By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness
July 31, 2013
- Is diabetes really “just a sugar disease?”
- This is your brain on diabetes
- The one-two punch to reverse this vicious cycle
Type 2 diabetes is a problem that really worries me. Almost 26 million people in the U.S. have this disease. Another 79 million people are pre-diabetic. That’s more than one out of every three people!
This is a horrible epidemic. But many people still don’t understand diabetes isn’t “just a sugar disease.”
It’s a metabolic disorder that has far-reaching consequences when it comes to the quality of your life, your health and even your life-span.
For example, did you know diabetics have a two to four times higher risk of heart disease, stroke and cardiovascular-related deaths than non-diabetics?
This link is so solid that these days two out of every three diabetics will die from heart attack or stroke.
Or how about this…
Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in the U.S. It’s also the leading cause of kidney failure. It increases your risk of several types of cancer, causes erectile dysfunction, damages your nervous system and is responsible for a huge number of limb amputations.
These are some scary – and very deadly – facts. And it’s definitely a wake up call to anyone who has diabetes, is pre-diabetic or has metabolic syndrome.
But there’s one more risk you should know about…
When people think of diabetes, they automatically think of skyrocketing blood sugar levels. But there’s another side of the equation you probably don’t hear nearly enough about.
It’s when your glucose levels drop too low. This is called hypoglycemia.
And it’s a common occurrence in diabetics, especially if they skip meals. It’s also common in diabetic patients who are taking insulin or sulfonylureas, like glyburide and glipizide.
When your blood sugar plummets it can make you feel weak, dizzy, drowsy, confused and disoriented. If it drops too low, you might even lose consciousness.
All of this in itself is a huge health concern. And unfortunately, it may also be a sign of things to come.
You see, new research shows diabetics who have hypoglycemic events are more inclined to lose their mental faculties. And it doesn’t take all that long to happen.
The new study out of the University of California recruited 800 people between the ages of 70 and 79. All of them had type 2 diabetes. But none of them had dementia at the beginning of the study.
Now here’s the thing. Over the next 12 years, patients hospitalized for hypoglycemia had twice the risk of developing dementia.
But that’s not the worst of it. They also discovered patients with dementia aren’t always able to properly control their blood sugar. Thus, they were twice as likely to have severe bouts of hypoglyemia!
In other words, it turns into a vicious cycle. More frequent instances of severe low blood sugar leads to greater cognitive decline. The worse the cognitive decline, the more often their blood sugar took a nosedive.
Now there are ways to reduce your risk of future mental impairment.
And if you stick with them, they can also help improve your chance of avoiding many of the other risks that come with fluctuating blood glucose levels.
Controlling diabetes is two-fold process. First, it’s important to make food choices that won’t send your blood sugar skyrocketing. But second, and just is important, is to keep your blood sugar from dipping too low because of skipped meals.
To keep this delicate balance between high and low glucose levels, I advise my diabetic patients to eat healthy meals and snacks frequently throughout the day.
Mealtimes should take place at regular intervals… say 8 a.m., 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. And snacks should be eaten about halfway between meals. In this example, snack times would be 10:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m. and 9 p.m.
For meals, I always suggest making non-starchy vegetables the focal point of your plate. But also make sure to include a healthy protein such as eggs, fish, avocado, nuts, plain yogurt, beans, cage free turkey or chicken, or grass-fed beef.
It’s okay to eat fruits, too. Most of them are relatively low glycemic because of the way the fiber in them works with fructose. Berries, peaches, pears, apples, watermelon, kiwi and oranges are all good. The only fruit I really don’t like for diabetics is bananas.
But here’s the thing.
Nobody’s perfect. So if you need a little help along the way I have a great suggestion.
There’s a natural compound called chlorogenic acid. It’s found in coffee and tea, so you might already be getting a little bit of it in your diet.
And it’s truly amazing.
Chlorogenic acid helps block the absorption of sugar in your intestines. And it even goes a step further. It also suppresses your liver from producing glucose after a meal.
In the end, it’s a one-two punch that helps control those wild swings from being hyper- to hypo-glycemic from meal to meal.
Now check this out: There’s a green coffee bean extract that contains about 270% higher concentrations of chlorogenic acid than coffee. And it’s an easy way to keep your blood sugar in check… even when you deviate from a healthy lunch by ordering pizza or a sub.
All it takes is 200 mg. twice a day before your heaviest meals to keep your blood sugar in check.
However, I do have a word of caution…
If you are on any medications for blood sugar, blood pressure or cholesterol, be sure to work with your physician to monitor your levels if you decide to try green coffee bean extract – and back off the pharmaceuticals as needed.
Centers for Disease Control
American Diabetes Association
Kristine Yaffe, M.D., et al. Association Between Hypoglycemia and Dementia in a Biracial Cohort of Older Adults With Diabetes Mellitus. JAMA Intern Med. 2013;():1-6.
Alzheimer’s and Low Blood Sugar in Diabetes May Trigger a Vicious Cycle. News Release. University of California San Francisco. June 2013.
Henry-Vitrac C, Ibarra A, Roller M, Mérillon JM, Vitrac X. Contribution of chlorogenic acids to the inhibition of human hepatic glucose-6-phosphatase activity in vitro by Svetol, a standardized decaffeinated green coffee extract. J Agric Food Chem. 2010 Apr 14;58(7):4141-4.