It seems that eventually all of us get Type-2 Diabetes.. Is that the fee we pay for living a long life? I thought so too!
I have been dealing with this disease for two years. I have read lots of books and articles and did lots of research. I would like to report my findings, and warn you that I am not a doctor (although I wish I was!)
When I was first diagnosed two years ago, I was told to “eat less of these, do this, and inject yourself before every meal.” I followed these to a tee. I monitored my blood sugar often (usually with Freestyle libre). Sometimes it fell too low (from overmedicating) and I got cold sweats and tremors or it went up too high and I had to drink lots, go for walks and re-inject myself to bring it back down. I always carried something to eat with me in case it fell too low.
I was able to leave all that behind!
I am considering myself as someone that has beaten diabetes. I am not on any medications, I don’t inject myself with anything. However my blood sugar is very level – does not fall far or rise too high. I am full of energy and I am almost never hungry.
In this article you will find what I learned, experimented and discovered. I would like to share these with you without any financial motive. I would love to hear from you. Please register to this page, and write your comments – I would appreciate you clicking on the ads as well! I will be updating this page often, so please stop by from time to time.
I believe first I should talk about how the body processes sugar and carbohydrates. Our Pancreas, the yellow organ in the drawing, is very sensitive to the sugar level in our blood. When our blood sugar level goes up, or when it hears a command from our brain, it produces a hormone called Insulin into our bloodstream. This sends a signal to all our cells to absorb sugar from the bloodstream – so that the sugar level in our blood falls. The cells all over our body, when they receive this signal do exactly that: They open up and absorb sugar from the blood. Therefore the sugar level in our blood falls.
Everyone’s blood sugar rises when they eat and then falls back down. However at some point it starts going up and staying high. They first prescribe you a drug called Metformin but after a while that proves to be insufficient so the doctor tells you to start on insulin shots. They explain you how to make these injections, etc.
Actually our poor bodies start warning you 10 years beforehand, but we ignore its signals. We measure our waking blood sugar and we find something over 100. We ignore it and go down to breakfast. 10 years go by, and we start seeing things blurred, or you have a sweet craving that you cannot satisfy. Or perhaps the doctor gives you the bad news, that your kidneys or your heart are having troubles or maybe you get wounds on your feet that will not heal. Or maybe the family members are starting to wonder why you are always in a such foul mood! In my case, it was an insatiable thirst for a sugary kinda of orange juice. I could have drank that stuff all day and I have!
I have been on that train for two years and during that time I investigated this disease and what was happening to our pancreas. Why was it not producing enough insulin?
It turns out we were to blame: Our bodies are never meant to consume sugary substances or carbohydrates! Anything made from wheat (including all the whole-wheats), rice, corn, potatoes and pasta, all become sugar as soon as we eat them! There are other stuff that are directly sugar to begin with – like most Fruit!
In the old days, there was no problem. The carbohydrates were found only occasionally and the body would convert it to energy and use it up. However that’s no longer the case: We no longer walk for miles to find food, and wherever we go, someone is trying to sell us something that’s loaded in carbohydrates. Check out the gas stations: Can you count how many healthy snacks they sell? Why is it always cookies and chocolates? Because they last. Some machine squirts them at some factory and it gets pumped with nitrogen before getting shrink-wrapped, so that they last for months without spoiling. Their production is cheap as well, providing a high margin of profit.
In the old days such food was not available. There was no problem eating a piece of fruit or some bread once in a while.
So what’s happening now? Once you grab that hamburger, our brain sends a signal to our pancreas so it increases its insulin production (interesting point: No such signal is sent for sugary drinks. I guess such drinks are a new problem for the body?) Let’s say you had two slices of bread the same day for breakfast — one with jam. So the same thing had happened that morning as well. However, neither the pancreas has an unlimited capability of production, nor the cells can absorb the sugar indefinitely. Besides, what will they do when there is too much of it in the cells anyway? This stockpiling is what poisons our body and rots our organs.
The insulin has another drawback: When we eat something sweet or containing carbohydrates, the same insulin signal goes to all our fat cells as well. What do they do when they receive the signal? They store it! Since there is an excess amount of sugar, the fat cells swell up and store the extra sigar. (Ask someone that complains about his/her weight how many pieces of fruit or bread they consume. Even a single fruit has loads of sugar.)
A while later the pancreas can no longer produce enough or even if it does, the cells are so overloaded with sugar that they do not care. When this happens, the body starts damaging itself. Pancreatic cells start dying from this sugar (when our blood sugar goves over 140), and ALL the organs, nerves and blood vessels get damaged. When the pancreas weakens, things get worse – it can no longer produce as much insulin even!
What appears pleasant to our brain is actually hurting us! A lot of foods that we learned to enjoy from our childhood are actually harmful.
I believe there are some issues with the doctors and dietitians as well: They tell you to eat “2 slices of bread per day, put sweeteners in your coffee, do not consume more than one starchy vegetable per meal”. And of course they will have to add “also keep taking these drugs until you die.”
I believe all these are too much – it’s far better for you if you do not eat these at all! In fact, TRY IT. Try not eating them and see what happens to your blood sugar. It will of course fall! If you are not putting extra sugars in your body, it has no recourse but to drop its blood sugar!
“Won’t I run out of Energy??”
The body has a protection system for this – a system that it used to use routinely until the invention of wheat farming. If there is not enough sugar in our diet, the body uses up the fat it has deposited in its fat cells for energy. Called Ketosis, it is a perfectly natural and desirable process. When this happens, you got it, we lose weight!
Start Somewhere — eat a low-carbohydrate meal and check your blood sugar. It will be low, especially if you took your medicine before the meal. It might fall dangerously low. Prepare yourself for the next meal: Less medicine, same type of meal. In a week’s time you will see that you will no longer need any medicine to keep a low blood sugar. And because you are not taking medication, the blood sugar will NOT fall dangerously low, ever!
“Am I a Diabetic?”
It’s hard to tell without measuring, but you can get a blood test kit very reasonably from any pharmacy. Check your morning blood sugar before you eat or drink anything. It should be below 100. If it’s above that, then this page is for you!
“What should I avoid Eating?”
The keto diet specifies that our nutrients should come largely from fats and proteins. What makes us fat and unhealthy are the carbohydrates and sugars. Almost everything else is allowed. Do a google search for Keto Diet, and investigate this amazing diet.
A small summary of what to avoid…
%100 Natural Honey: It’s natural but it’s sugar.
No Sugars Added All-Natural Jams: Fruit is packed with sugar, so no sugar added does not mean much.
Pastries, cakes, etc: Anything made with wheat flour is out.
Rice, Bulgur, Pasta: All harmful.
Potatoes: Very starchy therefore full of carbohydrates. Try cauliflower instead.
%100 whole-wheat, gluten-free: All the same; full of carbs.
Beans, Lentils, etc: All contain carbohydrates, better eat them in moderation.
Milk: The problem with milk is not the fat.. It’s the sugar. The more full-fat, the better. Do not drink skim or half-fat milk – they have a high sugar content. Try heavy cream on your next coffee. Cream has alot less sugar.
Don’t forget: What makes you fat and raises your blood sugar is not fat or oils, it’s the sugar.
Some of it can be tolerated in moderation: Some flour is used to thicken soups for example. That much flour may be harmless (but there are alternative thickeners, such as Agar Agar, Kinoa or Almond flour).
There are many apps that you can install on your phone to find out how many grams of carbohydrates each food contains. Try to aim for less than 30grams per day.
“But I will still be hungry!”
There are many people that feel that unless they have pasta or rice or slices of bread with their meal, they will keep feeling hungry after the meal. Actually the opposite is true: Because they are such empty calories, they get digested very fast and cause us to be hungry again very quickly!
Find a person that insists on eating bread with his/her meals. Prepare a meal with several eggs (with cheese or however they like).. Also provide various cold cuts, cheeses, walnuts, olives, tomatoes, salad material, green peppers. See if they are still hungry afterwards! Also check how long this food keeps them full: I bet they will not need to snack until the next meal!
“Won’t I be unhealthy if I do not eat carbohydrates?”
On the contrary – you will be healthier!
The only thing to watch out for is called the Keto Flu: When we first switch to a such diet, our bodies take a few weeks to transition itself to using fat for fuel. You might get some flu-like symptoms during that time: Sore throat, runny nose or dizziness. To avoid such issues, 1) make sure to drink lots of water, including sparkling water, 2) Increase your salt intake, 3) Try taking extra magnesium or potassium. Especially pickle juice is recommended — it’s tasty anyway! In about 3 weeks your symptoms will go away.
“Will I get better over time?”
Getting better, certainly. You can live a long life in good health using this diet. You can consume lots of different kinds of foods, but your pancreas may never be as good as someone who never had diabetes – the high sugar levels probably have damaged it. But if you are asking “can I eat this whole cake in one sitting?” , then don’t worry, after a few weeks, you will NOT want to eat cake anyway! If you also add some daily exercising or even a 10-minute walk to this, there is no reason why you should not live to be a hundred. Just watch out for the traffic 🙂
I wish you a healthy life.
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