Diabesity: The Causes of Our Modern Plague

  • Mark HymanEmail author
Part of the Nutrition and Health book series (NH)


Diabesity (the spectrum from mild insulin resistance to end-stage diabetes) now affects over one billion people worldwide. From 1983 to 2008 there has been a sevenfold increase in diabetes worldwide, its most extreme form. Metabolic syndrome and its consequences including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and dementia are emerging as the major driver of most chronic diseases of aging. Up to 50 % of diabetics and nearly all prediabetic are undiagnosed. Current strategies of pharmacologic intervention have proven ineffective or harmful. Emerging research clarifies underlying causes of this pandemic of insulin resistance including our refined, nutrient-poor, high-glycemic load diet, sedentary lifestyle, and chronic stress. Novel etiologic factors including environmental toxins, food sensitivities, hormonal dysregulation, gut microbiology, latent infections, nutrient deficiencies, and abnormal gene expression provide important diagnostic considerations and avenues for therapeutic intervention. A whole systems approach based on functional medicine provides a methodology for a comprehensive approach to this life-threatening and economically crippling modern disease.


Insulin resistance Diabetes Obesity Inflammation Prediabetes Functional medicine Heart disease Cancer Dementia 


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Functional MedicineLenoxUSA

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