My Notes From the Diabetes Summit
Suzy Cohen RPH
We are not being given the whole truth about what’s on our plate, you see wheat flour is processed in mills to make it white because Americans like white. That process uses a chlorine gas bath and other chemicals including benzoyl peroxide, all these chemicals come into play to make flour white what we call all purpose flour. It spawns this chemical called alloxan, alloxan is used by scientists to induce diabetes in animals so they can test drugs. Alloxan is so potent at destroying beta cells, a specialized group of cells in our pancreas that make insulin, it’s so good at destroying your beta cells to induce diabetes and I’m saying that it’s in white flour products and were eating it everyday. We are looking around going why is there such an epidemic of diabetes, look down at your plate if your eating some white flour food it’s going to be a problem. What is the answer, I’m not really sure because if you go to wheat flour and you have gluten issues you have another problem on your hands so a lot of people now are saying to just avoid grains altogether.
In my book Drug Muggers I list a whole page of pharmaceutical drugs that cause diabetes and at the top of the list is Abilify which is used for emotional disorders, depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. It’s the number one top selling, sale generating, money producing drug in America. It’s not just psychiatric drugs, statins can effect blood sugar in a bad way I was one of the first practitioners to blow the whistle on statin drugs. They cause what is called statin induced hypoglycemia which can be mistaken for diabetes. This was confirmed again in a study published in the American Journal of Cardiology so all cardiologists should be aware of this in was in November 2014. It concluded that statins will increase your risk and incidence in type 2 diabetes in patients with clinically manifest vascular disease, basically you might have to have a little predisposition.
Other frequent offenders include beta blockers and Thiazide diuretics, Hydrochlorothiazide these drugs are known to rid the body of extra fluid to lower blood pressure so their used for heart failure and hypertension. These diuretics can also increase your risk for insulin resistance you compound those drugs along with genetics and you have a problem on your hands. We just found out that the PON1 gene which stands for paraoxonase, one can increase the risk for type 2 diabetes, also a methylation problem with MTHFR enzyme. Those will also predispose someone to get diabetes so far as the methylation goes, in part the lack of B12 doesn’t allow you to conduct proper methylation and in a nutshell that means you can’t detoxify well. If you have low B12 you have a higher risk of diabetes. One of the most popular drugs in the entire world called Metformin is a drug mugger of B12 so if you are taking Metformin and you have a methylation problem it’s a slam dunk for a B12 deficiency and higher problems and complications associated with diabetes along with everything that goes along with B12, neuropathy, confusion, dementia, pain, all of that.
People on a water pill should also be aware that the goal of that is to reduce fluid in your body, along with fluids go some minerals depending on which diuretic and that can cause electrical problems in the system. Your heart runs on minerals you need proper levels of potassium and magnesium. Your thyroid needs proper levels of selenium and zinc, your body runs on minerals it can’t transmit signals without them. Certain water pills are drug muggers, they cause a nutrient depletion in minerals and this can cause a cascade of problems from head to toe. Another class of drugs that deplete minerals on a wide scale are the acid blockers and their sold over the counter.
Mineral deficiencies when you run out of zinc you have a higher risk for infections and prostate problems, when you run out of magnesium you have a higher risk for muscle pain and mood disorders. When you run out of selenium your thyroid antibodies can go up plus you can experience low thyroid disease, it can hinder activation of T4 to T3. If you run out of potassium you will have cardiac problems galore it could stop the heart, there is a whole cascade people don’t realize when they take a medication. As a pharmacist for twenty five years I can tell you people come to the pharmacy and think this medication has been sanctioned by the FDA, It’s FDA approved therefore it is fabulous for you. No it just means it passed some rigorous testing and been shown to effect a biomarker and therefore it’s allowed to be sold. Does that mean it’s good for you, no and if have certain genes you can’t process or break down the drug into healthy metabolites it’s going to build up in your system and can cause other problems that can appear months later. More than that the drug mugger effect that is the biggest rip off in the world, I mean rip off to your body your taking a drug for one thing your taking birth control to prevent pregnancy you don’t even realize that drug can make you hypothyroid and depressed within four months, it’s because the drug is stealing nutrients. I’m not saying not to take your medicine, I’m saying marry your medicine with the right nutrients and then it’s ok.
Grapefruit contains an ingredient Naringin or Naringenin and this can spike levels of certain medications and metabolites and it causes the drug to build up in the system particularly famous for effecting is statin cholesterol drugs which is another top selling drug and it could spike levels. I love grapefruit and feel it’s been given a bad rap because people who have associated it with bad, here’s the bad part intermittent sporadic intake of it that’s bad here you are you’re taking it and everything is moving along just fine and after a few months you decide your going to have a grapefruit for breakfast boom that’s the problem. If you eat a half a grapefruit everyday your doctor will adjust your dose or choose a drug that is helpful for you and doesn’t interact because it only goes through certain enzymes in the liver, as for effecting hormones it depends which one, yes it can. Grapefruit is healthy for you and it does have a positive effect it can effect thermogenesis the problem is the sporadic intake.
I feel that people with diabetes have undiagnosed thyroid disease and I think that’s because some doctors are looking at older parameters, older normal limits. If they were tested properly with the right parameters they would see that their diabetes patient did have bonafide thyroid disease. How do you know you have it even though your labs look good, one of the easiest ways is your cold, your the coldest person in the room. Another problem in people with hypothyroidism is they lose the outer edges of their eyebrows or their hair starts falling out. Also mood problems such as anxiety or depression, maybe not even classic depression it could just be melancholy, fatigue would also top the list your tired all the time those are signs and symptoms of thyroid disease. Ways to treat it naturally and the proper medications is in my book Thyroid Healthy, people aren’t being diagnosed with thyroid disease and they go on to get diabetes and I feel it’s preventable. If they had checked for thyroid, fixed that and optimized that they probably would not have gone down the fast track to metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, pre-diabetes, diabetes and all of that. What we do know in terms of medication we know that metformin has a buffering effect on TSH, it will raise your TSH and so your TSH goes up in response to lower thyroid. If there is a connection to metformin causing hypothyroidism no, I’m not saying that it does I am saying it can raise it. Your doctor will look at that and try to see what to do that was seen in a study journal called hormone. With TSH I don’t care what the level is with that and I don’t care if you ever measure it again because people get confused they get the test and think it’s the be all end all for thyroid disease and it’s not. It reflects brain levels, brain hormone and your brain is never going to start. I think measuring T3 and total T4 and reverse T3 is much better and other parameters than just the TSH. It’s unfortunate most patients are diagnosed according to their TSH, that’s a problem.
Fat metabolism is a big one your thyroid gland is your fat burning switch, when your thyroid gland is not working well and/or the thyroid gland is not activated your going to hold onto weight. That’s a complication of diabetes they go hand in hand, in my world diabetes does not begin when your blood sugar rises above normal it begins five to ten years earlier if not longer. The problem begins with high insulin not high blood sugar. You can look at someone and tell they have diabetes or pre-diabetes and if you ask them what their blood sugar is like they say I’m fine I don’t have diabetes and yet they have the signs and symptoms neuropathy, overweight, fatigued, kidney problems, thirsty, dry skin, they have a lot of symptoms. Their overlooked because their insulin isn’t checked, serum insulin would be at the very top of the list, higher insulin is normal after eating you need it to do this it’s trying to push insulin into the cell that’s where you want it and then it goes down after a few hours but in some people insulin stays high for a long time. It is pro-inflammatory I would have your blood insulin tested every time you have your blood glucose testing. The optimal range is 5-10 above 10 your risk for diabetes goes up, above 25 it’s a slam dunk for diabetes. You could do a ratio, you want a ratio of glucose to insulin to be greater than 10:1, I like the ratio better than the individual numbers.
With natural choices for diabetes before you self treat you need to understand that these things will lower your blood sugar and if you take them with your medication you could have a problem because your blood sugar could drop through the floor. You need to take this very cautiously and I don’t recommend self treatment I recommend your with a doctor that can monitor and alter your medication dose. With that in mind I would say R-lipoic acid, A-lipoic is fine but I like R better, it can not only lower blood sugar but can also sooth nerve pain. Berberine lowers blood sugar and it also has a microbial effect against bacteria, protozoa, worms, parasites, this prevents these bugs from latching on to human cells. It’s important to a diabetic because infections are so prominent you don’t want to get gangrene or wound infections that are slow to heal.
Resveratrol has anti cancer effects and also reduces blood sugar, people love resveratrol, I think they think they can drink red wine and get it but you have to drink ten bottles of wine to get a good amount of it. Supplementing with it is good but don’t with too high of a dose resveratrol is a drug mugger of copper and you don’t want to run out of copper. Low dose of 50-100ml a day is probably a good dose, again ask your doctor. Magnesium is good for mood and also reduces the risk for diabetes, there was a study that looked at 4,500 people over twenty years. Next vitamin D it’s good for immunity, protects the heart and can also help with insulin resistance and the last is curcumin it dampens down pro-inflammatory cytokines. I believe diabetes is an inflammatory process not a disease of high blood sugar it’s a disease where your body is on fire, curcumin kind of puts the fire out on that. For painful neuropathy in the hands and feet I would go with lipoic acid, for constipation take some good probiotics they have a modulating effect on the immune system and they also normalize the gut microbiome and when you do that your less likely for diarrhea as well as constipation.
Derivatives of stevia which is a natural sweetener and it goes by all different names depending what derivative they use, I would say there is very little to worry about in terms of a true allergy to stevia and a gut problem associated with it. Stevia is very good for you, now the derivatives I have concerns about some of those because they go through some heavy refining. True stevia comes from the ragweed family that includes chrysanthemum and Echinacea so if you have allergies to those, I mean severe allergies, then I would stay away from stevia and it’s derivatives.
For eye health bilberry is good, bitter melon is a great way to lower blood sugar and also to train your palate to eat more bitter. We like sweet and salt this is a problem that could lead to diabetes and hypertension we need to retrain our palate to eat more bitters. For chronic infections curcumin, for a gut infection I would go with vitamin D and probiotics because vitamin D has some benefits to the gut, leaky gut and zonulin and it has immune boosting effects and it helps us incorporate calcium into our system. I just think vitamin D is very powerful. You can do some palatable things, you can drink marshmallow tea or extract, slippery elm lozenges can be helpful. DGL probiotics and aloe vera can be helpful for gut infections in general also calendula tea.
For skin health I would have to go with zinc and also for heart palpitations and arrhythmias I would go with taurine, it’s very common with people with diabetes. I would go with taurine because it’s the number one amino acid in your heart so you really need that. Skin infections if you have a bed sore or a toe or foot that’s going because of infection or gangrene I first recommend physician intervention is useful but there is some anecdotal evidence about myrrh. Myrrh can be used for very mild cases of gangrene in a compress or a poultice, you can look this up on the internet to find out how to do that. It’s a natural antimicrobial it’s powerful, in ancient times soldiers used to ride their horses into war and they were carrying myrrh in case of terrible wounds so it does have some superb benefits to the skin.
I absolutely believe there are a group of people with diabetes but not all can do it without drugs that’s why I wrote the book Diabetes Without Drugs. You can see in the comments on Amazon all of the people who get off their meds even type 2 diabetics were able to get off insulin that they had begun. Do I believe that medicines are bad no, I think their fine short term but I don’t think lowering your blood sugars is the cure for diabetes you have to put the fire out. You have to reduce pro-inflammatory cytokines and that’s because diabetes is an inflammatory process it’s not a disease of high blood sugar. You need to take a look in your medicine cabinet some drugs lead to hyperglycemia which gets diagnosed as diabetes, classic example of that is statins they work in the liver to reduce your livers production of cholesterol that’s their job. When you eat meals that are high in starches and sugar your liver stores that as glycogen and when your taking a statin cholesterol drug it’s like a signal to your cell hey stop making cholesterol the liver doesn’t know what to do it starts pushing sugar out into the bloodstream which is not where you want it that causes high blood glucose. These drugs lead to hyperglycemia and you’ll get diagnosed as having diabetes going down that road with all the complications. If you can get away with statins as I think most people can that would be good for you. I’m not saying ditch your drugs I am saying to consider some of the studies that are out there for example, one of them is about grape seed it was shown to outperform metformin in a study in 2014 in the Journal of Cell Communication and Signaling. Grape seed extract was better at correcting blood sugar and insulin mechanisms than metformin, the take home point is grape seed would be very beneficial to you. Then add the herbs we talked about those herbs can be very powerful and powerful enough to help you either reduce your medications or get off them altogether, that’s between you and your doctor but do consider them.
Optimizing your thyroid can help prevent you from going down the diabetes track in my world, there isn’t a direct study on that but there are plenty of studies on optimizing thyroid function can help with their parameters we have been talking about. Optimizing thyroid would be number one on the list I would say ask your doctor even if your blood tests don’t show it, if you have the symptoms say you want a trial. Try some Armour Thyroid or Nature Thyroid that would be useful. I don’t think trying levothyroxine would be useful that’s a pure T4 drug and I think in this case with all of these symptoms and your body being on fire I don’t think your body is going to be able to activate that T4 to T3. I think a T4/T3 combination would be better or a pure T3 which you can get as cytomel (brand name) or you can get as a compound.
There are also some simple things you can do like breathing, there was study of fifty three patients that showed that your cortisol will go down in ten minutes of diaphragmatic breathing it reduced hemoglobin A1c over an eight week period, that’s all these people did was deep breathing for ten minutes a day for eight weeks and at the end of the study which was published in a study called hormones. Protecting the heart too there’s a brand new study published in January 2015 showed that precise which is the brand Acarbose did not have the same cardio protect as metformin and everybody’s worried about the heart.
Suzy Cohen web page suzycohen.com
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M. Scherker medical researcher.