea seriously unless more people show enthusiasm for it. Shouldn’t there be a show about diabetics, their struggles with the disease and their relationships with their health care providers? If that sounds like a worthy goal then “cut and paste” this URL into your browser and vote for “Gary’s” Health and Wellness show (not a Talk Show).