THAT CAN'T BE MY PROBLEM
MY DOCTOR TOLD ME I'M NOT A DIABETIC
If not controlled, diabetes can put you at risk for a host of complications that can affect nearly every organ in the body. WebMD's article called The Risks and Complications of Uncontrolled Diabetes.
Uncontrolled Blood Sugar (even in the absence of Diabetes) is a foundational problem behind an array of chronic disease processes taking place in the developed world. Dr. Russell Schierling
It is my belief that either by itself, or particularly WHEN COMBINED WITH ANTIBIOTICS, Uncontrolled Blood Sugar is a (if not 'the') foundational health issue facing the developed world today. I will end this post with some ideas of what to do about this crisis, but first let's talk about a few of the health problems that are intimately linked to Uncontrolled Blood Sugar. But before I do that, I would urge you to read the link above (America's Number One Health Problem), so that you understand how someone with normal Blood Sugar readings can be killing themselves with Uncontrolled Blood Sugar.
- Heart disease: 597,689
- Cancer: 574,743
- Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 138,080
- Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 129,476
- Accidents (unintentional injuries): 120,859
- Alzheimer's disease: 83,494
- Diabetes: 69,071
- Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 50,476
- Influenza and Pneumonia: 50,097
- Intentional self-harm (suicide): 38,364
SPECIFIC HEALTH PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH UNCONTROLLED BLOOD SUGAR
- DIABETES: I put this first on the list simply because it is ubiquitously associated with Uncontrolled Blood Sugar. The thing you must understand is that just because you have blood sugar readings that are considered normal does not necessarily mean you are efficiently controlling your sugar.
- LOW BLOOD SUGAR: There is a reason that REACTIVE HYPOGLYCEMIA (Low Blood Sugar) has the word "reactive" at the beginning. Read the link to understand how Low Blood Sugar is the flip side of the same coin that is High Blood Sugar. Another reason to refer to these Blood Sugar Regulation Problems as "Uncontrolled".
- KIDNEY DISEASE: Diseases of the Kidney (as well as the nerves and the eye) are intimately linked to Uncontrolled Blood Sugar / Diabetes. Listen to some cherry-picked sentences from the American Diabetes Association's website, "Diabetes can damage the kidneys and cause them to fail. Failing kidneys lose their ability to filter out waste products, resulting in kidney disease. High levels of blood sugar make the kidneys filter too much blood. All this extra work is hard on the filters. After many years, they start to leak and useful protein is lost in the urine. Having small amounts of protein in the urine is called microalbuminuria. Having larger amounts of protein in the urine is called macroalbuminuria. When kidney disease is caught later during macroalbuminuria, end-stage renal disease, or ESRD, usually follows. Finally, the kidneys fail. This failure, ESRD, is very serious. A person with ESRD needs to have a kidney transplant or to have the blood filtered by machine (dialysis)."
- NEUROPATHY: Neuropathy ("Nerve Disease"). Neuropathy is so intimately associated with Uncontrolled Blood Sugar that it is usually referred to as "Diabetic Neuropathy". Studies have shown that by the time people are actually diagnosed as "officially" having Diabetes, almost half of them have visible signs of NEUROPATHY on physical examination.
- OBESITY: You would be surprised at how many people I talk to about weight issues want to tell me that Blood Sugar is not their problem. Hey; they had their blood checked just last week --- and it was A-OK. Bottom line, if you are overweight, you have a Blood Sugar Regulation issue. Period. This certainly does not mean that if you are normal weight you do not (HERE), but excess pounds almost always mean excess Blood Sugar. Part of the problem is that for many people, SUGAR / STARCH can be more addictive than hard drugs (HERE).
- DYSBIOSIS: Dysbiosis simply means that the balance of normal or "good" bacteria in your system has been overtaken / overcome by "bad" bacteria. This could be in the form of SYSTEMIC YEAST. It might be an overgrowth of H. PYLORI --- the known cause of ulcers. The truth is, it could be related to any number of pathogenic organisms, including bacteria or viruses (infections). The thing that you have to understand is that various forms of Dysbiosis are being linked to an almost unlimited number of health problems. To understand how this works, HERE are our posts on Gut Health.
- CANCER: HERE and HERE are two of my latest posts on the link between Sugar and Cancer. Although the medical community decries this information, it really is a no-brainer.
- OSTEOPOROSIS: The more acidic your diet, the greater the buffering power needed to alkalize your blood (sugar is extremely acidic). When your body cannot readily access things like mass quantities of alkali water or GREENS, it uses the most easily available buffering agent it has. The calcium in your bones (HERE).
- CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE / STROKES: Although dietary fat intake has been picked on for decades as the cause of Heart Disease and Strokes, we know that this is a huge oversimplification of what is really going on. The type of fat that is intimately associated with the various forms of Cardiovascular Disease ----- Hypertension (High Blood Pressure), Heart Attacks, Coronary Artery Disease, Atherosclerosis, Strokes, Congestive Heart Failure, etc, etc, is TRANS FATS. Study after study has shown that animal fats are not the bad guys they have been made out to be (HERE). Control your Blood Sugar, and your risk for all Cardiovascular Disease plummets.
- ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE: Although exposure to certain metals (namely aluminum) is a known factor in developing Alzheimer's (HERE), there is another that may be even bigger. AGES (Advanced Glyclation-Endproducts) are now being touted by the medical community as the known cause of the brain-plaques that cause Alzheimer's Disease. Glyclation is something that goes on with sugar metabolism. This is why the A1c test for Glyclated Hemoglobin gives us at least some idea of whether or not we are achieving metabolic regulation of Blood Sugar.
- SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION: I just wrote about this one the other day (HERE). Although we have known for decades that obesity (particularly CENTRAL OBESITY) is heavily associated with Sexual Dysfunction in males, research is showing that the same is true of females as well.
- DEPRESSION: In a recent issue of U.S. News' Health Day section, Serena Gordon wrote that, "Depression has long been linked to diabetes, especially type 2. It's still not clear, however, whether depression somehow triggers diabetes or if having diabetes leads to being depressed." The link is the Gut. You will begin to see the link once you read the posts on GUT HEALTH and DEPRESSION. By the way, the CDC's "Top Ten" list had suicide coming in at 10th place. I'll not belabor this point, but according to WebMD, "depression carries a high risk of suicide". I could have found hundreds of studies to back this point.
- FEMALE AND OTHER HORMONAL ISSUES: This goes beyond the "Sexual Dysfunction" from above. PCOS (Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome) is the not only the number one most common female hormonal problem in America, it is the number one cause of infertility as well. If you really want to get a handle on the relationship between things like THYROID PROBLEMS, ADRENAL ISSUES, Female Hormonal Issues (including PCOS), and other similar problems, take a few minutes to read ENDOGUT.
- DEGENERATIVE ARTHRITIS: Granted, DEGENERATIVE ARTHRITIS is heavily associated with abnormal motion, or loss of joint function over time. However, read the brilliant DR. ROYAL LEE'S "Nutrition and Physical Degeneration" and you'll see just how big a factor that sugar and refined starches (mostly grains) play in this debilitating health issue. By the way, simply referring to this problem as DJD (Degenerative Joint Disease) is misleading at best, and at worst, is downright deceitful.
- CHRONIC SINUS INFECTION / ALLERGIES: Do you have a constant cough, runny nose, or post-nasal drip? Although it is simple to chalk it up to "Allergies", HERE is the problem and the solution.
- CHRONIC PAIN: I have two main websites ---- this one and DESTROY CHRONIC PAIN. Whether your pain is FASCIAL, MUSCULAR, TENDINOUS, LIGAMENTOUS, they might just be local problems. But the truth is, they can all be SYSTEMIC HEALTH PROBLEMS as well ---- problems that are seriously affected by Uncontrolled Blood Sugar. The next bullet point helps explain why.
- INFLAMMATORY DISEASES: Although many of the above-mentioned problems are considered to be CHRONIC INFLAMMATORY DEGENERATIVE DISEASES, the truth is every single problem on the lists on this link will be adversely affected by Uncontrolled Blood Sugar. If you do not learn how to control your blood sugar via diet, you are condemning yourself and quite probably your children (yes, it is your responsibility as parents to teach them how to eat properly) to a life of progressive misery.
- GENETIC DISEASE: Before I get a slew of emails and comments deriding me for adding this this to the list, let me explain what I mean. If you have a Downs child, it was not caused by Blood Sugar Dysregulation. Bear in mind though, the field of EPIGENETICS has shown us that our health is not as defined by our genetics as we have been led to believe (this means that we can't blame everything on mom and dad anymore). My guess would be that many of the AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES on THIS LIST would fall into the the not-so-well defined category of Epigenetic-related Diseases
CONTROLLING UNCONTROLLED BLOOD SUGAR BY
INCREASING INSULIN SENSITIVITY
Insulin Resistance is just what it sounds like --- a resistance to Insulin. Let me give an example of Insulin Resistance that everyone will understand. When a person starts drinking alcohol, a drink or two and they are tipsy. The more alcohol a person drinks, the more "resistant" they are to its effects. It takes more and more alcohol to get that same buzzed feeling. This is why many functioning alcoholics can be far over the legal limit for intoxication, yet exhibit few outward signs that they are drunk --- really drunk. The sugar / insulin relationship is similar.
Insulin is a hormone that removes excess sugar from the blood and carries it into the cell. Once in the cell, it can either be burned for energy or stored as fat. The more sugar or starchy foods a person eats, the more insulin it takes to regulate (lower) their Blood Sugar (and then raise it back up after the 'Hypoglycemic Low'). After awhile, your metabolic machinery cannot keep up and it simply burns itself out. The result is being diagnosed with Type II Diabetes. Unfortunately, if one part of your ENDOCRINE SYSTEM goes, other parts are sure to follow. (Hint: you do not want high levels of blood sugar and insulin coursing through your blood at the same time on a regular basis.)
Failure to effectively deal with your Blood Sugar will ravage your health on every conceivable level. Oh, don't get me wrong. You may be able to get away with a crappy diet or a lot of CHEATING when you are young, or if you are extremely active. But the problem is, it is difficult to maintain high activity levels throughout our lives ---- and none of us stay young forever. Sooner or later it will come back to haunt you. This is why I am such a proponent of the Paleo Diet. If you have Chronic Health Problems, you have to deal with the Blood Sugar issue immediately. I realize there may be all sorts of other things that need to be taken care of as well (LEAKY GUT SYNDROME, AUTOIMMUNITY, Endocrine issues (see link in preceding paragraph), Brain-based issues such as SYMPATHETIC DOMINANCE, as well as a host of others). But all of them are going to require a diet change. Why not study this post, write down some goals, get an ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER, and get started today!
As a side note to this issue, you can also increase insulin's sensitivity via exercise. Just make sure that it is the right kind of exercise Although I am certainly not against some Cardio Training, those of you who are hardcore runners (or are thinking about becoming a hardcore runner) should READ THESE POSTS before heading out on your next big run.
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