The hallmark of diabetes is high blood sugar. This is true of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The major differentiator between type1 and type 2 diabetes is why the person has high blood sugar. In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas does not produce insulin or produces it in insufficient amounts. People with type 1 diabetes have to inject insulin in order to metabolize carbohydrates. If type 1 diabetes is black and white, type 2 diabetes is more of a gray. The causes of type 2 diabetes, as well as the severity, vary from person to person and are often due to genetic and environmental factors. Often, those with type 2 diabetes are resistant to the insulin they produce due to a number of factors, which may include genetics, obesity, smoking, infections or illness, and medications among others. Other causes can be that the beta cells in the liver send insulin out at the wrong time, and for others their cells don’t communicate properly with each other leading to high blood sugar.
Notice how none of those causes was eating sugar? It’s true: Eating too much sugar or too much fruit will not cause diabetes. But, what can happen is that eating too much fruit or too much sugar can cause a high blood sugar in someone whose body doesn’t metabolize sugar or carbohydrates like it should. A high blood sugar can be dangerous if it happens often (leading to damaged nerve cells in the extremities, eyes, and kidneys), and even one episode of high blood sugar can be medically dangerous and even deadly.
The notion that eating sugar causes diabetes is wrong, but it’s likely rooted in some truth. If you have either type 1 or type 2 diabetes eating too much sugar can be harmful. It can cause hyperglycemia, diabetic ketoacidosis, a diabetic coma, or lead to death. People with type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, prediabetes, metabolic syndrome, and even gestational diabetes should pay careful attention to how many carbohydrates they eat and carefully monitor their blood sugar levels as directed by their doctor or dietitian.
For those with prediabetes, metabolic syndrome, or type 2 diabetes, weight loss can often lead to improved blood sugar levels. For those with obesity, bariatric surgery such as gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, or gastric band surgery is often the safest and most effective method of successful weight loss. Dr. Shillingford, MD, PA is a board certified surgeon specializing in gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and lap band surgery. His weight loss surgery patients are treated at Northwest Medical Center’s Center of Excellence in Bariatric Surgery, where Dr. Shillingford proudly serves as Medical Director. If you are in the Boca Raton, Miami, West Palm Beach, Orlando, or Jacksonville areas and are thinking about bariatric surgery, call for your appointment with Dr. Shillingford today at (561) 483-8840.
Keywords: diabetes, type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, prediabetes, metabolic syndrome, gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, gastric band, lap band, weight loss, dietitian, high blood sugar, insulin, bariatric surgery, weight loss surgery