This post is not necessarily about how to fix gestational diabetes – elevated blood sugar during pregnancy. Although, if you are suffering from this condition, I would advise consuming frequent, calorie-dense (warming) high-carb meals and snacks?and getting as much rest, relaxation, and sleep as possible. Anything that you perceive as destressing will help. And that brings us to the first point that you’should know, not just about pregnancy complications like preeclampsia and gestational diabetes, but most “conditions” and “diseases…”?
High blood sugar is an adaptive response. While this an oversimplification, stress impairs the ability of glucose to get?into cells and trigger proper production of ATP. In response to this, blood sugar rises to overcompensate and deliver vital glucose. It’s not necessarily a condition to be waged war against. In fact, if you were to attempt to starve yourself of carbohydrates or other silliness to get this single number down, you would likely encounter a long list of declines in other areas, all signifying an intensification of stress activation, all much worse for the mother and the?fetus than?just allowing the body to manage the problem as it sees fit.
Yes, this is a big?180 of course, to actually look at the body as intelligent, and trust even things like high blood sugar as being just a sign that’something has gone awry rather than assuming it is the problem. Fever is a mechanism to fight disease, not something to be controlled. Swelling is a reaction to fight damaged tissue, not something to be’suppressed with a block of ice. They may seem like problems on the surface, but the unifying theme is that there is a root cause of distress leading to such adaptive changes.
Always look for root problems, and seek to understand the conditions that may have led to the development of your problems – especially gestational diabetes. If you want to?know if you?have gestational diabetes, get a cheap glucose monitor and check your blood sugar in response to eating normal meals in a normal way – taking readings 1 and 2 hours after each of your daily meals for a couple of days. No need to outsource it, taking an oral?glucose tolerance test (ogtt)’that is irrelevant to real-world eating and drinking.?
Well, that’s all well and good, but what I really?wanted to do was rant, rather intensely, about the?Western medical circus.
First?of all, you must know that the established protocols of medical doctors are put in place by people at the top?of the food chain so-to-speak. Pharmaceutical companies and large companies that manufacture?expensive testing equipment and other medical tools are the primary?financiers of medical schools. They have an agenda of their own, and it is?often a major conflict of interest with what is truly in the best interest of the patient. For example, there is a big push to lower the?”healthy cholesterol level.”? This has nothing to do with saving lives or preventing heart disease, it has everything to do with?being able to diagnose a big chunk of the population as hypercholesterolemic and prescribe statin drugs.
Test, diagnose, and prescribe (TDP)
TDP is the equivalent of hitting a grand slam for?medical doctors. Testing, which?is lucrative, allows for the promising possibility of being able to diagnose someone with a disorder, which,?no matter what the?disorder may be, will require expensive counseling, referrals to even more expensive specialists,’surgery, even more testing, and, last but not least, a cocktail of pharmaceutical drugs.
Pregnant women are?a big hanging curve ball coming in towards the middle of the plate, and medical docs swing for the fences. Our’society is littered with propaganda making pregnant women terrified to do anything. Pregnant or nursing mothers should always consult with a doctor before they do so much as trim their toenails. Pregnant women even ask me hesitantly about whether or not they should improve their metabolism?while pregnant or nursing. “No, no, no. You must continue to wash out your electrolytes and flatline your metabolic rate by eating health food and drinking excessive amounts of water while pregnant or nursing, so your?child will have enough ailments and food allergies to?fit in with all the other kids in his class.”? ?????
In the last few weeks, 2 women I know have gone in to get tested for gestational diabetes, amongst other barbaric and unnecessary screenings. When they arrived they were instructed to drink a disgusting glucose drink – a large quantity of fluids while fasting. Both hit a number around 180 mg/dl, which is right on the cusp of being considered a proud possessor of gestational diabetes. Of course, the test itself is set up to give you the maximum chance at failing the test and getting branded as having gestational diabetes. ?Both of the women felt ill, becoming nauseous and dizzy. One vomited and then fainted. After returning to work she was driven home because she was slurring words and disoriented. Hey man, totally worth it because you gotta keep that baby healthy by doing a bunch of?painful screening and testing! ?
Both contacted me asking what they should do about their “gestational diabetes.”? I said not to worry about it, but one was paranoid enough to actually get a glucose meter and testing strips. Our text message?dialog…
“So I drank 60g of glucose and my blood sugar was 182. They think I have gestational diabetes. Wtf?”
“Perhaps, but there’s not much you can do about it other than sleeping more, lowering stress, etc. It’s also not that big of a deal. So don’t let it freak you out.”?
“A little background. I failed to eat the 48 hours prior to the test and drank the glucose. I’ve been dealing with major stomach pains and didn’t eat. Did that affect it?? I just bought me a blood monitor lancet thing. Time to prick my fingers.”?
“That can definitely affect it… You’ll probably find that it doesn’t go that high again.”?
“When should I be taking the blood strip readings?? One hour after eating?? And prior to eating?”?
“An hour after is good. If it’s really high test again at 2 hours.”?
“Ok. I just did my 1st test with my new meter. It was 75 four hours after eating. I’ll try the one hr after dinner and then do my fasting when I wake up.”?
“Send me some data in a couple days. I’m guessing you’re fine.”?
“Will do. I’m supposed to have 3 hrs of blood work done at the hospital on Wednesday to see if I have the diabeetus. This is all bullshit!”?
“You can test it much?better at home. If you do have mild gestational diabetes…. a) nothing they can do about it b) ain’t gonna kill you or your baby if you do.”?
“Haha. It seems like the only side effect of it is having a larger birthweight baby. Oh… and they already told me I have to have a c-section… My fasting blood sugar at 6:30am was 69. One hour postmeal was 98. 2 hour was 86.”
“Total diabetes haha. I think you’re fine. Take a few more at?different times of day. I think you’ll still find that you are not a raging diabetic.”?
Yet, she went in for more extensive testing anyway, and that’s when she puked and passed out. Because there’s just something about the security of doctors that creates a strange fatal attraction. Keep in mind this girl has already had an ovary removed because of cervical cancer that later turned out to NOT BE CERVICAL CANCER!
The other woman just got to bed earlier and?ate extra carbs for a week before her next round of testing. Turns out neither of the two women were even close to having gestational diabetes upon further screening. One was told she was hypoglycemic! Another diagnosis! Whee!
Another woman contacted me a couple of months ago?via my Get?Help program with gestational diabetes. She also hit about 180 mg/dl on her first OGTT. She was then counseled by a nutritionist/dietician, and, I know?you’ll all be’shocked – she instantly re-developed insomnia?and excess nighttime urination that she had overcome after finding 180DegreeHealth. And it did lower her blood glucose a little, but only at the expense of sleep so it was like, totally worth it.?
But beware of gestational diabetes! It’s dangerous!?Your child could be born on the heavy side, dramatically increasing his or her risk of becoming exceptionally intelligent as an adult! Which is terrible because intelligent people don’t completely turn over their health to medical doctors and dieticians, and that’s just?bad business.
Study Links High Birth Weight to Intelligence
Gestational Diabetes and High Birth Weight
Interestingly, having a low birth weight increases the risk of having?gestational diabetes and diabetes in adulthood,’so maybe gestational diabetes actually protects your child against diabetes?? But then if they don’t develop?gestational diabetes then will their kids be small and stupid?? Think about it. I haven’t.
Nice, I just had a friend that was diagnosed with gestational diabetes and had to go to a nutritionist who prescribed a zero to very low sugar diet…ugh…
Oh, and I forgot…first :)
Warning: Before you BELIEVE anything you read on a blog or any other website regarding medical diagnosis and treatment, beware that the information that you are reading may be inaccurate ( as is in this blog), emotionally charged and could be dangerous to the health of the pregnancy and the newborn. You may not like physicians but they have been educated for a minimum of 12-20 years to care for human medical conditions. You have alternatives to physicians- nurse midwives and nurse practitioners, physician assistants who work under the guidance of a physician and usually help manage patients who have no medical problems ( normal uncomplicated pregnancies, common colds, flu etc). Concerning gestational diabetes- there are major risks associated with uncontrolled elevated blood sugar to both the mother and unborn child. Briefly- there is a risk that the mother will continue to be a risk for diabetes later in life. There can be significant damage to her eyes, kidneys and blood vessels. The Baby can be at risk for problems during delivery- shoulders getting stuck and difficult to deliver causing a series of possible catastrophic events if not able to deliver the newborn in a time frame that would result in it being able to take its first breaths. Physiologically, babies that are exposed to high levels of sugar in utero have lagging fetal lung development compared to normal blood sugars. This can also cause significant problems at birth- requiring neonatal resuscitation by highly skilled newborn specialist. Newborns can also have very low blood sugars after birth as a result to being exposed to very elevated maternal blood sugars.
The reason, I took the time to tell you these things is because you are being misinformed about the importance of taking care to maintain normal blood sugars if diagnosed with gestational diabetes. A more rational way to view a physician patient relationship is, you come to us for help with an issue. If you decide not to solicit our services, that is your right. There is no issue there. The issues arise if you have not been properly cared for by a provider who is not adequately experienced and your medical condition jeopardizes your health and the health of your unborn child. At that point, it may be clear and present danger. Please also know, that even if EVERYTHING about you and your pregnancy are all completely normal, complications can occur at ANY time. That is the reason for physicians. It is a smart and mature decision to seek a health care professional that you trust and can care for you in the event that you need their help in the future.
An OB/ Gyn that really cares about women’s health
Just bc a dr has many years of experience doesnt mean they are always right. Not saying this article is 100 percent accurate. I dont think diebetes should be neglected but medicibe andmdiet is not a one sided thing and ppl need to do what works for them, but still keep blood sugar in check and use reasonable care. Not saying dont go to a dr and dismiss drs or nutriyiinist advice but u shoukd be able to make some of ur own choices within reason.
I agree with sone of this article. I thinkbwhen ur pregnant u should be able to est wgat u want n are craving within reason. I do agree increased bloid sufar is batural. Nit sqying neglect fiebetes but I dont sgree with a structvdiet program. I agree perhaps w vhevking ur npbloid nut if I were to do it again, inwoukd not rake thr glucose soda test. And if ur sugsr is sky high from wating a little, u need medicsyion notvdiet. I think those nutrition ckasses areveediculoys. I demanded my husband not mske ne go to them nd NIT food police me! Ill go to a few classes just to kearn the basis but no strictvdiet program. Im stil eating my porptatos n pasta n sweets but ill go easy on them. I put only a half tsp of sugar in my tea now. I eat a smsll sweet every otger day.
I often hate doctors. I moved to a new area recently and felt I should have at least a relationship with a doctor since I’m a T2 diabetic. I went to one recommended by a friend and came out of there SO depressed as he told me: i MUST come have an appointment with him every three months, I MUST do this and that. He was horrified I was on so few perscription drugs and insisted I MUST be on high blood pressure med, I MUST be on a statin, I MUST be on a medication to protect my kidneys, I MUST take a daily aspirin – not to mention the long list of about a dozen tests he insisted I MUST take. I walked out of there, never wanting to do back. Though I still would like a relationship with a reasonable local doctor whom I could see when and if I felt like it – but no clue how to find one! Not to mention my 15-minute office visit was billed at $283, and since my insurance is not so great that is mostly all out of pocket. Sheesh.
My sister was diagnosed with GD and it made for an incredibly stressful pregnancy where she worried about every bite she put in her mouth. And the trappings were very expensive. She had a friend diagnosed at the same time who didn’t have insurance and had to pay for her stuff. Which would just be more stressful. I am bookmarking this and will share it with her so she doesn’t need to worry as much for her next pregnancy. Thanks Matt! I wish I had found you 8 months ago when I could have helped my sis!
Unfortunately most of the medical profession has no regard for any collateral damage caused of this variety. Worrying about what you eat after getting a diagnosis that you fear is going to damage you and your child is not a natural human response, but signs of a psychological disorder requiring a specialist and medication.
Thanks for writing this Matt. I’ve had so much anger lately about doctors. Having seen several people I love go through this…and people trust doctors for some unknown reason. Um, hello, we have more chronic illness than at any other time in history, prescription drugs are the 4th leading cause of death, and people still think our medical professionals are “all-knowing”? At least do some research on your own before blindly following the advice. I have a friend who went off the pill recently and as a result had hormonal imbalances (as we all do after going off the pill). So then she went on another medication for resulting acne (Spironolactone, which is hormonal), which caused more issues, but rather than go off that her doctor is now putting her on metformin to force ovulation and “protect against future diabetes.” She sees no issue with any of this. And she’s 30. I told her to get the hell of all the meds and let her body re-balance itself, maybe do accupuncture to help. But she said she trusts her doctor, who she really likes.
And don’t even get me started on the pregnancy rules. When I get pregnant one day I just intend to eat a lot of good food, avoid chemicals and try to be happy. End of story.
If i can give you one advice about pregnancy, it is to eat lots of food, as you said.
But, i think it is extremely important to not be hungry in the first three months or so, exactly the time when the “morning sickness” strikes, since this is the time when fetus has huge glucose requirements. I think this is so important, but i didn’t eat almost anything because of nausea..and i wished i was more clever about overcoming that hypoglycemia.
This is something that doesn’t really make sense to me. If the baby needs food, why does the body get morning sickness? It seems like a weird irony, but I know nature usually has a reason. I know the WAPF recommends raw milk as helpful for morning sickness, and I’m sure that’s an ideal food. A lot of women I know could only eat crackers, which I guess would help with the glucose. Seems most women I know wanted only plain, carby food during morning sickness.
I was nauseous for the first 12 and more weeks of my one pregnancy
but also astronomically hungry!
Unfortunately I was trying to restrain weight gain and was fighting my hunger hand over foot-
for the whole pregnancy in fact.
I did gain a lot regardless..
Don’t have time to write, but only to say that the nausea is basically “hypoglycemia” due to a very heavy need for glucose. That’s why most women can eat crackers and juice, but i wish i knew that incorporating more salt into these snacks would help tremendously with nausea that comes with drinking juice as well.
It could very well be hyponatremia not hypoglycemia, the symptoms of which overlap.
If you want to see a doctor turn red and yell, try refusing the GTT like I did with my 3rd pregnancy. I didn’t want to put myself through it again. It is torture. So I did test strips at home and was fine, no diabetes.
When I was pregnant with my second child, they decided to do the diabetes screening an appointment early. I had just had a king sized snickers and 20 ounce HFCS coke moments before the appointment. I was a total WAP-er, so I was already feeling guilty about my industrial food nightmare, but I was worried about my test results would be stratospheric. My 1 hour result was 85 mg/dl. The doctor thought this number was so low that she was worried they had done the test too early in the pregnancy (about 2 weeks before normal time). Knowing that I was going to do the test next time, I snacked on some almonds and water the test results were 110 mg/dl. Still normal but significantly higher than my total sugar bomb test 2 weeks before.
ah, doctors. The only profession I can think of that carries so much power and prestige and yet is one of the leading causes of unnecessary death in this country. The results they get for anything other than emergency med is appalling. The financial conflicts of interest are criminal. And yet we give our power away to them. I am watching my mom and grandma do that right now. Down the pharmaceutical rabbit hole!
Yes, modern “medicine” is incredibly good in one area: Dealing with acute trauma. Break a bone, get shot, fall off your hang-glider, etc and a doctor will get you patched up in a jiffy.
But heaven forbid a person has a “health condition” and gets on the pharmaceutical merry-go-round of drug after drug after side effect after drug to treat the side effect after the next drug to treat the kidney failure caused by the other drug, etc.
I’m reminded of this quote:
“Just look at us. Everything is backwards. Everything is upside-down. Doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, universities destroy knowledge, governments destroy freedom, the major media destroy information, and religion destroys spirituality.”—Michael Ellner
best quote ever
I agree with your assessment of Drs in general, but true GD is very progressive in nature. I had GD with my 2nd child and for 6 months I had to eat a moderate-card diet. It wasn’t a huge source of stress. It was just changing my diet a bit for 6 months- big deal. (That was also the pregnancy where I gained no extra fat and was in my normal jeans 5 days after birth.)
Love this post, it is so, SO true. Ditto what Sean said above. Thanks, Matt.
With my first 2 pregnancies, I took the test. First one was fine but the second showed I was hypoglycemic. I’m 5 weeks pregnant now and I’m wondering if I have the right to decline taking the test? I hope so because I’m going to try!
You have the right to decline any test or medical treatment.
They get you when you’re pregnant, especially first time where you’re scared. I barely scraped by the ogtt test. But when I showed the first sign of ‘toxemia’ with an elevated bp at the perinatal doc, I was advised to bedrest in the hospital. After further consulting w him and my rheumathologist (lupus doc – though no flare in 15+ years), I decided to bed rest at home 15 min away. Next day I had an OB appt, my first time with this woman ob, and she welcomed me with, “Why do you want your baby to die?” In front of my mother. (Remember my bp just started to go up.) So in defiance I bitched about it on the phone for the next 3 hours, ate a ton of Thai food, and checked in around midnight. Next morning my fasting blood sugar was 121 (normal for me less than 80). So a few hours later while I had guests, the nurse came in w a shot of insulin. I said no doctor has come in to discuss this w me, and she said, “You have to do what’s best for the baby.” Exactly. But no hero here, I took the stupid thing and stopped it the next day after back to normal. When crappy things like this happen, moms (especially new ones) just want to move on after they are home safe w baby. So no repurcussions for the bad behavior. Even now 10 years later, my whole body just tensed up and I feel shaky after writing this.
Matt, please talk about toxemia.
I think so many women get bossed around during pregnancy. Especially first time moms. Doctors use intimidation and scare tactics. You can get a woman to do anything if you tell her something bad might happen to her baby.
It is bullying to use scare tactics, but I guess they feel they have to cover themselves because of lawsuits. I was able to avoid the GTT for my last pregnancy, but only because I had already had three healthy pregnancies (and I was stubborn). I appreciated that my doctor worked with me on that, but he also told me that I really didn’t need to eat more than 1800 calories(!) a day. However, I ate to appetite, gained a lot of weight, and had a big, healthy baby.
My girlfriend got diagnosed with preeclampsia while she was pregnant with a BP of 120/80!
What the everloving fuck?!
As a person who is VERY involved with birth professionals (hippie midwives, not OBs mind you) this just makes my brain implode a bit.
They gave you insulin for a BG of 121??? Were they trying to give you hypoglycemia? As a type 1 diabetic (one who has to take insulin regularly), I’m constantly surprised by the number of medical professionals who have no idea how to “treat” diabetes (even by current medical standards). On the diabetes blogs you hear horror stories of people going to the ER for diabetic ketoacidosis, only being given metformin (no insulin to bring down the BG) and sent home with the instructions to watch their sugar intake and not to wear flip flops (I kid you not). There was an article in the Wall Street Journal about it: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444840104577553462450522098.html
Of course, I’d like to see researchers actually focusing on finding out WHY type 1 diabetes is rising in numbers and how to stop it.
I just don’t understand how doctors can be so ignorant. I used to work for an ob/gyn and I saw a lot of people do their GTTs even though they didn’t want to. And don’t even get me started on unneccessary ultrasounds.
The medical profesion clearly is based on fear, and manipulating people’s fears.
My comfort zone has always been away from doctors.
Being a daughter of a medical doctor I was always given pills for everything and I remember being very young and tossing the pills in the toilet because they seem weird to me.
I work with a system that like Matt teaches people to trust the body and allow it’s expression.
But I also encourage people to trust themselves, and not quit their doctor just because I said so, but used the western model as much as it will give them peace of mind. I also encourage them to see if it’s working or not.
What I was doing with my diet was clearly not working, gave it time and then came to listen to what Matt has to teach me.
I am grateful.
Being hispanic, my role models (elders) have a firm resistance to doctor/med interventions, particularly giving up body parts to it. Born here, I’m taught to label my symptoms (Hashimoto’s, Lupus, Hypoglycemia, now Anemia) and it enables me to address it in an extreme way like diet, supplements, reading books, websites, etc.). Meanwhile, each of my elders have expressed symptoms of what I go through, but they don’t call it anything, they just complain and move on. If a doc gives them meds (script), they thank them all smiley, and it goes in the garbage at the burger place we go to right after the appt. They are over 80, no meds, eat what they want, and basically non-dependent on the industrial med system.
Reminds me of this Dominican guy who was visiting here (ATL). His wife bought a bp monitor and two days in a row he had elevated bp. So he goes to urgent care to have it checked out. Next thing, he’s in the hospital having a stint procedure explained to him which comes with the risk of stroke, death, etc. He calls for the translator (my friend) and basically says WTF. I come in with something minor, and they’re suggesting that I should do something that could kill me. They both knew it was crazy, but she wasn’t in a position to say to. He knew she agreed that it was ridiculous. He left, and went back to his beautiful farm in the Dominican Republic.
Just curious, but can advising people not to listen to doctors’ orders a bit specifically like this get you in trouble?
I’m not saying that you actually did anything wrong, but it seems like those in the medical establishment will do anything to shut out naysayers in any form. I just don’t want anyone to go after the 180 for a dumb reason like that.
I’m studying biochemistry and want to get into med school right now. When I first started researching health, I started hating doctors and began thinking naturopaths were the way to go. I wanted to see if I could get into a naturopathic school.
I visited one for a while recently. Don’t get me wrong, he was great during this time of need and it felt like we were actually a team working together to get my health back. He kept reaching for weird causes that were probably unlikely (mercury poisoning, certain parasites in my gut) and recommended cleanses and detoxes. This was all after we found out my numbers weren’t in the hypothyroid range, which is the reason I visited him…for hypothyroidism. On top of that, he always went on long rants about the medical system and he would overexplain things I already knew…so I was in there for like an hour and a half during one appointment. He also thought sugar was bad and that I should cut out a whole bunch of these things from my diet, EVEN THOUGH I had just told him that being unrestricted was allowing me to get a whole bunch of calories in and that dry sugars were helping me sleep again!! It’s like he wasn’t even paying attention, just repeating the same advice over and over again.
I don’t want to go to a naturopathic school (haven’t wanted that in a long time) and knowing how the medical system is run, I don’t know if I’d become one of those doctors who gets blacklisted for doing something different than everyone else.
Yet, part of me thinks that even the little suggestions offered here as well as my life experiences can enable me to really help people as a doctor. It’s a cool thought. I have to do some more soul searching.
My ‘work’ (don’t get paid, so hubby says it’s not) involves presenting the perspective that modern science is very vulnerable, particularly in terms of ‘quality of life.’. My favorite quotes in my lit reviews are, “The last 20 years (book was written in the 80’s) have shown that the science of today is in many ways as fallible, as open to error, as all the protoscience of our yesterdays? (Reay Tannahil -History of Food).
And this one on the basis of the scientiic method originated by Descartes, “His famous “method” – which involved questioning assumptions, taking no assertion on faith, and building our understanding of the world on provable observations rather than tradition – became the basis for the scientific method. His reorientation of knowledge so that it was no longer based on collective authority (what the king decrees, what the church demands, -what gets funded/published in academia – me) but on a newly empowered self – the individual mind and its ‘good sense’ – ” (Shorto, Russelll Descartes’ Bones).
You are absolutely right.
Steering people away from doctors just for the hell of it with no foundations is not a good idea.
Instead, people see what other alternative they have and try it, and then for themselves they decide .
People are very surprised to see that life does exist without doctors and then they are not afraid.
And when they have an open mind then they can clearly decide what they are going to do.
When my level of comfort is 0% western medicine, for someone else is 40% and for someone can be more or less.
I have learned through the years that everyone is entlited to be where they are and make the choices that they make, and I respect that. My only role is to give them a taste of what can be accomplished without them (doctors).
“I have learned through the years that everyone is entlited to be where they are and make the choices that they make, and I respect that.”
Not everyone wants to take responsibility for their own health.They want the doctors to make their decisions for them. I have a friend who was diagnosed with stage one breast cancer last summer. She turned herself over completely to the doctors and went along with their plan for her. She never asked any questions about the treatment. She said she trusted her doctors and feels that doctors always act in the best interest of their
patients. She is a very intellectually lazy person and those types of people should be allowed to go down the path of destruction.
Anyway, she had the lump removed and the surgery was followed by 24 radiation treatments to her breast even though the surgeon claimed the cancer had not spread and had been completely removed They told her that radiation treatments are completely safe and she believes them. She is my friend, but it is not my (or anyone else’s) responsibility to try to help people like her by wearing them down with evidence that most medical treatment does more harm than good.
Naturopathy is, in general, just another racket, in my experience. They pimp off of people’s disenchantment with mainstream medicine. They spend a lot of time talking sh*t about M.Ds all the while draining your bank account. And man, are they good at draining bank accounts. Every few years they come up with a new epidemic (mercury, chronic lymes, etc) that is incurable (because it probably doesn’t exist), so they can drag on treatment indefinitely. Probably most of them believe their own B.S. Most of them belong in that category of people who believe that aliens from another star system secretly control our government.
My suggestion: go to medical school, but be wary of the propaganda you might be fed there. You’ll get a good education. Don’t throw the baby away with the bathwater.
Thanks for the suggestion :)
I’m honestly thankful for the ability to critically analyze things, even in an impaired mental state from stavation, because I can remain skeptical and openminded to many things. I guess I’m just saying that I’m glad I was open minded enough to give a naturopath a shot, but skeptical enough not to trust everyone he said 100%. Though I had my head lodged up my ass for a while, I’m glad I questioned my beliefs about nutrition instead of being stubborn thinking that my diet was perfect, and I just had bad genes or something.
I’m not doing heavy-duty thinking about my future at the moment. I’m working on recovering from my eating disorder and building my strength back up from my pre-diet days and then some…but I’m leaning more towards your suggestion. Go to medical school, be open to learning but also remain wary, incorporate my life experiences with medical school knowledge to really try to help people.
Good luck Kamran.
I was in a similar situation a while back, disenchanted with allopathic medicine then ruled out naturopathic medicine. I eventually decided that neither allopathic nor naturopathic medicine was the answer for me( I agree with Thomas about naturopaths). Why spend all that money going to medical school if most of what I would learn is drug based propaganda. I would have to fight too hard to practice the type of medicine I want and would probably not earn a good living. There are many doctors who know that they are harming their patients but they are stuck in the system and don’t want to give up their lucrative income.
Eventually the medical care system will collapse because it is just too expensive. Hopefully, Obamacare will hasten the collapse.
And yes, that shit was super expensive. Though they were nice enough to give me a big fat student and unemployment discount. One lady was walking out of her appointment though…she had been there like 4 times and she had spent upwards of 1000 dollars. Fucking ridiculous.
I don’t wanna talk too much shit. The guy was a really great listener and when I told him about trying to shut down stress system activity with diet, he was super supportive and he sort of validated my ideas that it was the right thing to do. I just hope I don’t really have to visit him again.
The problem with still going through medical school and becoming an MD is that you are hamstrung by protocol. Do something that isn’t standard (like not prescribe a cholesterol-lowering agent) and a patient has a heart attack and you are liable for that. Follow protocol and a patient’s head could spontaneously combust and you’re in the clear.
That is exactly what I’m worried about.
Baby steps maybe? Perhaps I could work with the evils of the system while also telling people to maybe drink less water, increase their salt intake, and pay attention to things like cold hands/feet and sleep and such. I know that would already be much more than my doctor would tell me.
Kamran, you may want to look into becoming a DO rather than MD. They can prescribe meds like an MD, but have a more holistic protocol. It could be a happy medium.
A DO can (and will) get sued just the same as an MD.
Matt, I know a doctor in San Francisco that manages this problem. He gives you a choice, in such cases. He will prescribe those meds if you want him to do so. If you don’t want him to, he will try to find some other way to help you. As far as I know, he’s never been in trouble.
That’s actually pretty awesome, Thomas. Does he make them sign something stating that the patient rejects the treatment option, or something? That gives me hope that I could just give people the
OPTION to try something other than the norm without getting in trouble.
You could also offer the RX while also giving them a list of side effects and other options, on paper. That way you follow protocol but offer both options. They decide.
He’s been “my” doctor for over 15 years. I don’t ever remember him making me sign anything like that. He may have have the first time I went, but I don’t recall it.
Basically, he usually says, “we could try this X a pharmaceutical approach” or we could try Y an herbal approach or we could try Z another approach.” He’s not afraid of suggesting allopathic pharmaceuticals when he thinks that’s the only viable approach.
Several doctors in my area have been driven out of town and had their licenses revoked for practicing that kind of medicine.One doctor lost her license for telling diabetics about the long-term harmful effects of insulin injections. It is now impossible to find a doctor who will do anything except prescribe pharmaceutical drugs. Most areas of the country are still hostile to open-minded doctors.
I think you will be fighting a losing battle.
If you go to medical school, be prepared to become a part of the system. Even doctors who claim to be alternative (like Andrew Weill) are very much a part of the system. They just tell you to take some carrot juice and vitamins along with your chemotherapy and radiation.
I’m with Thomas on this one. We need doctors who realize the limitations of their field. I was on a premed track myself before I got really sick and had to deal with the medical profession head on. I don’t regret my decision, but I wonder how many doctors actually know what it is like to be a patient in their system.
Have to say again that I really like your art work Nira. Just saw the one in which you incorporated “Les Demoiselles D’Avignon”. Nice!
Thanks Thomas :)
I went to a ND during my fight with cancer. I was naive to think he could/would help me in a non- drug or ‘alternative’ manner. He first loaded me up with literally thousands of dollars worth of herbs & supplements. Then, after starting chemo, I consulted the ND cuz I felt the chemo was killing me more/as much as the cancer. This was a huge decision for me as I was encountering the scare tactics of my doc & the medical team as well as the fears of my loved ones. Instead of helping me think it thru (at the very least!), the ND reflexively told me to follow doctors orders. That’s when I realised he was more interested in his business (and not having MD”s against him) rather than truly helping me. I walked out of his office, halted chemo on my own and I”m totally fine today 12 years later!
Good for you, Paul, for listening to your own instincts! I think that’s always the best way. I don’t want to totally take credit from alternative doctors here. I agree a lot of naturopaths are quacks. However, there is a range. Also, there are many other types of alternative doctors who are legit. Like Ayurvedic, TCM, etc. A friend of mine went through chemo for breast cancer, and she saw an herbalist at the same time who she said was extremely helpful at mitigating the side effects of chemo. Additionally, I know my homeopathic doctor has helped people through chemo when they have chosen that path. But she has helped me solve health issues with homeopathy without being money grubbing. It’s actually been extremely cheap. And there are people who have cured their own cancer in alternative ways (look at Dr. Burzynski and others). Personally, I would never see a naturopath. But I would not hesitate to see a good ayurvedic doctor, homeopath, etc. who has been properly trained and vetted.
burzynski… I don’t trust that guy. He’s earning shitloads of money, like hundreds thousands out of a single case. Taking advantage of desperate patients. Yet evading doing a proper study or show some real numbers
I don’t know, thomas. These look like real enough results to me, on the NIH page: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/cam/antineoplastons/healthprofessional/page5, or this paper: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15911929?dopt=Abstract
People pour an awful lot of money (also hundreds of thousands for a single case) and false hope throw down the chemotherapy hole, for cancers that aren’t even responsive to chemo. The actual stats for chemo, with the exception of a few cancers, are extremely poor yet that is our “standard of care.” Sure, his patients die sometimes, but so do chemo patients, all the time.
Anyone going up against big pharma and the medical establishment is going to struggle against being persecuted and discredited (there is a long list of people, but start with Gerson for one), so I take all criticisms against Burzynski with a massive grain of salt. He was just cleared of wrongdoing by the Texas Medical Board, so that says something. That said, I actually would not choose to use his method of therapy, but nor would I go with chemo. I think there are better ways out there.
What did you do to treat your cancer/
Did it go away on it’s own?
The first part of your comment was exactly what I would’ve written. But I think that reading this blog and trusting what Matt says and his sources make you a LOT different from our typical MD, naturopath or not.
What I’m trying to do here is to give you some perspective: just go and tell people (anyone) that overfeeding will make them healthier and you will see how different you are.
My two cents? Please go on into med school, and stand up for what you’ve seen is true. We need scientists with good ideas out there, who publish papers, who are more trusted than someone without credentials (no offense, Matt, I don’t believe in credentials either, but hopefully you guys see my point)
When it comes to trying to modify the medical science from the inside, we need you to be there so a bigger paradigm shift can happen.
People like Matt are making a great difference, but I think a lot more could be done, from different angles and different disciplines, like biochemistry. :)
Exactly. I think going through the motions of trying to restore your crappy health without using medicine to just stop the symptoms is really taking the blue pill so to speak (or was it the red one that sends you down the rabbit hole?). It’s a blessing and a bit of a curse. I feel my knowledge could be valuable to so many people, but I run the risk of it not working for someone and getting in trouble for that.
I like the idea of making tiny little changes from inside the system. I know I’d have to follow protocol even if it is not the best thing for the patient, but I feel like I could be the doctor that promotes people to think for themselves and points out flaws in the system. Matt often recommends little things to improve health, I could do stuff like that as well. Though I’m aware at how even the little things could be seen as crazy talk.
Yeah, naturopathic medicine mindset is prone to that kind of thinking. Fads and detoxing being the worst of it, but they have their dogmas, and most would probably seriously not be on board with the 180 perspective…
I had a GD diagnosis with my third pregnancy and I really wished that I had refused the test like I did with the first two… But they got me with the scare tactics.. because my second baby was big and my “advanced maternal age” (33, so old) .. and this was a homebirth midwife, not even a doc. That 3 hour glucose test is a special kind of hell when you are pregnant.
Then when I had to take my blood sugar 4 times a day for the rest of pregnancy there was never any issue.. I ate normally, the only adjustment I made was to wait until after I took my sugar to eat any sweets.. I’m still mad at myself for giving in to that test..
I didn’t do the glucose test with my last few because it made me violently ill and I could hardly function for days after….thankfully midwives don’t care if you refuse the test.
Thank you SO MUCH for this! I’m in the midst of writing a curriculum for my childbirth education class, and my main hang-up has been nutrition. I just can’t be the one to toe the line and perpetuate misinformation aimed at these poor, stressed-out pregnant babes. I’m still hashing it out, but the jist is gonna be: eat to appetite, salt to taste, drink to thirst, etc. And follow it up with plenty of ideas for de-stressing. It bugs me that there’s this big “trust birth, trust women’s bodies” movement — but that mindset is not extended to nutrition and exercise during pregnancy. Those aspects still seem very prescriptive, even though every pregnancy is different! Anyway, thanks for this. Great food for thought.
I refused to fast when taking this horrible, stupid test because i know i would be close to passing out. I refused lots of testing and screening that comes along with having twins…they kept calling and are still calling for “well-baby” checkups and immunizations…haha, i’m not even going to return the calls.
I have a question though:
Why do allergies develop, does anyone know? I’m pretty certain almost everyone has a leaky gut to some extent, but why is the immune system reacting inappropriately for some people and not for others?
I’m asking because one of my twins has same allergy like myself (casein), but the other one doesn’t!! I want to fix this.
Did anyone here have success in overcoming allergies?
Same question. My one month old baby seems to react to dairy that I eat. I am avoiding dairy for now but wish there was something different I could do to help her through this.
My son had a difficult time with dairy when he was a newborn as well. I had to remain dairy free for the first 6 months of his life. After that, he was able to tolerate it. I think for many babies, it’s just a matter of their guts not quite being ready yet to digest the larger protein of dairy. You may just need to wait a little bit and then reintroduce it later to see if she can then handle it.
Like Emma said, some babies just can’t tolerate it just yet. My daughter couldn’t handle me eating vegetables! It was quite odd. So no vegetables for 6 months and then everything was peachy fine.
50 year old female (kinda off topic cuz im not pregnant- heh) but I need input – Non alchoholic fatty liver and prediabetic on metformin. Help me understand. Fructose or not to Fructose? Potato starch only or is sugar okay? Grain or not to grain? How can I read all about you guys eating cheeseburgers and pizza – are you making all these foods from scratch to avoid the PUFAS??
I now weigh 228 lbs!!! HOLY SHIT im only 5’3”. I have gained 15 lbs (above all time high since I didnt start from a deficit) on my HED eating for heat and my temps are good but I have not had the decrease in appetite yet, and my glucose readings are too high and erratic for me to understand now. I was doing okay on potatoes loaded with butter, but sushi increases BG and orange juice (ala peat) also was ratcheting my numbers up higher. Milk with sugar! fuggetaboutit! and after reading Peat say that nutritional yeast cured his father’s diabetesin three weeks, I added that in. BG soared to 260 with sugary foods like flan. Afraid I am paralysing my little pancreatic beta cells with numbers that high. so WTF? am I the only one this isnt working for? Am I too far gone metabolically? Do I have to do something different cuz my liver is damaged? Do I need to just keep pushing sugar till my body gets it?
Also Matt, (read all your books) evening primrose oil and ALA is supposed to help with BG, do you think that is too much PUFA?
ARGH! I put myself up for your suggested experimentations as I am willing to try anything to avoid an endocrinologists!
I hate to casually throw out advice with something so serious and also with such limited information. Is there anyway we could actually talk in detail about this?
BTW ALA and evening primrose are different types of PUFA than linoleic acid and arachidonic acid which I write more about.
I suppose it is time for me to get my consult on. :) I don’t think there is a
Metabolism Destroying Diet I haven’t been on! Amphetamines, phen/fen, Atkins, slim fast, the zone, food combining, regular calorie restriction and I’m sure this is one of your faves –
Human gonadotropin 500 calorie!
Will contact you via your consult page tomorrow ;)
When I was measuring BG for my GD, RICE was the one food I really had to avoid. It shot my BG up so high, it wasn’t worth it. I think you should be careful with the really high-glycemic stuff like rice and OJ.
by the way, regular milk would send my numbers soaring, but raw milk did not. If you can get it perhaps you can try that.
Love this article!! GD is mostly a crap diagnosis and causes way more problems than it solves. I declined testing in both pregnancies and had two healthy, normal-sized babies. Most women really feel that you are putting your babies at a terrible risk if you decline testing. My view is that if you listen to your body and eat a good balance if carbs, fat, and protein. What’s worse us that when a woman has beend diagnosed the diet advice is SO bad.
From the experiences of the two women I wrote about in this article, you may be putting your babies at terrible risk if you ACCEPT testing.
yes, I know a woman who was diagnosed with GD and then induced at 39 weeks simply because of this diagnosis, because the baby “might get too big”. The induction failed and a csection ensued for a baby that sadly weighed less than 6 pounds! Probably as a result of all if the intervention and quite possibly bad advice, her attempts at breastfeeding failed and her little girl was formula fed despite her plans. Even now she is tiny, and at 3.5 weighed the same as my 6 month old baby! All because of a crap diagnosis.
How incredibly sad is this :(
How do people allow doctors to have so much influence over them?
Does it start from the childhood, when we were told that doctors know best?
My mom was always somewhat critical of doctors, so i grew up not visiting them much at all. We didn’t even have aspirin in home, and it’s not that she was some health nut…
So i suppose this attitude was passed onto me and has been central to my well being. When i experienced the very first, fine symptoms of MS, i only went to doctor to get a referral for MRI, which showed some spots on my neck, and since then, have not gone back to any doctor again. If i were to go, i would start slowly doubting myself about my approach to healing…
I’m not boasting, but sharing in a case someone benefits from my experience.
I think one of the most important factors in getting well again without a help of a doctor lies in paying attention to the very first symtoms, whatever they might be, instead of being in denial and hope it’s going to pass.
“How do people allow doctors to have so much influence over them?”
I ask myself this all the time. After watching my father go through the craziest string of drugs, one after another to mitigate side effects, and many friends so the same, I have concluded that it’s rooted in our culture, not to mention all based in fear. First, everything in our culture sets doctors up as all-knowing. Every article, advertisement, etc. about a drug, supplement or exercise program advises “ask your doctor.” Babies go to the doctor constantly for “well-baby” visits. Throughout life, if there’s a health problem, there’s always a drug for it. People are very scared of sickness, and most don’t even hear about alternative methods, not to mention they’ve been subjected to ridicule.
Most people I know think I’m misguided for very minor things, like refusing to take advil when I have a fever, or not getting a flu shot. Both the doctor culture and medication culture are so firmly entrenched that another way just doesn’t even occur to most people. This way is what society promotes and reveres.
A question for Matt or anyone else:
My girlfriend has a fairly low body temperature (about 97.5 most of the time) and most of the symptoms of low metabolism, especially low sex drive, dry skin, anxiety and depression, etc.
But she has never dieted, never lost a lot of weight, never eaten low-carb, and never exercised to excess. So her low metabolism is not caused by calorie restriction or the starvation response.
However, last summer she was under a huge amount of psychological stress due to her work environment and living situation. She frequently slept less than 6 hours in a night, and was generally very unhappy and “stressed out” most of the time.
Ever since then she hasn’t been the same girl–more moody, less horny, more tired, more irritable. She has also gained weight and her face is noticeably puffier.
I’ve been conflicted about what to advise her to do. I don’t think “refeeding” or overfeeding is appropriate in this case, because she has never restricted calories. And even after a huge, salty, carby meal, her temperature doesn’t go up. Plus, she has already been gaining weight steadily for the past 8 months.
What should I recommend for her? I have already emphasized the importance of getting at LEAST 8 hours of quality sleep every night. She’s been doing that, and her mood and outlook have already improved dramatically.
But beyond this, what do you think would help her the most?
Has she resolved the psychological stress? That would be the #1 recommendation I would think. And anything else that would help lower stress levels. It just takes time to recover sometimes.
Thanks for responding.
She has switched jobs, moved out of the apartment she was in, is sleeping better, and is much happier and more emotionally stable now. So yes, I’d say the psychological stress is mostly gone.
But the physical symptoms like weight gain and low body temperature and other things have been sticking around, even though most of her stressors were removed almost 2 months ago.
I’ve just been encouraging her to get tons of sleep, to take it easy on the exercise, to eat tasty and satisfying food, and to relax and have fun as much as possible. I guess maybe that’s all I/she can do, and then just be patient.
My only worry is that something a little more aggressive might be necessary to shift her body out of the cycle of stress and back to normal functioning. Any idea whether that might be true?
Maybe magnesium oil for stress, moodines, irritability…. She was maybe born with somewhat low metabolism that got further damaged by stress and everything else stress brings along, such as lowered appetite. Oh, how i destroyed my health while studying in university…all those nights being awake until 2am, and then haardly eating breakfast so to be able to catch a class on time
If tou pay attention to what people say, many have had their first symptoms of a serous illness appear shortly after some traumatic event.
The stress would also cause adrenal issues, this site
gives some guidance on how to check if adrenals are functioning right.
Fixing her sleep would be crucial. According to my own observation and folk legend, it is not how many hours you sleep, but when. Going to bed early 9 PMish made a huge difference all my bodily functions.
Also cutting out huge dinners, and eating most of your calories in the first part of the day is helpful.
I also had to quit coffee after 20 years. Again, huge improvements all around, even though I am 98 percent healthy :)
Thanks. I’ve observed the same thing about sleep timing–if I go to bed at, say, 10 or 11 pm, I feel much better the next day. If I wait till 3 am, even if I sleep 9 hours I still feel kinda trashed most of the day.
My girlfriend has been addicted to coffee for most of the time she’s been struggling. Also, her downturn in health correlated with a shift from going to bed before midnight to staying up really late, till 3 or 4 some nights.
Such simple things, and easy to identify, but not always easy to fix. Habits are hard to change, you know?
Yeah I know. Coffee addiction really tires out the adrenal glands. She should really try to quit. The first few days might be horrible though with headaches, extreme fatigue and brain fog. Once these go, she will automatically go to bed earlier. I have seen it happen with my friends who quit.
Do you have any planned future posts about strep B and antibiotics given during labor? I have a three week old. When I asked the midwife at the practice that I like and trust what would happen if I declined antibiotics for me as well as anything for my baby (unless one of us actually became ill) that a social worker would likely be asked to get involved. Since a nearby hospital took custody of a baby temporarily due to parents asking too many questions and declining certain unnecessary procedures I decided to take the antibiotics and just show up late enough that they could only get one round into me. Any thoughts?
What the heck??
You can’t decide what baby is going to take or not take?
Who owns the child? Government or the parent?
There is a great way to deal with any infection, anywhere in the body: frequent doses of vitamin C. Check out Dr.Klenner’s work. He reversed polio in six days with vit C. He used it for snake bites, black widow bites, chemical poisionong, skin burns, all kinds of bacterial and viral infections. He published his work – the evidence is out there.
I use it, in small frequent doses along with sugar, salt, and orange juice, wheneve my babies are sick. It had never failed to lower the fever back to normal in 24-48 hours…not to mention all that congestion. But a person needs to know how to use it correctly.
I didn’t know this problem was so serious. I’ve been working on a post for my own blog about the lack of integrity in medical and nutritional science. Our culture is really screwed up around doctors, but it does make sense. I mean think about it. I’m a computer engineer. If you ask me to come over and fix something and I say you need to get a different router, or you need to reinstall a certain program, or whatever you’ll just be like ok. You have no way to assess what I’m telling you. If somebody else who hasn’t studied computers, has no degree, and doesn’t work with them comes along and says “Aaron’s wrong. Don’t listen to him. He’ll f*ck over your whole system.”, well who are you going to listen to?
I’m more concerned about why the medical system is the way it is. There are definite conflicts of interest and vested interests but I think the problem is more systemic than that. There’s just a lot of hubris and that leads to lazy science. T. Colin Campbell is fanatical about his China Study and reducing animal products. I mean we already know they’re bad, right? Meanwhile Denise Minger and Chris Masterjohn sit in a corner pointing out all these mistakes and fallacies and it’s kind of like he’s just shut them out. They don’t exist. But I don’t think he believes any less in his own theories. It’s a strange psychological phenomenon. As for the intense fear tactics doctors are using, I don’t think they know how destructive it is. It doesn’t mean that some of them don’t deserve a b*tch slap (based on the stories I’ve been reading here).
I think this article and the responses to it go a long way towards explaining a lot of the health ailments our society is now facing. Gluten intolerance. Auto-immune diseases. Etc. It’s all just getting worse.
The list of reasons that the medical system is failing is almost too long to enumerate: hubris, prejudice, sexism, callousness, objectification, even fetishization of medical conditions. Every condition can be dismissed as genetic, and if you complain or otherwise speak out (at least as a young woman), you are dismissed as having a mental disorder. The best doctors never dehumanize their patients and they are hard to find. The field is however, systemically flawed. Medical specialization is lost without having an understanding of energy metabolism and the mechanisms of function. As it is now, everyone specializes in dysfunction and misses the big picture.
“Every condition can be dismissed as genetic, and if you complain or otherwise speak out (at least as a young woman), you are dismissed as having a mental disorder.”
That is what happens to me and now I avoid doctors.Any woman who questions a doctor’s knowledge or authority is irrational and suffering from psychological problems.
I have decided that unless I injure myself or need emergency care, I will never again visit a doctor. No more pap smears, blood pressure testing, lipid profiles etc.
I was taken to doctors as a child for routine checkups & shots because that’s just how it was done 50 years ago, but I became disillusioned at a young age, so I decided just not to go to them when I had the control. I’m now 55, & except for seeing a doctor during my two pregnancies in my 20’s, & a few times for injuries, I haven’t been to a doctor in years. I don’t get yearly checkups, don’t have any tests done, don’t get shots for anything, & I’ve been just fine. If I do get sick, which is rare, I just use common sense & rest, eat if I’m hungry, & more rest.
I just checked out your blog. Very interesting and thoughtful. Let us know when you post the doctor post.
Looking forward to your post on this, Aaron.
I’m not sure I fully agree with this statement,
” High blood sugar is an adaptive response. While this an oversimplification, stress impairs the ability of glucose to get into cells and trigger proper production of ATP. In response to this, blood sugar rises to overcompensate and deliver vital glucose.”
After reading this article (http://bja.oxfordjournals.org/content/85/1/69.full.pdf+html ) and many others on Glut Transporters( http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16034410) I am now under the impression that glucose can get into the cells just fine even without the actions of insulin or even in the presence of the disruptive effects caused by stress hormones (for the most part). The reason blood sugar rises is not to “over compensate” but rather because the liver is now insulin resistant and process like Gluconeogenesis, ketogenesis, and glycogen breakdown now go unchecked, the breaks have been cut and the systems are not as tightly regulated. Essentially, this “damning back” of glucose phenomenon that people will often refer to is not stemming from a lack of insulin’s effect on glucose uptake into peripheral tissue but rather because the lower substrate (i.e The krebs cycle) is being dominated by an overload of free fatty acid and ketone oxidation in insulin resistant individuals. This happens because the metabolism of glucose can be inhibited by the increasing ketone bodies in the plasma which then enter the kreb’s cycle and can supply most of the cells energy needs. (It is abnormal to have Free Fatty Acids, Glucose and Ketones all at high levels at the same time which if I’m not mistaken is what we see in most diabetics.) This results in a damning back of Glycolysis from glucose as the substrate becomes “clogged”. Thus, glucose transport and uptake into cells is dependent on the degree of ketones present in the blood… not so much insulin or stress hormones. In T1 Diabetics Glucose uptake can actually be Increased:
“As hepatic glucose output is ‘switched off? by the chalonic action of insulin, glucose concentration falls and glucose uptake actually decreases. Contrary to most textbooks and previous teaching, glucose uptake is therefore actually INCREASED in uncontrolled diabetes and decreased by insulin administration! The explanation for this is that because, even in the face of insulin de?ciency, there are plenty of glucose transporters in the cell membranes. The factor determining glucose uptake under these conditions is the concentration gradient across the cell membrane;this is highest in uncontrolled diabetes and falls as insulin lowers blood glucose concentration primarily (at physiological insulin concentrations) through reducing hepatic glucose production” -(http://bja.oxfordjournals.org/content/85/1/69.full.pdf+html)
The error in logic that is committed is for us to think that insulin is required for glucose to transverse the membranes of muscle and fat cells, when in fact there are already plenty of Glut-4 transporters already located on the surface of these cell membranes. This is because the main factor driving glucose uptake is the mass action effect through Facilitated diffusion, the rate of which is determined by the concentration gradient between extracellular and intracellular glucose concentrations. The cells are never truly dependent on insulin to sustain their energy needs. Glucose can get into the cell just fine, but without insulin it can not stay trapped in the cell ( via a kinase like hexokinase, glucokinase). These results in turn suggest that the high blood glucose levels seen in diabetes is a result of the unregulated activity in the liver more so then the inability of glucose to get into the cells of peripheral tissue .
“In diabetics, who are insulin deficient, the restraining effect of insulin on hepatic glucose production is impaired and increased glucose production causes hyperglycemia. The peripheral utilization of glucose in diabetes is similar to that of normal subjects.”(http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1604580/pdf/brmedj00125-0013.pdf)
When It comes to Gestational Diabetes, I think the same logic would hold up and a sizeable portion of scientific evidence points to the inception of diabetes/IR being first and foremost a problem with the liver. How it happens? we still don’t know, but I think my main point was that glucose production does not overcompensate because glucose can’t get into the cells but rather because the Liver has become IR thus it does not halt Gluconeogenesis or glycogen breakdown thus resulting in high fasting blood sugar. Just one mans take on diabetes as there is still much to be learned about how this disease manifests itself in different physiological scenarios and how we can safely reverse it.
That statement was made to summarize that an activation of the stress system pours free fatty acids into the blood, impairing glucose uptake/clearance.
Ray Peat makes this statement, in one of his articles, which I wish would have been fleshed out more or emphasized, as it seems to be very significant, if true:
“Insulin itself has been found to account for only about 8% of the “insulin-like activity” of the blood, with potassium being probably the largest factor.”
That would seem like a massively significant statement, and yet I haven’t heard many Peat devotees really get into the details with that.
Diabetes has been – for a number of thinkers – thought to be a an error of fatty-acid metabolism and essentially a ketogenic kind of state.
What role does the Randle Cycle have to do with this?
I also wonder how a low-fat, high-carb diet would effect metabolism at the mitochondrial level, but simply restricting dietary fatty acids, while emphasizing carbohydrates; also, thiamine, and other glucose oxidizing co-enzymes. I know that Guy Schenker refers to most diabetics as being “ketogenic” – based on Watson’s work with slow oxidizers – and the Rx for them is increasing nutrients like potassium, magnesium, thiamine, niacin, etc, while keeping fat low and carbs high.
So, in summary, I am wondering what kind of effect a high-potassium, b-vitamin, sugar & carb diet (while keeping fats low and PUFA close as possible to zero) would have on someone who has slide into ketogenic metabolism?? Essentially, the “slow oxidizer” diet proposed by George Watson to balance someone whose metabolism at the mitochondrial level was metabolizing fatty acids too much relative to glucose….
Anyone with some nutrition coursework can tell you that sugar has never been shown to cause diabetes, despite the propaganda. What is associated with the development of type 2 diabetes is a high-fat diet. Now, I don’t know if they’ve studied what type of fat these people were eating (PUFAs or whatnot), or their overall nutrient levels. But fat is implicated far more than sugar or other carbs.
I am a physician assistant (PA-C). PA school was hard because we are subjected to endless propaganda without time to process it. Whatever they tell us is generally put into practice by most PAs. Of course, there are some good ones with independent thought (like me, ha).
I am someone who was subject to being scared into a 3-hour GTT after I passed the 1-hour! I was “borderline” and overweight so my doctor wanted me to get the 3-hour. I still passed the 3-hour, but my readings dropped from 180 after the first hour to 42 by the end of the test. I was shaking like a leaf. But because only one of my values were abnormally high, I was still considered not to have GD. The funny thing is that the 180 concerned her more than that 42. :( That didn’t stop my doctor from assuming I was high-risk because of my weight. Plus my first baby was large, but I didn’t have GD with her either.
I don’t know what I believe anymore. I know that, as a PA, I want to help people. But I don’t know how. I used to believe I wanted to work with a holistic doc, but now I don’t want to. They mostly believe in all sorts of allergies, detox, no sugar, etc. So, for now, I am trying to practice in an area where I feel little cognitive dissonance. Right now that’s thoracic surgery. People with esophageal cancer and lung cancer mostly — they get surgery and at least a couple more years to live … sometimes lots of years to live, when it’s caught early enough.
I had the care of homebirth CNMs (certified nurse midwives) for my 3rd and 4th pregnancies. It was marvelous. They were incredibly respectful and did not push anything. The things they stressed were eating and resting, being active (if possible and comfortable) and maintaining healthy relationships and support systems. Sound familiar, anyone?
I agree that the doc being fixated on the high number rather is odd and backwards!! I did not do the gtt with one of my babies and all was well. I monitored my glucose occasionally if I felt wierd. But everything was basically normal. I obliged my midwives with my next pregnancy, but used white grape juice as the challenge, was not fasting, and was instructed to take a brisk walk during my hour’s wait. Glucose was 118 at the one hour point.
I know this has been touched on. And this is a bit of a tangent. But what is the big scare with “big babies”? They’re awesome!!! I believe it’s brainwashing, convenience, and money/liability-related.
It’s not just the GTT thing, it’s everything that OBs have gotten involved in since taking over birth less than 100 years ago. They’ve fiddled with everything and made it worse for most. I’m not saying they’re unnecessary. No, I believe they could save lives in certain circumstances, but the problem is that they turn normal women and babies into “patients” who need fixing. And it’s turned into a very profitable business.
I was scared into an induction at 39 weeks with baby number two who they believed would be big, pushed him out (9 lbs, 2 oz) in the hospital in the lithotomy position (on back with feet in stirrups…easy for doc, awful for mom and baby). Shoulders were a bit of a tight fit for my pelvis, but doc took care of that (I believe he intentionally broke baby’s collar bone and did and episiotomy to expidite the birth process, which was going at lightning speed as it was). And then in contrast, I pushed out baby number 4, of the exact same size, in a birth pool on hands and knees (my choice…it felt right), in my own bedroom, attended by midwives, slowly, with dignity, and plenty of room in the pelvis and only a small tear (thanks for the scar tissue, doc!). More women need to get off the gerbil wheel and begin thinking for themselves and looking at the history of pregnancy and birth. It’s normal. It’s natural. You don’t need a doctor. You need a kind, motherly type to guide you through it; someone with a trained eye for anything that is “off” the normal course (midwife).
30% and up cesearean rate is NOT normal. Even the WHO says that a 10% c-rate should be the maximum rate. We’re far beyond that here in this country and our infant mortality rate is much higher than you’d think for a developed country with so many technologies in pregnancy and birth.
Matt! You got me knocked up!
Ok, actually my husband did that, but your advice to drink less water, eat more salt and sleep more had a lot to do with it ;)
Anyway, I’m in my first trimester and I am having a lot of food aversions, so I am not eating a ton. The only thing I really wants is toonnnss of water, especially with lemon and lime in it, and clementines and blood orange… It’s like I can’t get enough citrus. And I’m really not peeing that much for how much I am drinking. My question is, does the low-liquid recommendation hold up during pregnancy and breast feeding? I don’t want to lower my metabolism and set my baby up for poor health but I am also growing a placenta and amniotic sack, not to mention a human, and I feel like that takes a lot of liquid, which I am constantly thirsty for! Any ideas on that?
Also, what about prenatals? Yay or nay? In fact, maybe you could just humor me and do a mini series on pregnancy and breast feeding??? (I’m not being selfish, right? ;))
Ps I reallyyyy don’t want to take the Glocuse test because I show up as slightly hypoglycemic even though I am a perfectly healthy weight and I am very careful to not let my blood sugar spike up…. Ie I would NEVER drink a gallon of red drank on an empty stomach… And if I were to be diadnosed with GD I wouldn’t trust their nutritional advice anyway!
I note you say high fbgs are an adaptive response. Would you say this is so on a low carb diet that is perhaps too high in protein?
Reference for my earlier Ray Peat quote:
“Diabetologists” don’t regularly measure their patients’ insulin, but they usually make the assumption that insulin is the main factor regulating blood sugar. In one study, it was found that the insulin molecule itself, immunoreactive insulin, accounted for only about 8% of the serum’s insulin-like action. The authors of that study believed that potassium was the main other factor in the serum that promoted the disposition of glucose. Since potassium and glucose are both always present in the blood, their effects on each other have usually been ignored.”
— Ray Peat “Glucose and Sucrose for Diabetes”
This article reminds me how grateful I am to have had a midwife for both my babies. No testing, no screening,nothing but down to earth real advice. If I had gone to a Doctor for my first one, they would have harassed me to no end for gaining 60 pounds. I have two very happy, healthy girls and had two stress free pregnancies. Having babies is a natural process. Our medical system treats it like a disease. Midwives rock! and thanks for Chris Rock.
does this apply to non pregnant women that being diagnosed with high sugar means a lack of sugar so increase sugar
thankyou for your time
would love to read your book
So my doc just told me i have pre-diabetes I eat alot of simple sugar “from sugar” fruit gives me a headache, he said i should stop! and eat non sweet carbs instead any thoughts Matt? I kinda don’t want to give up the sweets but I will if I have to.
My OB with my last pregnancy basically told me how to “cheat” the glucose challenge test. She said to make sure I ate protein right before coming in for my test, LOL. Don’t know if that “worked” or not but there wasn’t any problem with my numbers.
For the record, I’ve long believed that “gestational diabetes” is a molehill that’s been made into a mountain. We’re supposed to have more glucose in our blood during the third trimester to help babies grow fat and develop their brains. What could possibly be wrong with that?
Really Interesting post, what is the answer here? Perhaps not letting our Drs know if we are pregnant to avoid unnecessary tests/scans?
Yes, I don’t think you need to go to the doctor to know that you’re pregnant, lol.
Last pregnancy Dr said I had GD. I was miserable the whoke time..starving lost weight…just hated the diet and meds and 4x a day finger checks. Pregnant now and Dr won’t test me…just said you have it start the diet….I’m sick with m/s and starving I’m now little over 14wks. The diet is making me weak and just miserable. What should I do?
Gestational diabetes isn’t the greatest thing in the word, but artificially controlling it by limiting carbohydrates just makes things worse. Read your biofeedback and eat in a way that makes you feel your best. That’s a better bet than just following some number around regardless of the physiological consequences.
I’m totally agreed with your suggestions and it seems that the balance of glucose is most essential part of the treatment if your are suffering from this evil disease.
I was diagnosed with GDM at 6 weeks of my prengnancy. Was not pre-diabetic based on the result of my HBA1C. What you’ve mentioned on this article is true, being diagnosed with GDM is very stressing, add that up to my all day “morning” sickness. My OB said that i’m risking my baby to abnormalities if my blood sugar was not properly controlled, so i lost weight during my 1st trimester. Now, i just eat whatever i want, and after a few weeks of normal glucose reading, i now have a reading of 184 mg/dl 1 hour post meal. Will test again after an hour to check if this is a glitch or i was just stressed because i definitely ate a lot during lunch.
Thank you so much for writing this article. I have always had a hard time keeping weight on and eating enough calories. I’m in my third trimester now. When I failed the one-hour glucose screening my doctor told me to cut out all carbs and eat fat instead. I did and then went for the 3-hour GT. My doctor told me I failed the 3-hour and my ketones were high. I just looked it up, and apparently you only really get energy (calories) from glucose or ketones. Too many ketones can strain your liver and kidneys. So what does this all mean? It means that if I want to get both my glucose and my ketones down then I need to eat fewer calories, and, you know, starve my pregnant self and my baby. Because that sounds like the healthy thing to do right? I’m sure there are some people who really have GD in a way that needs to be controlled, but I think for me and a lot of others this is just one big fat scam. I’m just going to eat balanced meals, avoid super processed sugars (cake, candy, etc.), drink more water, and exercise a little more. Blood sugar and ketones be damned. If living a healthy lifestyle isn’t enough to satisfy the medical industry’s numbers, then maybe their numbers are off.
Hej this is an old post but need some advice. I tested my blood sugar after eating bread with cheese. 4 pita breads with 150 gram brie. An hour after the meal my blood sugar was 108 mg/dl and two hours after dinner it was 125 mg/dl. Why does it rise after two hours? I thought blood sugar it at it heighest an hour after and declines afterwards but with me it rises after an hour. Is 125mg/dl two hours aftes dinner too high? Does that count as GD? I read it should be under 120mg/dl, so i am slightly elevated but is it significant?
That delayed drop in blood sugar (poor glucose clearance/delayed glucose clearance) is definitely a sign of GD Chana. That doesn’t mean you should panic, but rather try to keep monitoring and see if you can improve it without eating differently. Maybe eat heavier during the day, get more sleep by getting off all electronics after dark. See how that affects your glucose clearance.