In other words, his patients would rather continue doing what they're doing and lose their toes than change to a healthier lifestyle! And his patients are probably not unique!
Here's the kicker: type 2 diabetes is caused by diet and lifestyle. Consuming a diet that's high in fat, as well as being obese, is known to cause insulin resistance, a condition of type 2 diabetes in which the insulin cannot get the excess glucose out of the blood and into cells, leaving blood glucose levels high. That's because fat in the bloodstream can build up inside the muscle cells and create toxic fatty breakdown products & free radicals that can block the insulin signaling process. Think of insulin as the key that opens the cells, but the lock is gummed up from the fat, so insulin can no longer open the cells to let the glucose in, causing glucose to build up in the blood (high blood sugar)
Since most diabetics tend to be overweight or obese, they are also likely consuming a diet high in saturated fat and cholesterol, increasing their already greater risk of complications, including high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke, not to mention blindness, kidney disease, and loss of limbs (as this Podiatrist encounters routinely).
It turns out that type 2 diabetes can be prevented and even treated in many cases with an oil-free whole food plant-based diet, which is rich in complex carbohydrates and eliminates refined grains and sugars as well as animal-based fats and cholesterol (or at the very least a greatly reduced intake of animal-based foods). As a bonus, this diet also treats obesity (I'm not even addressing the benefits of a whole food plant-based diet on prevention and treatment of other chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and stroke).
So, is eating a whole food plant-based diet really more extreme than having your toes or other parts of your body cut off?
Terri's note: this post was updated on 5-24-17.