Basically, Diabetes means that the level of sugar in your blood is too high. This is not just because you eat too much sugar. It is also because the “INSULIN” in your body is no longer working well. Insulin is a hormone made by a complicated organ, deep in your abdomen, just under your stomach. The organ is called the “PANCREAS“. The Pancreas senses when you eat anything with sugar. When you eat sugar, the pancreas “injects” you with a dose of insulin. The Insulin then tells all of the cells in your body to “SUCK UP” the sugar and to use that sugar for energy.


But when you have a little too much body fat (i.e.. a Body Mass Index – or “BMI” of 27 or more) something bad happens. The magic number appears to be “27”, and this is supported by a very large body of very well done research. See my post on “BMI”. Each person’s BMI is different because your BMI depends on how tall you are.

When your BMI is larger than 27 – your fat cells look in a mirror and gasp in horror! They then decide that they don’t want to get any bigger at all – so they stop accepting all “shipments” of the one ingredient that makes them so big….”FATTY ACIDS“! These poor overfed fat cells stop allowing fatty acids into them – and the side effect of this is that they ALSO stop listening to insulin – which tells them to “SUCK UP” all that extra sugar floating around in the blood.

These FATTY ACIDS then have nowhere to go – so they build up in the blood and lead to an increase in one of the WORST AND MOST DANGEROUS TYPE OF CHOLESTEROL……TRIGLYCERIDES!!!!! These triglycerides build up and make little clogs that are then incorporated into “plaques” that build up on the inside walls of arteries in your brain, your neck, your heart, and other places. In addition to other things, this leads to heart attacks and strokes!

These TRIGLYCERIDES then end up in the liver, which leads to a “FATTY LIVER“. If you are obviously overweight, there is a good chance that your Doctor can do an ultrasound on your liver and diagnose you with a FATTY LIVER. Thankfully – the liver is very forgiving, and this is a totally curable condition with weight loss. UNTIL THEN, however, the LIVER – like your fat cells – become RESISTANT to insulin….and it NO LONGER wants to suck up all that extra sugar in the blood!

Another thing that a lot of folks don’t know is that their muscles have TWO sources of energy……BLOOD SUGAR (GLUCOSE) and FATTY ACIDS!!!!!

So, when all of these “extra” FATTY ACIDS start building up in the blood because the FAT CELLS won’t take them any more….the MUSCLE CELLS start gobbling up the FATTY ACIDS instead of BLOOD SUGAR! You can’t blame them – it is just the nature of the MUSCLES. Because the Muscles are now using FATTY ACIDS and NOT blood sugar for their energy source….this leads to EVEN MORE ELEVATION in blood sugar levels!

The poor pancreas then thinks that NOBODY is listening to it….so it chugs out more and more insulin! Eventually, your pancreas simply “WEARS OUT“…..and you have to start taking insulin by injection.

Why is all this sugar bad? What does all that extra sugar do to you?

The sugar “STICKS TO THINGS” and “GUMS THEM UP“. The tiny little arteries in your brain, heart, kidneys and feet get SUGAR stuck onto the insides of them. This causes them to get thicker and “GUMMED UP“, which leads to decreased blood flow….which CHOKES THEM.

The decreased blood flow to the brain leads to VASCULAR DEMENTIA, which is kind of like Alzheimer’s Disease. The decreased blood flow to the heart leads to HEART ATTACKS, the decreased blood flow to the kidneys results in KIDNEY FAILURE and the decreased blood flow to the feet leads to loss of toes and gangrene, which can lead to amputations.

So what can you do about this? It simple. YOU HAVE TO LOSE BODY FAT and MAKE YOUR BMI LESS THAN 27.

It is NOT as hard as you think to lose weight. Everybody can do it and it doesn’t take long. All it really takes is dedication. The bottom line is you have to exercise daily for about an hour NO MATTER WHAT…..ON TOP OF YOUR REGULAR ACTIVITY.


I have helped many patients lose weight over the years – in many of them, the diabetes literally goes away once their BMI is below 27.

So – how to lose weight? See the post on this blog on how to lose weight!

OMG! My Doctor just told me I’m a Diabetic! What now!!!!!????

Dr. John Fernandes

B.Sc., M.Sc., M.D., LMCC, CCFP, FCPC Clinical Lecturer, University of Calgary I am a Physician with over a decade of experience in my own Private Clinic as well as a full admitting Physician to a Tertiary Care Hospital in Calgary. Married with two daughters that both want to be Physicians as well. Hobbies include skiing, golf, mountain biking and Karate.

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