Author Sidebar: Most diabetes books and websites focus strictly on reducing blood sugar and insulin resistance to reverse your diabetes.
As a result, although many diabetics are able to lower their blood sugar, one of three events usually occur with most diabetics:
1. They are still diabetic and cannot eat any high glycemic foods in fear of blood sugar spikes and relapsing back to consistently higher blood sugar readings.
2. They hit "a wall" and are unable to lower their blood sugar beyond a certain point or they struggle with unstable blood sugar or intermittent high and low readings.
3. They find that they have to go on medication or increase the current dosages of the medications they're taking; or, their doctor puts them on an additional medication -- until, one day, they have to go on insulin.
Why does this happen? Because the diabetes book or program that they were following only addressed blood sugar and didn't address the other harmful biological processes that fuel Type 2 diabetes/.
When I designed my diabetes program, I made sure that my nutritional strategies (see below) addressed more than just high blood sugar levels and included other biological processes, e.g. cellular inflammation, oxidation, glycation.
There are hundreds of biological, biochemical and hormonal processes that fuel diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity, arthritis, Alzheimer's and cancer.
However, there are five (5) key biological processes that fuel most of these diseases:
- Insulin Resistance
- Cellular Inflammation
- Oxidative Stress (Excess Oxidation)
- Protein Glycation/AGEs
- Toxicity (Excess Cellular Toxic Load)
Please Note: Not only do these biological processes fuel a disease like Type 2 diabetes, but, these processes fuel other diseases and prevent you from being able to reverse Type 2 diabetes!
Insulin resistance is a physiological condition in which cells fail to respond to the hormone insulin.
Insulin resistance develops when the pancreatic beta cells produce insulin, but the cells in the body become resistant to insulin and are unable to use it as effectively, leading to very high blood glucose, or hyperglycemia.
Note: If a person has not yet developed Type 2 diabetes, there are at least two ways to determine if that person is insulin resistant: (1) If the person has a fasting insulin level above 5 µIU/mL; (2) If the person has a combination of three or more of the following health conditions: overweight, chronic fatigue, high blood glucose, excess belly fat, high blood pressure, and/or high cholesterol.
When a person has high blood glucose, in order to meet this demand, the beta cells in the pancreas increase their production of insulin to "push" the glucose into the cells. Over time, this can lead to excessively high insulin levels, or hyperinsulinemia.
And, since this often remains undetected, it can lead to the development of prediabetes and eventually Type 2 diabetes.
And, hyperinsulinemia can lead to an increased activity and growth of fat cells, which further fuels inflammation, which further fuels Type 2 diabetes.
And, inflammation (along with glycation) causes cell damage, which increases oxidation, which is due to the increased production of free radicals.
One of insulin's functions is to regulate delivery of glucose into cells to provide them with energy. Insulin resistant cells cannot take in glucose, amino acids and fatty acids. Thus, glucose, fatty acids and amino acids 'leak' out of the cells.
A decrease in insulin/glucagon ratio inhibits glycolysis which in turn decreases energy production. The resulting increase in blood glucose may raise levels outside the normal range and cause adverse health effects, depending on dietary conditions.
As depicted in the diagram below, certain cell types such as fat and muscle cells require insulin to absorb glucose from the bloodstream. When these cells fail to respond adequately to circulating insulin, blood glucose levels rise.
The liver helps regulate glucose levels by reducing its secretion of glucose in the presence of insulin. This normal reduction in the liver’s glucose production may not occur in people with insulin resistance.
Insulin resistance in fat and muscle cells reduces glucose uptake (and also local storage of glucose as glycogen and triglycerides, respectively), whereas insulin resistance in liver cells results in reduced glycogen synthesis and storage and also a failure to suppress glucose production and release into the blood.
Elevated blood fatty-acid concentrations, reduced muscle glucose uptake, and increased liver glucose production all contribute to elevated blood glucose levels. High levels of insulin and glucose due to insulin resistance are a major component of the Metabolic Syndrome.
FYI: Hyperinsulinemia is a dangerous condition for many cells and tissues, simply because elevated insulin concentrations in the blood act as potent signals for cell growth.
More insulin means more tissue growth. More tissue growth often results in increased fatness, increased cell replication rates and a significant increase in the risk for cancer.
Many studies have now begun to uncover the link between insulin resistance and cancer, and one such study states the following:
"Insulin resistance is common in individuals with obesity or type 2 diabetes (T2D), in which circulating insulin levels are frequently increased. Recent epidemiological and clinical evidence points to a link between insulin resistance and cancer. The mechanisms for this association are unknown, but hyperinsulinemia (a hallmark of insulin resistance) and the increase in bioavailable insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) appear to have a role in tumor initiation and progression in insulin-resistant patients."
Fasting Insulin (2 to 5 µIU/mL) measures the amount of insulin in your blood after fasting for several hours.
Since this measurement is a strong indicator of insulin resistance, it provides an earlier warning of impending prediabetes and full-blown diabetes since insulin resistance is a precursor to developing Type 2 diabetes. In addition, your fasting blood glucose tends to lag your fasting insulin and doesn't exceed the normal range until months after your fasting insulin level.
A burst of insulin is released by the pancreas (beta cells) in response to eating food. Once glucose has been safely shuttled into energy producing cells or stored, insulin levels should drop below 5 µIU/mL. Only a tiny amount of residual insulin should be needed to maintain glucose homeostasis.
When fasting insulin is over 5 µIU/mL, this indicates a metabolic problem such as prediabetes, which sharply increases the risk for Type 2 diabetes and other degenerative diseases. Some medical texts state that insulin should virtually vanish from the blood once glucose levels reach 83 mg/dL.
In people suffering from metabolic disorders and/or obesity, insulin levels remain stubbornly high. This not only generates damaging reactions throughout the body, but prevents weight loss as glucose is forced into fat cell storage.
Ideally, fasting insulin should be below 5. Whole Health Source says that fasting insulin between 2 and 6 uIU/ml is ideal. Levels above 60 pmol/ml (8.4 uIU/ml) indicates hyperinsulinemia.
Note: Insulin levels can be reported as uIU/ml or pmol/ml. When comparing values, it is important to have the same type of measurement. To convert from pmol/ml to uIU/ml, divide by 7.175. Thus 60 pmol/ml equates to 8.4 uIU/ml.
Inflammation is part of the complex biological response of vascular tissues to harmful stimuli, such as pathogens, damaged cells, or irritants. In other words, inflammation is the body’s attempt to heal itself.
Inflammation is a protective immune response that involves macrophages, white blood cells and other immune cells. These cells work together to eliminate the initial cause of cell damage/injury, clear out necrotic cells and tissues damaged from the original injury, and to initiate cell/tissue repair.
The classical signs of acute inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function until the cells/tissues are repaired.
Inflammation is tightly regulated by the body. Too little inflammation could lead to progressive tissue destruction by the harmful stimulus (e.g. bacteria) and compromise the survival of the organism. In contrast, chronic inflammation may lead to a host of diseases, such as atherosclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, periodontitis, and even cancer.
Inflammation can be classified as either acute or chronic. Acute inflammation is the initial response of the body to harmful stimuli and is achieved by the increased movement of plasma and leukocytes (especially granulocytes) from the blood into the injured tissues.
A series of biochemical events occur, involving the local vascular system, the immune system, and various cells within the injured tissue.
As depicted in the diagram above, prolonged inflammation, known as chronic inflammation, leads to a progressive shift in the type of cells present at the site of inflammation and is characterized by simultaneous destruction and healing of the tissue from the inflammatory process.
Over time, this type of prolonged inflammation increases the production of fibrin and plaque andcan lead to diseases such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetic complications, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.
Oxidation is a process where there is the loss of at least one electron when two or more atoms or molecular compounds interact. An apple turning brown or a nail rusting are examples of oxidation.
If you recall what you learned in your high school chemistry class, most molecules are stable when they have 2 electrons in the outer “shell” or orbit. But, when one of the electrons is removed, the molecule becomes unstable. This is known as a "free radical".
Free radicals are atoms or molecules which have at least one unpaired valence electron in the outer orbital.
In our modern world, our bodies are exposed to elevated levels of free radicals from external sources such as exposure to X-rays, ozone, cigarette smoking, air pollutants, and industrial chemicals.
The mitochondria in our cells are the main source of free radicals under normal conditions. Free radicals can react with any biological molecule (proteins, lipids, sugars, DNA) altering its structure and often its function. Therefore living organisms are provided with a rich system of antioxidant defenses whose main purpose is to prevent the free radicals attack to other molecules.
The DNA in the nucleus of our cells is one of the major targets of oxidation and free radicals. Free radicals damage our DNA, which may lead to a cell mutation and trigger the development of diseases such as cancer.
Free radicals also cause damage to other cells and tissues in the body, which may lead to other diseases such as atherosclerosis, heart disease, and arthritis.
When free radicals increase significantly, this can cause oxidative stress. Oxidative stress (chronic oxidation) is an imbalance between oxidants and antioxidants in favor of the oxidants, potentially leading to cell/tissue damage.
Oxidative stress occurs when our exposure to, or our body’s production of, free radicals exceeds our body’s ability to counteract or detoxify their harmful effects through neutralization by the body's internal antioxidants.
However, similar to inflammation, oxidation is not harmful as long as it doesn't get out of control. For example, free radicals are normally used by the immune system to attack and kill invading germs and some pre-cancer cells.
As shown in the diagram below, when oxidation gets out of control (oxidative stress), it is involved in accelerated biological aging as well as in the pathogenesis of several diseases, including atherosclerosis, cancer, Type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer's, and heart disease.
Red blood cells contain a small amount of glucose molecules attached (glycated) to the protein portion of the red blood cells (the hemoglobin). This is considered normal.
However, when there is an excess amount of glucose molecules in the bloodstream (i.e. hyperglycemia), this increases the amount of glucose molecules that are attached to the red blood cells. This process is known as glycation.
As depicted in the following diagram of a red blood cell, in a diabetic's body, there are a lot more glucose molecules attached to the hemoglobin within the red blood cell.
Glycation is a process where glucose molecules attach themselves to red blood cells, forming a crystalline (coarse) crust and creating advanced glycation end products (AGEs). See diagram below of a glycated red blood cell.
As these coarse red blood cells circulate throughout the body, they cause damage throughout the circulatory system to the linings of arteries and capillaries.
As you can see from the diagram, a glycated red blood cell has "jagged" edges, which cause damage to the linings of your blood vessels.
In response to this damage, your immune system triggers various white blood cells and other cells to release various enzymes and repair agents to try to repair the damage caused by the diabetes.
But, the immune system lacks the resources (e.g. vitamins and minerals) to repair the damage, so it becomes overwhelmed and ill-equipped to deal with the scope of this disease.
This damage is repaired by the cholesterol produced by the liver, leading to arterial plaque formation -- all triggered by an inflammatory response.
These coarse red blood cells cause greater damage to the linings of blood vessels (endothelial walls) and in dense capillary areas such as the hands and feet; and, also, in fragile capillaries such as those that feed the kidneys and the eyes.
These advanced glycation end products (AGEs) form at a constant but slow rate in the normal body, starting in early embryonic development, and accumulate with time. However, their formation is accelerated in diabetics because of the increased availability of glucose.
As a result, an increase in glycated red blood cells and AGEs can be found in vascular tissues, retinal vessels, nerve cells (myelin sheath damage) and glomeruli membranes of diabetic patients, which can lead to various diabetic complications, including atherosclerosis, retinopathy, neuropathy and nephropathy.
Increased AGE accumulation in the diabetic vascular tissues has been associated with changes in endothelial cell, macrophage, and smooth muscle cell function.
In addition, AGEs can modify LDL cholesterol in such a way that it tends to become easily oxidized and deposited within vessel walls, causing streak formation and, in time, atheroma. AGE-crosslink formation results in arterial stiffening with loss of elasticity of large vessels, which, over time, can lead to high blood pressure, atherosclerosis and heart disease.
Studies in animals have demonstrated an important relationship between high dietary AGE intake (e.g. fried foods, fast foods) and the development or progression of diabetes-related tissue damage, e.g., vascular and renal.
The good news is that this can be prevented by following a diet designed to be low in AGEs (such as the Death to Diabetes Diet). This type of diet can decrease AGE intake by more than 50% and reduce circulating AGEs by ∼30% within 2-3 months, reducing fasting blood glucose and hemoglobin A1C levels.
It is very important that you understand the biology of red blood cells. Why? Because, if you do, then, you'll understand that people are lying to you when they say they can reverse you diabetes in 30 days! In fact, some of these books and websites are now saying they can reverse your diabetes in 10 days!
Red blood cells (erythrocytes) are produced through a process called erythropoiesis. Erythropoiesis is the development process in which new erythrocytes are produced in the bone marrow, through which each cell matures in about seven days.
Through this process, erythrocytes are continuously produced in the red bone marrow of large bones, at a rate of about 2 million cells per second in a healthy adult.
Within the bone marrow, all blood cells originate from a single type of unspecialized cell called a stem cell. When a stem cell divides, it first becomes an immature red blood cell, white blood cell, or platelet-producing cell. The immature cell then divides, matures further, and ultimately becomes a mature red blood cell, white blood cell, or platelet.
The rate of blood cell production is controlled by the body's needs. Normal blood cells last for a limited time (ranging from a few hours to a few days for white blood cells, to about 10 days for platelets, to about 120 days for red blood cells) and must be replaced constantly.
Key Point About Your Red Blood Cells: When new red blood cells are created, they are "virgin" and have no glucose attached to them. When the new red blood cells leave the bone marrow and enter your bloodstream, some of them become glycated because of the high amount of glucose (molecules) in your bloodstream. These red blood cells cannot become "unglycated."
However, since your red blood cells have a limited life span (90-120 days), the body eventually gets rid of the glycated red blood cells and replaces them with new "virgin" red blood cells. But, since you're diabetic, the new virgin red blood cells eventually become glycated also.
However, if you start eating a plant-based diet, the number of glucose molecules in your bloodstream begin to decrease and the number of red blood cells that become overly glycated start to go down.
More specifically, as the number of glucose molecules in your bloodstream start to go down, so does your fasting blood glucose, usually within 10 to 14 days.
As the number of glycated red blood cells start to go down, so does your post-meal blood glucose, but, this usually takes several weeks (sometimes months) before your post-meal blood glucose starts to come down.
And, once your post-meal blood glucose starts to come down (and stay down), then, so will your hemoglobin A1C reading.
To summarize, when you start to eat and exercise properly, you will notice your day-to-day blood glucose readings start to go down; although, on some days, it will still go up. But, as long you continue eating and exercising properly and consistently every day, eventually, after 3-4 months (or longer), your hemoglobin A1C will also start to come down.
Please keep in mind that, depending on the amount of glycation and how long you've been diabetic, it may take several months (or longer) to get your blood glucose back to the normal range. So, the key here is to be patient and stick with the program and keep monitoring and measuring your blood sugar.
Why is this a key point to understand about your red blood cells? Because there are a lot of websites, books, videos, etc. claiming that they can reverse and cure your diabetes in 30 days or sooner! These websites are either lying to you or they're just ignorant when it comes to understanding cell biology, hematology, and biological processes such as erythropoiesis, specifically the life cycle of erythrocytes (red blood cells).
Since you now realize that it takes 90-120 days to turn over your red blood cells, you can see that you can't reverse or cure your diabetes in 30 days. So, although some diabetes programs (like ours) will begin to lower your blood glucose within 7 to 10 days, it takes a lot longer for your blood glucose to stabilize and for your hemoglobin A1C to come down.
And, please keep in mind that most websites won't tell you this because they just want you to buy their book or DVD.
We expose our bodies to toxins every day via food, water, air and the environment. Pesticides and chemical solvents are obvious toxins that most of us are aware of; but, there are thousands of other toxins that we may overlook.
For example, toxins from food (artificial sweeteners, food dye, trans fats, MSG) and water (fluoride, chlorine, arsenic) can cause serious damage to our cells and tissues, especially if we don't eat the right foods to help our organs remove these toxins from our bodies.
This constant exposure to these toxins every day puts a tremendous load on our liver, kidneys, colon and lungs to remove these toxins.
These toxins cause oxidative stress and inflammation, which cause cell and tissue damage. In addition, these toxins weaken the immune system and make it difficult for cells to produce energy and do their jobs effectively.
And, over a period of years, a toxic overload can lead to diseases such as cancer, diabetes, obesity, thyroid disease, autoimmune disease, and Alzheimer's.
Refer to the Cleanse-Detox web page for more information about these toxins and how to get rid of them.
As depicted in the following flowchart, there are many cells that are affected and damaged from long-term insulin resistance, chronic inflammation, excess oxidation and glycation.
These cells include red blood cells, white blood cells, fat cells, liver cells, muscle cells, kidney cells, endothelial (blood vessel inner lining) cells, epithelial (skin)cells, nerve cells, brain cells, and cells associated with the eyes (e.g. retina) -- just to name a few.
As depicted in the flowchart (above) and in the following diagram, when these cells are damaged, this leads to a multitude of diabetic complications such as blindness, amputation and kidney failure. In addition, these processes fuel other diseases such as heart disease, arthritis, obesity, Alzheimer's and even some cancers.
Alternative wellness strategies that can help to counter these biological processes to reverse your diabetes include superior nutrition, raw juicing, consistent exercise, periodic detox, and wholefood supplementation.
Start with a superior nutritional strategy that is a macronutrient and micronutrient dense and plant-based diet.
Include foods with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich properties in order stop these harmful biological processes and even reverse their effects and repair the damaged cells and tissues.
Also, include foods with key micronutrients such as magnesium, potassium calcium, chromium, selenium, sulfur, Vitamins A, B, C, D, E, CoQ10, and lipoic acid, just to name a few.
Key foods that provide these micronutrients include green, leafy vegetables and bright-colored vegetables, such as broccoli, kale, spinach, bell peppers, celery and Romaine lettuce.
Systemic enzymes and eating raw foods helps to break down the production of fibrin and other proteins needed to support immune system function.
Additional key foods include beans, nuts, seeds, and some whole fruits such as blueberries and apples.
Additional foods include cold-water fish (such as wild salmon), fermented foods (such as sauerkraut), sea vegetables (such as kelp), blue-green algae (such as chlorella), raw juices, wheatgrass, plant oils, freshly crushed garlic, onions, and organic and free range meats and dairy.
Sulfur-rich foods such as cruciferous vegetables, allium vegetables, eggs, fish, and poultry help to build connective tissues, protect your cells against bacteria, absorb key nutrients and remove harmful toxins.
And, don't forget about adding some healthy fats, such as extra virgin olive oil, extra virgin coconut oil, and Omega-3 EFAs to keep your cells supple and not rigid.
In addition, it is just as important to avoid processed foods, fried foods, fast foods, starches, sweets, pastries, grains, flours, conventional animal meat, dairy, vegetable oils, dairy, soda, and diet soda.
Use raw vegetable juicing to fight inflammation, oxidation and glycation. Why? Because raw juicing allows you to get key nutrients into your cells almost immediately to fight these harmful biological processes.
Raw juicing also helps to accelerate your cells' repair processes and helps to further stabilize your blood sugar, especially if you hit "the wall".
However, make sure that you are juicing the right way, especially if you're diabetic. Why? Because improper juicing will spike your blood sugar and fuel your diabetes.
Cleanse and Detox
In order to combat toxicity and the excess toxic load within your cells, due to the accumulated toxins in your blood and tissues, consider using a periodic cleanse and detox program. Why?
Because a periodic cleanse and detox will help remove the toxins that have accumulated over the years. In addition, a cleanse and detox will take the load off your liver and kidneys, which are being overworked because of your diabetes.
In addition, similar to raw juicing, detox can help you if you hit "the wall" and are unable to lower your blood glucose any further.
We all know that exercise is important. But, it's even more important when combating these harmful biological processes. Why? Because not only does exercise help with fighting inflammation, it helps to stabilize blood glucose levels and reduce the amount of glycation.
In addition, exercise helps with toxicity by enabling the body to remove accumulated toxins in the cells and tissues, especially the lymphatic system.
Supplementing with specific nutrients can be helpful as long as you have made the appropriate changes to your overall nutritional program and meal plan.
In addition, it is important that you make sure that the supplements are not synthetic. Otherwise, you're just adding more toxins to your cells and tissues and making a bad problem even worse.
For more details about an effective supplementation strategy to combat these harmful biological processes, refer to our DTD Nutritional Supplementation web page and the Nutritional Supplementation (Brand Names) ebook.
Death to Diabetes Books and Ebooks to Reverse the 5 Biological Processes
Author Sidebar: After I wrote my first book (Death to Diabetes), I never dreamed that I would be writing more books! :-)
If I must say so myself, I felt that I had done a pretty good job with covering all of the key topics in my Death to Diabetes book. In fact, one of the reasons why my book had more more pages than most of the other diabetes books, is because I felt that diabetics needed a lot more information to successfully combat their diabetes.
This was confirmed by all of the positive feedback I received from diabetics around the world concerning my book and how it helped them with their diabetes.
However, during my seminars, workshops and online training classes, I received requests to add more information about meal planning, recipes, juicing, detox, testing, exercise, supplements, etc.
Since my book was already at 400 pages, I knew that I couldn't add any more pages. So, I expanded my website and added more information to address those topics.
Even though this information was free of charge and easily accessible, most of our customers still wanted the information in a book!
So, over the next 4 years, I ended up writing several books about various topics, including meal planning, recipes, juicing, detox, testing, exercise, supplements, etc.
Here is a list of the various books/ebooks that I had to write to address how to stop and reverse these harmful biological processes:
- Death to Diabetes (Book)
- Death to Diabetes (Ebook)
- Power of Raw Juicing
- Raw Food Diet
- Death to Diabetes Cookbook
- How to Fight Autoimmune Diseases Without Drugs
- Wellness Protocols for HBP, High Cholesterol, etc.
- How to Prevent & Recover from Heart Attacks & Strokes
- How to Safely Wean Off Prescription Drugs
- How to Lose Weight and Burn Belly Fat
- How to Fight Depression Without Drugs
- How to Fight and Overcome Stress
FYI: Some of these books started out as ebooks so that international customers didn't have to pay the high shipping charges. However, today, all of these books are now available as both ebooks and hard copies (spiral-bound 8½ x 11 books).
Refer to the Death to Diabetes Diet and Super Meal Plate web pages for more information about what to eat to stop and reverse these biological processes.
If you are a healthcare professional who wants to understand more about the science of diabetes, then, refer to the author's Science of Diabetes ebook.
Disclaimer: This site does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Copyright © 2016. Death to Diabetes, LLC. All rights reserved.