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Insulin and Diabetes: Here’s the Bottom Line

by Barbara Minton
See all TBYIL articles by Barbara Minton

(The Best Years in Life) Human beings are amazingly good at rationalization. They can justify their unhealthy behavior by putting blinders on and blaming anything besides themselves. One good example of this is the fact that although almost everyone knows that overeating processed carbohydrates causes diabetes, many people with this disease choose to believe it struck them out of the blue and for no reason. They say diabetes just happens, and there is nothing anyone can do about it. The last time I heard this said was at lunchtime when a colleague eating two McDonald’s cherry pies said it. Less than a year later she was dead from liver and pancreatic cancer, because sometimes cancer gets there first. The moral of this story is that diabetes and its kissing cousin, obesity, are self-inflicted diseases. Learning the role insulin plays can help everyone get a better outcome.

The important thing to know about processed carbohydrates is that they all quickly break down into sugar (glucose) in the body, because the substances that would prevent this have been stripped away during processing. Excessive sugar promotes excessive insulin secretion, the start of the vicious circle that leads to diabetes. By identifying and drastically reducing the consumption of processed carbohydrates, it is possible to make peace with insulin.

Insulin is a major hormone made in the pancreas. Although it plays several roles in the body, one of the primary ones is to determine whether blood sugar will be burned as energy or stored as fat. In other words, insulin can work for you or against you, and which way it goes is determined by you. If you have already consumed enough sugar to fulfill energy needs (and that doesn’t take much), insulin has no other place to put the rest of the sugar you’ve eaten except to store it as fat. If weight loss and avoiding diabetes is a goal, cutting way down on processed carbohydrates is a must.

How insulin works

When a person who rarely eats processed carbohydrates chooses to indulge, blood sugar levels become elevated and the pancreas secretes a small amount of insulin into the bloodstream. Then the sugar and insulin travel to the liver where the decision is made to burn the sugar as energy.

But in the body of someone who has consumed lots of processed carbohydrates for a long period of time, insulin resistance will have set in. In this situation, cells cannot accept any additional sugar so they cannot burn it off. When cells cannot accept any more sugar for energy, a further release of insulin from the pancreas is initiated, leading to even higher insulin levels, as the body keeps trying to do what it no longer can do .

If this goes on for awhile, high insulin leads to weight gain that starts around the midsection. In women the waist, thighs and stomach begin to bulge. Men get pot bellies. This is so predictable that it can be thought of as an insulin meter. Whether you are overweight or not, thickening of the midsection is a flashing signal that insulin levels are too high.

What else besides eating processed carbohydrates can bring on insulin resistance? The hormone imbalance that leads to aging also leads to weight gain and degenerative diseases such as diabetes, particularly when steroid hormone levels are low. Too much insulin can also spur deposits of arterial plaque, and can fuel the growth and division of cancerous cells. Scientists have shown in studies that breast, colon and prostate cancers grow more rapidly when they are stimulated by excessive insulin.

Oncologist and certified homeopath Dr. James Forsythe uses insulin in the very low doses of chemotherapy he administers. In doing so, he creates a smart bomb. “When you give this mixture intravenously along with the low-dose chemo, the cancer cell thinks that a simple sugar is available, so the cell becomes receptive, opens its pores, and is more accessible to the low-dose chemo.”

Another effect of high insulin is a deficiency of potassium, which leads to an inability to process salt. This means extra fluid is held in cells, leading to high blood pressure. Then the amount of blood pumped out by each heart contraction is increased, stretching the walls of the arteries and making them stiff.


There’s an estrogen connection too

Women who have low levels of estrogen crave processed carbohydrates, especially things made with white flour and chocolate. This is because estrogen is a necessary for the production of serotonin, the neurotransmitter that keeps depression away. Consuming sweets spikes insulin, resulting in craving for more sweets in turn. This part of the vicious circle practically guarantees faster aging, since spiked insulin levels accelerate metabolic decline.

What to do

How can insulin resistance be avoided or at least delayed? The new breed of physicians treating aging say these are essential:

  • Make sure all hormones are at optimal levels and in perfect balance

  • Eat real whole unprocessed foods that contain real fats

  • Sleep eight hours a night (hormone balance will take care of this)

  • Get a good amount of exercise on a daily basis

  • Avoid low fat diets

  • Don’t use prescription drugs or diet pills

  • Skip the soda pop

  • Don’t allow much stress in your life

Want to learn more about insulin and other hormones?  Hear it all from these interviews with anti-aging specialists:

See also:

Natural Help for Diabetes

Reduce Risk of Heart Disease and Type 2 Diabetes by Eating Eggs

Ginseng is a Powerful Herb for Weight Loss and Diabetes Control

This Overlooked Trace Mineral Could Wipe Out the Diabetes Epidemic

Latest Study: Diabetes Drugs Don't Work, Diet and Exercise are Still Best

About the Author:

Barbara is a school psychologist and the author of Dividend Capture, a book on personal finance. She is a breast cancer survivor using bioidentical hormone therapy, and a passionate advocate of natural health with hundreds of articles on many aspects of health and wellness. She is the editor and publisher of AlignLife's Health Secrets Newsletter.

See other articles by the Barbara Minton here:

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