Diabetes


Controlling Diabetes

by Dr. Fred Hui M.D.

In the last ten years, the number of cases of diabetes in North America has gone up exponentially.  We all know of somebody, among our close circle of friends or relatives, who has diabetes.  So, by reading this article, you will be able to help either yourself, or somebody you know. 

Type I diabetes (about 10% of cases) which is due to a lack of natural insulin production, will not be covered here. Type II diabetes (about 90%) is due to a lack of sensitivity of the body’s cells to insulin.  This used to be called adult onset diabetes, but it is now striking people ever younger in this new diabetes epidemic we are experiencing due to society’s increasingly sedentary lifestyle, poor food choices and higher incidence of overweight and even obesity.  This article is directed to this large majority of diabetic people of all ages, but some of the insights can also be utilized by type 1 diabetics aiming for better blood sugar levels.

 The majority of people suffering with diabetes are classified as having type II diabetes.  Here it is not a lack of insulin, but a lack of sensitivity of the insulin receptors to handling the insulin that is produced, often in large quantities.   The pancreas has to work harder to double or triple the insulin to try to make connecting with the receptors successful.  But there comes a certain point where the body cannot work overtime continuously and the body gives up and the sugar in the blood stream remains high.

 Harmful effects of high blood sugar

 High sugar in the blood, if it is not absorbed and processed or stored, in cells,will become poisonous to the tissues in which it comes into contact. Cells will become denatured, deformed or stuck together (cross-linked) from being bathed in sweet sticky blood.  This is especially true with the inside lining of the artery wall and therefore “rusting” starts.  Most of the complications of diabetes are blood glucose level related.  The blocked blood vessels give rise to all types of symptoms and organ deterioration; because reduced blood flow fails to deliver sufficient nutrients and oxygen.

 Another mechanism of injury by diabetes is the high level of insulin.  Insulin is both a friend and an enemy.  It is a friend in that it helps put the glucose away to drop blood sugar to a normal level.  However, excessive insulin has several disadvantages. It acts as an appetite stimulant, causing many diabetics and normal people to overeat.  Most type II diabetics who have high floating insulin in the body, stimulated by medications, tend to overeat and become overweight.  When the glucose in the blood can’t get into muscle cells because they are already full as there has been insufficient exercise to use up what’s there already, the glucose has no where else to go but into fat cells.

The second problem is that the insulin production stimulated by medication sometimes overshoots, and low blood sugar symptoms develop such as dizziness, low energy, sleepiness, and sweatiness. Often it takes more eating to relieving these symptoms.  It comes as no surprise that type II diabetics often become overweight.

 The high insulin level actually damages the artery walls, as does a high homocysteine level. They cause hypertrophy of the lining around the artery wall. This stimulates liver production of cholesterol to create patching material.  The hypertrophy of the artery wall will result in the progressive blockage of the artery from plaque buildup.  This reduced blood circulation results in practically all of the complications of diabetes affecting the limbs (cold extremities), eyes (retinopathy) and brain (stroke), giving rise to everything from ulceration of the legs which can lead to amputation, retinopathy which can lead to blindness, nerve damage which can be excruciatingly painful, to strokes, heart attacks, and even death

 Medications for Diabetes

 Glyburide is an insulin stimulant, and will enable the pancreas to kick out more insulin.  Most doctors like Glyburide because it is fairly easy to get good compliance from the patient and their average blood sugar levels come down.  Type II diabetics already have high outputs of insulin into the system and kicking more insulin out of the pancreas will cause more hunger.  The problem becomes self defeating, as they experience more hunger, they eat more food, and they will have higher sugar, and then the doctor will end up prescribing heavier doses of this group of medications.

 There is a limit to how much the pancreas can put out.  When diabetics get caught up in this vicious cycle, many doctors will end up prescribing insulin to deal with the problem. But the patient will continue on this vicious cycle even more.   If any of your friends have type II diabetes and have been on insulin, I would ask them whether they have gained weight since they started on insulin.

 Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) is the most dangerous aspect of diabetes – people can die from it.  Any diabetic who is on insulin must be very careful.

 Another major medication that doctors prescribe is called metformin (generic)/Glucophage (brand name).  It helps diabetes by the mechanism of preventing sugar from being released from where it is stored in the liver.  Metformin also has some benefits, such as lessening the insulin resistance of the cells.  Although this is a reasonably good medication, doctors are less inclined to prescribe it because it must be taken at least three times a day.  This makes compliance difficult, especially with newly diagnosed patients where notable symptoms have not shown up yet.  If the patient feels well, then they don’t see their diabetes as that much of a problem.  The main common side effect of metformin is diarrhea and nausea. 

 The newest medications for diabetes are Actos, and Avandia.  Avandia makes the cells more sensitive to insulin.  Although this is along the right principle, it unfortunately is very expensive and the average cost is more than $200 per month. It is not covered by the Ontario government senior’s drug plan.  There are also some concerns that Avandia they may contribute to heart failure problems.

 Measurement of blood sugar

 Diabetic patients are encouraged to test their blood sugar level first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.  It has the advantage of giving a common standard to compare the progress of a particular patient, but the downside is that it misses a lot of people who are borderline diabetic, and also it gives the “best” scenario of blood sugar when they have not eaten for 12 hours.  This gives them a false sense of security.  I remind my patients that they should test their blood sugar two hours after eating. This will give a lot of feedback about the effect of each type of food on blood sugar levels, and it will also remind the patient about how fully controlled they are.

 Doctors use a special blood sugar test that can measure how good your long-term blood sugar control has been.  In other words, they do have a way to check how much you have been cheating.  If the blood sugar is frequently high for extended periods then molecules of sticky glucose will permanently adhere to red blood cells until they die off and are replaced with new fresh red blood cells. Blood cells live about 120 days if they are not destroyed earlier.  This is an ongoing process, so the glycosylated hemoglobinblood test (HbA1C =hemoglobin A1c  ) measures the percentage of your red blood cells that have glucose attached to them. The higher the test, the poorer your true blood sugar control.

 Activity level or exercise makes a big difference 

 The insulin receptors are indeed floating molecules (glucose transporters).  When the short term storage of glucose (called glycogen) in the muscle cells, that is there to fuel short bursts of activity, is depleted by exercise, the glucose transporters go toward the cell surface and become receptors to which insulin, helped by chromium, attaches to usher the glucose from the blood stream into the cell to replace the glycogen stores.

 But when a person is inactive, these floating molecules will have receded to the inside of the cell. So the diabetic patient will notice that on the days that they have any activity, their blood sugar will be much lower. Unfortunately, low blood sugars stimulate hunger and cause eating behavior because feeling shaky and dizzy is not comfortable.  Eating sweet food does reverse this but usually far too much.  The vicious circle again. Since it is hard to adjust doses of medication up and down, it is best to plan for consistent levels of exercise. If the diabetic patient is adept at figuring out how to reduce insulin doses on days where unusual exercise is planned, then the added eating can be avoided and weight loss can be achieved.

 For those people who find it difficult to motivate themselves to go to the gym to exercise, they will find that activity such as cleaning the house, going to the supermarket, will still produce much better blood sugar control than being a couch potato. Even walking 20-30 minutes twice a day will increase sensitivity to insulin and allow the medication doses to be reduced.

 Diet is key to improve diabetes

 Everybody knows that they should avoid sugar, but there are still common food groups that people should pay attention to such as fruit.  They already have a high amount of sugar in them, and so do fruit juice.  One patient said, “I only use unsweetened fruit juice, ” but the word “unsweetened ” only means that they don’t add extra sugar.  A diabetic person who feels virtuous consuming “unsweetened” food should be aware that it is close to misleading advertising because there is plenty of natural sugar in the product that will significantly raise blood sugar, so it is not a food to eat freely.

 Diabetics are often misled into believing that they should eat foods rich in carbohydrates.  However the carbohydrates metabolize into sugar once it is digested.  They should actually cut down or avoid foods such as potatoes, all grains such as rice, cereal, etc. and everything that can be made into flour such as corn and wheat.  Starch, although it may not be sweet to the taste, will become 100% sugar once it is digested. On the other hand, foods low in carbohydrates can improve the situation.  You can double the intake of leafy vegetables, meat, cheese, egg, and fish without causing problems.  In fact, there is no limit on the quantity of leafy vegetables.  There is no evidence that dietary cholesterol in these foods contribute to blood cholesterol.  Most people will find that their blood cholesterol will go down.

 I have my diabetic patients make a diet diary, in which they log the correlation between the foods that they eat, and the blood glucose level two hours after eating.  The results undeniably show them what these foods do to their blood sugar control.

 Alternative treatments

 Using EDTA Chelation seems to improve the condition of diabetes in my patients. One possible reason is that heavy metals may interfere with insulin binding to the insulin receptors because heavy metals have bound there instead.  It’s like cleaning dirty spark plugs in a car to get better performance.  Chelation therapy also has beneficial effects on the circulation system of diabetics.

There are many natural food supplements that can improve sugar control such as chromium, alpha lipoid acid, and an Indian herb called Gymnema Sylvestre.  Most receptors require co-enzymes and chromium is the mineral that helps insulin do it’s job and most people are not getting enough of it in food and they fail to take it as a supplement until properly instructed. 

 In my office, I combine several of these approaches, together with a Chinese herb program. I went on a sabbatical to China to research diabetes, and now I employ a very effective combination of Chinese herbs.  This program along with Chelation is so successful, that the majority of my type II diabetic patients are able to both control their diabetes, and manage to get off of their medications. 

Overall, conventional treatments for diabetes have been far from adequate. By paying attention to all of the above, a diabetic person will discover their diabetes improves and they may be able to lose stubborn weight.

Diabetes Mellitus

By Dr. Fred Hui

Diabetes mellitus is a group of metabolic diseases characterized by high blood sugar (glucose) levels that result from defects in insulin secretion, or action, or both.

Insulin is secreted by the pancreas, and it is responsible for making glucose available as fuel for the cells. 

The two types of diabetes are referred to as Type 1 DM and Type 2 DM. 

TYPE 1 DM

  • Type 1 DM can occur at any age – most commonly in juveniles but can also occur in adults.
  • In this type, there is no insulin secretion because of autoimmune destruction of the insulin secreting cells of the pancreas. 

TYPE 2 DM 

  • Type 2 DM is most common in adults over 30 yrs.
  • Obesity, ↓exercise,↑ calorie& alcohol intake and family history are important causative factors.
  • In this type, insulin secretion is present but  there might be  insufficient insulin receptors to utilise the glucose. This is called insulin resistance.

You can think of it as insulin “knocking” on the doors of muscle and fat cells. The ‘doorman’ (insulin receptors) hears the knock, open the doors, and let glucose in to be used by the cell. With insulin resistance (in Type 2 DM), the ’doorman is deaf’. He doesn’t hear the knock to open the door to let glucose in. Now, when the muscle cells don’t get enough glucose, the pancreas is notified to make more insulin, which further increases the level of insulin and unutilised glucose in the blood. 

What happens to the unused, excess glucose? 

When the blood glucose level reaches a maximum limit, most of the excess glucose gets excreted in the urine (therefore excessive urination and excessive thirst).

The excess glucose also gets converted into fat, and this is deposited in the abdominal area, around the waist and in the arteries. 

Some symptoms of DM

  •    Hunger (because food is not being used properly)
  •    Urination (because more glucose has to be excreted out)
  •    Thirst (because of increased urination)
  • Weakness (because body is low on fuel)
  • Frequent infections (because the high sugar levels is acting as a good growth medium for the bacteria) 

Some complications of DM

The excess levels of glucose in the blood, over time, can cause damage to the different organs in the body, like kidneys, nerves , blood vessels, heart, eyes etc. 

  • Nerve damage                 

Tingling, numbness or burning in fingers and feet. 

  • Heart & Blood vessels    

High blood pressure, chest pain, heart attack, stroke, poor blood flow to all organs, impotence. 

  • Kidney damage   

Kidney failure, the filtering system gets affected and the body starts excreting essential proteins and accumulates waste instead. 

  • Foot damage      

Tingling, numbness and burning pain.  Cuts and blisters on feet can be infected easily and heals slowly. Severe damage may require amputation. 

  • Eye damage

Cataracts, glaucoma, blindness. 

Blood sugar level – how important is this number? 

A blood sugar reading is only a number. It doesn’t hurt and you don’t feel it. For this reason, it is not uncommon for many patients to take it lightly and leave it unmonitored for many years. 

You can think of this scenario of ‘washing a car with salty water’. The car would come out squeaky clean and glossy each time. Yet, unseen to the eye, it damages the car and over time, it would rust. 

If you leave high levels of sugar floating in your body for years, it would ‘rust’ your body – and it would spare no organ. For this reason, it is necessary for you to monitor your blood sugar levels several times a day and control your sugar intake and have your medication adjusted accordingly. 

We will deal with exact numbers and how to monitor and regulate blood sugar soon.

APPROACH TO CONTROLLING DIABETES

              The CD on Diabetes (available at the front desk) will explain my approach to DM in detail.

              The book Diabetic Solutions by Richard Bernstein will explain a highly effective dietary    approach  that I recommend.

1)      DIET

low carb diet is advised for optimal control of blood sugar levels.

A detailed list of allowed foods and foods to be avoided is available at the front desk. Here is a brief summary below: 

                You should avoid: 

              X SUGARS – Fruits/juices/sugar/artificial sugar/milk etc.

              STARCH – Bread/Pasta/Cereal/Rice/Corn/Root vegetables like carrots, beets, potatoes etc

              Starches convert to sugars in the body and hence must be avoided. 

You may have: 

            ↑↑Leafy vegetables    ↑↑Meat

            ↑↑Seafood               Cheese

            ↑↑Nuts                     ↑↑Eggs

            ↑↑Oils (esp olive oil) / butter

            ↑↑Avocado               

The best part about this diet is that you never have to go hungry. You may satisfy all your food cravings with the allowed foods above – and in the process, it’s proven to be effective for shedding extra pounds and in helping to keep blood sugar levels well regulated. 

  Diet Diary –You will be given diet diary sheets which you must maintain and bring with you when you come for your treatments. You can enter the required information in the tables provided and is easy to fill out. You will be required to:

  • Record your blood sugar level first thing in the morning, at every mealtime and 2 hours after each meal.
  • Timing and dosage of your medication.
  • The foods you have eaten throughout the day and the time. Portions are not important. 

This will give me a clear understanding of your blood sugar levels and if your medications need any adjustment. It also helps to correct any mistakes you might be making in your diet. 

You are advised to fill your dietary diary as follows: 

DAY 1: Your regular diet (the one that you follow usually) 

DAY 2Diabetic diet (the one that your doctor suggested- with ↓ fat, ↓cholesterol, ↓oil, ↓meat,                 ↑fruits/↑vegetables/↑fibres/cereals/↑whole wheat. 

DAY 3 and onwards: Dr. Hui’s way (the low carb diet mentioned above) 

2)      BLOOD SUGAR MONITORING

  • Fasting level (before breakfast) – <6 (Ideal)
  • 2 hours after meals – 
  • <7 (Ideal)
  • 8-9 (not satisfactory, yet acceptable)
  • >10 (out of control)

-This is the more important reading because it shows the actual effect of food on your blood sugar levels.

-It also shows how effective your diet is and how well your medications are working in order to keep the blood sugar under control at all times.

-This reading determines if you need to alter the dosage of your medications, switch to a drug more suitable for you or follow your diet more strictly. 

3)      MEDICATION

One of my main goals is to take you off the injectable insulin and from medications that burden the pancreas to secrete insulin further.

Here are some points about a few common DM medications that may help you to understand the rationale behind this: 

How do some DM medications work to control sugar levels?

(i) INSULIN

Insulin is very effective in controlling blood glucose levels. It is used only in Type 1 DM and in    patients with Type 2 DM not controlled by other medication.

However, I prefer to take patients off insulin because of the side effects– some are:

  • ↑Appetite (uncontrollable cravings)
  • ↑↑weight gain (abdominal obesity)
  • Deposition of fat around the waist and in the artery walls.
  • Danger of overshooting if the dosage is not adjusted and timed with food intake. 

(Taking a dose too early before a meal, or taking too much/a double dose accidentally, or not eating enough sugars in relation to the dose taken, can cause hypoglycemia– presents with sweating, shakiness, dizziness, ↓coordination, blurred vision, trouble performing routine tasks etc. Similarly, taking a low dose/ forgetting a dose and then having a meal can cause blood sugar levels to shoot up – hyperglycemia.

(ii) METFORMIN

It acts on the insulin receptors (the ‘doorman’) and hence allows glucose to enter the cells to be used as fuel. Thereby, it does not induce the body to produce more insulin, but instead utilises the sugar with the insulin already available. It also prevents the melting of glucose from liver into the circulation.

  • Cons – With Metformin, you may experience gas, diarrhea, nausea, metallic taste in the mouth, but the body will adapt to these within a few days.

(iii) JANUVIA (Sitagliptin) or ONGLYZA (Saxagliptin)

When sugar-rich food (carbohydrates) enters the stomach, a message is sent out to the pancreas to secrete more insulin to act on these sugars. 

Januvia and Onglyza allows this messenger to remain in the body for a longer time (slows breakdown of messenger) and thereby, allows sustained release of insulin in exact amounts to match the amount of glucose that newly entered.   

(iv) VICTOZA (Liraglutide)

Victoza stimulates the secretion of insulin in the body corresponding to the intake of carbohydrates. 

  • The advantages of Victoza are that it needs to be taken only once daily because its long acting. It causes satiety (feeling of fullness) after a meal, thereby may help greatly in weight loss unlike insulin which causes increased cravings and subsequent weight gain. 
  • The side effects of Victoza are nausea (which the body will adapt to) and decreased appetite, the latter of which usually proves to be an advantage. 

(v) INVOKANA (Canagliflozin) or JARDIANCE (Empagliflozin)

Invokana and Jardiance work with your kidneys to remove excess sugar through the process of urination. Although these are not intended for weight loss or lowering systolic blood pressure, they may help with both as well.

4)      EXERCISE

When you exercise, the muscle cells require fuel – the glycogen in the cells act as the primary fuel (by converting into glucose).

Once the glycogen stores are depleted, glucose transporters (insulin receptors) come into play. They are floating molecules which float from within the cell to the cell surface, and become receptors to which insulin attaches, and ushers the glucose from the blood stream into the cells. 

In an inactive person, these floating molecules will have receded to the inside of the cell. On the other hand, in an active person, insulin receptors at the cell surface would be greater, and hence more glucose can be moved into the cells to be burnt for energy. This leaves lesser glucose in the blood stream. So the diabetic patient will notice that on the days that they have any activity, their blood sugar will be much lower. 

For those people who find it difficult to motivate themselves to exercise, they will find that activity such as cleaning the house, going to the supermarket, will still produce much better blood sugar control than doing nothing at all. Even walking 20-30 minutes twice a day will increase sensitivity to insulin. If weather conditions are not favourable, then jogging on the spot or shadow boxing can also help immensely. 

5)      DIABETES AND CHELATION

Several years of uncontrolled blood sugar levels can lead to circulatory damage (which can be compared to RUSTING of pipes) and this causes subsequent damage to various organs, as was discussed earlier under “Complications”.

In order to clean out these rusted pipes (arteries) and prevent damage to organs, you may be prescribed chelation treatments with EDTA and/or PLAQUEX to clear your circulation, depending on my assessment of your condition. 

Detailed information, testimonials and PROS AND CONS of these treatments are further discussed in detail in the CD, DVD and hand-outs that will be provided to you at the front desk. 

A few points on these treatments are given below: 

1)      EDTA – Ethylene-diamine-tetra-acetic acid 

  • By removing hard plaques (cholesterol deposits + hard mineral deposits), EDTA may help to improve circulation to all organs including the brain, heart, kidneys etc. As a result of this, you may greatly reduce incidence of diabetic complications, strokes, heart attacks, angina, peripheral vascular diseases etc. 
  • EDTA may also decrease free radical damage, deposition of calcium in blood vessels, and improve flexibility of arteries in older patients. 
  • EDTA also binds and removes certain toxic heavy metals like lead, aluminum, cadmium etc.
  • The treatment is a 90-120 mins intravenous infusion of EDTA in a bag of sterile water containing a mixture of vitamins and minerals. 
  • You will typically require 3040 sessions (EDTA alone) or (EDTA + Plaquex), depending on the severity of your condition – you may start seeing differences by 10 sessions. You will be reviewed every 10-20 treatments through a follow-up appointment with me, and your progress will be assessed. 
  • The frequency of treatments is usually 1-2 times/ week. After your prescribed number of treatments and satisfactory progress is achieved, you may taper to a maintenance dose of once/month, to keep the circulation clear from deposits. 
  • Every 5 treatments with EDTA, you will be given a Vitamin treatment- this is a 90-minute intravenous infusion of several vitamins and minerals. Along with this vitamin treatment, a blood work to assess your kidney function will also be done. 
  • RUSTPROOFING – While you are on EDTA treatments, you will also be put on a vitamin, mineral and antioxidant supplementation called Ultra Balance III – 3 pills twice a day

A few cons of EDTA treatment: 

1)      May not be suitable for patients with already-weak kidneys.

  • This is because EDTA binds and removes hard mineral deposits and toxic metals that have accumulated in the body for several years. These have to be excreted, but weak kidneys cannot excrete this load of toxic metals that gets washed out with each treatment. 

What can be done about this?

  • EDTA will hence be prescribed only after an initial blood workup is done and your kidneys are found to be in good function. Also, after every 5 treatments with EDTA, another blood work to assess your kidney function will be repeated.
  • If your kidney function is being affected, you may either be given a smaller dose, or switched entirely to Plaquex (which is absorbed through the intestines), depending on my assessment of your condition. 

2)      May deplete the vitamins and minerals in your body.

  • Along with removing the hard mineral deposits and heavy metals, EDTA may also strip your body of vitamins and minerals.
  • You will hence be put on a vitamin, mineral and antioxidant supplementation called Ultra Balance III – 3 pills twice a day.
  • Every 5 treatments with EDTA, you will be given a Vitamin treatment– this is a 90-min intravenous infusion of several vitamins and minerals.  

2)      PLAQUEX – Phosphatidyl choline 

  • Plaquex treatment is used to remove cholesterol deposition (soft plaques) in the arteries. It also decreases the damage to the walls of the arteries caused by aging (lipid peroxidation), diabetes and certain other conditions. 
  • It may also improve the flexibility of aging blood vessels by improving elasticity, shape and function of the cells in the arterial walls.
  • By removing soft plaques and increasing flexibility of arteries, Plaquex improves the circulation to all organs of the body and thus, may prevent diabetic complications, heart attacks, angina, strokes etc. 
  • Plaquex treatment is a 90-minute intravenous infusion of Phosphatidyl choline in a bag of 5% Dextrose solution.
  • You will typically require 20-30 sessions, depending on the severity of your condition. You may start seeing differences by about 10 sessions. 
  • The frequency of treatments is usually 1-2 times/week. After satisfactory progress is achieved, you may taper to a maintenance dose of once/month, to keep the circulation clear.
  • Further information on Plaquex can be available to you at www.plaquex.net. 

3)      ALPHA LIPOIC ACID (ALA)  (IV FORM)

  • Neuropathy is one of the complications of diabetes that causes much concern (especially in long standing cases). This presents as numbness, tingling, burning, itching, pain in hands and feet. 
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid is a powerful antioxidant. It deactivates “free radicals”, which are the waste products created when the body turns food into energy. Free radicals damage cells and organs over time- it is even known to cause damaging effects on DNA, thus accelerating the aging process. 
  • ALA also improves nerve conduction and this function helps to relieve symptoms of neuropathy. 
  • This treatment is a 30-min intravenous infusion of ALA in 100ml 0.9% NaCl solution, recommended at least once/week
  • In addition to the intravenous form, an oral dose of 300mg ALA thrice/day may be advised to receive maximum benefits form the healing properties of Alpha Lipoic Acid.

Overweight or Diabetic?

By Dr. Fred Hui

Overweight or Diabetic?

How to prevent, or correct the problem 

Obesity and diabetes have a common cause and they can lead to each other. I would like to give you insight into some oversights by mainstream medicine. 

The patient with either of these health conditions has trouble metabolizing carbohydrates. The underlying cause is a phenomenon called Insulin Resistance.  Carbohydrates are sugar (including fruit and juices) and starch (bread, potatoes, pasta, rice, corn or any grains, or root vegetables). When we eat carbohydrates the body digests and converts them into sugar (glucose in the blood).  

Type 1, juvenile onset diabetics have a problem secreting insulin. Type 2 diabetics (90% of all diabetics) do not have a lack of insulin.  They, in fact, have too much insulin floating around (hyperinsulinism), because they have insensitive insulin receptors, or a lack of them on the surface of the cells. The end result is that sugar is not transported into the cells to be burned for energy. Instead, the sugar is turned into fat. 

What’s wrong with increased circulating levels of insulin? Insulin stimulates the appetite.  One of its main functions is to convert excess sugar to fat. When insulin is at a higher level, there is a more rapid conversion of blood sugar into fat.  Insulin resistance results in a higher proportion of blood sugar being converted into fat than just meeting the normal needs of the body (muscles, organs, etc).  This is the usual case of people eating more than they need.  The unfortunate thing is that they are driven to eat as a result of the excess insulin in circulation.

Blood sugars dropping quickly from a high level can bring on hunger. And when it has been packed away as fat rapidly, the rest of the body cries out for more food in a steady supply.  

We can see at a glance on the street who has hyperinsulinism. Externally they have a “spare tire,” internally they have increasingly thickened arterial walls. Excess insulin causes damage to arterial walls.  This in turn causes cholesterol to patch up the damage.  Over time, the arterial walls become thicker and thicker, leading to circulation problems, and a higher risk of stroke and heart attack. 

As a result, even though a diabetic has seemingly good sugar control when fasting, after eating, it rises significantly.  So, an obese person, with normal sugar at the time of a medical checkup, will eventually suffer the consequences of arterial blockage: angina, heart attacks, stroke and decreased circulation in the legs. It is not just high sugars that are detrimental, but also the  large amounts of insulin in circulation. 

Glyburide, the most common medicine prescribed for diabetes, forces the pancreas to create more insulin, and, in fact is not addressing the problem. It may help reduce blood sugar in the blood stream but it will burn out the pancreas faster, make you fatter and stimulate your hunger sometimes to frustrating levels even when you don’t really want to eat.  Insulin is the “hunger hormone.”  For those of you that are taking Glyburide, have you noticed that you cannot resist hunger?  You constantly need to eat, or even have a disturbing craving for sweets. 

If you were to do an educational experiment tomorrow morning by eating a large, high calorie breakfast that consists of lots of fruit, cereal, muffins, toast (all carbohydrates) you would think you should not be hungry for quite a while. But by 11:30 am you will feel extra hungry and shaky.  What is happening is a high carbohydrate meal will trigger the body to release lots of insulin into the blood stream and carbohydrate is easily and quickly stored away within three hours. Then 3 ½ hours later your sugar may be so low that you might feel you would “kill” to get something sweet to give yourself a “sugar fix.” Consequently, your physiology prompts you to look for a big, satisfying sweet or carbohydrate filled lunch and the vicious cycle repeats itself. 

Solution tried during the last 30 years

Conventional mainstream medical advice for weight loss is to avoid fat, and avoid the meat that contains fat and eat more complex carbohydrates.  Based upon results, this concept does not work.  The incidence of obesity and adult onset diabetes has been increasing at an alarming rate. Recently released in the news is the shocking fact that diabetes has increased 31% in Ontario in only 5 years from 1995 to 1999. 

When average North Americans rely on “whole wheat bread and no oil pasta” as their main calorie source, their waistlines just keep getting bigger.  They may try to diet and cut their total calories and amount of food.  While calorie restriction may work in the short term, when the body senses that there is a famine happening, it will adjust and become more thrifty.  It will slow down the body’s metabolism rate and concentrate on “storing fat” rather than “spending energy.”  The body then feels tired, and the food is tasteless.  McDonalds tried to market a low fat hamburger, but they gave up as nobody liked it enough to buy it.  People give up on these restrictive diets and gain their weight back because they go overboard again in eating, after being deprived. 

What is the real solution?

When Dr Atkins first proposed a low carbohydrate, high protein diet, he was ridiculed, and angrily opposed. In spite of the favourable consumer feedback, judging from the number of best selling books based on a variation of the Atkins diet. Read the various good books such as “The Zone” diet, the Carbohydrate Addicts’ Diet, Protein Power by the 2 Dr Eades, and the Suzanne Somers’ diet, among others.  Mainstream medical doctors and dieticians have been the last to accept the low carbohydrate diets because they are afraid of recommending diets with saturated fats. Now, the diet is finally gaining ground. Even prominent academics such as Walter Willett, chairman of the department of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, have become strong proponents of this diet. 

What is an ideal diet?

It goes without saying that if you are overweight or diabetic, you should avoid sugar. The main point is to avoid filling up on starches, no matter how good you think complex carbohydrates may be. Instead, eat lots of green vegetables, lean meat and oily fish and nuts. 

Some guidelines such as Health Canada’s Food Guide Pyramid are outdated for our sedentary lifestyle. You should imagine a food pyramid where low carbohydrate vegetables are at the base and rice is just a small side dish. By eating the bulk of your meals as starches, or sugar you become victimized by the effects of insulin, whereby you feel compelled to eat soon afterwards. 

For the diabetic, don’t just check your fasting blood sugar, but check your level 2 hours after a meal, to give you direct feedback about your worst case scenarios, and to determine how different foods affect your blood sugar. 

Exercise regularly

If your insulin receptors are insensitive, they are not depressed permanently. The receptors have only receded temporarily because your cells are not calling out for more glucose. While fat cells can expand indefinitely, other cells have only limited room for storing glucose.  Cells withdraw their willingness to accept glucose by making the receptors either insensitive or pulling them away from the cell wall.

You should at least go walking twice a day for half an hour, not just to burn calories but to re-sensitize your insulin receptors and bring them back into action, by using up your accumulated stores of glycogen (stored glucose) in your cells. The receptors will be signaled to go to the cell walls to collect more glucose. 

Other Measures

There are numerous health supplements that have a positive effect such as the Ayurvedic Indian herb, Gymnema Sylvestre.

Chinese herbs containing bitter melon are extremely useful. 

Research indicates this amazing herb has positive benefits on blood sugar control, helps with sugar cravings and may help to regenerate the pancreas. 

Chromium is useful for stabilizing blood sugar levels, both the high and the low. It helps insulin attach to the receptor sites. 

I have used a mixture of Chinese herbs that has a wonderful, dramatic effect on blood sugar control. I have managed to get most type 2 diabetic patients off insulin or all their diabetic medication, while still maintaining good blood sugar control.

The mixture of herbs seems to promote progressive healing of the diabetic system so that the patient has less need for medication, including even the need for the herbs. 

To help sensitize the insulin receptors and to reopen blocked circulation, Intravenous Chelation Therapy has also been extremely effective. Diabetics are prone to heart disease, Clogged arteries resulting in poor circulation, with reduced oxygen and nutrient delivery to tissues and organs can lead to:

  • calf pain when walking,
  • shortness of breath and chest pain when carrying a heavy load or going up stairs,
  • cold feet and cold fingers,
  • shrinkage of the brain due to impaired blood flow,
  • difficulty with memory management,
  • vision problems including macular degeneration,
  • declining function of all organs.

Current treatments for arteriosclerosis include medications, exercise, wise food choices, and supplements.  When these are not enough, more heart patients are turning to Chelation Therapy, which has been in use since WWII and is now refined to a fine art. Chelation is a series of intravenous infusions including the following ingredients:

  •  “EDTA” (Ethylene Diamine Tetra Acetate) — a metal binding agent that has the magnetic ability to attract and “hand cuff” heavy metals and misplaced calcium that have been hardening and calcifying our arterial “pipes”.
  • n  A high dose of vitamin C – to work as an anti-oxidant, neutralizing harmful free radicals in our circulation.  In this way, Vitamin C serves to “rust proof” the linings of our arterial pipes.
  • A high dose of magnesium — to relax the arteries and return flexibility to our arterial “hose”.
  • Vitamin B12 — provides energy to every cell.
  • Vitamins B6 and B1 work together to reduce toxic substances like “homocystine” that accelerate the blockage of arteries.

This has become the safest natural method of treating heart disease.  It is the solution for those who have been told surgery is no longer an option, and for those who want a more complete, full body solution that is non-invasive.