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.
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.
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.
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.
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 failure, the filtering system gets affected and the body starts excreting essential proteins and accumulates waste instead.
Tingling, numbness and burning pain. Cuts and blisters on feet can be infected easily and heals slowly. Severe damage may require amputation.
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.
A 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.
X 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
↑↑Oils (esp olive oil) / butter
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 2: Diabetic 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 –
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.
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?
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.
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.
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 30–40 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.