Every second, 2 people develop diabetes. 

Diabetes

 

Sitting on the plane heading back to Boston from Denver, I’m listening to my lectures with Institute For Integrative Nutrition, learning more about blood sugars and the negative effects the Standard American Diet has caused on our country. As the Stewardess was coming around taking drink orders, not one person around me ordered water. I heard: “I'll take an orange juice,” “I’ll take an apple juice,”  “I’ll take a Coke,” and “I’ll take a Ginger Ale." Next they came around with the Fig Newtons; everyone accepted that treat as well. In one hour my peers around me had consumed 36-54 grams of sugar. To put this into perspective, as a person having cured myself from diabetes through diet and lifestyle choices, I aim to eat 26-30 grams of sugar/ day. 

Two years ago my primary care doctor told me that I better watch my blood sugars as they were getting high. At the time I really didn’t know what that meant and when I asked what I should do about it, my doctor told me to pick up a blood sugar monitoring kit at CVS. I don’t know about you, but I hate needles and didn’t really understand the point of watching myself get diabetes.  I started to be more aware of my sugar intake and further educate myself on the disease. 

A year later in June of 2013, I was officially diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I became the one in three Americans who was a diabetic or pre-diabetic and didn’t even realize it. At the time I thought I was eating healthy, but had no idea that my sugar intake was really out of control. 

The old Jen thought: 

  • drinking a glass of wine (or two) every night with dinner was OK.
  • going out with my friends on a Saturday night and have 6 cocktails was normal; after all my friends were doing it!
  • the processed food in a package is labeled Gluten Free, so it must be healthy. 
  • I’m not eating cane sugar anymore, so I can make as many baked sweets with honey, maple syrup, and agave nectar. 
  • all fruit is healthy and I can eat 5-6 servings of it a day. 
  • dried fruit is healthy; I’ll toss a handful of dried cranberries or other dried fruit on my salad. 
    • Fact: 1 dried mango is about 77 grams of sugar  (A.K.A Sugar Injection!)  
One of my biggest frustrations dealing with your standard medical doctor (M.D.) is that they never take the time to educate you on nutrition. In fact, most doctors today aren’t educated on proper nutrition.  Case in point, my doctor told me to monitor my blood sugar, but didn’t once tell me foods I should or shouldn’t be eating. Now that I had officially developed diabetes, my M.D. wanted to put me on insulin. Again, not really asking me about my current lifestyle and eating habits or giving me any advice on my diet. 

In the early 1800s, back in the time when people were actually preparing their own food and eating WHOLE FOODS, the average person consumed  12 lbs of sugar per year. This increased to 124 lbs in 1980 and today about 156 LBS OF SUGAR PER PERSON PER YEAR! 

It’s time to take a step back and understand what is happening here. How insidious have we really become? Are we being DRUGGED as a nation and not even realizing it? Our doctors don’t have the time to teach us about nutrition and instead we are bombard by the media and the pharmaceutical world, leaning on them to educate us on “health” and being told to eat their ‘low-fat’, ‘no-fat’, chemically processed foods and to wash down with a dose of insulin, Prilosec, or X prescription drug. 

Lifestyle and nutrition will prevent you from developing diabetes, yet this isn’t discussed. Instead the kind of interventions that medicine has come to favor depend on technology, including pharmaceutical drugs. Not only is this type of dependence unhealthy, but it is very expensive for our economy to support. How did we get in the habit to think that the only way to manage disease is by giving drugs? 

I refused to be like most Americans, accept the diagnosis from my doctor and fill my prescription of insulin. I knew there had to be another way. Thankfully I found Dr. Peter Osborne from GlutenFreeSociety.Org. He taught me the real reason why I developed diabetes, something my 4 other M.D.’s completely ignored. My previous doctors never accepted the fact that gluten sensitivity can be masked in so many different forms. My primary care physician at the time just told me that I had IBS and wrote me off. Thankfully Dr. Osborne took the time to teach me about proper nutrition and explained how I developed diabetes. 

I learned that I was extremely malnourished despite my fairly healthy diet at the time.  My body wasn’t absorbing any of the nutrients it needed, as I was slowly poisoning myself with my gluten consumption for the past 27 years of my life.  My genetic testing confirmed I should avoid gluten at all costs and was a contributor  to my development of diabetes. My immune system became completely taxed and couldn’t produce insulin anymore; the gluten exposure caused me to develop a leaky gut. You see, when you have a leaky gut, the food you eat doesn’t go through your small intestines where your body will absorb the nutrients. Instead,  the food goes right into your blood stream. As a result of my leaky gut, I became deficient in vitamin D, zinc, antioxidants, magnesium CoQ10, and B1; these are all essential building blocks for your body to produce insulin. 

But I have GREAT NEWS! You can 100% control your diabetes through diet and exercise. Once I took gluten and corn out of my diet, ate more whole foods and less process foods, watched my fruit intake, and committed myself to doing at least 10 minutes of exercise a day, I was able to reverse my diabetes. Last week I had my 8 month check-up with Dr. Osborne, and he confirmed that I was in the clear and no longer needed my supplements. This simple lifestyle changed allowed me to take control of my body, avoid prescription drugs, and more importantly feel the best I’ve ever felt in my life! 

Remember, YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT. Every time I put food in my mouth I think “is this food going to help me fight disease or feed disease?” 

Controlling diabetes doesn’t have to be hard. Don’t let the media overwhelm you and stop listening to the TV commercials advertising “best new foods” or the pharmaceutical world sharing the “best new prescription for X”. Remember, if a food is advertised you probably shouldn’t be eating it! 

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P.S. The time it took you to read this article, 240 more people developed diabetes.  

 

Image Credit: www.lchdhealthcare.org

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