WoD – Diabetes yesterday, today, and tomorrow

I heard a stat on the radio yesterday — 285 million people have diabetes.  You’re probably reading that and thinking “gee, that is a lot.  Oh look, three more emails just popped in, gotta go.”

But hang on a sec.  285 million people isn’t just a lot, it is a sh_tload of people.  About 5% of the world population, therefore, has diabetes.  And in the U.S. it is ~8% now (24 million out of 300 million.)  This isn’t a healthcare post WoD though.  Rather, one of my evolution ones.

How come so many people are afflicted by this, and in rapidly increasing numbers?  How come balancing insulin and sugar levels is something that our (modern day) bodies does so poorly?  And shouldn’t we have evolved in a way so as to minimize the impact of something so widespread in our populace?  For example, wouldn’t it be somewhat self-fulfilling, in that many people afflicted with diabetes, in particular Juvenile Type 1 Diabetes, not have had as many children as the unaffected populations?  Again, evolution plays out over hundreds of thousands of years.

So it has to be something else.  We’re getting more diabetics, not less.  And in massive quantities.  From a human body perspective, we have to be doing something “wrong,” that is to say, markedly different from how our bodies have evolved to this point.  What gives?

I’m sure there are many intricate answers.  One guess?  Diet.  We eat way differently now than we used to, particularly from an evolutionary perspective (i.e. the past couple of hundred years vs. the previous couple of hundred thousand, or humankind today vs. Cro Magnon days).  That’s all – I just wanted you to think about the massive upswing and onset of Diabetes in today’s world, and how such a genetic thing even comes about.

Ok maybe one more forward-thinking thought — imagine the world in a few hundred years.  Almost all of the populations of China and India have entered the middle class, too (i.e. eat what we all eat).  Diabetes may well affect 25-35% of the world’s population, or more.  Especially when we take into account the fact that Diabetics today and in the future can live relatively normal lives and are not cast aside by society (so, therefore, procreate as much as those unaffected.)  What then?  Do we all go back to eating twigs and nuts and berries?

[*Just did a quick Google search and saw this research, basically showing that particulates in the air, i.e. air pollution, is correlated with a higher prevalence of Diabetes.  Ugh.  We’re doomed!  http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/33/10/2196.abstract]




Blessings, prayers

We say our brokhes to ask for peace and health.


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