Diabetes Basics Part 16

blood sugar

In the next FAQ of the article we’re looking at, Dr. Hite talks a little about type 1 and how our immune system attacks and destroys beta cells.  I do want to throw in here that this is an ongoing process, it’s not a one and done thing as many think, in other words the beta cells are under constant attack by the immune system and the body does make the effort to try to recover but the immune system keeps winning the battle.

We know that one of the causes of this is a deficiency of GABA in the beta cells and GABA plays a central role in insulin secretion.  GABA is converted from glutamate, by way of an enzyme called GAD, and to test for autoimmune diabetes , type 1 and type 1.5, the test is called GAD65 and with this disease the immune system attacks GAD and lowers the conversion to GABA, and in a sense this starves the beta cells and they die.

So you might be thinking, what if we raise levels of GABA?  Well this has shown some promise so far in rodent studies and GABA can be purchased as a supplement at any health food store or online, so this isn’t some weird enzyme that only researchers can get a hold of or one that may be dangerous.

The amino acid taurine is also connected to the glutamate to GABA conversion, and when one has a systemic candida infection, this lowers taurine levels which turns down GABA levels.  This is another supplement that can be easily purchased.

Type 2 diabetics may benefit from increasing GABA as well, and especially from increasing taurine levels, which has been shown to benefit type 2 diabetes in itself.

I do need to take my hat off to Dr. Hite for his at least pointing out that the gut microbiome is involved in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, we don’t really want to get into that too much in this introductory discussion but a few mentions here and there is warranted.

He mentions an enterovirus that’s been associated with type 1 and even provides a link to a Medscape article.  The most we can say about this at this point is that the immune system of the gut of type 1 diabetics does seem to be compromised, and this may contribute to one’s risk of getting this disease.  Keep in mind that autoimmune diabetes isn’t just a disease of children, adults get this too, although we call that 1.5, or LADA, adult onset type 1 if you will.

We really don’t know all that much about the role gut health plays in our overall health but from what we do know, it’s super important, and this is certainly something that any diabetic of any type needs to be paying particular attention to.  In particular, we need to use prescription antibiotics with care and few people realize the havoc these cause in the gut.  Looking to maintain good flora, which antibiotics kill off, is another good idea, which involves not only taking probiotics and prebiotics but other things that support the gut like glutamine and colostrom, and using natural remedies like oregano oil and garlic to kill off pathogens, and only resorting to prescription antibiotics when actually needed.

These things are handed out like candy though, even for things like colds, which are viral infections and aren’t affected by antibiotics at all, which kill bacteria not viruses, but going to a doctor is a lot like going to a candy store and the people want to leave with some candy, even when it is going to harm them not help them, although in most cases at least the candy in this candy store is harmful anyway even when prescribed correctly.

Dr. Hite moves on to talk about type 2 diabetes again and refers again to our high blood sugar as trapped glucose, which is nonsense, and a result of a fundamental confusion over how blood sugar works.  At any given time, glucose is added to our blood.  So there are two components to this, what we can call inputs and outputs.

So Dr. Hite just looks at the output, the movement into cells, and he sees excess blood sugar, and assumes no input.  We actually tend to input more than normal, not less, and the real problem is that our inputs are too high, which we know for certain with type 2 because people have measured this.

So glucose is indeed taken up, and what we see in a fasting state is the body regulating our blood sugar pretty well, and in some cases within a pretty tight range indeed, but at a higher level than normal.

So glucose gets taken in, and the liver adds more to top it off to achieve what it perceives as the desired level.  Insulin resistance plays a role here but there’s more to it than that, and I don’t want to go into this too much here but there are signaling mechanisms that regulate our blood sugar such as AMPK that tell our body that there are certain blood sugar needs, that the cells are starving essentially even when they may not be.

So in a sense our cells actually end up being overfed here, not underfed, from broken signaling.  AMPK by the way is the main target of the anti diabetic drug metformin, it works by raising AMPK levels, which in diabetics are too low, and looks to reduce this confusion between the cells and the liver.  there are natural AMPK elevators such as berberine and gynostemma by the way which are superior to this drug and work just as well in treating diabetes.

How this works is not by getting our cells to take in more glucose, but to reduce the excess glucose put into our blood by our livers, who are confused by this low AMPK and think the cells are starving and we need more sugar in our blood to feed them.

It is well worth mentioning that these things lower blood sugar but they also lower glucose uptake, and lower insulin levels as well, the opposite of what the tale of the trapped glucose tells us needs to be done.

One’s degree of insulin resistance also sets the threshold here, where proper cellular glucose uptake is achieved, for instance in the fasting state of a non diabetic this might be 90, where at 90 the cells get fed enough but not too much, and in a diabetic this tends to be higher.

How much glucose is taken in by cells very much depends on blood sugar levels by the way, this is not just how much insulin there is, the more sugar there is in the blood, the more gets taken in, independent of insulin levels.  So we may need to be 140 or 150 to get well fed in our current state.  Increasing insulin can take this down for a time but what it does is shunt too much glucose into the cells, damaging them further, and causing them to resist it even more as this continues.

Resistance isn’t even the proper word here, cellular damage would be a better way to describe this, and we have turned our backs on our cells, what really matters here, in favor of just looking at how much glucose is in our blood, and then pounding away at the doors of cells, and injuring them, for the sake of better readings on our glucometers.  That actually describes our typical approach pretty well.

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