by Phillip Day
The world is in the grip of a diabetes epidemic. Estimates that as many as 1 in 10 Americans might have the condition have shocked many, and yet, apart from offering the connection between the disease and our body’s impaired ability to process sugars, medical science still seems to be clawing around in the dark as to what is behind the plague. Insurance companies continue to classify diabetes as ‘incurable’. Well, I have some great news. But first, let’s define what the problems are:
Type-1 – Insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) – Occurs most often in infants and adolescents. This is the rarer (10% of all diabetics) but more dangerous form, where some or all of the beta cells in the pancreas which produce insulin seem to have been destroyed by the immune system. The condition also appears to be accompanied by the inability of these valuable islet cells to regenerate due to immune system activity.
Type-2 – Non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) – Known as adult-onset diabetes, as the condition usually appears in patients over forty years of age. Type-2 is one of the fastest growing diseases in the Western world, and is usually what someone refers to when they say they are ‘diabetic’. The condition occurs when the body’s cells become resistant to the pancreatic hormone insulin, which regulates blood sugar levels, resulting in dramatically lowered sugar-absorption by the cells, and thus excess sugars remain in the blood, unable to be oxidised to produce energy.
‘Type-3’ – Alzheimer’s – The connection between cognitive impairment and insulin resistance caused some scientists in 2005 to label Alzheimer’s Disease ‘Type-3 diabetes’ when they discovered that the pancreas is not the sole producer of insulin in the body. The brain also produces the sugar-metabolising hormone for the proper service and protection of brain cells. That excessive intake of food sugars is the chief cause for insulin and leptin resistance in type-2 diabetics is well known. It is therefore not a stretch to surmise that the same behaviour could now be having an identical effect in ‘type-3 diabetics’ (i.e. ‘brain insulin resistance’) in causing cognitive impairment. The risks of developing Alzheimer’s Disease are already known dramatically to increase if a patient already has diabetes (see Alzheimer’s Disease).
Gestational Diabetes – During pregnancy, women experience increased estrogen and cortisol hormone secretions, which raise blood sugar levels. This in turn prompts the pancreas to generate more insulin to regulate this extra glucose. In 3-5% of women, the increased insulin appears to have marginal effect on how the cells of their body absorb sugars and the result is a form of type-2 (glucose intolerance) diabetes.1
In type-1, insulin-producing beta cells do not die simultaneously, so early diagnosis of the condition is important in order to take appropriate action to save the remainder. Thirst, dramatic loss or gaining of weight and the excessive production of urine. Increased blood pressure, increased appetite, nausea, hyperglycaemia, or an over-accumulation of glucose in the blood (unregulated by insulin). Type-1 can lead to foot ulcers, blindness (diabetic eye disease, or retinopathy), nerve damage (diabetic neuropathy), heart disease, gangrene of limb(s) (peripheral vascular disease), requiring amputation, kidney failure and coma.
Medicine states that the exact mechanism for how all the types of diabetes occur in the body is still theoretical, however a tremendous amount is already known about the different types of the disease in general, so let’s put some pieces together:
Type-1: Mostly recognised as an ‘auto-immune’ disorder where the immune system has destroyed the beta cells which produce the glucose-regulating hormone, insulin. Question: What has triggered such a specific attack? Some researchers, I among them, look for a particular stress event: a lifestyle ‘non-linearity’ which took the patient down hard emotionally, after which the problem begins. A car accident, divorce, loss of job, recurring doses of antibiotics for an illness are also in the firing line. The wisdom of the day states that the body’s immune system has decided to attack the beta cells, believing the latter are invading microbes, such as bacteria or viruses. This does not explain ‘why the beta cells’ in particular.
Modern wheat is being increasingly implicated in type-1 diabetes due to the damage caused to the gut by its boosted, fractious gluten content. Gluten peptides can access the bloodstream and set up a range of auto-immune reactions, and that’s before one considers the alarming propensity modern wheat has for loading high levels of sugar into the blood, triggering insulin resistance.2 With insulin production progressively disrupted, the cells of the body cannot be fed the glucose they need to provide energy. An extreme tiredness sets in with the patient. Blood sugar levels go through the roof, since there is no insulin to regulate them. The kidneys get in on the act, vainly attempting to filter out the excess sugars, resulting in frequent bathroom trips and a raging thirst requirement for water to flush out the sugary gunk. Kidney failure is a common result of type-1 for reasons we shall examine. Type-1 can also be caused by an ‘emotional shock’, illness or other immune system blow. Dr F Batmanghelidj believes type-1 is a dehydration response:
“Diabetes is a good example of next-generation damage that is caused by dehydration. Whereas the onset of dehydration-induced diabetes is normally seen in the elderly and is often reversible, the more structurally serious and irreversible variety of the disease is seen in younger people. The juvenile variety of diabetes needs to be treated carefully before it becomes a totally irreversible type of diabetes and permanent structural damage takes place. Basically the cause is the same in children as in adults, except that in adults there is more ‘reserve in the system’. In children, the process of physical growth strains the system much more quickly. Children are constantly dehydrated, and their amino acid pool is in a state of constant fluctuation.”3
Type-2: The problems with type-2 diabetes begin with how our bodies process foods that break down into glucose. Refined sugar, or sucrose, hydrolyses into glucose and fructose after consumption. Fructose is metabolised directly to produce energy. Abrupt intakes of glucose into the bloodstream however provoke a massive secretion of insulin, responsible for regulating blood sugar levels and storing excess glucose as fat. The result of this over-production of insulin is a sudden drop in blood sugar which, as I discuss in The Mind Game, often brings on mood changes and behavioural upsets.
Now we have low blood sugar, but the insulin takes longer to dissipate, blocking the body’s utilisation of stored fat, creating that wobbly sensation when the person can become emotionally unstable. What are our bodies craving? Sugar! So, in go the doughnuts, Twinkies, Ding-Dongs, Mars bars and Bear Claws; up go the blood sugar levels again; out squirts all that insulin to regulate the glucose, and down come those blood sugar levels again with a thump. This spiky, chaotic pattern of blood sugar (see Hypo/Hyperglycaemia) in the body will eventually cause our cells to become resistant to all that insulin, resulting in the condition of type-2 diabetes.
Sucrose and massive insulin secretions have long been known to be a leading, causative factor in type-2 diabetes. The condition usually occurs in adults, who have had years of food abuse to render their cells insulin-resistant. Type-2 can be quickly controlled and even eliminated with a combination of a plant-based ketogenic (fat metabolising) diet and exercise. People with the condition not only lose their sensitivity to insulin, which regulates the build-up of blood sugar, but this repeated overload of insulin and glucose can lead to an increase in systolic blood pressure, fainting, glaucoma and diabetic coma.
Excessive consumption of refined, high-glycaemic carbohydrates, including items such as wheat, white bread, white flour, chocolate, sweets, pastries, white rice, breakfast cereals, as well as alcohol drinks, especially wine and beer, will all yield excessive sugars into the bloodstream with the predictable, aforementioned, excess insulin effects.
The good news is, human cells would sooner burn healthy oils/fats as fuel rather than carbs; it’s a cleaner burn without all the fuss of insulin overload and sugar addiction. High beneficial fat, low carb diets are known as ketogenic diets, for their ability to generate ketones or energy units from fat processed via the liver. Increasing the levels of beneficial fats in the diet helps tremendously in reducing sugar-spiking and insulin overload/resistance.
Another problem is physical and emotional stress. This triggers what is known as Fight or Flight Syndrome. When we become agitated, stressed or physically threatened, the body prepares for combat or flight by generating powerful shots of adrenalin (epinephrine). This provokes the release of stored glucose (glycogen) into the bloodstream for energy to fuel explosive physical action. This in turn causes a surge of insulin to regulate blood sugar levels. Notice how in previous eras the Fight/Flight response would resolve itself with explosive physical action (either Fight or Flight!), which in turn would burn off the sugars.
What about today? When we are stressed with money, relationships, hardships or work pressures, or simply getting our kicks watching the FA Cup or playing video games, this Fight/Flight response still occurs and may endure for days or weeks. Consequently, the amount of insulin produced by the pancreas in today’s stressful, sugar-laden environment is substantially higher. This excess energy does not tend to discharge itself through physical action since we are remarkably inactive today. The results of this insulin response can also be diabetes.
Dr Joseph Mercola clarifies type-2:
“The overall concept of [prescribing] insulin for type-2 diabetes is absurd and makes absolutely no sense if one understands the way the body is designed to work. However, since nearly all traditional physicians don’t comprehend basic human physiology with respect to diet and health, it is not surprising that they could come up with the prescription for disaster of giving someone who is already overloaded with insulin more of what caused the problem.
The main reason most adult-onset (type-2) diabetics have diabetes is that they have too much insulin. This is usually a result of having too many grains. The solution in nearly all of these individuals is to consume a no-grain diet and to exercise one hour per day.”4
The role fungus plays in type-1
There is some compelling research pointing the finger squarely at fungi as the cause of diabetes in general. Remember, simply eating sugar alone cannot cause diabetes, since millions eat sugar and don’t have the condition. Being overweight alone cannot be the cause for diabetes, since millions in the world are overweight and do not suffer the condition. Contrariwise, there are lots of thinnies among us who have diabetes. There has to be another factor, and that’s where fungi, and thus dehydration come in. Doug Kaufmann and David Holland MD remark:
“Why on earth would fungi launch such a specific mission as an attack on the beta cells to begin with? What do they stand to gain? The answer is: food! With the beta cells out of the way, insulin production drops to zero. Blood sugar skyrockets, creating the ultimate splurge opportunity for fungi.
That said, it’s open to debate just how well type-1 diabetes works for the fungi that initiate it. If the fungus-infected beta cell is destroyed by the diabetic’s immune system, then all of the parties immediately involved lose out. Although fungi that arrive after the beta cells are destroyed stand to benefit a great deal, it could be that their forerunners have run your basic suicide mission.”5
In examining the smoking gun at the ground zero of diabetes type-1 activity, we find dead beta cells, tantalising traces of recent immune activity, but no dead critters. This isn’t the end of the story however, since scientists can easily overlook dead fungal matter, which will be removed by the bloodstream and disposed of through the kidneys anyway. If you hear a crash in the kitchen, storm in and find a broken milk bottle on the floor, with the cat in the corner covered in milk, do you automatically assume the cat is responsible? Did you see your little boy hiding behind the door?
That the immune system has destroyed the beta cells is quite well established, but why? What if the beta cells were infected with fungi which were attempting to sabotage the body’s sugar-regulating mechanisms? Science has shown well that fungi have the disconcerting ability to manipulate their environment in order to secure their food sources. Let’s look at some scientific evidence:
In 1973, Escher et al found that cured mutton is loaded with mycotoxins from fungi. Eight years later, Helgason and Jonasson reported a highly disproportionate number of Icelandic women who ate cured mutton immediately prior to pregnancy gave birth to babies with diabetes type-1. The year before in 1980, Pojo showed how alloxan, a fungal toxin, directly damaged beta cells which produce insulin. Hayes caused diabetes in lab animals by injecting them with streptozotocin, another fungal toxin. Coleman found that a 10% brewer’s yeast diet caused diabetes in his lab animals. Varsano discovered that cancer patients given the chemo Asparaginase consistently developed diabetes.6 L-Asparaginase is a mycotoxin developed from the soil fungus Cylindrocarpon obtusisporum.
Aspergillus niger is a fungus often found contaminating peanuts and corn which is known to cause ear infections. The fungus also produces oxalic acid in large quantities, which is known to stop the conversion of sugars into energy.7
Many fungus mycotoxins are used as antibiotics, even as Penicillin still is. Streptomyces achromogenes is a soil fungus which excretes streptozotocin, an antibiotic. Notice that the US Department of Health and Human Services lists this mycotoxin as a carcinogen, which can also cause kidney and pancreatic tumours in lab rats.8 Not such great medicine after all.
How exposed are we to fungi?
The world eats grains like they are going out of fashion. Much of this grain material is stored for some time, promoting the growth of mould, yeasts and fungi. Farmers entering corn silos are at some risk from Aspergillus ochraceus, for instance, a fungus whose mycotoxin, ochratoxin, is given off as a gas. Inhaling ochratoxin can have serious consequences. The kidneys attempt to detoxify this toxin can cause the nephron tissues within the kidneys to become infected, unleashing the hounds of the immune system. The result is often acute tubular necrosis (ATN), the precursor to kidney failure.
Gliotoxin, an airborne poison given off by Aspergillus, Candida, Gliocladium and Penicillin moulds, is also extremely toxic to cells and nerves in small concentrations, as we shall see when we study multiple sclerosis later.9 Fumonisin toxins are also implicated in corn products and can cause nerve damage.10 Patulin, a fungal mycotoxin, is also commonly found in apple juice.
As previously discussed, populations around the world are all indulging in the common behaviour of eating sugar-rich foods, as well as consuming foods which break down into glucose (remember too that alcohol is a mycotoxin! It is the product of yeast acting on sugars). The Western diet has resulted in the many fungal complaints commonly seen (thrush, vaginal yeast infections, toenail fungus, rashes, jock itch, athlete’s foot, etc.), but also the more serious infestations which will result in cancer, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and others we shall examine. While critters may not be at the root of every one of these problems, they are major co-conspirators – science is only now determining to what extent. Incredibly, doctors are not required to report diseases caused by fungi. Many of them don’t even entertain them as a cause for many complaints simply because they were not taught to do so. Food agencies, such as USDA and Britain’s FSA, hardly test the food chain for these hidden contaminants.
Gut flora link
Sherry Baker writes:
We’ve all heard the news about the enormous, world-wide epidemic of type-2 diabetes. Not only is this form of diabetes (which results from the body’s inability to effectively use insulin) soaring among adults, it is now hitting children and teens as well. The World Health Organization (WHO) says the cause is primarily excess bodyweight and physical inactivity.
But breakthrough research just published in the journal Nature strongly indicates another bottom-line cause has been discovered; an imbalance of ‘good’ versus ‘bad’ bacteria in the intestinal tract appears to trigger type-2 diabetes.
And research recently published by Austrian scientists in the Journal of Clinical Investigation suggests an unhealthy balance of gut flora could cause obesity and metabolic syndrome which have long been linked to type-2 diabetes.
“We have demonstrated that people with type-2 diabetes have a high level of pathogens in their intestines,” said lead researcher for the Nature study, Jun Wang from the University of Copenhagen’s Department of Biology and Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research, in a media statement.”11
Dr F Batmanghelidj writes:
“The pancreas, where insulin is made, is an organ that is directly involved in the regulation of the balance between the water compartments of the body…. If water is in short supply, the watery bicarbonate solution secreted into the intestine cells may not be enough to neutralize all the acid that enters the intestine to begin the cycle of food digestion. Consequently, one or the other process has to be halted. Either the acid has to stop coming into the intestine, or water has to be delivered to the pancreas in a sufficient amount for the pancreas to perform at least one of its functions. A commensurate reduction of insulin secretion stops the entry of water and nutrients into the peripheral cells in the rest of the body that depend on the presence of insulin for their feeding process. By this process, more water will be available in the circulating blood to be delivered to the pancreas to make its watery bicarbonate solution. When the insulin-stimulated gates are not efficient in delivering water and raw materials into the cells, they begin to wither and die. This is the mechanism behind the degenerative process associated with diabetes.
In diabetes, the action of insulin in pushing water into the cells is stopped. This is done simply by a two-step process: The first step, a reversible one, is to prevent insulin secretion from the cells that manufacture it. This type of diabetes is called insulin-independent diabetes. The pancreas has the ability to secrete insulin. A second and much more drastic, ruthless and irreversible way is to destroy the insulin-making cells. The process involves the destruction of their nuclei. Enough of their DNA/RNA system is dismembered to make them ineffective as insulin producers. This kind of diabetes is known as insulin-dependent or type I diabetes.” 12
Here’s what you can do with your food and lifestyle for all types of diabetes:
SUPERVISION: Seek a qualified health practitioner who uses the nutritional approach to diabetes
DIET: COMMENCE THE FOOD FOR THOUGHT LIFESTYLE REGIMEN and alkalise your body’s internal environment. Cancer, for instance, thrives on an anaerobic environment which lacks oxygen and becomes a haven for fermentation and the proliferation of bacteria, fungi and yeasts. Alkali solutions prevent these problems because they attract large amounts of oxygen
DIET: The diet should be as close to 100% plant-based, 100% raw as possible, comprising fresh, organic vegetables and their juices, pulses, legumes, nuts and seeds.
DIET: Increase the consumption of heart-healthy beneficial fats, such as olive, avocado, seeds, nuts, coconut, coconut oil, fish, fish oils, etc. to move the diet towards a ketogenic dynamic
DIET: Ensure that a proportion of the diet comprises fermented vegetables such as sauerkraut to provide billions of colony-forming bacteria for the gut.
DIET: Remove all grains, especially the BROW grains – barley, rye, oats and wheat. Dramatic gains can be made with this single measure alone. Many clinics find that type-2 patients’ requirement for insulin halves in the first few days on this regimen, and within a week they no longer need supplementary insulin. Charlotte Gerson reports that stubborn or particularly severe type-2 cases can take up to two weeks to bring off insulin 13
DIET: Type-1 diabetics can dramatically reduce their requirement for insulin through a ketogenic diet alone, and it’s worth noting that in the early stages of the type-1 condition, the body is quite capable of reproducing beta cells – but not if the immune system is still programmed to destroy them
DIET: Small meals, consumed five to six times a day to even out blood sugar and reduce requirement for insulin
DIET: Eliminate ALL processed foods, meats, dairy products, sugar, grains, especially wheat. These are often contaminated with chemicals, Aspergillus moulds and fungi
DIET: Absolutely cut out sucrose, aspartame, saccharin and high-glycaemic carbohydrate foods (foods that break down rapidly into glucose, such as bread, pastas, potatoes, rice, bakery products). Also cut out high-glycaemic fruits such as grapes, raspberries, strawberries, mangoes, etc. an apple and a pear a day (including their seeds) are OK
HYDRATION: Drink 5 pints/2.5 litres of clean, fresh water each day, ensuring you drink a litre within an hour of rising. Do not drink out of plastic bottles and avoid distilled water. Water intake ideally should be set at half your bodyweight (lbs) in ounces a day, i.e. a 120 lb female should drink 60 oz of water daily, which is around eight glasses. For most adults, 2 litres of water will suffice. Do not overdo
HYDRATION: Half a teaspoon (tsp) of unrefined sea salt or, best, Himalayan salt for every ten glasses of water. Avoid all alcoholic drinks, including beer (which contains sugar, yeast, grains and alcohol)
RESTORE NUTRIENT BALANCE: COMMENCE THE BASIC SUPPLEMENT PROGRAM, ensuring:
Saturate tissues with Vitamin C complex oral 20-30 g/day. Ideally intravenous C should be administered on a regular basis by a qualified physician (50 g/day-plus) (See A Guide to Nutritional Supplements: Vitamin C)
Vanadium or chromium picolinate, 200 mcg a day, taken every other day, two weeks on, two weeks off. Note: do not continue this supplement over a protracted period of time
SUPPLEMENT: Vitamin D-3 cholecalciferol. Dr John Cannell writes: “Vitamin D helps maintain adequate insulin levels. Preliminary evidence suggests supplementation can increase insulin levels in people with type-2 diabetes. Prolonged supplementation may help reduce blood sugar levels.” There are over fifty studies that have been done on diabetes and its peripheral complaints with regard to inadequate levels of vitamin D.14 Optimising your D-3 levels is paramount for all diabetics. (See A Guide to Nutritional Supplements: Vitamin D-3 to learn about how to optimise vitamin D-3 serum concentration)
- Optimise iodine in the body. An iodine-loading test is advised. Supplementation is via Lugol’s Iodine Solution (15%) or Iodine Plus tablets (12.5 mg). Commence with 12.5 mg per day for adults for one week, then increase to 50 mg per day thereafter for two months, then review. Those under 16 can supplement iodine at the rate of .11 mg/lb/day (according to bodyweight). Important: read Lynne Farrow’s excellent book on the subject, The Iodine Crisis (www.credence.org). Also read A Guide to Nutritional Supplements: Iodine before taking.
SUPPLEMENT: Vitamin B-3, 2 – 3 g per day. Start with 200 mg a day and work through the flushes as intake is increased (See A Guide to Nutritional Supplements: Vitamin B-3 Niacin)
SUPPLEMENT: Vitamin A & E emulsion. Six drops under the tongue, twice a day (See A Guide to Nutritional Supplements: Vitamin A)
SUPPLEMENT: Vitamin B-6, 100 mg per day
SUPPLEMENT: Magnesium citrate, 1 g per day
SUPPLEMENT: 2 – 4 tablespoons of raw virgin coconut oil per day
Increase sulphurous foods such as avocado, garlic and onion in the diet
PREVENTION: Indulge in regular and vigorous exercise to exercise and pump the lymphatic system, rid the body of waste products, draw oxygen into the body and switch off the fermentation (see Exercise). Do not stint on this step but do consult a doctor before any exercise programme. Exercise improves glucose tolerance by increasing the sensitivity of cells to insulin. Exercise massively increases oxygen intake and renders your internal environment extremely hostile to fungi and parasites. Ideally, 5 mins stretching, 10 minutes weight/resistance training, 20-30 mins aerobic peak performance exercise, raising and lowering heart-rate
PREVENTION: Avoid behavioural and lifestyle problems that promote stress. Regular exercise and a proper diet are two of the chief prevention strategies for diabetes 15
PREVENTION: Oil pulling, 3 times a day for the first week, then twice a day thereafter. Best times are first thing in the morning, half an hour before lunch, and half an hour before bed (see A Guide to Nutritional Supplements: Oil pulling)
REST: The patient should get plenty of sleep and keep their body clock on time. Potent immune factors are released during deep rest in pitch dark. Maximise melatonin production and boost immunity by reviewing sleeping and lighting arrangements (see A Guide to Nutritional Supplements: Melatonin)
EARTHING: The patient should spend fifteen minutes a day barefoot on grass or a beach to allow a flow of antioxidant-acting free electrons into the body (see A Guide to Nutritional Supplements: Earthing). A grounding bed-sheet or bed-mat is ideal for earthing purposes during sleep
NOTE: At no time should diabetics discontinue any prescribed medication without sanction from their physician
1 Vambergue, A, et al, “Pathophysiology of gestational diabetes”, J. Gynecol. Obstet Biol Reprod (Paris), 31(6), Suppl: 3-10, October 2002
2 Davis, William Wheat Belly, Rodales, 2011, available via www.credence.org
3 Batmanghelidj and Day, The Essential Guide to Water and Salt, Credence, 2008, p.128
5 Kaufmann, D & D Holland, Infectious Diabetes, Mediatrition, Texas, 2003, p.51
6 Constantini, AV, Fungalbionics Series: Etiology and Prevention of Atherosclerosis, Johann Friedrich Oberlin Verlag, Freiburg, Germany 1998/9
7 Wallace, A, Principles and Methods of Toxicology, Raven Press, New York: 1989, p.694; Kibbler, CC, “Fungal infections of the respiratory tract”, Principles and Practice of Clinical Mycology, John Wiley and Sons Ltd, England: 1996
8 Streptozotocin, CAS No. 18883-66-4. Ninth Report on Carcinogens. US Department of Health and Human Services, revised January 2001
9 Forsby et al, “Cellular neurotoxicology”, Neurochem.su.se, 25th November 2002; Council for Agricultural Science and Technology: “Mycotoxins: Risks in plant, animal and human systems”, Task Force report No. 139, January 2003
10 Etzel, R, “Mycotoxins”, Journal of the American Medical Association, 287(4): 425-427, 23rd January 2002
12 Batmanghelidj and Day, The Essential Guide to Water and Salt, op. cit. pp.129-130
13 www.credence.org, Eating and Healing Cancer From the Inside Out DVDs