Friday, January 31, 2020

Retrospective #349: Yoga for Diabetes

I woke up the other day, with the TV still on, during the last minute of a “Yoga for Diabetes” TV program, so I missed it. Dang! Fascinated by the idea, though, I decide to Google it. I found a gazillion sites, with videos. Whoda thunk it?
No offense (intended), folks, but this idea made me laugh. It reminded me of the time in the 1970s when, after 5 years of working on a high-profile project with one of the best solar architects in the country, I opened my own architectural practice specializing in active and passive solar energy design. Unfortunately for me, without the benefit of experience, so did everyone else in my practice area. Everyone wants to be on the “diabetes solution” bandwagon, without regard to whether they are qualified.
Yoga is no doubt a useful activity for meditation, stress reduction, and even stretching. I hesitate to call it exercise, but if you are old or unfit, it may be good fitness training for you. I’m not knocking it, but to suggest that yoga has real benefit for “treating” or even “curing” Type 2 Diabetes as many of the TV sites do, well, give me a break! Type 2 Diabetes is a Dietary Disease, and the only effective treatment is a low carb or very low carb diet.
But if that isn’t enough for you, you could add Metformin. Metformin will slightly increase your Insulin Sensitivity (i.e., reduce your Insulin Resistance), and it will suppress unwanted glucose production in the liver. But a low carb diet alone, with fasting, will result in a reduction in A1c (as well as weight loss) such that, for many people diagnosed with Pre-Diabetes or even long-term Type 2 (like me), your disease will go into remission.
You will not be cured (you will always be Carbohydrate Intolerant), but nobody will know it – not even your doctor – if you don’t tell him or her. That’s because a doctor is trained to treat symptoms, and you won’t have any symptoms detectable by any lab test (s)he will likely administer. So, from your DOCTOR’s perspective, you will be “cured.” If there is nothing for him or her to treat (because you are treating yourself with a low carb diet and intermittent fasting), what other conclusion could he or she reach?
It’s that simple folks. Don’t waste your time looking for a miracle cure, or trying to re-invent the wheel. And don’t think you can cheat Mother Nature. Your body is a very complex biological organism and is much smarter than even you! You can’t fool it. And even though you might talk yourself into thinking it will only cost you a little to cheat, kachung, the “cheat” will register in your blood glucose. Every carb will wind up “under the curve” and have to be absorbed eventually. If not burned for energy, your liver will use these extra carbs to make fat, via a process called de novo lipogenesis, another good reason to take Metformin. Didja know that?
In basic science, the funding continues to flow from government sources (NIH, etc), for an understanding of what causes Insulin Resistance (IR), Type 2’s underlying metabolic dysfunction. It is the first in a galaxy of related metabolic disorders (Metabolic Syndrome) and the one that appears to cause, first, Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT), and then Impaired Fasting Glucose (IFG), the two blood measurements that characterize incipient diabetes.
They are reflected, respectively, in the blood tests used by clinicians to diagnose Type 2: Fasting Blood Glucose (FBG) originally, and today the hemoglobin A1c test. The latter is a better test because, like Impaired Glucose Tolerance, it incorporates postprandial (after meal) excursions and thus catches the rise and fall of your blood sugar after eating. Another test, the Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT), usually administered over 2 hours in an outpatient hospital setting, is the gold standard, but it’s more expensive.
In applied science (pharmacology) the search continues for a miracle drug – to treat the SYMPTOM: an elevated blood sugar. What did you expect? That’s how Big Pharma got to be big. It’s their raison d’être. And that’s because they can’t patent the cure for the CAUSE; because Insulin Resistnce is caused by CARBOHYDRATE INTOLERANCE!
But YOU can treat the cause. YOU CAN EAT LOW CARB. It will put your Type 2 Diabetes into full REMISSION, and you’ll lose a lot of weight to boot.

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