Dr. Zajicek’s Take On Diabetes

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Today I'm featuring a video from Gershom Zajicek, M.D., professor of medicine at Hebrew University in Israel.  The presentation is entitled "How To Overcome Insulin Resistance In Diabetes Mellitus."

If you are thinking that this is a video which takes a conventional view of diabetes, well this is probably the least conventional views on diabetes I've ever encountered.  I'm not even sure why I watched it because I'm pretty familiar with the standard view already, but something made me start watching it, and it is definitely interesting.

He starts out by talking about glucose homeostasis, which is the body's attempt to regulate blood sugar, but with diabetics we often see it being regulated at abnormal levels.  I've always thought that it may be that given the current physiological conditions that one is under, these higher levels of homeostasis may actually be preferable, a need for higher blood sugar in other words.

So when he started the talk with that I became impressed, this is not something we talk about or look at very much and to the extent this is true, just looking to reduce blood sugar artificially may not only be neglecting underlying causes, it may also be interfering with the body's adaptive mechanisms to these underlying causes.

This video is really based upon a lot of speculation, but it is important to speculate, we do know that the brain does affect blood sugar regulation to some degree now though, and while the video just contains the professor's ideas, some of them at least may be good ideas indeed.

He points out that in physiology the brain is given absolute priority, and that's because it really is that important, and for instance with glucose, being without it for even a few minutes will be fatal.  So this also probably extends to proper blood sugar uptake, and since the brain through the central nervous system and the hypothalamus in particular does regulate blood sugar, based to a large degree on glucose sensing in the brain, if the brain isn't getting enough glucose, it may require higher amounts of glucose or higher amounts of insulin and this will be prioritized over the needs of the rest of the body.

He doesn't mention this but we do know that broken signaling may be involved here, so we may have instances where glucose uptake in the brain is diminished, though insulin resistance, and we'll seek to raise blood sugar to combat that, or it also may be that the brain just thinks that blood glucose isn't high enough and will raise it by mistake, much like the liver does.

In recent years we are finding out that insulin resistance plays a big role in decline of cognitive function, and they have even come up with a new form of diabetes, type 3, which is insulin resistance in the brain causing things like dementia and Alzheimers.

Professor Zajicek doesn't really talk about insulin resistance in the brain too much, but he does speak of glucose dysregulation in the brain generally, and we know that this is actually due to insulin resistance to a large degree anyway, and we also know that high levels of insulin cause this, so this is another thing we need to worry about with insulin levels.

It's more complicated than that though and we are starting to understand the science of this more, and if you are really interested in this you can check out this article called CNS Regulation of Glucose Homeostasis.

There is still a lot that we have to learn about this but we do know that the hypothalamus is heavily involved in hormone regulation, it is actually the master control for the body's hormones.  When you throw in things like the sensing of certain things that may play a central role in proper hormone signaling, like glucose sensing for instance, lipid levels, hormones such as insulin and leptin, or things like AMPK, we can see that this may be a big deal indeed.

So this all boils down to diabetes at least in part being defects not just in the pancreas and liver, but in the brain as well, and the brain certainly is capable of keeping our blood sugar very high all the time when it wants to.  It actually may be the case that increasing AMPK, which tends to be low in diabetics but is increased by things like metformin and berberine, may control our blood sugar to a large degree through its influence on the hypothalamus in the brain.

Professor Zajicek recommends we use lifestyle changes to modulate this problem, eating the proper diet for glycemic control and also engaging in regular exercise, and he actually believes we should only use prescription meds to lower blood sugar in extreme circumstances, since this doesn't address the problem at all, which isn't high blood sugar by the way, it's what's behind it.

So this does tend to help what's behind it but I do feel that just lifestyle changes do not always produce adequate results, but this does go a long way to helping things, although more is needed and in fact there isn't any good reason not to use natural medicines to also support healthy glucose metabolism, things that assist the body rather than running counter to it like prescription medicines do.

So metformin is an exception here although I personally take berberine instead, which works similarly to lower blood sugar and does so as well without the side effects and also has several other benefits metformin doesn't have, like improving lipids and in particular helping improve the fat accumulation in our organs that we know plays a role in diabetes.

So the bottom line with this video is that it does look to reinforce the notion that the task here just simply isn't reducing blood sugar, and neglecting everything else, but that's exactly how orthodox medicine approaches this, which is not a wise way to treat us at all.

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