T Nation

High Blood Sugar: Death in a Donut!

High Blood Sugar Among Top Five Global Killers
Friday, November 10, 2006

By Daniel J. DeNoon (WEB MD)

High blood sugar is among the world’s top five killers, a Harvard study shows.

High blood sugar is one sign that a person is on the road to diabetes. But it kills many people long before they ever get diabetes, note Goodarz Danaei, MD, of Harvard School of Public Health, and colleagues.

Moreover, blood sugar levels start causing problems once they pass the higher-than-normal level. It’s not a matter of getting disease at a certain point. It’s a matter of ever-increasing disease risk.

How big a problem is it? Danaei and colleagues looked at data from 52 nations. Their findings are staggering. Worldwide, high blood sugar is linked to 3,160,000 deaths each year.

“Our results show that one in five deaths from heart disease and one in eight from stroke worldwide are attributable to higher-than-optimum blood [sugar],” Danaei and colleagues conclude.

At 3.16 million annual deaths, high blood sugar joins a nefarious gang of thugs. As an annual cause of death, it’s right up there with smoking (4.8 million deaths) and high cholesterol (3.9 million deaths). And it easily passes overweight/obesity (2.4 million deaths).

More bad news about sugar!!

I’d like to see more of the particulars concerning this. Like what other factors were involved. Is there a trend with diet, activity level, body composition, other existing health issues etc. Don’t get me wrong, elevated glucose is bad, but the medical industry (and it is an industry) likes to make quick generalizations a lot of times.

I registered for the Lancet and then found out they still want a paid subscription before you can view the whole study.

These bullshit one-sided stories piss me off. The word “attributable” doesn’t mean anything. Everything is attributable if looked at in the right way.

As for the number of deaths- how many of those 2.4 million obesity deaths were double counted in the high blood sugar category (I’m going to take a wild stab and say 2.4 million).

Also the phrase “higher than optimum” is worthless. Consider the BMI scale and how it relates to your typical T-Nation reader.

If they can’t actually prove that having higher than optimum blood sugar levels are a direct cause of death- why bother with the study at all just to tell us something we already know and to cause panic?

I’m not in a good mood today.

It is a known fact… it is the highest cause of death in the United States. I don’t understand why you don’t believe it

[quote]JUSTLIFTHARD wrote:
It is a known fact… it is the highest cause of death in the United States. I don’t understand why you don’t believe it[/quote]

Really? Oh no my blood sugar is high will I instantly drop dead? Probably not. It is just a factor, like anything else (no exerise, fried foods, etc.) that leads to complications and eventual death. It is not a direct cause of death.

It’s also not the highest cause of death. I believe they list it as the 5th. I also said in my post that this study was created to tell us something we already knew, that high blood sugar is a bad thing. But to say it is a direct cause of death, like swallowing poison or a gunshot- is ridiculous.

[quote]eengrms76 wrote:
These bullshit one-sided stories piss me off. The word “attributable” doesn’t mean anything. Everything is attributable if looked at in the right way.

As for the number of deaths- how many of those 2.4 million obesity deaths were double counted in the high blood sugar category (I’m going to take a wild stab and say 2.4 million).

Also the phrase “higher than optimum” is worthless. Consider the BMI scale and how it relates to your typical T-Nation reader.

If they can’t actually prove that having higher than optimum blood sugar levels are a direct cause of death- why bother with the study at all just to tell us something we already know and to cause panic?

I’m not in a good mood today.[/quote]

Except for the mood part I concur with everything you said.

[quote]JUSTLIFTHARD wrote:
It is a known fact… it is the highest cause of death in the United States. I don’t understand why you don’t believe it
[/quote]

A couple things:

1> you need to show us where “higher than optimum” blood glucose is the leading cause of death in this country.

2> Like he says, what does higher than optimum even mean? 121? 300? 500? Also it’s a good point that the 2.4 million obesity related deaths (whatever that means too exactly) were probably also counted as “higher than optimum glucose” related deaths too as the 2 very very often go hand in hand. Elevated glucose and obesity.

I personally know people who are in terrible health with glucose that has been outright way diabetic for many years who are not dead.

There’s too many variables that are probably not being intelligently considered. It’s like alcohol related car accidents. I’m in no way advocating drinking and driving, but they take any accident where anybody was drinking any amount and blame it on alcohol no matter what else happened.

When we see Iraqi civilians on humanitarian missions, nearly everyone over 40 is a diabetic, hypertensive smoker. They subsist largely on white bread and cigarrettes.

This report doesn’t surprise me at all.

[quote]pwilliams wrote:
When we see Iraqi civilians on humanitarian missions, nearly everyone over 40 is a diabetic, hypertensive smoker. They subsist largely on white bread and cigarrettes.

This report doesn’t surprise me at all.[/quote]

I’m not disputing what you said, but how does that translate into the conclusions of this study? Diabetes is undeniably a very major health issue especially in the western world. One with debilitating and sometimes fatal consequences.

This, however is still not the same as saying that “higher than optimum” blood sugar is a leading cause of death. Maybe there’s more in the full text of the study, but the way the news reports are phrased the information is meaningless and possibly plain false.

A little diabetes/blood glucose lesson:

  • Type One diabetes is hereditary and is there at birth. The person may not see signs of the disease till they are older, but the pancrease as they get older begins to shut down. Insulin is the chemical in the body that allows glucose to be absorbed into the muscle and tissue, so it is vital that the diabetic takes insulin shots to regulate the blood glucose level. On a side note, there is a very high danger of tissue damage in diabetics where it comes to the brain and eye tissue. The brain and eyes do not need insulin to use glucose, so there is a steady and sometimes vast amount of glucose coursing into these organs.

Well, what happenes when you have wayyyy to much of one thing in a vital organ? Lets use vitamen C for an example. A few years ago scientists concluded that you will get cancer if you intake too much vitamen C. Well, unfortunately they forgot to mention that the amount you would have to intake is about the same as eating 50 cases of oranges every day for the rest of your life. God forbid someone actually did that, but if they did, their kidneys and liver would totally shutdown and stop functioning.

It is the same concept with the brain and eyes when we are talking about glucose levels. If the glucose levels remain extremely high for a extended period of time, there is a very high chance of damage. Some symtoms of type one are: dizzyness, increased thirst, weight loss, increased urination, and weight loss

-Type Two diabetes isn’t hereditary, it usually occurs later in life and mostly in the older generations. But unfortunately we are finding that it is becoming more and more common in younger people. Type two diabetes means that the body does produce insulin, but it couldnt be enough or the body just might not recognize it. There are usually no symptons with type two are there is with type one. We are finding that there is an increased number of type two diabetics that are becoming type one.

Now when we are talking about normal people, we need to take medical studies with an extreme grain of salt. Yes, there is an increased risk of diabetes with obesity, that aint nothing new. People who are eating a metric shit ton of bad food are going to have an increased risk of health issues, again, nothing new. People who aren’t responsible for themselves and what they put in their mouths can’t blame anyone but themselves. I know someone is going to say something about genetics and such… yes, if you are genetically prone to being obese then there is a good chance that you will turn out to be obese. But people dont realize that genetics can be over come with lots of hard work and determination. Look at most of us, we arent genetic freaks that pack on pounds of muscle without true effort. There are those people out there, and good for you, I hate you, but good for you. We all know what we should be doing and for most of us we do it.

I dont know about all yall, but sitting on my ass everyday eating fast food and drinking a gallon of soda doesnt sound too much fun to me. Thats getting on the fast track to what the dude up top is saying, that shit does happen, but not to the extent that he is preaching. And yes, the dude that is under him is right also, that most docs are full of shit and are totally one sided. Like I said, grain of salt and moderation. Unfortuntately, Americans don’t have even a clue about the word moderation. Hang out in any bar across the country and yall will see what i’m talking about, and most of yall know already. Just pull your head out of you ass and use it once in awhile.

Forgot to put this in last time…

-Resting Blood Glucose level (normal):
65-100mg/deciliter

-Diabetic Blood Glucose level: 126+mg/deciliter.

It isnt unheard of for a diabetic to have Blood Glucose lvls over 200 and reaching into 400’s.

[quote]eengrms76 wrote:
JUSTLIFTHARD wrote:
It is a known fact… it is the highest cause of death in the United States. I don’t understand why you don’t believe it

Really? Oh no my blood sugar is high will I instantly drop dead? Probably not. It is just a factor, like anything else (no exerise, fried foods, etc.) that leads to complications and eventual death. It is not a direct cause of death.

It’s also not the highest cause of death. I believe they list it as the 5th. I also said in my post that this study was created to tell us something we already knew, that high blood sugar is a bad thing. But to say it is a direct cause of death, like swallowing poison or a gunshot- is ridiculous.[/quote]
My bad…I was referring to heart disease, not high blood sugar:)

Decent enough post, but some inaccuracies…

[quote]Chefbc14 wrote:

  • Type One diabetes is hereditary and is there at birth. The person may not see signs of the disease till they are older[/quote]

It’s a very very rare thing that a Type I diabetic isn’t aware they are Type I almost immediately at birth. It’s even rarer to “develop” a Type I situation later in life, but has been known to happen.

Technically those are symptoms of hypoglycemicia and Type II as well, not specific to Type I. And you listed weight loss twice.

Bullshit. A very broad and false generalization to make. Heredity plays an major role, as you mention later, to obesity, diabetes, etc. And age is not a factor if both the predisposition and bad eating habits are in place.

Who is “we”? Where did you copy this from?

Again- a false generalization. Type II diabetics typically produce enough insulin to account for the “average” amount of food intake, the body just doesn’t know what to do with it due to the organ damage that has occurred. I would agree that a Type II person will not produce enough insulin to combat a two hour feeding frenzy.

Wow… whoever you copied this from is really not smart. No symptoms to Type II??

WTF kind of statement is that? The Type you are cannot change. If you are Type II and it gets bad enough that your organs are permanently damaged, you’re just a really bad Type II. You don’t magically become a Type I.

[quote]Chefbc14 wrote:
-Resting Blood Glucose level (normal):
65-100mg/deciliter[/quote]

What is “Resting”? Don’t you mean “Fasting”?

Wrong. Any normal person can have a blood glucose level over 126 within two hours of eating. 200 is the typical level at which one is diagnosed as Diabetic, fasting or an anytime measurement. Now I would agree the typical Diabetic could have a Fasting Glucose above 126.

Reaching into the 400’s?? I’ve known diabetics to have levels in the 500 and low 600’s.

If you are going to either copy or paraphrase from other websites, please make sure they are from accurate sources or at least list and link to your source so people can properly evaluate the information.

[quote]eengrms76 wrote:
Decent enough post, but some inaccuracies…

…If you are going to either copy or paraphrase from other websites, please make sure they are from accurate sources or at least list and link to your source so people can properly evaluate the information.[/quote]

eengrms76 and I have a largely academic difference in our views on the role of heredity in type 2’s ,but this guy knows what he is talking about generally and definitely has far more advanced knowledge of diabetes than just about anybody I know.

On that note he is unsurprisingly right about everything he says here. I am type 2 and most assuredly had “symptoms” I also have had glucose levels in the above 600 range as he also correctly points out that some people will have. I was half conscious, sweating profusely and my blood pressure was sky high. I’ll go out on a limb and call those “symptoms”. Happily this has all been brought under under control.

On the topic at hand, why is he trying to prove how bad diabetes is, which everybody knows, when the question was whether an undefined “higher than optimum” level was a direct leading cause of death which none of this has anything positively to do with.

[quote]Tiribulus wrote:
eengrms76 and I have a largely academic difference in our views on the role of heredity in type 2’s ,but this guy knows what he is talking about generally and definitely has far more advanced knowledge of diabetes than just about anybody I know.[/quote]

Wow thanks Tirib… I appreciate the nod.

[quote]eengrms76 wrote:
Tiribulus wrote:
eengrms76 and I have a largely academic difference in our views on the role of heredity in type 2’s ,but this guy knows what he is talking about generally and definitely has far more advanced knowledge of diabetes than just about anybody I know.

Wow thanks Tirib… I appreciate the nod.[/quote]

Well I’ve observed you to be an informed clear thinking guy in the past and besides, when you were teasing that one noob about the pink dumbell, his floor and his tv you had me liking you for good LOL! that was funny as hell!

[quote]Tiribulus wrote:
Well I’ve observed you to be an informed clear thinking guy in the past and besides, when you were teasing that one noob about the pink dumbell, his floor and his tv you had me liking you for good LOL! that was funny as hell![/quote]

Yeah I wonder if he ever got a better TV?

[quote]eengrms76 wrote:
Tiribulus wrote:
Well I’ve observed you to be an informed clear thinking guy in the past and besides, when you were teasing that one noob about the pink dumbell, his floor and his tv you had me liking you for good LOL! that was funny as hell!

Yeah I wonder if he ever got a better TV?[/quote]

I don’t know, but I bet he’s still smilin too

Anyone got any thoughts /knowledge on the theory that dairy is a cause of TYPE 1 diabetes. If you havent heard it (I heard of it from a very good doctor) it goes like this: Many people are allergic to dairy and therefore their immune system attacks it when it enters the blood stream. Some cells of the pancreas are very similar to the proteins found in dairy and thererfore, the body, having identified dairy as an ‘attacker’ also attacks the pancreas damaging or even shutting it down completely.

Any thoughts on this?

[quote]will-of-iron wrote:
Anyone got any thoughts /knowledge on the theory that dairy is a cause of TYPE 1 diabetes. If you havent heard it (I heard of it from a very good doctor) it goes like this: Many people are allergic to dairy and therefore their immune system attacks it when it enters the blood stream. Some cells of the pancreas are very similar to the proteins found in dairy and thererfore, the body, having identified dairy as an ‘attacker’ also attacks the pancreas damaging or even shutting it down completely.

Any thoughts on this?[/quote]

I have not heard that by which is meant nothing further than I’ve never heard it.

[quote]will-of-iron wrote:
Anyone got any thoughts /knowledge on the theory that dairy is a cause of TYPE 1 diabetes. If you havent heard it (I heard of it from a very good doctor) it goes like this: Many people are allergic to dairy and therefore their immune system attacks it when it enters the blood stream. Some cells of the pancreas are very similar to the proteins found in dairy and thererfore, the body, having identified dairy as an ‘attacker’ also attacks the pancreas damaging or even shutting it down completely.

Any thoughts on this?[/quote]

First off- it probably can’t cause Type I. You would need a long-time exposure to dairy while being allergic (something that would surely cause other problems and make you stop long before) by the time most Type I’s are diagnosed.

As for Type II- The only way to substantiate this claim would be to do a study on how many Type II diabetics are also allergic to dairy, and also their allergy would need to have developed prior to the diabetes. Also- those same people would have to have had a fairly decent diet prior and no family history of diabetes or obesity. That would be the only way to truly tell if the allergy to dairy was a substantial cause.

Given all of those circumstances, it sounds rather unlikely to cause Type II, and even more unlikely to have any effect on Type I. What it does sound like is just another excuse people have come up with the try and justify a crappy diet.