We are amazingly obsessed with controlling blood sugar directly in managing type 2 diabetes, to a fault, and to a big fault actually. I see this in the diabetic forums all the time, where people judge their progress in managing their diabetes solely on the basis of their readings or A1Cs, as does just about everyone, and they are blind to the other considerations.
So as the thinking goes, there are correlations with certain blood sugar levels, certain A1Cs to be specific, and certain risks of damage, and the higher your A1C, the higher the risk. So it may seem to follow logically that by lowering your A1C you can reduce these risks, and hopefully to an acceptable level.
Blood sugar levels though in themselves are quite unremarkable though, and this is the first thing we need to understand if we’re going to navigate all this. It is true though that there are correlations between high blood sugar and microvascular damage, which basically results from too much glucose getting into our cells.
That last part is something that people don’t bother even thinking about much, although it would be pretty silly to assume that cellular damage from glucose, which is what microvascular damage is, damage to our eyes, our kidneys, and our nerves, happens from too much glucose in our blood. It’s actually when the glucose leaves the blood and goes elsewhere that the damage is even a risk.
If we take a group of diabetics though, at random, and assess the incidence of this damage across various ranges of A1Cs, we will indeed see higher risks at higher blood sugar levels. This is not surprising, although this has nothing to do with the level of glucose in their blood, and has everything to do with excess glucose in their cells, and we know this with absolute certainty.
Higher blood sugar is generally an indication of how much glucose is getting into the cells, with higher levels leading to a higher uptake, and we know that the higher one’s blood glucose, the easier cells can uptake it. Higher blood sugar also is associated with greater levels of what is known as liver dumping, which primarily consists of the body converting non glucose sources to glucose, known as gluconeogenesis.
So it’s fair to say then, at least when it comes to glucose, that higher A1C levels are associated with higher incidences of damage from glucose, glucotoxicity as it is called.
So gluotoxicity is clearly what must be avoided if one wants to lower one’s risk of….glucotoxicity. Pretty simple stuff so far, right?
Here’s where all of this thinking goes dreadfully wrong though. At a given level of blood sugar, you will get an average excessive glucose uptake for that level of excess glucose, and we could call this the baseline risk for the amount of extra glucose that’s being put into our blood.
There’s only one way to really reduce this risk by the way, and that’s to strive for less glucose being put into our blood, reducing the exposure of our cells to excess glucose, resulting in less glucotoxicity and preferably none if we can control its excess excretion.
That’s not how we approach this problem though. Instead, we look to put more glucose into cells, and while this does lower blood glucose, at least temporarily, it makes the problem worse, and pretty clearly and without a doubt actually.
Since the problem was excess glucose in our cells, we’ve now managed to deliver an even greater excess. So let’s say we reduce A1C from 8 to 7. Well they now crow that they have reduced the risk of glucotoxicity, because they will claim that people with an A1C of 7 have less glucotoxicity, have less glucose in their cells in other words, but what they have done with this person who started at 8 is they have actually increased their risk by pushing even more glucose into the patient’s cells than is typical of someone with an A1C of 8.
So the A1C may have gone down to 7 but the risk has gone up from 8, perhaps to something we’d typically see with someone who is a 9.
That’s not even the end of the story. So what happens as a result of this force feeding of glucose to the cells is that they fight back and resist all this, to protect themselves from this greater level of glucotoxicity, and that’s the good part, but this will cause and require us to administer larger doses of medication to get the same effect, higher amounts of insulin for example.
As we raise our insulin levels, this causes more pancreas and liver insulin resistance, which results in even more excess glucose being put into our blood, and will in itself increase glucotoxicity and risk of damage further, although we will want to pile on this and force more of this extra glucose into our cells as well.
Wasn’t this all supposed to be about reducing gluotoxicity, not increasing it? Is this simply madness? No, it’s simply conventional medicine’s strategy, although madness would be a good way indeed to describe it.
If this were not bad enough, there’s another form of damage that we particularly see with diabetes, called lipotoxicity, poisoning from fat, and given that excess insulin is to blame for this, increasing insulin more and more beyond normal levels will just make this worse and worse, and it does. All this insulin is also very inflammatory and this is why it is a major cause of cardiovascular disease, causing the other major type of damage, macrovascular, which is completely independent of blood sugar, and the excess insulin does its dirty work by directly damaging the cardiovascular system by injuring our blood vessels.
Excess insulin also has several other side effects, the most obvious and prevalent one being obesity, and insulin is the storage hormone and is directly responsible for the excessive storage of fat, as well as the body’s resisting losing it. Insulin is what maintains our weight for times of famine, but at the levels we see these days, this has all gone haywire, and being fat is the norm now.
Being a growth hormone, it is well loved by cancer cells, who indeed love to grow excessively, and is clearly implicated in the disease, for reasons that should be obvious. This is why a low carb diet has been shown to help cancer, and things that promote lower insulin levels have been shown to be cancer protective.
So I do talk a lot about the dangers of the conventional approach to diabetes on this on this site and will keep talking about it because the way we “treat” diabetes and the way we approach the disease of high insulin is simply despicable. So hopefully more people will look into this as a result and then maybe take a little more sensible approach to their diabetes and their overall health, instead of being so happy go lucky and even grateful for their medical mistreatment..