It is easy to believe that age-related diabetes is caused by getting old, but stop believing that! There are only statistical correlations between age and diabetes—no causal relationship, i.e., no cause-effect relationship. Remember this the next time someone tells you that you’ve become ill or have a problem (not just diabetes) due to age—it’s not true. There may be statistical associations, yes, but age itself cannot be the cause of illness or symptoms of illness.
”The Association for Diabetes in Stockholm and Surroundings” was formed in 1947 and changed its name over the years to the Greater Stockholm Diabetes Association. Why? It is not illogical to claim that they changed it because they did not want to associate the disease with sugar. Instead, the disease came to be called diabetes 2, as opposed to diabetes 1. Nowadays, they are trying to promote the term ”age-related diabetes” to make everyone believe that the disease is caused by age and can only be managed with the medications Metformin and Insulin. In a way, you could say the disease is caused by age, but not just when you get old, but at all ages. The idea is that people should believe the disease is part of normal aging. It is not. More and more young people are being diagnosed with age-related diabetes. The cause is still too much sugar (read sugar, flour, and starch) in the diet—in both food and drink.
The diagnosis of diabetes 2, which is now called age-related diabetes, is given after a doctor has determined that you have too much sugar in your blood, or more accurately, that your pancreas is not producing enough insulin, or your cells have become resistant to insulin. This may have been preceded by you noticing abnormal thirst, always being hungry, losing weight, feeling tired, experiencing vision problems, and perhaps having difficulty healing wounds and urinating frequently. These are symptoms that you and your doctor can observe. Instead of suggesting that you reduce your intake of sugar, flour, and starch, you are prescribed Metformin or Insulin.
But could it not be that you have had symptoms for a long time that neither you nor your doctor have any idea about? Yes, that’s the case. Before your blood sugar levels become so high that your doctor says you have diabetes, they have been elevated, probably for a long time, but not so high that the doctor has reacted by giving you the diagnosis of diabetes or prediabetes. Perhaps your doctor has said, ”Your blood sugar levels are a bit high, but for now, it’s not a problem. If the values rise, we have medications to use.” While these elevated values are allowed to continue, the risk of damage to the inside of your blood vessels and your heart increases without you or your doctor noticing, unless you have started to experience heart and vascular problems such as angina or atrial fibrillation, for example. When the inner lining of your arteries, consisting of a hairy surface on the endothelium (endothelial cells), is damaged by abnormally high blood sugar, the glycocalyx loses its homeostasis, i.e., balance between the molecules involved in the glycocalyx, including glycans and proteins.
Then two things happen, which neither you nor your doctor see or otherwise notice:
Endothelial cells, on the outside of which the glycocalyx grows, reduce their delivery of nitric oxide (NO) to the smooth muscle layer of the arteries (tunica media), which then loses its elasticity and resilience. This does not matter so much in the larger arteries, but in the most peripheral terminal arterioles, it is crucial. It becomes difficult for the heart to pump oxygenated red blood cells, which are about 7-8 µm in diameter, through a stiffened terminal arteriole, say 2-5 µm. Blood pressure increases, and the number of red blood cells entering the capillaries decreases. As a result, less oxygen can pass from the fewer red blood cells that manage to reach the capillaries and diffuse into individual cells. This ultimately affects the cells, which do not receive enough oxygen for their energy production. Their energy production decreases. Sooner or later, you start feeling tired and may also experience pain here and there.
Healthy glycocalyx is negatively charged and repels blood cells, which are also negatively charged. Therefore, they cannot reach endothelial cells and enter the intermediate gaps to form plaques. Too much sugar in the blood for a long time causes the glycocalyx to lose its homeostasis and negative charge. Blood cells are then drawn toward endothelial cells and risk entering the intermediate gaps and forming plaques.
Therefore, it is important to reduce your intake of sugar and things that turn into sugar in your digestive tract, such as flour and starch in both food and drink.
Like this, 1177 states:
”It is good to have regular contact with healthcare professionals with special knowledge of diabetes. They can provide advice and support when needed. They can also tell you more about type 2 diabetes, for example, what you can do yourself to influence blood sugar levels. You will also see your doctor regularly to monitor the progress of treatment. Physical activity, good eating habits, and not smoking can prevent type 2 diabetes and, to some extent, lower blood sugar levels. Physical activity and changes in eating habits can also help you lose weight if you are overweight. Losing weight is good for blood sugar levels.”
Why does it only say that changing eating habits is good—nothing about how to change eating habits!—nothing about reducing your sugar intake, and nothing about things that turn into sugar in your digestive tract, such as flour and starch in both food and drink?
The Swedish Diabetes Association begins by writing: ”Food that is healthy for others is also good for you if you have diabetes. The most important thing is not to eat too much and to vary what you eat with nutritious food. With good eating habits, you can influence your blood sugar level.” Not much in the way of comprehensive advice for someone who has received the diagnoses of diabetes 2 or age-related diabetes. The detailed advice that follows on the Diabetes Association’s website does not make it easier for someone affected by age-related diabetes to improve their situation—quite the opposite. The question is whether they mean that the advice should lead to blood sugar levels being able to be lowered to normal levels, or what do they want to achieve with these vague recommendations? They recommend ”traditional diabetes diet”—what is that?
Traditional diabetes diet—what’s included? Checking Diabeteskost.se and reading:
”When you eat according to the traditional diabetes diet, you should consider eating:
• 500 grams of fruits and vegetables per day
• Fish 2-3 times a week
• Lots of legumes (beans, lentils)
• Liquid margarine or oil (not real butter) for cooking
• Whole grains of bread, grains, pasta, and rice
To avoid: Reduce intake of, for example, white bread and white rice with faster carbohydrates. Too much saturated fat should also be avoided, which you find in everything from dairy products, meat, and charcuterie, to cookies and snacks. Proportions: 15-20% protein, 25-35% fat, 50-60% carbohydrates.”
So, according to diabeteskost.se, sugar and things that turn into sugar in your digestive tract should make up more than half of your diet. They warn against saturated fat, i.e., butter, cream, milk, dairy products, which they claim are found in ”cookies and snacks.” Completely wrong! People have been eating saturated fat for millions of years without getting sick. In cookies and snacks, nowadays, there are usually only processed seed oils, which are really unsuitable as human food.
Livsmedelsverket.se came out with new dietary recommendations in 2015, which were revised on 2023-01-19. In the brochure that can be downloaded from the internet, they recommend that you ”Find your way to eat greener, just enough, and get moving!” Yes, that is actually Livsmedelsverket’s summary recommendation—that you should find your own way to eat. Nothing about the distribution between protein, fat, and carbohydrates. It’s as if they’re setting us all up to believe that it’s just a matter of ”Find your way to eat greener, just enough, and get moving!” My mildest criticism of Livsmedelsverket’s dietary advice is that they are colorful and very permissive but not very helpful for someone who wants to lower their blood sugar levels to a disease-free level.
When you then read that Livsmedelsverket, through collaboration with the EU, offers extensive training in the health of animals and plants but nothing when it comes to human health. It’s just for all public institutions to follow Livsmedelsverket’s carbohydrate-rich dietary advice. It’s sad for those of us who have been affected by and will be affected by metabolic diseases, which many—far too many of us—will be affected by and spend the last years of our lives in agony with lots of medication before life comes to an end. Why is it Livsmedelsverket that decides what we should eat without giving us advice on how to avoid getting such high blood sugar levels that the doctor finally says that now you must start using Metformin and/or insulin? Especially considering that long before we reach these values, our endothelial glycocalyx has begun to be damaged by too much sugar in the blood. This leads to cells starting to receive poor deliveries of oxygen, which is an absolute requirement for cells to produce optimal energy. Surely everyone understands that an energy deficiency, which you may experience in the form of tiredness and pain, is a sure sign that you will develop various health problems in the future, and unfortunately not as simple as a little fatigue and a little pain here and there, but much more problematic and serious.
How does the glycocalyx fit into the picture?
According to Furchgott, Ignarro, and Murad, who received the Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology in 1998, it is the endothelial cells on the inside of blood vessels that deliver nitric oxide NO to the smooth muscle layer of the arteries (tunica media) so that it can maintain its elasticity and resilience and not stiffen. This is crucial in the smallest arteries, those called arterioles, and especially in those called terminal arterioles, which transition into capillaries. It is crucial that these do not stiffen. Terminal arterioles have an inner diameter of 2-10 µm. Now imagine a terminal arteriole of 2-5 µm through which an oxygenated red blood cell, which is 7-8 µm, must pass on its way to the capillary. The red blood cell is flexible, but the stiff arteriole will build up resistance, resulting in higher blood pressure, and not many red blood cells will enter the capillary. As a result, less oxygen can pass from the fewer red blood cells that manage to reach the capillary and diffuse into individual cells. Ultimately, this affects the cells, which do not receive enough oxygen for their energy production. Their energy production decreases. Sooner or later, you start feeling tired and may also experience pain here and there.
This described process may have been ongoing for many years and may have started long before your doctor says that your blood sugar is so high that you now have prediabetes and must start taking metformin or that you have diabetes and must start taking insulin.
The doctor’s explanation
For example, like this: ”Now your blood sugar levels are so high that you have diabetes, and we need to start medication to keep your blood sugar in check so it doesn’t continue to rise because it can cause complications. You can eat as usual, but you must be careful with sugar.”
Wrong, wrong, wrong! What the doctor calls complications have already started to form long before you get your diabetes diagnosis. Instead of saying that you must now be careful with sugar, you should be given a dietary program to ensure that your damaged glycocalyx, which has lost its homeostasis, has the opportunity to heal.
Get well by:
• Stopping eating things that contain sugar, such as chocolate, candy, ice cream, and all processed food (read the packaging) and food that turns into sugar in your digestive tract, such as bread, white bread, cookies, freshly boiled potatoes, pasta, and rice.
• Eating lots of dark green and dark red above-ground vegetables.
• Stop drinking things that contain sugar, such as juice, soda, cola, flavored water, etc.
• Fasting between 1800-1000 the next day. That time is enough for the glycocalyx to recover. During that time, you can drink water, coffee, and tea without sugar.
Why doesn’t healthcare teach its patients how to:
• Avoid getting elevated blood sugar levels?
• Lower their blood sugar levels when they have received the diagnoses of prediabetes or diabetes?
Lasse Blomdahl, Glycocalyx and Diabetes