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Diabetes Type 2 Support Group

Some Notes On Article:

Turning Diabetes Upside Down

These are some quotes and some (of my) comments on the article by Dr. Malcolm Kendrick.

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Notes on article "Turning diabetes upside down"

  • Turning diabetes upside down--These are some quotes and some (of my) comments on the article by Dr. Kendrick. I want to read the article more carefully--I don't know if he is correct nor if he has a point--I mean, is there something different we can do to treat diabetes assuming what he says about glucagon is fact (that is, other than bariatric surgery). BTW, in what is quoted below, I've added some of my own comments, <enclosed in angle brackets.>
Some of you may have watched Professor Unger's fascinating YouTube lecture on type II diabetes. If not, here it is. I recommend it.(1) To keep things as simple as possible, his view is that the key hormone that drives diabetes is glucagon, not insulin. Indeed, by focussing almost entirely on insulin and sugar/glucose, we cannot understand what is going on with type 2 diabetes, as we are only looking at a small part of the picture. In addition, we are looking at it the wrong way round.

... <and what happens if you destroy the alpha cells (and leave the beta cells)--has anyone tried that?>

Once you have changed your thinking around this way, it should come as absolutely no surprise to find the following. If you have a mouse, and you destroy its beta-cells (insulin producing dells in the pancreas) it will become diabetic, and die. However if you get rid of the glucagon producing cells as well, the animal will not have a high sugar level and will not be diabetic--despite having no insulin at all. It will also appear to be completely healthy.

In addition, if you give such a mouse, that cannot produce either glucagon, or insulin, a glucose 'meal' the blood sugar level will rise, and then fall, in pretty much the same pattern as a 'normal' mouse. Ergo, the body does not need insulin to keep blood sugar levels down. There are other mechanisms that the body can use. I am sure that having insulin help to optimize blood sugar control, but it is far from essential.

... <almost 300 comments, I want to read more of those, also--here is one of them>

amieres <comment by another reader> August 4, 2015 at 8:48 pm

"When insulin is released in the pancreas, a tiny squirt within the pancreas suppresses the glucagon. This is lost in diabetes..."

My personal theory is that it is lost because not all alpha-cells (glucagon producing) are in the pancreas, some are in the stomach. Visceral fat somehow blocks the insulin message to the alpha cells in the stomach which continue to secret glucagon. This is supported but <sic> the find <sic> that obese people with diabetes 2 that have had bariatric surgery, where they remove 90% of the stomach, have their blood sugar levels normalize within days--long before any weight loss has occurred.

"Patients can often stop taking their diabetes medication even before leaving the hospital. Traditionally, doctors recommend weight loss through dieting and exercise to improve blood sugar levels--but this surgery lowers blood sugar levels almost immediately."



  • () RandyKramer - 2017-03-02
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