Hello world!

by admin on November 27, 2010

Disclaimer: This blog is under construction and is not yet complete. The owner of this blog is a lay person, not an M.D., and he assumes no responsibility for how this information is used, presenting it purely for educational purposes. If you suffer from diabetes, obesity or any other type of medical problem discussed herein, it is strongly suggested that you seek out the guidance of a Medical Doctor.

Do you suffer from brain fog, irritability, depression, an inability to concentrate, low energy level, and trouble losing weight no matter how hard you diet and exercise?

If so, you’re not alone. I suffered from all of these problems and more until I began to find answers that I decided to share with you here.

The good news is that all of these interrelated problems share a common cause that can be solved without too much difficulty: abnormal blood sugar, both too high and too low.

Why blood sugar?

Keeping your blood sugar or serum glucose close to “normal” as possible will enhance your body’s ability to lose weight, sharpen your mental cognition, stabilize your mood swings, and reverse those wrinkles so you can obtain that youthful glow from the inside out!! Understanding the “ABCs of Blood Sugar” will give you the background you’ll need to discover the answers to these common problems.

And that’s just the beginning.

You’ll discover that most Americans have inherited something called the “thrifty gene” from our ancestors who immigrated here and endured periods of starvation and famine and needed the ability to store fat for survival. The Pima Indians of the American Southwest also share this genotype. This “thrifty gene” makes us susceptible to “low blood sugar” levels or hypoglycemia and is worsened by a diet of highly refined and processed foods.

Back in 1975, physicians estimated that approximately ten million Americans suffered from chronic or continuous hypoglycemia. I’m sure these estimates are much higher today given our abundant access to convenience and packaged foods. When one is hypoglycemic, the pancreas responds to these high carbohydrate foods with an overproduction of insulin, resulting in a rapid drop in blood sugar levels. Symptoms of hypoglycemia are varied and usually hard to diagnose. Some common signs and symptoms are: irritability, confusion, clumsiness, anxiety or panic, nervousness, insomnia, visual hallucinations and so on. Usually, these symptoms are often triggered when we’re under stress and we crave these comfort foods high in carbohydrates.

Why carbohydrates?

Aside from glucose, carbohydrates break down into tryptophan which is the precursor to serotonin. Serotonin is just one of the many neurotransmitters that the brain needs. It’s known as the “feel good” chemical and alleviates the feelings of anxiety and stress. We’re actually “self-medicating” ourselves by splurging on mashed potatoes with gravy, French fries, and cake and ice cream in order to satisfy our brain’s need for serotonin.

However, these high blood sugar levels overly sensitize the pancreas to respond aggressively to glucose, thereby overproducing insulin. Insulin’s primary job is to transport glucose into the body. Your brain and your body’s muscles need glucose for energy. When our cells are consistently flooded with too much insulin, over time the result is insulin resistance.

With our cells blocking insulin from transporting glucose, the cells and especially the brain become starved of neurotransmitters like serotonin. This occurs despite all that blood glucose circulating in our bodies. In response, the brain sends signals to your body for more serotonin which our bodies interpret and respond by choosing high carbohydrate foods. And thus, the vicious circle begins all over again.

But did you know that the secondary function of insulin is to store any excess glucose as fat? Yes, around the abdomen. It’s also known as visceral fat or that middle-aged “spare tire”. The irony of it all is that when we eat those comfort foods rich with carbohydrates and fat, it’s not the fat that makes us overweight. It’s the carbohydrates that cause blood sugar levels to rise that cause too much insulin that stores excess glucose and dietary fat as FAT rather than burning them as fuel.

Hypoglycemia: a heart breaking epidemic

In short, many Americans are suffering from a silent epidemic of hypoglycemia. Over time, undiagnosed hypoglycemia leads to obesity, insulin resistance, and eventually to Type II diabetes (high blood sugar) and its complications: kidney disease, heart disease, neuropathy or nerve damage, erectile dysfunction, glaucoma, blindness, amputations, and so on. There’s a whole body of research and literature written by medical doctors that explore the connection between hypoglycemia and carbohydrate cravings, alcoholism, and other more debilitating illnesses such as mental illness, depression, and if not diagnosed immediately, death.

And what happens to all that glucose that’s circulating in our bodies? Through a process called glycation, glucose binds to protein such as collagen and creates cross-links that cause these strands to become inflexible. Collagen gives our skin that youthful and supple glow. Glycation results in sagging and inflexible skin, wrinkles, and aging. Researchers believe that glycation may also explain the complications of heart disease and kidney disease that accompany diabetes.

Unless we take steps to correct this problem with insulin resistance, we will suffer from all the problems listed above. I wish I could tell you that the “how” to achieve “normal” blood sugar were as easy as understanding the “why”, but each person is different and will require a combination of diet, exercise, dietary supplements, and lots of trial and error.

Solutions

In this blog you will learn several strategies for correcting these problems:

  • my own personal exercise program and motivational tips to help you exercise more;
  • how to select a nutrient-dense diet and identify which foods are safe to eat and which aren’t;
  • dietary supplements that can help address these problems and how they work in your body;
  • tips on how to use a glucose meter to monitor your blood sugar and see how certain foods affect your blood sugar;
  • articles to help you gain deeper insight and understanding and also challenge and contradict the “conventional” thinking and practices of today’s researchers and doctors. After all, there’s big money behind “illness” and not much profit in “wellness”; and lastly,
  • prayer also helps a lot to stay focused on any program of self improvement and I encourage you to reach out in this way too because none of us is alone.

Visit the section called “Getting Started” to download a free form that I use to monitor and log my daily blood glucose readings. I’ve started posting my own log so you can see my own weight loss progress.

And so, I invite you to take this journey with me back to health and learn what I’ve learned about the “mind and body” connection.

Become a student of your illness to master the keys to wellness!  Read and absorb many of the concepts outlined in the Resources section. But don’t stop there…keep learning and share what you’ve learned with others. And together, we can roll this boulder up the hill and save the lives of your family and friends.

I welcome your ideas, input and inspiration.

Onward and upward!!

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Best Description of Hypoglycemia & Treatment

by admin on February 3, 2011

Anyone wanting to lose weight and is hypoglycemic must learn how to deal with it, and this can help you not only lose weight, but in a myriad of other ways as well!

Hypoglycemia is a derangement of glucose metabolism that causes depression, trouble concentrating, tinnitus, excessive sweating,chronic fatigue,anxiety, mood swings and other debilitating symptoms.

It has caused me problems most of my life. This website is the most useful one I’ve found which describes hypoglycemia in a simple straight forward way along with solutions! Many people who are insulin resistant are also hypoglycemic. Hypoglycemia can make you crave sugar and can make you hungry.

STUDY THIS SITE!!

Hypoglycemia is a general term used to describe a mixed bag of symptoms that are due to a derangement of glucose metabolism. Under the strict medical definition, hypoglycemia mainly refers to a drop in fasting blood sugar below 50mg % (normal range 70-90mg%). This drop can be associated with differing symptoms depending on the rate at which the blood sugar falls.

The causes of functional or reactive hypoglycemia (not absolute or fasting hypoglycemia) can be divided into 3 categories:
High sugar / refined carbohydrate diet leading to hyperinsulinism
Hypoadrenalism-stress leading to adrenal exhaustion
Alimentary or gastric surgery leading to rapid stomach emptying or “dumping syndrome.”

A Glucose Tolerance Test (ideally lasting 5-6 hours) can confirm a diagnosis, but more alternative doctors are forgoing the inconvenience and shock to the system because symptoms alone are reliable enough. Central nervous system changes, adrenal hormone output and detoxification (what the body tries to do when it is not busy digesting food) also contribute to the overall symptom picture.

There are different interpretations given to different patterns seen on glucose tolerance testing. One such system describes three types of curves:

Type 1 (Neuroglycopenic)
This type results in a rapid rise in blood glucose within the first hour followed by a pronounced or precipitous drop in blood glucose in the second hour. Symptoms of this type of response are rapid mood swings, volatile personality, erratic behavior before and after eating. Possible cause of this response is gastric dumping, too large an insulin response (pancreatic problems) and glucose tolerance factor problems (liver problems).

Type 2 (Adrenergic Type)
After ingestion of glucose the blood sugar rises for the first three hours followed by a hypoglycemic rebound at 4 to 6 hours. Symptoms associated with this type of response are tiredness 2 hours after eating, allergic responses or food intolerances, and shakiness before meals. When blood sugar falls rapidly, the early symptoms are those brought on by a compensating secretion of adrenalin; these include sweating, weakness, hunger, racing pulse and an “inner trembling”. This response can be due to adrenal cortical insufficiency or thyroid deficiency.

Type 3 (The Flat Curve Response)
In this case the blood glucose does not deviate more than +/- 15% from fasting level through the whole test. Symptoms that may appear are fatigue, apathy or hypotonia (poor muscle tone). These symptoms are due to poor digestion and absorption of nutrients.

Patients with hypoglycemia of varying causes appear to show similar personality patterns, suggesting hypoglycemia can cause personality disorders. The term “hypoglycemia” may be better named ” carbohydrate intolerance syndrome” and treated accordingly.

Signs, symptoms & indicators of Hypoglycemia:

Symptoms – Allergy (High) intolerance of sugars

Counter-indicators:
(High) tolerance of sugars

Symptoms – Cardiovascular
Heart racing/palpitations

Symptoms – Food – General
Strong appetite
Hunger is a symptom of hypoglycemia.

Symptoms – Food – Preferences
Afternoon sugar craving
Craving and/craving but not eating wheat

Symptoms – General
Fatigue that is/frequent fatigue relieved by eating
General dizziness
Fatigue that worsens during the day
Poor bodily coordination
Dizziness when standing up

Counter-indicators:
No fatigue relieved by eating

Symptoms – Head – Eyes/Ocular
Seeing visual halos
Vision disturbances
Blurred vision and diplopia (double-vision) are possible symptoms.

Symptoms – Head – Mouth/Oral
Being an incoherent speaker

Symptoms – Metabolic
Moderate/adverse/mild reaction to delayed meals
Inner trembling
Difficulty losing weight
Afternoon headaches
Low stamina
Front-of-head/temple-based headaches
(Occasional) daytime sweating

Counter-indicators:
No reaction to delayed meals

Symptoms – Mind – Emotional
Depression with anxiety
Impatient/hostile disposition
Uncontrolled rage is a possible symptom.

Emotional instability

Symptoms – Mind – General
Periods of confusion/disorientation
Short-term memory failure
Trouble concentrating

Symptoms – Muscular
Tightness across shoulders

Symptoms – Nervous
Numb/tingling/burning extremities

Symptoms – Reproductive – Female Cycle
Carbohydrate craving during cycle

Symptoms – Skin – General
Excess perspiration

Symptoms – Sleep
Unsound sleep

Conditions that suggest Hypoglycemia:

Addictions Addictions / Addictive Tendencies
A craving for cigarettes and/or drugs is a possible symptom of hypoglycemia.

Allergy
Allergies Indoor

Diet
Sugar Craving

Hormones
Low DHEA Level
Insulin levels may play a significant role in determining how much DHEA is metabolized. Studies have discovered that low levels of DHEA may be related to an excess of insulin. What this suggests is that anyone suffering from hypoglycemia or excess insulin may be prone to converting nutrients to fat due to depressed DHEA levels.

Mental
Depression
Endogenous depression – depression originating from within as opposed to being due to external factors – is a known symptom.

Anxiety
Poor Memory
Temporary forgetfulness is a known symptom of hypoglycemia.

Metabolic
Headaches, Migraine/Tension
Although hypoglycemia may precipitate headache in some diabetic and nondiabetic patients, it is not a universal mechanism responsible for headache in those individuals or in normal fasting subjects.

Tinnitus

Musculo-Skeletal
Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) / Periodic Limb Moveme
Based on afternoon glucose tolerance testing, many patients with RLS – particularly if they also have spontaneous leg cramps – appear to have hyperinsulinism causing functional ‘ hypoglycemia’ during testing. In fact, some patients may have an attack of muscle cramps at the same time as their lowest level of plasma glucose. In an open trial, a group of 350 patients with this type of glucose tolerance curve were placed on a sugar-free, high protein diet along with frequent nibbling and at least one night feeding. The vast majority experienced a prompt remission or, at least, a striking reduction in symptoms. [J Med Assoc 60(5): pp.29-31, 1973]

Muscle Cramps / Twitching
As hypoglycemia progresses a variety of symptoms can occur including muscle twitching. Amongst 300 patients in one study (185 female, 115 male) found to have relative hypoglycemia (a drop of 20% or more below the fasting blood sugar level during a 6-hour glucose tolerance test), 23% had muscular twitching or cramps.

General Weakness

Nervous System
Tremors
Early symptoms of hypoglycemia, such as hand tremors, are similar to those which occur as the result of experiencing a sudden and violent fear.

Organ Health
Counter-indicators:
Diabetes Type II

Skin-Hair-Nails
Night Sweats
Nighttime hypoglycemia may be without symptoms or manifest itself as night sweats, unpleasant dreams or early morning headache.

Risk factors for Hypoglycemia:

Environment / Toxicity Heavy Metal Toxicity
Heavy metals such as mercury, cadmium, lead and thallium poison the glucose metabolizing catalysts, thus reducing the flow of energy throughout the body. It is interesting to note that the symptoms of heavy metal poisoning are similar to symptoms associated with hypoglycemia i.e. hyperactivity, mood swings, manic depressive behavior, poor concentration and impulsive and unpredictable behavior.

Mercury Toxicity / Amalgam Illness
Heavy metals such as mercury, cadmium, lead and thallium poison the glucose metabolizing catalysts, thus reducing the flow of energy throughout the body. It is interesting to note that the symptoms of heavy metal poisoning are similar to symptoms associated with hypoglycemia i.e. hyperactivity, mood swings, manic depressive behavior, poor concentration and impulsive and unpredictable behavior.

Hormones
Hypothyroidism
Patients suffering with Wilson’s Syndrome, a form of hypothyroidism, occasionally experience intense and previously unfamiliar cravings for sweets. The low body temperature patterns may affect the function of enzymes involved in glucose metabolism that could result in lower blood sugar levels which might contribute to sweet cravings.

Lab Values – Chemistries
Counter-indicators:
(Slightly) elevated fasting glucose

Metabolic
Pyroluria

Symptoms – Food – Intake
(High) refined sugar consumption

Symptoms – Head – Ears
History of tinnitus

Symptoms – Mind – General
Counter-indicators:
Absence of short-term memory loss

Uro-Genital
Consequences of Vasectomy

Hypoglycemia can lead to:

Diet Sugar Craving

Mental
Schizophrenia
Numerous patients given psychiatric diagnoses have actually turned out to have hypoglycemia, including those classified with depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

Recommendations for Hypoglycemia:

Amino Acid / Protein Glutamine
Glutamine plays a vital part in the control of blood sugar. It helps prevent hypoglycemia , since it is easily converted to glucose when blood sugar is low.

Botanical
Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana)
If you must use sweeteners, stevia is an excellent natural alternative to simple sugars and unhealthy chemical alternatives.

Chlorella / Algae Products

Diet
Sugars Avoidance / Reduction
Consuming foods that contain simple sugars makes the problem worse. Avoid sweets other than fresh fruits, if tolerated. In addition, consider avoiding products that only “taste” sweet (artificially sweetened – low calorie). Even though they may contain no sugar, sending signals to your brain that something “sweet” is being consumed may have negative consequences.

Processed Foods Avoidance
Refined carbohydrates are more readily absorbed than unrefined, and should be avoided in those with any glucose intolerance.

Smaller, More Frequent Meals
Frequent small meals are more effective in stabilizing blood sugar levels than large, less frequent ones. Remember to consume something before symptoms appear. Protein snacks that keep well should be stored in locations such that you always have quick access to food. You may find it helpful to store protein bars or nuts in your car, at work, in your pockets or (for women) in your purse.

High/Increased Protein Diet
A diet consisting of higher protein and fat with less refined carbohydrates is a standard recommendation for those with hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemics may find it helpful to start with 100gm of protein or more per day. With increased protein consumption, protein digesting enzymes may need to be supplemented. Hydrochloric acid, which is usually produced by the stomach for the breakdown of food (especially protein) may be needed also.

Grams of carbohydrate can be counted, limiting them to a maximum of 100gm per day. Some persons feel better on 60-100gm of carbohydrates, adjusting up or downward depending on size and degree of physical labor (More if larger and very active). Eating less than 60gm per day may aggravate a return to undesirable symptoms.

Caffeine/Coffee Avoidance
Avoid all soft drinks, coffee, tea, artificial colors and additives.

Alcohol Avoidance
Drinking alcohol can cause blood sugar to drop in some sensitive individuals. Hypoglycemia has been well documented in chronic alcoholics and binge drinkers.

High/Increased Fiber Diet
Soluble fiber delays gastric emptying, slows glucose absorption, and minimizes blood glucose swings.

Coconut
Therapeutic Fasting
In severe cases, additional methods of support besides diet may be needed and perhaps the best of these is fasting. Fasting is a useful, inexpensive and universally available treatment for hypoglycemia. The fast allows the entire system to restore its cellular integrity.

Increased Fruit/Vegetable Consumption
Fruit contains several things that are of benefit, including a sugar (fructose) that does not cause wild glucose swings, trace minerals, and fiber which slows glucose absorption. However, some people find that fruits do make their glucose intolerance worse. Vegetables, especially low starch vegetables like tomatoes, green leafy vegetables, broccoli and carrots are low in carbohydrate and high in nutrients.

Grain-free / Low Starch Diet
As a dietary priciple, simply avoiding grains and foods made from grains should go a long way toward preventing low blood sugar events in those with reactive hypoglycemia

Habits
Aerobic Exercise
Moderate exercise improves glucose metabolism. Those few individuals who find that strenuous or prolonged exercise causes hypoglycemia should take food at the earliest opportunity.

Lab Tests/Rule-Outs
Test Glucose Tolerance
The six hour oral glucose tolerance test is normally used to determine the type and magnitude of the glucose intolerance.

Mineral
Chromium
Chromium status should be optimized for its benefit in carbohydrate disorders (both hypoglycemia and adult-onset diabetes). Studies have shown that chromium supplementation is helpful with hypoglycemia and can improve glucose tolerance test results and increase the number of insulin receptors on red blood cells.

A research team, which included scientists from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., tested chromium’s effects in humans by adding chromium chloride to the diet of 17 men and women, eight of whom had mild glucose intolerance, a condition that precedes diabetes.

During the 14-week study, all participants ate a baseline, chromium-poor diet containing less than 20 micrograms of the metal per day. This is similar to the amount consumed by 25 percent of Americans, Anderson says, noting that the recommended daily allowance ranges from 50 to 200 micrograms.

After four weeks, the researchers divided the volunteers into two groups. One group continued to eat the low-chromium diet, supplemented with daily doses of 200 micrograms of chromium; the other group stayed on the diet but received only placebo pills. Five weeks later, the groups were switched.

In seven of the eight people with glucose intolerance, tests taken an hour after they drank a sugary liquid showed that blood sugar levels rose nearly 50 percent less during chromium supplemention than at the outset of the study or during the unsupplemented baseline diet. In the 11 glucose-tolerant patients, the varying consumption of chromium had no effect on blood glucose levels
, Anderson notes. This selective reduction, he says, indicates “chromium can reverse glucose intolerance.”

Glucose-intolerant participants also showed lower circulating levels of insulin and glucagon
– a pancreas-secreted compound that opposes insulin’s action — during chromium supplementation than at any other point in the study.

Vitamins
Vitamin Niacinamide

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How Alpha Lipoic Acid Helps Weight Loss

February 3, 2011

Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) decreases insulin resistance By making cells less rigid, more pliable, better able to allow insulin to carry glucose into the cells (so its burned as energy, and not stored as fat around your mid section.) Sugar combines with protein to cause glycosylation- a hardening of the cell wall caused by cross [...]

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GETTING STARTED

December 14, 2010

Getting Started Congratulations! You have just taken the most important step in saving your life! Every journey begins with the first step, and the way back to health and weight loss begins with a plan. As my old Scout Master Dave Graham would always say years ago, “If you fail to plan, you plan to [...]

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Cure for Type 1 Diabetes is Discovered Right Now

December 1, 2010

Article is at this link. There is a cure that science has been using on humans, since at least 1987, to cure type I diabetes or improve it.    As of April 1995 there have been at least 8 studies of this cure.  (Michael T. Murray, Encyclopedia of Nutrition Supplements.  Prima Publishing 1996, Page 95.) Dr. [...]

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Twenty Ways to Make Nutritional Progress Against Diabetes

December 1, 2010

Click here to go to article.

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The Orthomolecular (Hypoglycemic) Diet

December 1, 2010

http://www.orthomolecularnetwork.net/vis/diet.html THE ORTHOMOLECULAR DIET The orthomolecular diet embodies to principles of introducing the foods that the body can use best in a manner that assists digestion, absorption and utilization. It is very similar in many ways to what is referred to as the hunter-gatherer diet, but it embodies principles meant to help us survive in [...]

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Preventing Diabetes With the Mediterranean Diet

November 30, 2010

Preventing Diabetes With the Mediterranean Diet- by Michael Ozner MD  

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Hypoglycemia Articles

November 30, 2010

Hypoglycemia Hypoglycemia is diagnosed when blood glucose levels fall to abnormally low levels. Under normal conditions, the body maintains a very narrow range of blood glucose levels despite wide variations in food intake and energy expenditure (Braunwald DE et al 2001). This careful balance is partly regulated by two hormones, insulin and glucagon, which have [...]

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