To recap a little, at one time we had believed that type 2 diabetes was similar to type 1, where the pancreas doesn’t secrete enough insulin, and then came along Roger Unger who proved in his experiments with rodents that it’s actually a disease of too much insulin, where both major pancreatic hormones, insulin and glucagon, are elevated well beyond normal.
Then we saw Joseph Kraft start testing people to see what their insulin levels are and he found that not only is insulin way too high in type 2 diabetics, it’s way too high in most people period, about 80% of people and many of the the ones with what he termed normal insulin levels still had levels after meals high enough for us to really call this hyperinsulinemia.
Conventional medicine still treats people as if they don’t have enough insulin by the way, but they are said to often be several decades behind, and they are more than 50 years behind the discoveries of these two medical doctors, and who knows, it could be another 50 years before they catch on, especially since there’s a whole lot less money to be made by trying to lower insulin then to prescribe a bunch of things which increase it, or disturb other hormones that end up worsening our disease as well.
Just to give you an idea of this, the recommendations of both Dr. Unger and Dr. Kraft end up being pretty simple, eat less and especially eat less carbohydrates. Neither of them even bother making any further suggestions in fact, and while there are some other things you can do, which I discuss here on the site, dietary management is the cornerstone of insulin normalization, that’s for sure.
So imagine that, instead of prescribing all this stuff, they tell you to cut down on carbs and exercise more. The drug companies sure are going to be upset. You don’t need an MD to get such advice though, people tend to only go to an MD when they want a prescription or a surgical procedure, and more and more people are learning about the benefits of dietary control through the internet, so the fact your doctor won’t tell you this or most often hasn’t a clue about why this matters, or what really goes on with diabetes actually, why insulin levels even matter unless they are too low, this is all mattering less and less.
There is still a big push back against carb restriction, and diabetic authorities still tell diabetics to eat a pretty standard diet, and that we need a certain amount of carbs for our bodies to function, and therefore are persuading people to not change their diet very much to reduce their excess insulin levels enough and thereby they are making sure that their flow of customers remains steady, and increases in fact.
One cannot survive long term without any carbs, but people have thrived long term on one tenth of what they tell us is the absolute minimum. So these people do not have science on their side but they never needed to, they just get some people to say this or that and an ignorant and uninformed public just tends to go along with them.
So people think, after all, the American Diabetes Association, or my doctor, or my nurse, or my nutritionist, or my dietitian know far more about these things than I do, since they are experts and I’m just a patient looking for some advice.
It takes a lot to break this cycle, but social media and the internet is doing a great job turning people around, and more and more people come around every day. Most aren’t that aware that the common enemy that we are fighting is high insulin, and most of them think that this is a weight loss thing, and low carb certainly helps people lose weight, because it lowers insulin levels, and that’s the only reason, but since high insulin is what causes obesity as well as many other things, including diabetes, people don’t really care why it works, only that it does.
So I saw this in a friend who for years scoffed at my ideas that it wasn’t fat that made people fat, it was too much carbohydrate, producing too much insulin, and she had some training as a weight loss advisor and this is what they taught her.
Through social media though, she discovered low carb, and she’s now a hard core low carber and we now laugh together at all the nonsense about fat and calories and the like that most people still believe.
This is in spite of seeing me go very low carb and lose so much weight, people thought I was dying, and I wasn’t really overweight to start, a little belly fat is all I had but I lost that and way more. She thought I had some sort of disease though, as did a lot of people, but I said no, that’s what cutting the carbs does to you, and she finally believes me because she watched enough videos on the internet now and spoke to enough people online that this all became validated enough.
Now one doesn’t necessarily have to go very low carb to achieve their desired results, but there’s nothing that takes the weight off of you like very low carb. As far as treating diabetes, one must find their ideal intake of carbs, and this might be very low, low, or even moderate, but what it isn’t is a high intake, so you do need to manage this somewhat, in most cases anyway.
Now we’re talking overall intake here, and there are people who do eat what they want and very successfully manage their diabetes. I know of an Indian gentleman who still eats the traditional high carb Indian diet, he just eats less of it than he used to, and this alone has normalized his blood sugar, without doing anything else.
This is because he got himself in the zone where his body can handle his intake, and that’s what we want to shoot for, and sometimes going too low can miss the boat as well, and this is what happened to me actually.
Next time we’ll start to look at some of the things that go wrong when insulin is too high, which our friend Amy starts to discuss, which was what I was planning on doing this article but whenever I talk about high insulin there’s just so much to talk about.