Friday, 17 September 2010

Growing pains?

There's an excellent post over at wellroundedmama about a study looking at how our bodies restore themselves after either, childhood failure to thrive for instance; premature birth, childhood illness that wastes or prevent growth/weight gain. They call this ‘catch up’ weight gain and rebound weight gain after weight loss dieting.

It states that analysing other studies shows both the above are risk factors for the development of type two diabetes and hypertension. In discussing this link, they suggest it is the interaction of these re-gain/catch up effects and our food that takes the regulation of these systems beyond their capacities causing these dysfunctions. This surely is trying a little too hard to fit into the same old rigid frame of our ‘toxic food/eating habits' that is so inflexible it is already threatening our ability to actually see what is going on.

I suspect those whose body has to catch up are likelier to become fatter or fat. I noticed this partly by the amount of stories of people who were born premature and encouraged to gain weight and have become fat or fatter. Given the culture of ‘fatness is due to eating’, they assume that this is because of the desire to gain weight, rather than the body overshooting its catch up.

Even though human metabolism is incredibly accurate in its calculations, it can overshoot by the momentum of this catch up or rebound, (even what seems a lot of weight to us is minimal in terms of the complex multi factorial nature of what it has to balance to produce its effects).

The issue with calorie restriction is not that it's weight loss, but that it's famine. It is always said that the body 'thinks it’s in famine' when you go on a diet, it doesn't think, it knows because you are. It is you that doesn’t know that weight loss dieting is a famine, so acceptable and encouraged has it become.

the analysis of several large epidemiological databases has also revealed that, independently of excess weight, large fluctuations in body weight at some point earlier in life represent an ‘independent’ risk factor for type 2 diabetes and hypertension-two major contributors to cardiovascular diseases.

When observing how eating plays out in the brain and body, we cannot easily tell when these are the actions of the body in motion or some kind of untoward factor, especially when proceeding on the assumption that there is an ‘independent’ relationship between growth and ‘risk factors’. Even in comparison with the activity in the bodies of the acceptably weighted, we still cannot tell that it is the activity of the body adapting to its needs through some prior stimulus, in this case, the need to replenish body weight. It is usually presented as; this is the actions of the pathological habits of the 'overweight' resulting from their bad habits, etc.,

Similarly they tend put it this way round, that what accompanies this growth is a risk factor for diabetes, and hypertension, rather than the body restoring itself can have side effects that are possibly not so good, as part of that effort . Every effort of any kind, no matter how good, has by products of some kind. Is jumping to label them bad because it fits your assumptions obscuring a better grasp in our understanding of how our bodies, actually work?

Diabetes is directly connected with the metabolic process. High blood pressure can be a sign of an underlying problem or the body under duress. It could even be the fact or propensity towards failure to thrive or (rebound) that itself the real signal of these problems.

IOW it’s what the body has to overcome, to get the weight on that creates the risk of strain and/or the process overshooting it’s aim. What I'm saying is what happens when the body has to grow has to do this 'catch up' process? What is happening in the people who get diabetes/hypertension and those with the same circumstances, who do not?

The pathology can be as much in the need to gain-and the causes of that-as the gain itself.

It raises the spectre of diabetes, it's criteria of diagnosis and its symptoms. As a fat person there is a slight hesitancy when it comes to discussing diabetes, the fact that you are continually bludgeoned over the head with the inevitability of you getting it-false- makes you feel thoroughly fatigued with it, before you can evince any familiarity with it.

To this day my ignorance on it is staggering. I've tried before to grasp what it’s about, but cannot reliably describe it off the cuff. I know that it is about the body becoming resistant to insulin a major factor in converting the energy from your food into that which can be absorbed by the body’s cells.

Concerns about diabetes in general are longstanding and predate the adipocalypse, it has been said to have one of the higher false positives of any serious condition (not to mention false negatives for similar reasons). That was before they lowered the standard of what made you qualify as diabetic.

Then when you put this kind of thing together with pre-diabetes and diabesity, it's as if the whole world is on a diabetic spectrum, which seems really odd, especially when you put this together with the idea that it's the very food that keeps us alive that we are designed for, is in some way responsible for all this.

There's also the suspicion that some quarters of the medical/scientific hierarchy may not have fully come to terms that our heart issues were a problem waiting to happen due to our extended longevity, thanks to their efforts of course. Are they looking for a remedy for a problem or looking at ways to extend longevity beyond what could be generally expected. Although they seem the same, it’s the emphasis, if hearts are far more prone to wear out than we assumed, in a society where those who would perish at birth can survive. Then our approach could change to a more positive one. It could even affect the way things are looked at and perceived, giving us better understanding and answers.

Which brings me to Avandia why a drug that produces an effect that should be wholly positive, reducing a too high level of circulating blood sugar-to prevent nerve and organ damage-itself be implicated in the very things that it is supposed to prevent? Organ damage especially that of the heart is supposed to be a major risk of type two diabetes, so why would minimizing another great totem of its potential for harm, insulin resistance cause, in some people, the same kind of damage?

The whole diabetes, metabolic syndrome, pre-diabetes, diabesity, obesity, insulin resistance arc requires a through re-evaluation. So we can get more up to date with our understanding, without the useless baggage getting in the way. It feels distinctly like all this and the way it interacts and relates together maybe outgrowing our current perceptions, definitions and models.

More accuracy and less moralizing is required, this is supposed to be about science after all.

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