In Part I of the Diabesity article, I discussed the tragic consequences to our health caused by excess carbohydrate consumption in our modern diet. It is reasonable to blame high cholesterol levels on cholesterol, and low thyroid levels on the thyroid. However, these problems need to be addressed at their cause, which we know is dysglycemia, in most cases. Dysglycemia is a blood sugar regulation issue that leads to disease. If we can correct the dysglycemia, then we can also have a positive effect on the organs and hormones it affects.
Signs and symptoms of blood sugar dysregulation can be as severe as Type II diabetes, or any of the following:
- Fatigue (especially around 2-3pm)
- Pain and body aches
- Nerve pain
- Muscle fatigue
- Cravings (salt or sugar)
- Abdominal weight gain
- Strong hunger signs (irritability, light-headed)
- Bloating or indigestion
- Anxiety or mood swings
- Foggy-headed, cognitive problems
- Poor concentration
- Headaches and/or migraines
- Thyroid dysfunction
- Hemoglobin A1C (HgA1c) over 5.4%
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome
- Increased blood triglycerides/cholesterol
If you are anything like me, you may remember a time when you lived on coffee, you didn’t sleep very much, you were stressed, your neck was always stiff and tight, you popped ibuprophen regularly, and you thought this was just how life was supposed to be. I feel like a completely different person and I am so much happier after learning about nutrition and taking charge of my own health. We have control of our future. I want to help you get back to feeling younger, healthier, and not being a statistic of early death by preventable diseases.
In Part 1 I described the negative effects of the carbohydrate-loaded North American diet, characterized by too much sugar and white flour and lacking essential nutrients. Here are the STEPS to stopping the vicious cycle of eating that is keeping us sick and miserable.
- Keep a food diary for 1 week. Include times and please include everything that you eat or drink. There is no judgment at all. No one is perfect. The more honest you are, the better we can help see what might not be serving you. We will be looking for a set of nutrients that you may be lacking, affecting your health goals.
- Complete a 10-Day Blood Sugar Support Program to support a well-functioning blood sugar metabolism. This is a great way to retrain your taste buds and jump start your body’s recovery by lowering your glucose and insulin. The whole food supplements and herbs help suppress sugar cravings. You will also receive a booklet of further food recommendations, a supplement schedule, and a daily journal.
- Adopt a low carb, high fat and protein diet. If you chose a keto diet, limit it to 1-3 months, unless instructed otherwise by your healthcare provider. A Paleo diet begins with a good foundation to reducing carbohydrate intake due to the elimination of grains. It is important to keep in mind that a Gluten-free diet does not mean it is a low carbohydrate diet. There are still a lot of carbs in many gluten-free options.
- Take out the “obvious” carbs: Crackers, cookies, chips, candy, baked goods, soda, sports/energy drinks, sweetened beverages, high fructose corn syrup, fruit juice. Acceptable sweeteners are Xylitol (if tolerated okay), Stevia, or Monk Fruit.
- Find and decrease the “sneaky” carbs: Fruit juice, beans, alcohol, whole grains, corn, oats, alternative grains (quinoa, buckwheat), all types of potatoes, agave, and fruit. Fruit intake should not exceed 1-2 pieces a day.
- Healthy fats are key. They provide satiation, help with sugar regulation, provide a sustained energy source, and enhance cognitive function. Coconut and avocado are great examples.
- Eat regularly. Eat every 2 ½ – 3 hours. Do not skip meals or eat at different times each day. Don’t eat on the go or when rushed. Do not allow yourself to get hungry.
- Exercise. Interval training and slow burn resistance training.
NOTE: Key foods to balance blood sugar – Swiss chard, cucumber, okra, cinnamon (add to shakes).
- After the 10-Day program, begin taking the Standard Process whole food supplement regimen we can prescribe for you daily for 3-6 months. Dairy-free and gluten-free options. There are two program options to choose from:
- ADVANCED program: The “gold” standard for proper supplementation.
- BASIC program: This is ideal for those looking for a more affordable option by omitting some of the supplements from the Advanced program.
Worried about sugar cravings? Don’t worry – the whole food supplements and herbs in this program help reduce cravings while helping your body reset how it processes carbohydrates and keep you on track!
- There are approximately 80,000 chemicals used in the US. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that we have hundreds of chemicals present in our bodies. Once or twice a year, particularly spring and fall, are great times to do a 21-Day Purification Program to enhance our detoxifying organs to assist cleansing our body. I recommend the well-known and trusted Standard Process program. Please feel free to contact me for more information.
- How do I know if I need the 21-Day Purification Program? If you have any of these signs or symptoms, the program can help:
- Stuffy head
- Fatigue or difficulty sleeping
- Indigestion and other temporary gastrointestinal upset
- Food cravings and weight gain
- Reduced mental clarity
- Low libido
- Skin that’s not looking its best
- Joint discomfort
STEP 6 (optional):
- If your Hemoglobin A1c, a diabetes diagnostic marker, was elevated, please re-test every 3 months to monitor progress.
This may sound overwhelming, but it is important to start somewhere. Perhaps give yourself a goal each week to adjust your current way of eating and habits. If you’re interested in starting this program and reversing the damage of our modern diet, you can book a consultation to find out more. We don’t have to be another statistic!
Please discuss with your healthcare provider before starting any major diet change or supplementation regimen, particularly if you have an existing disease diagnosis.
Erin West is a Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine and licensed acupuncturist in Gilbert, Arizona specializing in pain and infertility. She loves sharing her passion for natural approaches to health through her online articles and at her clinic, Emend Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, at America’s Health Center on South Val Vista Drive. Call for an appointment at 480-788-1757.
American Diabetes Association. Statistics about Diabetes in US. www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/statistics
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2014/p0501-preventable-deaths.html.
National Research Council (US).
Centers for Disease control and Prevention. Fourth National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals. Atlanta, 2009.
Resources for more information:
Book: The Blood Sugar Solution by Dr. Mark Hyman
Book: The Case Against Sugar by Gary Taubman
Book: Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubman
Article: Is Sugar Toxic, What If It’s All Been A Big Fat Lie: Big Sugar’s Sweet Little Lies by Gary Taubes
Article: Sugar Industry Lies About Fat and Heart Disease by Paula Widish
Article: 124 Ways Sugar Ruins Your Health by Dr. Nancy Appleton
Video: Sugar, the Bitter Truth by Dr. Robert Lustig