At Guide Doctor, we’d like to reassure you that diabetes is not a death sentence.
Amputation of hands and feet, blindness, etc. – dreadful complications like these can be prevented, through lifestyle modifications – that much is certainly true.
But why do some people still fail to keep their blood sugar levels in check? Or develop other conditions, despite watching their diets and exercising hard?
Because turns out it’s not just about how much you do (or how little you eat). It’s also about whether we harness what the science of diabetes and our body is telling us – smartly.
Have you been doing it right?
#1: Have you… Given it the essential building blocks?
In Type II diabetes, the body loses its ability to keep a tight lid on blood sugar levels, sending them spiralling especially after a meal. A fasting blood sugar (FBS) reading of 7.0mmol/L or higher is clinically diagnosed as diabetic, while in pre-diabetes, a condition in which blood sugar levels are abnormally high but not high enough for diabetes to be clinically diagnosed, the FBS reading hovers between 5.6 and 6.9mmol/L.
Prolonged periods of “sweetened” blood can damage our eyes (e.g. causing blindness), kidneys and nerves, while elevating our risk of strokes and heart attacks by more than twofold, according to established studies.
Thankfully though, our body also has the ability to heal itself when you remove what damages it and bring in what it needs to repair.
Imagine the diabetic body as an abandoned house getting worn down.
Leaky ceilings, broken doors. Cracked windows.
Cutting down on carbohydrates is a lot like stopping the supply of cement once the ceiling is repaired. But guess what? Nothing is done about the doors and windows!
Just like how one might need new wood and glass to restore the house, the body also needs a variety of what is known as “essential nutrients” – nutrients that cannot be produced naturally by the body and must instead come from food, but which nevertheless play vital roles in keeping us healthy.
By keeping a varied diet, we are gifting our bodies the essential nutrients it needs to start the healing process.
Feel the difference in as short as a week.
#2: have you… given it time?
The second principle is about activating the body’s self-healing mechanism by healthy fasting.
The benefits of fasting have been supported by numerous scientific studies, most notably, the work of Japanese Nobel Prize laureate, Professor Yoshinori Ohsumi, who discovered the mechanisms of autophagy, or “cells self-eating”.
But what does this all mean?
Going back to our story, imagine our house has been ravaged by a storm. Both the storeroom and kitchen are badly damaged. Faced with limited resources, it might make more sense to tear down the storeroom altogether and use these materials to rebuild our kitchen – few would disagree that saving the room where food is prepared is more important!
It is the same for the body. By closing off the external tap of nutrients (i.e. eating), our body turns instead to stripping away and recycling damaged cells to build new ones, thus kick-starting the self-healing process.
Some weight loss is inevitable, but it’s of a healthy sort that will leave you in better shape and feeling more rejuvenated!
Therein lies the beauty of our body. 1 month is all it takes to feel the difference.
#3 have you… discovered deep healing?
Further dietary adjustments can help set off deep healing, or the activation of certain genes that together promote a profound, internal cleansing and repair of the body. Ketogenic diets are one of them.
In ketogenic diets (i.e. low in carbohydrates, high in heart-healthy fats, moderate in protein), restrictions on carbohydrate intake forces the body to switch gears and turn to burning fats for energy – entering a state of nutritional ketosis.
This can allow diabetic patients to lower their blood sugar levels and lose weight at the same time. While effective for some, ketogenic diets comes with risks.
Too drastic a change, gorging on the wrong types of fat, not adjusting one’s medications accordingly, and a lack of understanding of whether one’s health condition is able to tolerate such a diet can spawn dangerous consequences – severely low blood sugar levels (hypoglycaemia) which may lead to coma, nutritional imbalances, rebound weight gain, etc.
Thus, it is important that ketogenic diets be attempted only under the close supervision of a dietitian or medical practitioner.
Alternatively, some people can also obtain the same results through other dietary modifications.
#4. have you… been making space?
While you start changing the way you eat, you can already start changing the way you move – exercise!
But not any kind of exercise will be effective.
The key is to make your body move faster.
Such short bursts of intense exercise help burn off the sugar stored in our cells, hence making space for new sugar in our blood to come in and in the process, our blood sugar levels go down.
For those unable to do intense exercise, you can still enjoy the same benefits if you exercise for a long enough duration.
Say goodbye to sluggish days – and hello to the energy you never thought you had!
#5. have you… tried calming the storm?
The thing about stress is that it not only distorts your emotions and perceptions; its effects spill into the physiological as well. High stress activates certain hormones, causing your blood pressure and sugar to skyrocket, and sending your body into an overdrive. Stress causes more damage than you may think.
If you’re constantly in a state of high stress, your body can never heal itself well, even if you feed it with all the essential nutrients it needs.
Each one of us is unique – with very different circumstances, biological make-up, fitness levels and much more. Like so many else, the best results come only when the approach is tailored. Learn what’s best for you.
Hi, I’m Lili Dogarel, a medical doctor originally from Romania and I’ve helped dozens of clients overcome their diabetes to reach the peak of their vitality they never thought possible. Let me help you create your own unique plan to get fit, get healthy, and motivated – a plan you can ACTUALLY stick to.