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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Mark Hyman, MD, in his article in today's edition of the Huffington Post has an excellent article explaining the causes of diabetes and 8 steps to reverse it.
Mark Hyman, MD: 8 Steps to Reversing Diabesity

I don't think there is a single word in that artcle that any of us would disagree with :) [Edit: on reread, okay he does include whole grains in his diet suggestions, and "lean protein" so Shanny is right about the fat. But the supplements he lists are right on.]

Gretchen
 

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I think Dr. Hyman is on the right track, so once he's ready to embrace high fat, I'll prob'ly be willing to accord him a true thumbs up. ;)
 

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Until "they" put filters for "Reverse Diabetes" I will continue to object to the use of that term. diabetes is not reversible but controllable FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE by weight loss, diet, exercise any combo of those but it dont go away for ever..... yet (as in no cure)
 

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I read it that way at first but they actually say reverse "diabesity" they are using that to mean the cycle we get in that eventually leads to diabetes, heart disease or obesity depending on genetics.
 

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Until "they" put filters for "Reverse Diabetes" I will continue to object to the use of that term. diabetes is not reversible but controllable FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE by weight loss, diet, exercise any combo of those but it dont go away for ever..... yet (as in no cure)
I wouldn't be so dogmatic about this just yet. It really depends on what exactly diabetes really is. It is definitely not just "high blood sugar" as that is clearly just a symptom and can clearly be reversed in many cases. I can't accept a definition which says "an inability to tolerate a high-glucose diet", because that's not a disease. It's conditional. If health problems can go away by just eating a different diet - among the many sustainable diets that humans do or have eaten - then there is no issue.

From a lot of reading, I believe diabetes is this:

1) Enzymatic processes which clean up the toxins produced by the successfull metabolizing of glucose within cells begin to fail. This comes about by a diet supplying too much glucose too frequently along with a genetic predisposition to succumb to it.

2) These toxins (notably methylglyoxal) begin to accumulate within cells. This may happen at different rates in different places such as muscle, brain, nerves, liver, pancreas etc.

3) Cells become toxic. If they are beta cells, they can malfunction or die. If they are muscle or brain cells they throw up a defense mechanism against further glucose-related poisoning which we call "insulin resistance" or in the case of the brain it begins what in 30 or 40 years will be Alzheimer's or dementia.

4) This causes a general increase in oxidative stress (the real essence of diabetes) which includes increased ROS, AGEs and this is related to every single aspect of both the progression of diabetes and its complications

So, the beginning of the disease is the cells losing the ability to clean up after glucose processing. If you are an Inuit, this would simply not happen whatever your genetic predisposition because there is only the tiniest amount of glucose coming in from diet. We know their genetics are not different in this regard because as soon as they moved into cities and began eating a "civilized" diet, their rates of T2 were at least as high as ours.

So, it takes BOTH: genetic predisposition AND glucose overloading (too much and too often) to trigger this chain of events.

So which one of these is the "disease" of diabetes?

Clearly, the genetic predisposition is not the disease because we know that even individuals who would get it eating the way we do can live their whole lives without it eating a different way. Thank you, hunter-gatherers for that data point!

Next, is the breakdown of the cellular clean-up process. This in turn (barring big changes in diet) leads to the accumulation of the toxins which leads to the oxidative stress which IS diabetes.

By drastically reducing the incoming glucose load and possibly adding to that introducing longer periods with no incoming food at all, the cells can be trained to prefer other fuels to glucose. Clearly, this will reduce the amount of toxins being created and accumulating in the cells. Evidence suggests that by giving the cleanup process a "rest" it also recovers somewhat.

So, the disease itself is oxidative stress which manifests in various way including beta cell dysfunction or death, erratic glucose-related liver function, tissue insulin resistance, neuropathy, nephropathy, etc. The CAUSE of this condition is:

1) genetic predisposition
2) glucose overload
3) breakdown of cleanup process

So, if diabetes itself IS this "oxidative stress", it stands to reason that this can be reversed at least in many cases. By drastically reducing glucose load until most cells switch to alternatives you can break the cycle which caused the OS in the first place. Additionally, over time it is likely that they clean-up process will recover somewhat.

The potential is still there if one returns to glucose overloading that the whole cycle would start again, but if this state is maintained, the oxidative stress is reduced to normal/tolerable levels, complications are reversed or never happen and there is no more disease state. Beta cells may not recover but there is no need for their former full capacity since insulin needs are a small fraction of what they were with most cells using other than glucose for energy.

Assuming all this turns out to be true, I'm perfectly happy calling that "reversing" the disease process which is diabetes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
~~~ Salim ~~~

Is your "oxidative stress" the same thing as inflammation? A term I hear used a lot, but never quite adequately explained. But which I believe is related to metabolic syndrome and heart disease and many other disease processes. We keep treating symptoms instead of causes. That is why I try to include a lot of known anti-inflammatory agents in my diet, such as turmeric, curry, and green tea.

I also have the understanding that the genes that predispose us to diabetes, are the very genes that enabled our ancestors to survive periods of famine, because they were more efficient at storing up fat. (sigh)

All I know for sure is that, until my mid-30's I was skinny and could eat anything without gaining weight, and then that changed. I started gaining weight and I didn't think I was eating more than I ever had been. But later on, as the weight gained, I seemed to crave potatoes and breads (previously ate very little bread), and the cycle was on, more carbs, more cravings, more fat. I knew something was wrong because if I ate something too sugary early in the day it would literally knock me out. So I saved sweets to the end of the day. And of course I became less active as I got heavier and more carb laden. I had a full time job for 4 years where I was on my feet and moving all day long, and did not lose a pound in all that time. (Sorry, I digressed here).

And do you think anti-oxidants help in slowing or hindering the oxidation process? I had been taking them for years to improve immunity. Dr. Bernstein warns though that anti-oxidants can cause cancer cells to multiply (something I had not read or heard before).

I found your description of the disease process of Diabetes very interesting.
Gretchen
 

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~~~ Salim ~~~

Is your "oxidative stress" the same thing as inflammation? A term I hear used a lot, but never quite adequately explained. But which I believe is related to metabolic syndrome and heart disease and many other disease processes. We keep treating symptoms instead of causes. That is why I try to include a lot of known anti-inflammatory agents in my diet, such as turmeric, curry, and green tea.

I also have the understanding that the genes that predispose us to diabetes, are the very genes that enabled our ancestors to survive periods of famine, because they were more efficient at storing up fat. (sigh)

All I know for sure is that, until my mid-30's I was skinny and could eat anything without gaining weight, and then that changed. I started gaining weight and I didn't think I was eating more than I ever had been. But later on, as the weight gained, I seemed to crave potatoes and breads (previously ate very little bread), and the cycle was on, more carbs, more cravings, more fat. I knew something was wrong because if I ate something too sugary early in the day it would literally knock me out. So I saved sweets to the end of the day. And of course I became less active as I got heavier and more carb laden. I had a full time job for 4 years where I was on my feet and moving all day long, and did not lose a pound in all that time. (Sorry, I digressed here).

And do you think anti-oxidants help in slowing or hindering the oxidation process? I had been taking them for years to improve immunity. Dr. Bernstein warns though that anti-oxidants can cause cancer cells to multiply (something I had not read or heard before).

I found your description of the disease process of Diabetes very interesting.
Gretchen
I think "inflammation" may be a bit of a catch-all for various conditions where they don't now what else to call it. But yes, they are either the same or closely related to "oxidative stress" which I think is a more specific and better-defined term.

Anti-oxidants despite the huge faddishness which tends to put me off may indeed be beneficial, I don't know. What makes more sense to me, however, is attempting to reduce inflammation/OS at the SOURCE by identifying causes - especially dietary causes which are so easy to modify - and addressing it there.

I recently stopped all vitamin C - which I took on and off mostly on for most of my life - after reading that it can aggravate arthritis symptoms which I now have in one knee.

In general, I try to always move to food over supplements.
 

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I've never heard that about Vitamin C and have petty severe arthritis of both types in my spine and would love to know more about it since I have been taking a lot of it for years. Can you tell us more bout that?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm convinced that Vitamin C is very helpful in limiting the duration of a cold or flu during the winter, so I do take it in the form of "Immune Defense" or "EmergenC" when I feel like I am coming down with a cold, but other than that I just take the normal amount contained in my multi-vitamin.

I was non-plussed to read this in Dr. Bernstein's book --
"Dietary vitamin C is important to good health. In doses above 500 mg/day, however, vitamin C supplements can destroy the enzymes on blood sugar test strips and can also raise blood sugars. Finally, in levels higher than about 400 mg/day, vitamin C becomes an oxidant rather than an antioxidant and can cause neuropathies. If you are already taking supplemental Vitamin C, I urge you to taper it off or lower your dose to no more than 250 mg daily. Use only the time-released form." ["Diabetes Solution", p. 69]

~ Gretchen ~
 
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I am mostly not a fan of words like reverse or cure because when first diagnosed I was told that I could "reverse" my diabetes by losing weight. When I heard that I thought that I didn't really have diabetes and that it was all just temporary and that one day I would be able to go back to the way things were and not worry.

It took me quite a while to shake that mindset and accept that yes I had diabetes and no it was not going to be something that I had didn't have to actively control.
 

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I'm convinced that Vitamin C is very helpful in limiting the duration of a cold or flu during the winter, so I do take it in the form of "Immune Defense" or "EmergenC" when I feel like I am coming down with a cold, but other than that I just take the normal amount contained in my multi-vitamin.

I was non-plussed to read this in Dr. Bernstein's book --
"Dietary vitamin C is important to good health. In doses above 500 mg/day, however, vitamin C supplements can destroy the enzymes on blood sugar test strips and can also raise blood sugars. Finally, in levels higher than about 400 mg/day, vitamin C becomes an oxidant rather than an antioxidant and can cause neuropathies. If you are already taking supplemental Vitamin C, I urge you to taper it off or lower your dose to no more than 250 mg daily. Use only the time-released form." ["Diabetes Solution", p. 69]

~ Gretchen ~
Yes. I remember 45 years ago or so when my mother amazed her dentist by taking consistent vitamin C until her gums completely recovered. The standard dose back then was 125 mg. 500mg was the largest sold and considered a mega-dose for a whole day. That was probably more enlightened than what we do today. Is it really reasonable to think we "need" the equivalent of TEN oranges (1000mg) once or twice a day?
 
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