Repair Your Metabolism For a Better Life.

Insulin Resistance, Diabetes, and the Metabolic Vicious Cycle

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So many families are dealing with diabetes these days, you could be tricked into thinking it’s a normal condition. TV commercials with little girls showing off glucose testing monitors in new fun colors—to match their cell phones—suggest that diabetes is now so treatable that it’s nothing to be concerned about. But diabetes is serious problem, and can lead to some scary complications down the road. What is more, it’s a sure sign that there are other related metabolic issues that need to be addressed.

What Is Diabetes

Diabetes is a condition in which a person’s blood sugar levels are too high. There are two types of diabetes, 1 & 2, and most people have type 2. I’ll be focusing on type 2.

People get diabetes mainly because of poor eating habits. Years of consuming processed foods, snack foods, soda, juice, and other low-nutrient high-calorie edibles can damage a person’s metabolism so that hormones don’t work properly. One of the hormones that doesn’t work right is insulin. Before people are diagnosed with diabetes they may be diagnosed with insulin resistance, and all diabetics are resistant to insulin. What does that mean?

Insulin helps the cells in your body suck the sugar they need to produce energy right out of the bloodstream. You can imaging that cells have little straws they put on the surface and some of those straws select glucose from the bloodstream as it floats by, and slurps it right into the cell.

When you have insulin resistance, your cells don’t have enough straws, and they can’t slurp up sugar very fast. This makes people tired, especially a few hours after eating when their sugar levels drop. Some people interpret this feeling as hunger, and go find something to eat—usually something sweet—which puts them on the fast track to gaining more weight, and making the problem worse. People with insulin resistance have slightly elevated fasting blood sugar levels. (90 mg/dl or higher)

Eventually, the body “learns” that it needs to keep blood sugar levels higher, so that there’s more sugar in the bloodstream. With more sugar floating around, it’s easier for hungry cells to slurp it up. But sugar damages cell surfaces too, by a process called Advanced Glycation End-Product (or AGE for short) formation. AGEs make the cell membranes stiff and that means cells have a harder time poking their little straws through the surface. And when the cells put out fewer and fewer straws, the sugar levels go up higher and higher. This is a vicious cycle that takes a person from from insulin resistance all the way to to diabetes.

How To Get Rid Of Your Diabetes

If you cut your carbs down to less than 100gm a day, the equivalent of 3 slices of bread, and eat fresh, healthy foods instead of processed foods as well as plenty of foods containing healthy, saturated fat, you can break the vicious cycle once and for all and get started on the path back to good health. It’s only natural.

For more information on healthy eating, click on Learn About Nutrition in the sidebar.
And if you really want to be an expert, you can buy my book!

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About Author

Dr. Cate

With over two decades of clinical experience and expertise in genetic and biochemical research, Dr. Cate can help you to reverse metabolic disease and reshape your body.

  • Mechelle Meixner

    I am a 45 year old mom who has eaten at least below 30grams carbs/day for the last 8 months. For last 3 months, in addition, I eat under 80 grams of protein/day. Deep Nutrition inspired me to learn how to render my own lard (from range, not grain fed, pigs), eat fermented foods (Bubbies and some I make myself), eat more organ meats (from range animals), make my own bone broth, supplement wisely, and etc… I am no longer hypoglycemic, no longer anemic, my blood pressure is no longer elevated, and my HDL is 83 (and all other lipids are exceptionally good). However, my A1c is still high (5.9), and my multiple daily reading of glucose inform me that my fasting level is almost always between 105 and 122. In addition, if I go for more than about 2 hours without eating, then my blood glucose goes into the 120s, and my breath is really awful. If I eat small, fatty meals every 2 hours or so, then it stays in the 70s and 80s, and my breath stays fine. In addition, I have not been able to lose any weight, and I need to lose 30 pounds to be at my normal weight. I never want to eat because I am so full of energy and enthusiasm to stay busy on other things (for these last 8 months) that food is not really too appealing. In addition, I feel satisfied, not hungry, and so I have to make myself eat something. This is especially weird considering that 8 months ago I used to constantly think about brownies and cookies and try to avoid eating them. Now, they don’t tempt me, and when I eat a bite of one because it is a homemade gift from a friend, it always tastes a bit sandpapery and clawingly sweet (and I don’t make myself eat it). When I do eat, my high-quality food does taste very delicious to me. One more thing, I am using a blood meter to check my ketosis levels. In the morning I consistently start out at .3 or .5, and by late afternoon I am up to 1.3. Why, on this high quality fat, moderate protein, low carb diet (and yes, I exercise moderately) am I not able to get my blood sugar down and my ketones up? HELP!

  • Mateja

    Dear dr. Cate,

    thank you for answering 🙂

    best regards,
    mateja

  • Mateja

    Thank you for raising this important point. Yes, juicing green veggies is a perfectly good way to release nutrients, including the (usually small amounts of) glucose/fructose. When the nutrition tables are created, the lab workers homogenize the raw veggies in a blender in order to analyze their contents so that when you look up how much sugar is in, say, beet greens or a carrot, that’s based on a “juiced” product anyway. In people with inefficient digestive systems, the sugar and nutrient benefits of raw veggies will be somewhat reduced.

  • Mateja

    Dear dr. Cate,

    I am just reading your book Deep nutrition and loving it. I do have one question: is it OK to JUICE green leafy vegetables and grasses?

    I am asking because of the pharagraph saying that glucose is trapped inside cellulose. As juicing breaks up the plant’s cells and cellulose, would that mean that by juicing green leafy vegetables I would actually be getting an extra dose of glucose? And if yes, is that amount of glucose big enough to counter-weight the benefits of juicing?

    Thank you.

    best regards,
    mateja

  • Jennifer

    Thank you Dr. Cate for breaking down the study and it’s claims for me as you have a great way of explaining things. I knew you could make sense of it for me.

  • This is an association study, which is the same kind of study Ancel Keys used to convince trusting physicians and millions of Americans that animal fats clogged our arteries. Association (also called correlation) studies must always be interpreted with extreme caution. As Uffe Ravnskoff points out in his book The Cholesterol Myth, correlation does not imply causation and he shows graphs of the correlations between TV ownership and the rates of death from heart attack. Do TV sets cause heart attacks? Unlikely, unless you watch too many Daily Show reruns. More likely people who don’t own TVs are more active, healthier, and therefore less likely to get heart attacks and this creates a correlation without causation.

    The bovine genetics and casein subtypes in the different breeds also co-exists with numerous other differences. We know the Holsteins are the breed of choice for industrial farmers because they produce more milk, though of lower quality, and these animals tend to be grain fed rather than grass fed and raised in deplorabile conditions, injected with hormones, and on and on.

    A more likely causative explanation is the fact that A1 casein types are consumed primarily by Americans and A2 primarily by people living in countries with lower rates of autism.

    I also did look at the genetics, and the difference results in a casein protein that is nearly identical except for a shift in a single amino acid, if memory serves, which is probably a natural variation. Goat milk protein differs by more than a single amino acid, soit seems to me it makes little intuitive sense to start blaming this kind of natural variation for an epidemic.

    And a final point: If A1 were the cause of autism/diabetes and not just an association, then nobody in the countries where they drink milk from the A2 cows would have autism/diabetes.

    Sound reasonable?

  • Jennifer

    Hi Dr.Cate,

    I found a link (http://thebovine.wordpress.com/2008/10/06/beta-casein-a1-and-a2-in-milk-health/) describing A1 beta-casein and A2 beta-casein that is now linking the A1 casien causing type 1 diabetes in children along with autism and heart disease. The study is basically saying that heritage bovine breeds like the ones they have in India, France, Japan ect. don’t carry the A1 gene like the cows we have here in America and because human milk is of the A2 protien type that’s the type of protien in milk we should be getting. Thus they recommend A2 milk protien like goat and sheep’s milk. I would love to get your take on this study as you do a great job at weeding out the faulty studies! Thank so much!

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