Sunday, June 14, 2020

Retrospective #484: “He needs insulin to control his high blood sugar.”

“He needs insulin to control his high blood sugar,” the wife in the TV commercial says. That’s true. We all need insulin to regulate our blood sugar, so why was I so upset to hear her say that? Because of the wife’s misleading message. She was pitching for a drug company that was selling man-made insulin that her “husband” had to inject, after checking his blood sugar with a finger prick (or a continuous glucose monitor).
Everyone needs insulin to control high blood sugar. And everyone’s blood sugar rises after eating, even the healthiest peoples’ blood sugar (glucose). Carbohydrates, when digested, become glucose.  So do some proteins, to a certain extent, in a bit more time. And the pancreas secretes insulin, which circulates in the blood with glucose, to enable the uptake of glucose as energy. In healthy people, the insulin works. The cells open. The circulating blood “sugar” lowers.
Without insulin, either made by the body or injected, a person will die. Until artificial insulin was discovered in 1921, Type 1 diabetics, who had suddenly lost the ability to make their own insulin, did die. Until then, patients (mostly children) were kept alive longer by eating a diet that was very low in carbs and about 90% fat. Fat is also a very good, alternate energy source to carbs that doesn’t require insulin for transport and uptake. But with the invention of artificial insulin, the high-fat diet treatment for Type1 diabetics stopped, because it was no longer needed.
So, what’s my beef with a company just trying to sell its product? Answer: The patient in the ad was NOT a Type 1 diabetic who needed insulin to live because his body had stopped making it. He was a Type 2 diabetic whose body had become resistant to taking up glucose because it had TOO MUCH circulating insulin! Type 2 is a totally different disease from Type 1. Unfortunately, government, medicine and Big Pharma don’t see it that way.
They want to treat Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes as essentially the same. They want to treat the symptom, a high blood sugar, as if it were caused by the same thing. But Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease where the pancreas suddenly stops making insulin, and Type 2 diabetes is a dietary disease where the cells have, over time, become resistant to taking up glucose because they have long been exposed to too much insulin.
Here’s the irony. Every time a Type 2 injects insulin, it makes their Insulin Resistance worse! How stupid is that?
It’s frustrating. I don’t have an expensive drug to sell – a drug that misleads you into thinking you’re treating the cause of Type 2 diabetes. Instead, this treatment is just masking the symptom by lowering your high blood sugar. Insulin Resistance is the cause of Type 2 diabetes. Injecting insulin is just making the Type 2 dependent on injected insulin.
So, in this TV commercial the wife should be saying, “He needs to control his high blood sugar by changing what he eats.” But I can’t afford that TV commercial. I’m not selling insulin. If I had a 30 second TV spot, I would say, “If he eats fewer simple sugars and other processed carbohydrates, his pancreas will need to produce less insulin, thus reducing his insulin resistance and preserving his pancreas. By having a lower blood insulin, his cells will become more insulin sensitive.” That means they will be less Insulin Resistant and take up more glucose; i.e., function more normally.
With a 60-second spot, I’d add one of my favorite pitches used by some diabetes drugs: “It might even help you lose weight.” Many Type 2 diabetes drugs use that as a “hook.” But that can’t be said with injected insulin. High levels of insulin in your bloodwhether injected, or secretedCAUSE YOU TO GAIN WEIGHT.
Insulin is the weight storage hormone. Long-acting (24-hour) insulin, by design, keeps your blood insulin high ALL THE TIME. In Insulin Resistant Type 2s, high blood glucose remains high because of Insulin Resistance. In Insulin Dependent Type 2s, blood insulin is high all the time, so you can’t burn body fat for fuel and YOU MUST EAT WHEN YOU ARE HUNGRY instead of letting your body access its fat stores for energy. Think about it! Eating “lower carb” 1) improves your Insulin Sensitivity naturally, 2) lowers your blood sugar naturally, 3) lowers blood insulin naturally, and thus enables weight loss by letting the body access to its fat stores, naturally.
Given that, why would any Type 2 diabetic inject insulin to control their blood sugar? 

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