The Sweet Life
By Dr. William H. Karl, D.C.
Do you LOVE sweet things? Wanting sweet things is only natural. Think of how many people refer to significant others as Sweetie, Sugar or Honey… But if your sweet tooth gets out of control you might end up in the clutches of the sugar demon — Diabetes! If you crave sugary foods, feel irritable or tired or have slow healing wounds, high or low blood sugar may be to blame. Like in the story of Goldilocks, your body wants your blood sugar just right!
Besides being dangerous, uncontrolled high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) and low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) increase your risk for cardiovascular and kidney diseases, neurological issues, excessive weight gain/loss, and cancer.
Our primary energy source was designed to be fats and oils, not sugar. Over 100 years ago the average consumption of sugar was 25lbs/year. Now it’s over 125lbs/year. In addition to sugar, most people consume refined grains that turn into sugar. One slice of bread equals five teaspoons of sugar; and when flour is bleached, the vitamin E becomes a chemical called, Alloxan, which destroys beta cells in the pancreas, creating type 1 diabetes.
Insulin is produced by the beta cells of the pancreas to help produce and store energy. As sugar rises in the bloodstream, insulin rises with it to keep blood sugar from going too high. Insulin was designed to work with natural foods that release energy at regular and predictable rates. Refined sugar causes us to crash due to the way it spikes insulin.
When sugar consumption is higher than the amount of insulin produced in the body can handle, a diagnosis of type 2 or type 3 diabetes is not far off. Type 1 diabetes results from a damaged pancreas which typically happens early in life but could happen anytime resulting in no insulin production. Type 1 requires artificially introduced insulin. Type 2 may also need supplemental insulin because the pancreas has a lower insulin output than required to function properly. Type 3 occurs when excess sugar levels affect the brain starving the cells for energy such as in Parkinson’s, dementia/Alzheimer’s disease, and ALS.
Normal blood sugar numbers vary depending on the source. According to Medicine.net, normal fasting range is 72-99mg/dl – up to 140mg/ dl about 2 hours after eating. A well-controlled diabetic patient will be under 100mg/dl fasting and up to 180mg/dl 2 hours after eating.
When blood sugar goes too low, the most dangerous symptoms include fainting, seizure or coma. Other symptoms include unusual hunger, sweating, shaking, anxiety, blurred vision, headache, light-headedness, pale skin, sleepiness, difficulty concentrating and increased heart rate. Very high blood sugar may be exhibited by excessive thirst and hunger, frequent urination, irritability, blurry vision, fatigue, weakness, weight loss (usually type 1), slow healing, and most importantly, blood vessels that constrict quickly causing vascular diseases. Symptoms are best sorted out by your healthcare provider, NOT Google. Many things have similar symptoms. Trying to fix something as important as diabetes without professional help would be like trying to fix a nuclear reactor by watching a U-tube.
A variety of tests are used to determine blood sugar, some better than others. There are “moment in time” tests which include the glucose meter self-test and the series of fasting tests followed by blood draws. The latest and generally most accurate test is the A1C test. A moment in time tests can’t tell you if sugar is going up or down; it’s like a picture of a ball in the air. It only tells where it’s at dr karalthat moment. This is important if you’re taking insulin and need to calculate how much you need. It’s not diagnostic. A1C tells us the average over 120 days. This test is most important to non-diagnosed diabetics and pre-diabetics so they can change their evil ways before it’s too late!
Without diabetes, a normal A1C range is 4 to 5.8 and 5.7 to 6.4 indicates pre-diabetes. 6.5 or higher indicates diabetes. The recommended level for people with diabetes is below 7 percent. Different labs may have different ranges, and numbers are not linear; they are logarithmic.
According to the CDC, 30.3 million people (approximately 9.4 percent of the U.S. population) have diabetes. CDC data also suggests that 7.2 million people don’t realize they have diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is the most common.
Excess sugar in your blood irritates your cells to the point they become insulin resistant. Insulin is like a key that opens the cell to put sugar in. Excess sugar is dangerous so cells try to protect themselves by locking the damaging excess sugar out. This can literally starve cells to death as in the case of dementia and/or Alzheimer’s disease.
Dr. Joel Fuhrman, the author of The End of Diabetes, says that even type 2 diabetes can be reversed. With type 2 and 3 diabetes, lifestyle changes typically involve daily physical exercise, high-quality sleep, healthy foods (supplemented with essential vitamins and minerals as indicated by the body) and stress management.
Fluctuations in blood sugar that eventually start damaging the body often begin with excessive consumption of refined sugars, high fructose corn syrup and grains and/or fruits that are high in fructose and/or are high glycemic also high estrogen levels. This doesn’t mean we can’t eat fruit. Berries and tropical fruits are healthy and low glycemic.
The complementary use of herbs to help reduce dependency on drugs/chemicals that force the body to comply isn’t a new concept. However, recent studies showing the efficacy of this practice is finally helping it become integrated into mainstream medicine. Chemicals/drugs address symptoms but not the problem. Feeding your body with proper foods supports it; drugs and chemicals weaken it.
A specific form of Black Cumin Seed was used in studies with Metformin but many other herbs/foods help with blood sugar, such as Bitter Melon, Cinnamon, Inositol, and Fenugreek.
Sugar is like a pretty, colorful snake that’s deadly. Don’t let it entice you and take you down the yellow brick road to diabetes. No one wants to be the Tin Man without a brain!
Dr. William H. Karl, D.C., is a Brimhall Certified Wellness Doctor with 40 years of experience helping people obtain optimal health. Dr. Jacob H. Karl, D.C specializes in Applied Kinesiology and Nutrition. Call for a FREE CONSULTATION with one of the doctors. Visit: www.KarlWellnessCenter.com or call 734-425-8220 for more information.