Our next FAQ has someone asking whether they have to take pills or if they can control their diabetes without them. Here pills are referring to prescription oral anti-diabetic drugs. Dr. Hite does suggest that this is possible, especially in the early stages when one’s blood sugar is only mildly elevated, and we may even want to hold off on these meds and view them as a safety net.
In contrast to Dr. Hite’s attitude that medication should be used as a safety net, with natural medicines, it is wise to use them much more proactively. A lot of these things are just plain good for anyone, diabetics and non diabetics alike, and although as diabetics we do want to pay particular attention to ,managing our disease, there’s no real downside here in using these medicines, only upsides.
There is no upside though with prescription anti diabetics, as both the side effects and the main effects of the medication are undesirable. I would not call these things a safety net, there’s nothing safe about them, and they do not lead to in increase in safety in any way, they lead to a decrease in safety.
Once again though, the objective here needs to be what leads to successful long term management of the disease, not what temporarily lowers our blood sugar, at the expense of making the disease worse. This should never be even considered, as it is a foolish and short sighted approach.
Next, someone remarks that everything they eat turns to fat. Dr. Hite does provide some interesting material on gut bacteria, which clearly does factor into good heath, and he even mentions taking probiotics, which is a good idea for anyone and especially diabetics.
However, the amount of fat we store really doesn’t have much to do with bacteria in the gut, and it’s the storage hormone that controls that, and the storage hormone is called insulin. More specifically, it is an overabundance of carbohydrate together with an overabundance of insulin that causes this.
He mentions that bacteria provide a shield against leaky gut syndrome, and it’s marvelous that he brings this condition up, but leaky gut occurs in the small instestine where there aren’t a lot of bacteria, and where we don’t want a lot of bacteria either, lest we get a disease called SIBO, small intestine bacterial overgrowth, and this actually contributes to leaky gut instead of preventing it.
There are a number of things that contribute to leaky gut but the number one thing is an excessive intake of grains. The lining of the small intestine becomes damaged and the tight junctions that normally protect us from things entering our bloodstream also get damaged. Things like glutamine and colostrom help repair this.
This has very little to do with getting fat though, other than too much grains making you fat, and this how they fatten up livestock, to maximum fatness, and the grain industry does this with people these days as well. It doesn’t matter whether this is whole grains or not by the way, and whole grains are even more toxic to the gut in fact, due to their higher level of lectins, which is a toxin produced by plants that, in excess, damages our intestinal wall iand causes our guts to become leaky.
On the fattening up side of things, well this is what high insulin does. Insulin stores, too much insulin stores too much, it’s as simple as that. If you want to fatten up anything, raise their insulin levels, it works like a charm. Uncontrolled type 1 diabetics on the other hand will wither away to skin and bones and die no matter how much they eat, because they don’t produce insulin, and nothing can be stored.
While overeating does contribute to this as well, and in particular, overeating carbs, if insulin levels are kept in check, then this prevents getting fat or even staying fat, although a high carb diet does cause insulin to run too high, to process the excess carbs, and it turns it to fat and stores it in our bodies, including in our organs.
Bad gut health does make this all worse though, not only through an over-proliferation of bad bacteria but other pathogens such as yeast overgrowth, and the gut plays a much bigger role in our hormonal balance then most people think. Gut health is super important and I give big props to Dr. Hite for bringing this up, he may not have a very good understanding of the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes but he he has obviously studied up on the gut microbiome to a nice degree at least.
We spoke about Dr. Hite’s view on using diet to control diabetes and in the next FAQ he spills the beans here. The question concerns the extent that lowering carbohydrate can help diabetes, and as it turns out he is recommending a high carb diet because he believes we need at least 40% of our calories from carbs, at a bare minimum, for energy.
This is absolute nonsense and at best this might matter if you are training for the Olympics or something, but it is common for people on even extremely low diets, ketogenic ones, with percentages of calories from carbs in the single digits, to have an abundance of energy. In fact many of these people attest to an increase of energy from a diet such as this compared to high carb.
The reason is that glucose is just one of two major fuels our bodies use for energy, with the other one being fat. People on low carb burn more fat and less glucose, and people on ketogenic diets burn mostly fat.
Carbohydrate reduction is the most important tool we have to manage our diabetes, and we certainly do not want to exclude it because we may think that it might end up resulting in a loss of energy. Some people burn fat more efficiently than others and people’s needs do vary here, but this can only be discovered through experimentation, and if someone did have their energy reduced, they may be willing to put up with at least some of this to achieve better blood sugar control.
Unless we reduce our insulin levels, we will never be able to turn our ships around and start to heal from the ravages of hyperinsulinemia. While there are some things you can take for this, we’ll never get anywhere eating diets that produce insulin secretions in excess of what is healthy for anyone, especially ourselves, having been touched with diabetes and already having very significant damage being done by this over the years.
In order to give us even a chance to succeed, we need to tailor our diets to our condition, and especially not exclude this treatment based upon beliefs such as those held by Dr. Hite and a lot of conventional thinkers that are completely false, beyond any doubt.
After a period of adjustment, which can take several weeks, if you do lose enough energy that this becomes a concern for you, which is actually quite unusual, you will know it, but this is the only way you will know it, to try it.
I actually struggle with this myself and do have very low energy on low carb, and must consume a higher amount than most diabetics do, but this is just me, I would never think that one should set an intake based upon someone else’s mistaken beliefs. People must find what is right for them, not just buy into myths.