Diabetes Is Not the Sniffles
Presented by Dr. Dennis K. Crawford
So many people are getting diabetes today that it is almost being taken as the norm and nothing to take seriously. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) usually starts with little or no symptoms, but with time symptoms do appear and become increasingly serious to the point of becoming a leading cause of death. Heart attacks, amputations, blindness and kidney failure are a few of the possible consequences. As you can see this is a disease that should not be taken lightly.
Diabetes is diagnosed by high glucose readings and treatment is designed to bring down those numbers. The medications given generally do that, however the disease still progresses. Why? Simply forcing numbers down does not fix the problem. It is no different with high blood pressure or high cholesterol. If one stops the meds the numbers go back up. That is why patients are told to stay on them forever. That is an admission that the cause of the problem has not been addressed. The good news is that T2D can be helped and totally reversed in some cases. Here is an approach to consider that can lead to better health beyond just manipulating glucose numbers. This is a brief summary of important points. There are books that only focus on each individual topic.
- Every chronic degenerative disease has an underlying toxicity. If not addressed a total resolution is unlikely. Pesticide toxicity, heavy metals, pathogens, etc. need to be investigated. All can directly or indirectly affect blood sugar. One researcher claims that certain toxins are more correlated with diabetes than anything else. In this world we all need to be detoxifying every day.
- T2D is mostly a lifestyle disease. The diet has to be changed from one that promotes illness to one that promotes wellness. The Standard American Diet promotes disease. Simply, it is too high in processed foods and specifically refined carbohydrates. To reverse diabetes, one must stop putting sugar into the body. Unfortunately, diabetics don’t get good diet advice from their doctors many times. For example, they are told diet drinks and diet foods are acceptable. They are not. A good place to start is to eliminate all sugar and wheat flour products along with concentrated juices. Dr. Cheraskin’s research years ago showed the main contributor to ill health was the over consumption of refined car- bohydrates. Other foods that contribute to the disease are deli meats and vegetable oils. People who eat a lot of deli meats get T2D at double the rate of the population in general. Vegetable oils like soybean oil, canola oil, corn oil, etc. are not to be consumed. One animal study induced cirrhosis of the liver using corn oil. Hi fructose corn syrup is particularly harmful. Besides clogging the liver and raising blood sugar, it is very high in glyphosate (found in Round-up herbicide). The diet should be real food and organic as much as possible.
- The liver is important. Most diabetics have a fatty liver and ignoring it is an error in treatment orthodoxy. With a fatty liver the body can’t store sugar (glycogen) and eventually the fat gets stored in other organs as well, like the pancreas, diminishing its ability to function. The pancreas has two main functions; to secrete insulin which brings down glucose and carries it to get into cells. The other function is to secrete digestive enzymes into the intestines. A fatty liver contributes to insulin resistance as well, meaning the cells reject the insulin which is carrying the glucose so it can’t get inside the cells. This results in high glucose and high insulin levels in the blood. Fructose is particularly guilty of contributing to a fatty liver. Sugar is half fructose and high fructose corn syrup is even worse. Snacking needs to be eliminated as that can prevent glycogen from being released and further contributes to clogging the liver. Glycogen is only released if no food has been consumed for approximately four hours. Choline is a good supplement to get the fat out of the liver.
- Stored sugar must be expelled. The traditional treatments ignore the fact that the body is already saturated with sugar. Compounding that issue by forcing more sugar into the cells is not logical. It can bring down glucose levels in the blood but at what cost. Dying with good numbers is not a successful outcome in my opinion. Two strategies to eliminate stored sugar are:
- Intermittent fasting. This entails eating only within a specific time frame and at no other times. For example, eating twice in an eight hour period with at least four hours between meals. For the remaining sixteen hours no food is consumed. This prevents overloading the body further. Over eating is a major problem contributing to obesity, fatty liver and diabetes. This is one approach to prevent consuming too much food. Of course when one does eat it must be a proper diet.
- This is a must for many reasons. Exercise helps burn off excess stored sugar in the body. It also helps regulate blood sugar. For example, taking a ten minute walk after meals can be very beneficial to the diabetic. If there is a fountain of youth, exercise is it in my opinion.
- Digestive enzymes. This is one of the biggest missed areas of health care. The body is not supposed to supply all of its enzyme needs. The diet should be a good source. With a highly processed diet however (the SAD diet) there not enough enzymes present to offer any benefit to the body. The consequence is one does not have the enzymes necessary to properly digest food. If one cannot digest carbohydrates well, for example, it only stands to reason that could contribute to blood sugar issues. There two types of enzymes, plant and animal. They both have their place. The plant enzymes work in a broader pH range and can help to pre-digest food. This can relieve much of the stress on the digestive system. Animal enzymes, like pancreatic enzymes work primarily in the small intestines to facilitate digestion and also help support the pancreas. I find a combination of the two is the best approach many times.
- Nutritional deficiencies. Vitamins and minerals are necessary for all functioning of the body. For example, zinc is necessary for insulin to work properly. The digestion of carbohydrates requires magnesium. The first step of glucose being turned into energy inside the cell requires vitamin B1. The storing of sugar in the liver doesn’t happen without potassium, etc. These deficiencies along with others must be addressed for success.
- Stress management. Stress can contribute to diabetes in several ways. It can directly affect our insulin and glucose levels, it interferes with digestion which can affect glucose levels, and stress hormones put additional demands on the liver to detoxify them, further contributing to fatty liver issues. Stress can also lead to unhealthy habits designed to relieve stress, but those benefits are short-lived and very counter productive.
As you can see controlling and even reversing diabetes is more involved than just bringing down blood glucose readings. That approach is limited in its effectiveness for promoting health and longevity. What I am describing will promote better health for everyone, not just diabetics. It is important to note that the best approach is to take action long before one officially becomes a “diabetic.” This is a major flaw with current treatments. They don’t start soon enough. It has been shown that people start getting complications while they are pre-diabetic the same as if they were diabetic. So why don’t we treat these people the same as if they were diabetic? An important test to perform is a fasting insulin. It rarely is done but should be. Why? It is possible to have normal glucose levels and have a high fasting insulin, indicating one is headed in the wrong direction. Prevention needs to be more of a priority if this trend is to be reversed.
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