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Diabetes and Blood Sugar Dysfunctions

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Approximately 55% of American are overweight, a sign of metabolic syndrome. In addition, 25% of thin people have insulin resistance, the cornerstone of metabolic syndrome. Based on these numbers, more that 65% of American adults either have or are at risk of metabolic syndrome. All of this blood sugar and insulin generates large numbers of hazardous free radicals, which age the body and set the stage for heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer's and other diseases. So what's at the heart of blood sugar dysregulation epidemic?

SUGAR CONSUMPTION! At last estimate American's were consuming 156 pounds of sugar per person per year! Soft drinks count for 33% of all added sugars consumed. These are obvious sugars. Some hidden sugars are things like Crackers, Yogurt, Ketchup and Peanut Butter to name a few. There are many others.

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What Does It Mean To “Reverse Diabetes?”

So what is the real problem posed by sugar?

- Increased cardiovascular disease
- Increase Obesity. In the US alone 60+ million overweight, 8/10 people over 25 are overweight, 78% do not meet the basic activity level recommendations
- Increased Diabetes
- Increased Nutrient Deficiencies-especially B vitamins
- Increased Dysfunctions associated with blood sugar dysregulation
- Hypoglycemia
- Cardiovascular disease
- Strokes
- Diabetes
- Oxidative stress-The activity in your body which ages you!
- Metabolic syndrome
- Insulin Resistance
- Adrenal Dysfunction-causes belly fat, insomnia and a host of other things.
- Pancreatic Dysfunction

Physical Signs Associated with Blood Sugar Issues

- Increasing Blood Pressure
- Ear Lobe Crease
- Skin Tags
- Adult Acne
- Slow Wound Healing
- Tinea-skin or Hair
- White Patches on Inside of Cheek
- Cataracts
- Chronic Bladder Infections

You or a loved one may be at risk. This disease is strongly associated with obesity. Other risk factors may include

- High Blood Pressure
- Hyperlipidemia
- High fasting blood glucose and insulin
- Family history of premature heart disease
- Family history of diabetes
- Eating high processed meat
- Long menstrual cycles
- periodontal disease
- Physical Inactivity
- Cigarette Smoking
- People with an apple body shape (central obesity) vs a pear shape is a very strong indicator of risk for metabolic syndrome!

Blood glucose regulation involves an intricate system of hormone balance. The main 2 hormones are Insulin and Glucagon. Other hormones are adrenaline, cortisol, and thyroxine. Blood sugar is under the control of 3 major organs. You probably guessed the first one as the pancreas, but did you know the liver and the adrenal gland are extremely important. That is why only looking to 1 area all the tie for any disease is a major mistake. Your body is an orchestra of events and needed to be treated as a whole. That's why when someone comes to our office with Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, Thyroid, IBS and many others it is important to get all the facts so we can get to the root cause of your problem. That is why we have such success!

There have been many studies on the influence of food and blood sugar. Here are the basics. All non-fibered carbohydrates spike insulin, protein small amounts of insulin, fat has basically no effect on insulin. This means that FAT DOES NOT MAKE YOU FAT! All the combinations of food pure carbs without fat or protein spike up insulin the highest.

When someone is Hypoglycemic the Adrenals and Liver come to the rescue. The adrenal gland increases the output of cortisol which causes the liver to raise blood sugar levels. This is a good thing. The bad thing is increased cortisol will lead to weight gain because cortisol mobilizes fat in the body causing it to settle in the abdomen. That is why skipping meals is a bad thing and causes you to get fatter in the belly. It will actually eat muscle especially in the front thigh and the rear end and cause a fatter belly. You ever see anyone with bird legs and a saggy belly? Yep this is extremely common. Another set of problems that develop beside weight gain around belly is that it:

- Raises LDL
- Lowers DHEA
- Lowers Progesterone
- Raises Androgens
- Increases diabetes (90 % secondary to carb excess)
- Increases Muscle wasting
- Blood Sugar Dysregulation- The Road to Diabetes!

The road to diabetes is a long one. You just don't wake up one day and have diabetes. It is a long slow process that begins with a number of factors:

- Genetics
- Environmental influences
- Lifestyle choices like exercise and lack of them
- Diet-most important

One of the good things is that we have incredible tools to assess you at any stage of this journey and the tools to halt and even reverse this progression.

Why is Helping patients with Diabetes so Important?

The complications of Diabetes are extremely serious! We have the means to prevent and in a lot of cases reverse some of the worst complications of Diabetes!

These complications are due to the fact that unlike other certain cells these are more susceptible to damage from high glucose levels:

- Diabetic Retinopathy - Blindness
- Leg Ulcers - Amputations
- Diabetic Neuropathy - we have a program dedicated to the treatment of Neuropathy.
- Kidney Disease
- Cardiovascular Disease

It is clear that diabetics are in for an early death. Sadly the risk of cardiovascular disease is so high that they might avoid blindness, amputation, and neuropathy simply because they die of a heart attack or stroke first.

Goals for our Diabetic Patients

- Decrease or eliminate insulin
- Eliminate oral diabetic medications
- Stop symptoms of diabetic neuropathies
- No Blindness
- No Leg Ulcers
- No Amputations
- Dramatic Slowing of cardiovascular disease

The ultimate goal of working with a patient with Type 2 diabetes is to get them to a point where they cannot be classified as diabetic anymore!

Ask yourself 2 Questions.

Diabetes is a condition marked by uncontrolled high levels of glucose in the blood. The modern medical approach is to do whatever it takes to bring the sugar down.

Take hypo-glycemic meds that bring down high levels of blood sugar
Use insulin to bring sugar down

Unfortunately, these approaches do not take into consideration the actual cause of why the blood sugar is high. As a functional medicine practitioner I am more curious. We have a patient with diabetes, so there are two major questions we need to ask:

- Where does the high sugar come from?
- Why has the patient lost control of it?

You see, the 2 major forms of diabetes are not conditions of high blood glucose levels. They are conditions/disease of Insulin.

- Type 1 is a disease of Insulin insufficiency
- Type 2 is a disease of Insulin Resistance

In type 1 something happened to the pancreas to stop producing insulin. The most likely factor is an auto immune condition. This could have been caused from anything.

In type 2 this happens over a long time usually taking years to progress. These people are usually the sugar-holics. I know this very well as I was a syndrome x person which I really noticed in my early 30's while I was becoming a so-called expert in chronic disease. It won't happen to me is what I always thought. After I realized what I was doing to myself, when you eat like I did I am surprised it took that long.

Metabolic Syndrome or Syndrome X - The deadly Quintet

- Obesity
- Elevated Triglycerides
- Elevated Blood Pressure
- Elevated Blood Glucose
- Elevated Insulin levels→ Insulin Resistance

Other patterns you might see is decreased HDL's and HA1C above 4.5. The more your HA1C levels are above 4.5 is the more likely you are to suffer a heart attack. Fibrinogen is one of the best markers for increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and vascular disease. We like to see optimal levels which are 200-300mg/dl. Another overlooked issue is elevated blood serum iron which is associated with increases risk of dysglycemia. That is why we really need to do a thorough evaluation on any chronic non resolving problem that patients enter our office with.

So what is the issue having high insulin levels?

- Insulin mediates lipid metabolism-makes more fat and cholesterol
- Oxidative stress-what makes you get old and wrinkly looking
- Increases inflammation- which causes pain, sickness, and the actual cause of most heart disease. It is not cholesterol like you are lead to believe.
- Interferes with adrenal and sex hormones-insomnia, depression, fatigue, hot flashes etc.
- Raised blood pressure
- Increases cancer risk-Especially breast tumors!
- Increases cell division so it speeds up your aging process.
- Causes a magnesium deficiency
- Increased sodium retention
- Increases the risk for the development of many other diseases like arteriosclerosis, dementia, and diabetes.

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Oxidative Stress!

I know I have talked a little about oxidative stress and basically it is what makes you age. It also has been well established that oxidative stress in the cells of peripheral nerves lead to diabetic complications like peripheral neuropathy (PN). This starts way before the pain, burning, and numbness appear. We look for this pattern and should be investigated if your cholesterol drops below its historical level. It is seen with:

- Decreased Albumin
- Decreased Lymphocyte
- Increased Total Globulin
- Increased Ferritin, Bilirubin, and LDL levels

Cholesterol, produced by the liver, is another major antioxidant. Yes, I said antioxidant! The body uses cholesterol to repair damaged blood vessels. This is probably why serum cholesterol levels rise as we age. With age comes more free radical damage and the body in response produces more cholesterol to help control damage.

How long do you expect to live?

Even though the average life expectancy in the U.S. has increased during the last 100 years, the quality of life due to chronic degenerative disease is worse than ever.

We are Living too short and Dying too long!

Most people can look forward to suffering and dying from heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer's dementia, Parkinson's, crippling arthritis, macular degeneration, and the list goes on. How many people do you know who lived great until they died peacefully in their sleep. Life should be like a candle burning bright until the end...not dimmer over time. Change the way you live now and how you look at your health before too many permanent changes have you hampered.

Dr. Vincent Do, MS, DC, QME

Board Eligible Chiropractic Neurologist


Education: California State Polytechnic University Pomona, University of Colorado at Boulder, Palmer College of Chiropractic West, University of East-West Medicine, Carrick Institute for Graduate Studies, Trinity School of Natural Health. A Board Eligible Chiropractic Neurologist, Dr. Vincent Do has earned over 2000+ content hours in Oriental Medicine, Functional Neurology, and Allergy Elimination. A native of Southern Vietnam, he migrated to Southern California in 1985, later moved to San Jose in 1997, then attended Palmer College of Chiropractic West and University of East-West Medicine. Married, with two children, he has maintained a busy chiropractic practice in San Jose, California for nine years. Dr. Do continues study on alternative treatments of brain disorders and innovative therapies for the learning impaired.

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