Diabetes, Hypoglycemia, Blood Sugar Regulation, and Weight Loss

Diabetes, Hypoglycemia, Blood Sugar Regulation, and Weight Loss

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Today’s professional reading, began with a 1974 paper that has me darn near jumping up and down with glee!!! Mainstream medical has handled the whole diabetic/hypoglycemic spectrum in ways that often lead to further maladies, weight gain, and all the problems that come with weight gain, one of which is further exacerbating the insulin resistance in Diabetes itself. Knowing that hypoglycemia is at one end of the glucose-processing spectrum and diabetes is at the other end of that stick, it is a known possibility that one can flip from hypoglycemia to diabetes if they aren’t careful with their sugar intake. But there’s far more to the story than just how the body does or doesn’t break down sugar into glucose.

The mechanisms responsible for not just how the pancreas does it’s job, but how other enzymes and chemicals in the body do theirs, is the focus of this paper, and the lightbulb moments were numerous! There are seriously far too many things to quote here to illustrate why this paper got me so excited!

Insulin would appear to have more uses than just blood sugar regulation:

“Not only does insulin play a part in sugar metabolism, but it also plays a vital role in the handling of fats and protein, and recent work has shown that cell multiplication and growth (for instance of the white blood cells and the production of antibodies) is also connected with insulin.

It would seem apparent from recent work that, for its proper physiological function, insulin requires the presence of both chromium and zinc in optimal proportions.”

“50 percent of these patients with an impaired glucosetolerance test had their curve restored to normal when given daily doses of 150 micrograms of trivalent chromium.”

“Dr. Sharon Elias and Milos Chvapil in the Journal of Surgical Research, in 1973, reported a high level of supplemental zinc is conducive to resilience to the traumata of daily living and showed that it appeared to protect against certain diseases (such as infectious diseases) and to the speed of the rate of wound healing.”

“Of course, one must note here the susceptibility of diabetics to infection or the worsening of the diabetic state during infection. It is of interest/which I won’t go into fully here, that vitamin C and vitamin A have been inculcated in the development of white cells and the immune response. The former has been shown to be essential to white cell growth, and more recent work in Florida has shown that in some way vitamin A increases the immunoresponsiveness in rats inoculated with carcinoma.”

Do you see any good news here yet???

“…one of the ways in which the action of insulin may be diminished is therefore by chromium deficiency. “

How do we get more chromium into our bodies? We ensure that foods we eat actually have it present.  See the sample chart at the end of this article.

“…dietary considerations play an important part. There can be no doubt that refined foods are deficient in chromium, and in fact Medical World News in 1972 reported that in the so-called civilized nations of the world the large groups of elderly people who were tested were shown to have lower tissue concentration of chromium than in similar groups of people from underdeveloped countries.”

“…a short summary of those factors which we know can affect the glucose-tolerance curve,
similar to that found in diabetes.
1) Pyridoxine deficiency
2) The steroids
3) Oral contraceptives
It would seem that we should add to this list chromium and zinc deficiency.”

After reading this paper, I’d say so!

” It was suggested that there is an altered fat transport which is a fundamental part of the diabetic process, rather than merely a complication arising from diabetes mellitus.”

“Metabolic disorders, although commonly arising through enzyme deficiencies in the gut, do not end there. Once inside the body, sugars are once again under the influence of their several enzyme systems, a defect in any of which may lead to disease which may be readily recognizable or, I am afraid, all too frequently go undiagnosed.”

My quotes here are scattered in order, throughout the paper, and at this point after the above quote, the speaker (as this was a transcript of a talk apparently before it became a paper) switches gears briefly, to encourage attending physicians to step back and examine the context of the cellular health they are looking at, and not stand so close to the problem that they can’t see other factors playing into it! I was sitting here literally cheering when I read that!

“In order to do this, one must think in orthodox medical terms, the way that we have all been trained to think, and to correlate them with the terms of the “new medicine,” the knowledge of which we have all acquired. We should, therefore, be looking at the fate of the protein balance and the amino acids. We should be looking at the essential elements. We should be looking at the vitamins, and we should also be looking for those substances which are probably there and which ought not to be there.

In short, what we must do is to build a new kind of pharmacology…”

Hear hear!!! YES!!! This is what natural health is doing! This is what using food as medicine is doing! In reality, we aren’t looking at creating a new kind of pharmacology. We are returning to the pharmacology that God built into His creation from the first week of Creation! It is literally amazing the capacity that wholefood has to treat so many maladies! Some do this with nothing but rows upon rows of tinctures, they have a tincture for everything! Others do this with water, oil, or vinegar infusions. Others do this with nutritional/medicinal poultices used much like a nicotine patch to feed an area of the body directly, through the skin into the tissues below. Many researchers have found that merely increasing your dietary intake of various foods has resolved conditions or contributed to prevention of other conditions.

“… we must bear in mind that what is one man’s meat is another man’s poison; for while one individual can handle certain amino acids normally, another individual may be completely incapable of doing so. We must be prepared to match up in our mind the relationship between amino acids and the vitamins, such as has been done already with Pyridoxine and tryptophan.”

“Unfortunately, in medicine we are lucky if we recognize those three conditions — health, predisease, and overt disease. Yet, in Orthomolecular medicine, this should be one of our first thoughts. There can be no doubt that, properly applied, Orthomolecular or nutritional methods could reduce the disease state by some 50 percent in the civilized world.”

I tell you, if I had been at this guy’s presentation in person, I’d have jumped to my feet shouting!!! But in 1974, I was just 3yrs old, and not even aware yet, of the many shortfalls of mainstream medicine or that one day I’d enter the world of natural health as Natural Health Practitioner with food as medicine being a primary focus. But here I am all these years later, and absolutely LOVING this paper!!!

However, he has a sobering note to be aware of for those of us who are hypoglycemic:

“It may well be that we shall discover in time that the glucose pathway into the fatty acid cycle is disrupted in those individuals who are to become obese, and indeed it is not altogether a surprising finding that many (if not most) of these individuals tend early to be hypoglycemic and later in life to develop late onset diabetes.”

Did you catch that? Those who tend toward becoming obese, often start out as hypoglycemic and later in life, become diabetic. There could be various reasons for this:

1) Hypoglycemia requires that you eat more frequently than typically recommended for most healthy people. The body’s ability to lower blood sugar levels is just operating way too well, and there is a need to maintain those levels. What many people don’t understand, is that you don’t just fill your stomach with easy-to-access sugary foods! This is the wrong way to maintain healthy blood sugar levels! The hypoglycemic needs complex carbohydrates, not simple carbohydrates, and those complex carbs should be held in balance with healthy fats and proteins. The proteins are necessary to stabilize the system.  If you see a hypoglycemic with the shakes or ready to pass out, give them a protein such as cheese or peanut butter, pronto!  Do NOT give them anything sugary such as a granola bar unless you can vouch that granola bar has very little sugar in it!  Stabilize the person first, with proteins and grains, and later, once they have recovered, perhaps they can have a bit of sugar.

2) Knowing that glucagon stores carbohydrates in fat cells for long-term storage if they aren’t used right away, chowing down on refined or simple carbs will lead to weight gain in those pre-disposed to the conditions to develop diabetes, long before they actually display diabetic symptoms. If a person is prone to easy weight gain, they should examine their dietary choices, ensure they are getting complex carbs rather than simple carbs, and ensure proper levels of proteins, chromium, zinc, Vitamins A, C, and the B complex.

These are all reasons why when I was pregnant with my kids, my retired RN mother was worried I’d develop pre-natal diabetes. She was concerned that the weight gain necessary for childbearing would flip me over the other way. Fortunately, her concerns were not realized, but part of that was due to how I fed myself. Nutrition plays a huge role in general health and maintenance, but is highly important for anyone battling a health condition, and in this discussion hypoglycemia vs diabetes.

exercise3) An additional reason for weight gain in the person unknowingly predisposed to diabetes, is lack of exercise. Exercise is already known to burn off excess caloric fat deposits, first getting rid of the water weight, and then adjusting for unnecessary fat storage vs muscle gain. A formerly overweight person who goes to the gym to do both cardio and weight training, may initially be encouraged by the loss of pounds, only to be startled by their numbers rising again. The wise trainer will recognize the muscle mass increase and be able to explain to the person that now the weight they have is far more useful, beneficial, and far less damaging than the weight they had previously carried around as fat deposits. If a person is able to change up their lifestyle such that tasks around house and home require cardio and weight lifting, they can maintain their ideal weight and body mass, whether or not they hit up a gym. Functional exercise will be more guaranteed to last than a gym membership, because functional exercise is required to get stuff done.

Moments of Rest4) Another area in which weight gain can occur, is in a wacky sleep cycle, or no sleep cycle at all. The body needs regular down time, particularly the brain, in order to heal, reset, engage in restorative activities from the ravages of the previous day, etc. On average, most people need roughly 8 hours of sleep. Whether you are among the larger majority, or whether you need more or less sleep to fully function well, your sleep cycle needs to be regular! Go to bed every night at the same time as often as possible throughout the year. Rise at the same time, as often as possible throughout the year. Teaching your body when sleep time is vs when waking time is, helps build a routine that your internal body clock can use to schedule it’s reparative functions. People who regularly get 5 hours of sleep or less will begin packing on the pounds because they have unknowingly told their body that there is very little time for repair and maintenance, throwing the body into emergency mode where it stores energy for use in dire circumstances. The only trouble however, is that there is no dire circumstance on the horizon requiring those energy stores, just poor sleeping habits. When the body realizes the need for emergency energy stores is no longer there, it will slow down in their creation, and may even begin to pull from them instead.

It has been observed and resulted in necessary warnings, that an overweight person can temporarily throw themselves into the diabetic spectrum if they lose weight too fast, resulting in a flooding of the blood with sugar it can’t use right away. This sugar has been pulled from the fat deposits and needs to be flushed from the system. This is just one reason to avoid the quick weight loss programs and go for longer-term methods instead.

These are just the obvious reasons for how weight gain can cause a person to go from hypoglemic to diabetic.  Less obvious reasons will vary from person to person and can be discovered via surveys and non-invasive tools available to various practitioners.

The good news is that there are many foods out there that can aid in safe weight loss if managed correctly. There are also many foods out there that aid the body in regulating blood sugar levels. It’s interesting to observe that many of the foods that aid in blood sugar regulation, also contain chromium, zinc, or aid in weight loss as well. Here is a sample chart showing a list of foods that contain two or more of these points to consider in your everyday nutrition. This list doesn’t contain all known foods for each list, but should show you the variety available, as well as the multipurpose nature of various foods God has given us.

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