I had a realization this morning about blood sugar after watching some alternative theories on the causes of diabetes, both type 1 and 2. Doctor Gershom Zajicek M.D. proposed an idea called the Wisdom of the Body, which is that the body acts to increase its survival and optimal function. Blood sugar is controlled by the central nervous system to properly deliver glucose throughout the body, but preferentially to the brain. Medicine sees the high blood sugar found in type 2 diabetics and compares it to the young healthy blood sugar of a non-diabetic, and proclaims foul. Bringing the blood sugar back in line is the goal; however Medicine is misguided because of its lack of understanding of the body.
The body raises the blood sugar in response to low blood sugar events that threaten the glucose supply of the brain and critical organs. The body is signaling that it needs a higher blood sugar to meet its needs. Stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline are released when the demands for energy are higher then what is currently available to meet them. These hormones overtime damage the body’s ability to oxidize glucose properly, respond to insulin, and use thyroid hormone. Type 2 diabetes is a history of low blood sugar events, then stress responses from the body, which leads to a loss of proper blood sugar oxidation.
I talk to quite a few type 2 diabetics as I travel and work with health food stores. The amount of them with a history of skipping breakfast, or going long periods of time without meals, is high. Many then enter treatment where they eat less, exercise more, and take drugs that lower their blood sugar. Is it any mystery that their blood sugar gets further and further out of control? The treatment prescribed is exactly what caused the blood sugar issues in the first place. The body then responds by pushing the blood sugar higher. No wonder the prevalence of type 2 has risen to epic proportions.
The key take away is that the body wants glucose when it raises its blood sugar. The brain is such a hungry organ, has little means of energy storage, and so needs a constant supply of glucose. The liver will store glycogen as a backup energy reserve. When that runs out, the body is forced to catabolize muscle, and other tissue to make glucose and ketones to feed the brain. This catabolism is the main cause of type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. The only way to stop, and perhaps to reverse diabetes, is to properly feed the brain and organs.
One morning, I woke up and looked at my Dexcom, which read 185. I had been restfully asleep for a while, and no doubt had low levels of liver glycogen. I decided to correct my blood sugar by giving myself a couple units of Humalog. I thought I could nod off a bit, wake up at a lower blood sugar, and be ready for breakfast. However as soon as the insulin hit my system 15 minutes later, I felt the destabilizing feeling of low blood sugar in my torso and arms. I was unable to nod off as I felt the familiar tickling of adrenaline up my spine, and a cold sweat. Looking at my dexcom, my blood sugar had fallen from 185 to 183.
A blood sugar of 183 is not low, and most doctors would call it pathological, and diagnose diabetes. But my body was actually starving for sugar. I know this because the insulin caused low blood sugar feelings, despite there being sugar available. Obviously, what was available was not enough to meet what my body demanded.
I decided to try an experiment. I had been lying in bed for about half an hour, feeling low blood sugar throughout my body. I looked at my dexcom and was still right around 180. I reached for some juice and drank about 8oz; a nice dose of sugar to the tune of about 30g. Over the next 30 minutes my blood sugar surged to around 255 where something interesting happen. Usually a blood sugar that high would not feel good, nor would I feel very good about my management as a type 1 diabetic. Oddly enough, I felt better as I lay in bed. The low feelings went away, and I felt calmer as the adrenaline subsisted. Soon after hitting 255, my blood sugar leveled out and started to come down! Soon it was 240, then 230, all the way down to 200 when I got up and ate some breakfast. I did not need nearly the amount of insulin I normally need for breakfast, and my blood sugar was in range quicker than usual afterwards.
Normally in the morning, with dawn phenomenon, I would battle my blood sugar down from 180. I would need maybe 10 units to get it down within range, and it would take an hour or more. Then I would need more insulin with breakfast and the morning insulin resistance I experience would be gone by mid-morning. This experiment was different. Instead of treating insulin resistance and a rising blood sugar with insulin (a lot of it!); I treated it as a message that my body did not have enough glucose. By giving the body what it wanted, the insulin resistance was alleviated and stress hormones lowered. I did not have a high blood sugar problem; I had a LOW blood sugar problem, despite the dexcom reading.
The cure for insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes is to never have low blood sugar! Low blood sugar is what signals the body to become hyperglycemic. The storage of fat, especially around the organs, is extra fuel for the body when it runs into acute blood sugar events. To give an analogy, if you have fresh tropical fruit year round, there is very little incentive to store food for shortages. However if you have a short growing season followed by barren winters, you must store for the lean times. Fat storage is your body getting a message that there are lean, low blood sugar times ahead that it must deal with.
Get off the hamster wheel of increasing insulin resistance and weight gain. Each new drug or therapy lowers blood sugar and offers hope for a solution which ends in disappointment. Afterwards, a “rededication” to fleeting blood sugar control using the same methods guarantees continual hope and failure. Instead of diet, exercise, and blood sugar lowering drugs, try rest, relaxation, and a constant stream of carbohydrates. Depending on your health, the reversing of the catabolized state should lead to losing weight, increased energy, and better blood sugar readings