Sugar’s sweet invitation to disease

Sugar’s sweet invitation to disease

The civilized diet has been so full of sugar, refined carbs that rapidly turn into sugar, and trans fats, that many people have become pre-diabetic.

The civilized diet has been so full of sugar, refined carbs that rapidly turn into sugar, and trans fats, that many people have become pre-diabetic.

by Dr. Martha Grout — 

If, for years, you eat more sugar than is needed by the muscles for exercise, you strain the pancreas, asking it to constantly make excess insulin to lower your blood sugar level. Eventually, the pancreas cannot make enough insulin, and the blood sugar level remains chronically high. And then, bingo, you have got diabetes. But before you reach that point, you have crossed a few other unhealthy thresholds.

The civilized diet has been so full of sugar, refined carbs that rapidly turn into sugar, and trans fats, that many people have become pre-diabetic. The medical term for this is metabolic syndrome, and it is a disease of the 21st century. Twenty-four percent of adults in the United States already qualify for this diagnosis.

How many people do we all know who are chubby around the middle? How many of our friends are taking high blood pressure medicine and statin drugs for their cholesterol? And these are folks who consider themselves healthy, because by all insurance-based criteria, they are healthy. Their disease is well managed. As Jeffrey Bland so eloquently put it, “Somewhere along the line they will develop a clean diagnosis — myocardial infarction, diabetes, stroke, cardiac arrest … In the meantime, they take medicine, eat refined flour, sweets, diet sodas, low-fat manufactured foods …”

Controlling blood sugar is one of the most fundamental requirements of life. A fasting blood glucose level between 100 and 125 mg/dl signals pre-diabetes. A person with a fasting blood glucose level of 126 mg/dl or higher has diabetes.

Most people know now that sugar imbalance alters fat metabolism, causing weight gain. But a sugary diet contributes to a host of medical problems, including heart disease. Too much sugar causes the small blood vessels throughout the body to narrow. That is your body’s way of trying to head off damage to organs by minimizing the ability of the excess sugar to reach them. The higher the blood sugar level, the less nitric oxide is available, and the more the small blood vessels narrow. Circulation is impaired.

Sugar also depresses the immune system and feeds cancer cells. Sugar is responsible for age-related memory decline because rising blood sugar levels affect the hippocampus, a part of the brain critical to learning and memory. Sugar is sometimes called the aging drug because it attaches itself to proteins, distorts them and forms advanced glycation end products (AGEs). The higher our AGE level, the faster we age. Sugar also produces free radicals that accelerate the aging process.

Stopping the sugar is not something most people can do cold turkey. Sugar is addictive. Your best intentions can be defeated by sugar’s impact on your brain.

In analyzing how rats react to sugar consumption, scientists have found similarities to the response to drugs like heroin and cocaine. When humans and rats eat sweets, their brain level of dopamine — a neurotransmitter that regulates reward and is at the heart of many addictive behaviors — increases.

If you have candida, it is almost impossible to kick the sugar habit until you knock down the fungus. Trying to kick sugar when you have a candida overgrowth is like trying to drain a swimming pool with a sponge.

If you want to give yourself a new lease on life without sugar, work with a qualified physician who can help you navigate the very real obstacles to quitting.

 

Martha Grout, M.D., M.D.(H), has two decades in emergency medicine and a decade in homeopathic medicine. The Arizona Center for Advanced Medicine in Scottsdale, Ariz., specializes in diagnostic tests for chronic illness and HEG for brain training. 480-240-2600 or www.ArizonaAdvancedMedicine.com.

From the AzNetNews library, February/March 2009.

 

 

 

 

The civilized diet has been so full of sugar, refined carbs that rapidly turn into sugar, and trans fats, that many people have become pre-diabetic.

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