Since 1999, the 52-year-old family doctor has been treating diabetic patients in Lawrence, Kansas, with an approach that was abandoned by most physicians in the 1930s. Worse, this Depression-era remedy is the opposite of the current guidelines established by the American Diabetes Association, a nonprofit organization that spent nearly $51 million on research in 2005, and so should know a thing or two about how to handle diabetes.
There’s no question that Dr. Vernon is trouble — but for whom? Not her patients, that’s for certain. They just won’t stay sick. People walk into her office afflicted with type-2 diabetes and, by every objective medical measurement, walk out cured. There’s $51 million that says that isn’t supposed to happen, not in a clinic in Kansas, and definitely not as a result of cleaning out the refrigerator.
“My first line of treatment is to have patients remove carbohydrates from their diets,” explains Dr. Vernon, a petite, energetic mother of two who also serves as the president of the American Society of Bariatric Physicians. “This is often all it takes to reverse their symptoms, so that they no longer require medication.”
That’s it — a simple strategy, but one that’s controversial. If Dr. Vernon and a growing cadre of researchers are correct about carbohydrates, we may be looking at an epic case of ignorance on the part of the medical community. That, however, pales next to the implications for the American Diabetes Association, namely that the very organization dedicated to conquering diabetes is rejecting what could be the closest thing we have to a cure.
Although not an infectious disease, diabetes seems to be spreading like one. Since 1980, its prevalence in the United States has risen by 47 percent, a trend that’s expected to take a space-shuttle trajectory in the next decade. That’s because nearly half of American men today either have the condition or are on the verge of developing it, according to a new report from the National Institutes of Health. And the consequences are considerable: Diabetes is the primary cause of cardiovascular disease, slashing a man’s life span by an average of 13 years. Dodge early death and you could still end up impotent, blind, in kidney failure, or, most likely, minus a foot. (A gangrenous limb or digit is amputated every 6 minutes in the United States.)
“This is a ‘grab your muskets, fellas, the wolves are at the door’ scenario,” says David Katz, M.D., an associate professor of public health at Yale University school of medicine. “What once was ‘adult-onset’ diabetes — a condition mostly of overweight, sedentary, middle-aged adults — is now an epidemic in children under the age of 10.”
So what exactly is diabetes? In freshman-biology terms, it’s a disease of the hormone insulin. Secreted by your pancreas, insulin moves glucose — the form of sugar your body uses for energy — from your bloodstream into your cells. Problems arise, however, when, often due to excessive weight gain, your cells start to become resistant to the effects of insulin. (It knocks, no one answers.) As a result, more insulin is required to dispose of the same amount of glucose. (The knock becomes a loud banging.) This condition, called insulin resistance, is the first stage of type-2 diabetes.
Read more at Men’s Health: http://www.menshealth.com/health/cure-diabetes#ixzz28esEp1EY