Guard the Temple

The Nightmare of Diabetes

A client of mine came in with tears this morning. She just got news that her mother, age 69, had only a short time to live and was in the final stages of kidney failure. Her mother has had type II diabetes for years and just a few weeks ago had to have her toes removed from one foot because of gangrene.

I personally know of 8 people who are struggling with diabetes and its complications. Diabetes is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. And it is on the rise skyrocketing even among children. Predictions based on current research suggests that one in three children born in 2000 will develop diabetes in their lifetime. Right now it’s about 1 out of every 16 people who have the disease or about 18 million Americans. That number is expected to double in the next 40 years or so.

Most people know that there are two types of diabetes. Type I was called juvenile diabetes because the pancreas fails during childhood to produce insulin. Type 2 diabetes occurs in adulthood when the insulin produced is not sufficient. Type II can usually be controlled by diet and exercise both of which take self-control!

THE CAUSES: An article written in the 1950’s predicted that diabetes would be rampant. It cited the use of corn syrup by mothers as a sweetener in milk or formulae for babies. The writer said that corn syrup would over work the pancreas and create diabetic conditions in these children.

Even worse, today companies use high fructose corn syrup! This sweetener is in soft drinks, in almost every piece of candy, in cereals, etc. In fact, recent research shows that the consumption of high fructose corn syrup has increased 1,000 percent between 1970 and 1990. This far exceeds the percentages of intake of any other food or food group! This sweetener now represents 40 percent of the caloric sweeteners added to our foods and beverages! The Department of Agriculture links the rise in obesity and type II diabetes directly to the increased consumption of high fructose corn syrup!

In addition to the increased consumption of high fructose corn syrup other factors are involved such as too much food and too little exercise. This leads to obesity or what used to be called being “fat.” When a person gains weight the excess fat decreases the body’s ability to use or respond to insulin. This is called insulin resistance. When this happens a person will find that his/her blood sugar has gone up. Most doctors will warn that person about their situation.

While type II diabetes can be controlled with diet and exercise, many people prefer the quick and easy (but not as effective) a solution. They prefer to go on drugs that lower the blood sugar and eventually insulin intake.

If you are overweight, you need a blood test to determine where you blood sugar levels are. But don’t be deceived. Many people think that if their blood sugar levels are within the normal ranges they have nothing to worry about. This is simply self-deception.

What happens is that the pancreas will continue to work hard to supply the needed insulin. But, when it is assaulted continually with high sugar foods - like Mrs. Fields Milk Chocolate & Walnuts cookie (300 calories), or Haagen-Dazs’s Mint Chip Dazzles made from 3 scoops of ice cream, hot fudge, Oreos, chocolate sprinkles and whipped cream - totally about 1270 calories; and given no help through exercise or self-control - the pancreas will eventually quit. When this happens the blood sugar levels will rise to dangerous and destructive levels.

THE DANGERS OF DIABETES: If you get a diagnosis of diabetes, you have just been told you will not have a very long life. Diabetes is linked to cardiovascular disease. It is the leading cause of blindness in America. It is a major contributor to kidney failure and gangrene leading to amputations.

Here’s why. Elevated sugar levels in the body seem to increase cholesterol fat deposits in the arteries. Furthermore, diabetics have increased thirst and urinate frequently. They lose a great number of nutrients essential to good health. Here are some: Magnesium is washed out by increased and frequent urination. Magnesium is necessary for good heart function and good muscle function. When magnesium decreases the glucose (sugar) control deteriorates because magnesium is needed for proper carbohydrate metabolism. This can also lead to high blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems.

Zinc is also a water-soluble nutrient necessary for immune system functions in fighting infections. It is also necessary to prevent excessive hair loss. Loss of zinc can also lead to diarrhea which leads to more losses of nutrients.

The B vitamins are also water-soluble. Losses of such B vitamins as B12, folic acid and B6 can lead to increased homocysteine levels. As homocysteine levels increase it can lead to increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Loses of B12 and folic acid can have negative effects on mental function such as depression, irritability, and forgetfulness. It can impair nerve function.

Vitamin C and many antioxidants are also lost in the diabetic. You probably have some idea of the many functions in the body of vitamin C.

KEEP BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS NORMAL: High blood sugar in the body is extremely dangerous. Some of the diabetics I’ve known think their only problem is to keep from going into a coma. They don’t realize that high blood sugar levels destroy nerves in the body. That’s why blindness is so common a side effect of diabetes. It burns out the optic nerve.

Neuropathy - the condition where the nerves are being destroyed - is a common result when blood sugar levels remain higher than normal. Eventually people lose feelings in their feet or toes. Slow healing is another problem in the body when the blood sugar levels are higher than normal. Cuts, sores, etc. do not heal quickly or well.

Can you see why the body cannot tolerate high blood sugar? Can you understand why the pancreas must work to keep blood sugar levels normal?

DIET AND EXERCISE: There is no such thing in Nature as white sugar or high fructose corn syrup. When these enter the body they flush immediately into the blood stream raising blood sugar levels dramatically. This alarms the pancreas (that part that produces the insulin) and it begins to produce a lot of insulin because the levels rise so high so fast. This can happen from one bottle of soda pop or a cookie, candy bar, donut, pie, cake, etc. Exercise has been shown time and again to be very important for the body. We live in a sedentary society. We deceive ourselves that we’re well conditioned when we watch our Olympic athletes compete. “See! Americans are fit and trim and in good shape.” Well, that is true of THEM. But, what about you, your children, and your friends?

Exercise helps the body handle and use blood sugar effectively. It keeps the body trim and helps prevent obesity. This in combination with eating more natural foods and avoiding high sugar foods is the key to preventing type II diabetes.

HOW CAN YOU TELL: How can you tell whether you are subject to developing type II diabetes? First, there is a genetic predisposition toward diabetes. If it runs in your family, you need to be careful. If you are an adult and do not now have diabetes, there is much you can do to keep yourself from ever getting the disease.

WHAT I WOULD DO: If I got sugar diabetes, I would endeavor to avoid all simple sugars and especially anything with high fructose corn syrup. I would cut out cut out all white flour products, white rice, and white sugar.

I would eat more protein foods and eat only one single piece fruit two times a day. I would begin a program of regular exercise that would include muscle strengthening and walking for 40 minutes steady. These could alternate on different days.

I would add to my diet a glucose tolerance factor supplement (GTF) which consists of a complex chromium micro-mineral. I would make sure I had enough of the B vitamins and good fatty acids so that I would feel satisfied. I would make sure that my gall bladder was healthy so I could digest fats properly so that I would not have cravings for sugar and starches.

In other words, I would do about more of what I am doing now! And if I continue what I’m doing now it is unlikely that I would end up with diabetes at all.

My wish for you is that you would avoid this dreaded plague and it is preventable just by changing your lifestyle.