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Diabetes & Blood Sugar Disorders

Between 1980 and 2009, the number of diagnosed cases of diabetes tripled in the U.S. Currently, the CDC estimates that over 25 million people (1 in every 12) have diabetes, and 1 in 3 adults over the age of 20 show symptoms of prediabetes.

The USDA recommendations for a “healthy” diet, in the form of its previous Food Pyramid and now the Food Plate, are based on poor science and an abysmal understanding of nutrition. These guidelines, while well-intentioned, have lead most of the U.S. and subsequently, the world population, down a road of obesity and chronic disease, with diabetes spearheading the way.

Diabetes is a disease characterized by high levels of glucose in the blood. Glucose, the main energy source for cells in the body, is transported from the blood into cells by a hormone called insulin.

Type I diabetes is an autoimmune condition involving destruction of the body’s insulin-producing cells. Type II diabetes, which makes up 95% of all diabetes cases, occurs when the body becomes resistant to insulin. The pancreas may also eventually stop producing sufficient amounts of insulin; both insulin resistance and insulin insufficiency lead to high blood glucose levels. 

In both diabetes types I and II, glucose cannot enter cells, the body operates as if it were starved, and exhibits symptoms such as extreme thirst and hunger (especially craving sweets), fatigue, and frequent infections. Advanced stages of diabetes can result in kidney failure, tissue necrosis leading to amputations, and blindness. 

While type I diabetes usually comes on suddenly and unexpectedly, type II diabetes takes years before its eventual onset.

Reactive Hypoglycemia

Reactive Hypoglycemia is defined as low levels of blood glucose. Symptoms include dizziness, shakiness, confusion, and when severe, coma or seizures. Mild hypoglycemia symptoms are quite common, and can occur when one skips meals or doesn’t consume enough protein and/or fat. Hypoglycemic episodes activate the adrenal glands’ cortisol output and trigger a physiological stress response.

Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance refers to a state in which insulin receptor sites become less responsive, or “resistant,” to insulin, which is a hormone that lowers glucose in the blood.

Clinical Management

On a disease spectrum, reactive hypoglycemia usually manifests first, followed by mild to severe insulin resistance, and finally to full-blown diabetes. Both reactive hypoglycemia and insulin resistance have specific associated symptoms and blood test markers. Recognizing the disorders early on, then applying appropriate nutritional management, is key in preventing diabetes and all the complications thereof.

If diabetes has already been diagnosed, we focus on managing the secondary conditions associated with the disease using the methods below.

herbs Acupuncture to regulate the immune system, promote healthy circulation patterns, decrease the stress response, alleviate pain, and balance blood sugar metabolism;

Dietary counseling to target your unique constitution, and a nutrient-dense dietary program, based on scientific research, that has been shown to reverse diabetes.

Herbal and nutritional supplementation to improve your fundamental biological processes such as blood sugar regulation, hormonal balance, and immune and organ system function.

Relevant studies:

Robeva R, Kirilov G, Tomova A, Kimanov P. Melatonin-Insulin Interactions in Patients with Metabolic Syndrome:  J. Pineal Res. 2008 Jan;44(1):52-6

Davis SN, Tate D. Effects of morning hypoglycemia on neuroendocrine and metabolic responses to subsequent afternoon hypoglycemia in mornal men. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2011 May;86(5):2043-50.

Davis SN et al. Effects of differing antecedent hypoglycemia on subsequent counterregulation in normal humans. Diabetes 1997 Aug;46(8):1328-35.

Burge et al. Effect of short-term glucose control on glycemic thresholds for epinephrine and hypoglycemic symptoms. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2001 Nov;86(11):5471-8.

Scott, Scandart. Nocturnal cortisol release during hypoglycemia in diabetes. Diabetes Care 1981 Sept-Oct;4(5):514-8.

McGregor et al. Elevated endogenous cortisol reduces autonomoic neuroendocrine and symptom response at subsequent hypoglycemia. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 2022 Apr;282(4):E770-7.

Davis et al. Role of cortisol in pathogenesis of deficient counterregulation after antecedent hypoglycemia in normal humans. J Clin Invest 1997 Jul 15;100(2):429-38.

Widdowson PS, et al. Inhibition of food response to intracerebroventricular injection of leptin is attenuated in rats with diet-induced obesity. Diabetes. 1997;46:1782-85.

Bosi E, et al. Increased intestinal permeability precedes clinical onset of type 1 diabetes:  Diabetologia. 2006 Dec;49(12):2824-7. Epub 2006 Oct 7

Please watch the one hour presentation “Are you too sweet?” by Dagmar Ehling given to the public on Feb 6, 2013.

 

Are You Too Sweet? with Dagmar Ehling, MAc, LAc, DOM(NM), Dipl OM, FABORM from Dr Sharp on Vimeo.