December 30, 2011

Avoiding Weight Gain If You Take Insulin

The myth about weight gain on insulin happens to be fact, although in reality it is muddied up by people. For people with type 2 diabetes, taking insulin can cause weight gain. There are several reasons for this. The one factor that comes to the front is people use insulin as the medication of last resort. Normally this is fought until there is no longer any choice, insulin cannot be postponed as blood glucose levels are out of control and oral medications cannot keep blood glucose levels down.

Because insulin is often the medication of last resort, two factors can cause weight gain. The first is inactivity or sedentary lifestyle. This may be caused by diabetic neuropathy, which makes it difficult to walk more than short distances. The second is people do not reduce the intake of carbohydrates when going on insulin.

Why is the second necessary? Because insulin is necessary, when first started, insulin makes management of blood glucose levels easier. Instead of losing some of your carbohydrates in your urine when your blood glucose exceeded your urinary limits, these carbohydrates are now put to work or stored as fat. This new efficiency in blood glucose management generally causes initial weight gain.

This is the main reason that people starting on insulin should consider reducing the total carbohydrate intake for a period of time while your body adjusts to the efficiency. However, if you are a person that is able to exercise on a regular basis and you do this, your carbohydrate intake may not be reduced greatly and may be resumed shortly after starting insulin.

Weight gain is always a possibility for some body types and people must learn to manage their carbohydrate intake to avoid weight gain. The article did say that you should limit your insulin dosage, which is only possible, if you reduce your intake of carbohydrates. I will also reemphasize their statement of using exercise to aid in insulin use to burn calories and help keep insulin use low. This will aid in preventing weight gain.

In conclusion, I will state that insulin should not be considered by people with type 2 diabetes as the medication of last resort. Learn about it before the need arises and before you have the neuropathy, which can make exercise more difficult. One tip you should also consider is possibly using Byetta, which will assist you in reducing your carbohydrate intake, and help you keep extra weight off and to assist you in losing some of the extra weight you have accumulated over the years. Talk to your doctor, as this needs to be understood before using it. Consider getting an appointment with an endocrinologist for using insulin to aid you in your management of type 2 diabetes.

December 29, 2011

Another Nail in the Wheat Coffin

It appears that even with the evidence staring them in the face (from their own wheat bellies) registered dietitians are not willing to eliminate wheat from their diet recommendations. This article in WebMD clearly shows the conflict they are having with wheat. They know that it is the cause of weight gain, but do not want to give up the calories and fiber that wheat supplies. Sorry people, you cannot have it both ways.

I doubt the author of the WebMd article has read “Wheat Belly” by William Davis, MD, but she should. Then she could be more confident in her knowledge of how wheat does affect us and the reason we need to avoid bread at all costs, and not just the highly refined wheat products she identifies. Healthy whole grains are not that different from refined wheat products, just a little more fiber in the whole grains, but no other health benefits. Both types of bread can be fortified.

Those of us with type 2 diabetes are aware of the effects of the carbohydrates in wheat so when authors change to calories to emphasize the value of wheat in a low calorie diet, we know that they do not have our health as one of their interests. They are still promoting wheat even though their own research verifies that it is part of the weight problem in so many people.

Then they try to side step the issue and put the blame on highly processed wheat, meaning white bread, crackers, pretzels, and other highly refined grains that have come to symbolize the struggle with weight control. Then they return to whole wheat as the high-fiber super food.

How diabetes ended up in the discussion seems so that they could again blame highly refined wheat as the culprit and claim that whole wheat is a help. They say that whole wheat is complex carbohydrates that take longer to digest and will not cause blood glucose spikes. Then the claim is made that whole wheat has more vitamins, minerals, and fiber. What is not said is that most wheat products are fortified whether they are highly refined or whole wheat. The other fallacy of the argument is that the vitamins and minerals in whole wheat can be had in other foods.

The only reasonable discussion is on celiac disease. There is not much they can do to promote whole wheat. There is a section on limiting bread, but even then, they say if you are eating bread, make it whole-grain bread and limit the amount. I recommend that you read the article in WebMD. They are trying to have it both ways and still promote whole-grain wheat bread.

December 28, 2011

Common Sense Still the Only Answer

Throwing money at a problem does not get improved results. This from a study about how hospitals have invested heavily in new heart attack care programs, yet only see a one (1) percent improvement in access to that care. This seems to be a problem for much of the medical community.

So what is the problem? Apparently, the distance people have to travel before they can receive the needed attention. So of course in areas of heaviest population, people near hospitals have the best opportunity to get the needed care, while in the most rural areas of our country, care is often not available within the time frame required to treat patients before damage is done.

It does not matter that the hospitals have spent large sums of money for heart attack care programs when people are not able to get to the hospitals in time. Once the damage is done, no amount of care will be able to completely reverse the damage. Very few people are going to move closer to a hospital just to be within driving distance for heart attack care.

The study only gave two possibilities for improved care and I have to wonder if this is the only best answer. Yes, I can agree with the proposal as being needed, especially for many areas of the US that need enhanced ambulance services and establishing well-positioned heart care programs in the more rural areas. The key is well-positioned programs. Many rural hospitals are near closing because of financial problems that will reduce the number of places for well-positioned heart care programs.

Where will the funds come from for these programs? This is of course not the position of the study to state. This is a problem that needs addressing in the months and years ahead. This needs to be resolved for more than just heart care, but for several other diseases as well.

This study does highlight one of the problems happening now and needs to be solved.

December 27, 2011

Big Sugar Suing Big Corn Over Name Change

This is one battle where I hope the Sugar Industries win. Yes, as a person with type 2 diabetes, both are not good for us, but what the Corn Refiners Association (CRA) is trying to convince the US Department of Agriculture to allow needs to be stopped.

The CRA wants to change the name from high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) to corn sugar. If I was them, I would like to get rid of a product name that has garnered such a bad image. However, with people being aware of this change, if they are successful the bad image should remain. I know that I will not stop my attitude because of a name change. I do live in a large corn producing state and grew up on a farm, but I do not appreciate what the corn organizations are doing to attempt to cover up a product that is so damaging to the health of our country.

Consumers are doing the right thing by avoiding the product and not purchasing food products containing HFCS. Sugar had the same molecules as HFCS, Sucrose (aka, table sugar) contains one molecule of fructose and one molecule of glucose, which are bound together chemically. HFCS also contains one molecule of each, but they are not bound together chemically.

Unlike its cousin sucrose, when we ingest fructose, it is directed toward the liver. It does not go through some of the critical intermediary breakdown steps that sucrose does. For years nobody knew what this meant, but eventually cell biologists figured out that fructose was being used in the liver as a building block of triglycerides. Being overwhelmed by an excess of fatty acids, the liver releases them into the bloodstream. Muscles find themselves bombarded by these fats and they develop insulin resistance.”

The above is what the Corn Growers Association and the Corn Refiners Association do not want you to know. "Whether it's corn sugar or cane sugar, your body can't tell the difference. Sugar is sugar," one ad says. Reading the quote from above shows the difference and how dangerous HFCS is to our health. We need to be relentless in our opposition regardless how they try to camouflage it.

I am surprised at a statement by author Andrew Weill when he states that the corn product “is a marker for low quality food and has no place in a healthy diet.” He is correct, but this also is a marketing ploy to confuse consumers as well. Either way, this argument will be aired in court, and hopefully the Corn Refiners Association will not succeed.

For more information read the following from Yahoo News, my previous blogs here and here. Also read thisblogger and the information from the two websites of the Corn Refiners Association here and here. For a very controversial study read this press release here in Medscape. The advertisements big sugar is referring to can be viewed here. And I need to thank Scott Strumello, who alerted me to this on Dec 19.

December 26, 2011

Diabetes Prevention Tools Not Being Used

I am not surprised by this press release and I do not think this will help in the US. Insurance companies will not allow this and prevention is not a priority. Doctors here are more interested in treating patients than using the adage of “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” No the doctors will wait until the patient is ill before offering any form of help. It is going to take intervention to force doctors to do any prevention activity in the USA. It will also take legislation to force the medical insurance companies to reimburse for prevention care.

This is starting in Medicare, but not enough emphasis has been placed on this to make it generate any cost savings in the short- or long- term. And when you wait until people reach the age of 65, most of the damage has been done to the health of an individual. A small prevention program will not succeed in generating cost savings that will amount to real savings in medical care.

The study was done in the United Kingdom at the University of London. The study indicates that there are dozens of different techniques for predicting who may develop diabetes, but next to none are currently being used. Sounds like the study could have been done in the US as well.

The researchers say that if these tools were used by GPs and members of the public, many cases of diabetes could be prevented.”

The team led by Dr Douglas Noble reviewed 145 different 'risk scores' for type 2 diabetes. While none were 100 per cent accurate, many gave a reasonable prediction of whether someone will develop diabetes over the next decade.”

“Research suggests that up to half of all cases of diabetes can be prevented by lifestyle measures, such as diet and exercise, or medication.”
One note to the study gives the following tool for use in assessing your risk score in greater than 20 percent. If you use this tool and your risk score is greater than 20 percent, do see your doctor and have the doctor do the tests for diabetes.