Salutations!

It is safe to say that most of the "news" relating to health we receive today is nothing more than cleverly disguised advertisements for various products or unhealthy modalities that aren't very good for you. Unfortunately this "news" is often the only side of the story we receive and because of this we can not make informed decisions. My prayer is that through a network of concerned persons we can present the "other side" of the story in a way that would educate and convict us so that a not-so- educated guess given by others becomes an informed decision made by you.







Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Diabetes: A 21st Century Scourge - The Ravages of Diabetes Continued

Uncontrolled blood sugar levels is the calling card of Type II diabetes that eventually leads to circulatory issues that are life changing. Foot ulcers, peripheral nerve damage and the accompanying pain, and blindness can result when blood vessels are weakened by the inflammatory action of unregulated blood sugar. Nightmarish as those conditions may be the complications of diabetes can worsen overtime leading to renal failure, heart attacks and stroke.




Diabetic Nephropathy

Silently and slowly high blood glucose levels damages the kidneys of diabetics and pre-diabetics takes its toll. The kidneys help filter the blood and flush the body of unwanted toxins. Overtime high sugar levels cause the thickening and scarring of nephrons. The process eventually leads to renal (kidney) failure. To make matters worse it can take anywhere from 5 – 10 years before the symptoms of acute kidney damage are experienced. Some of the symptoms include nausea with vomiting, swelling of the legs, headaches, chronic fatigue, and poor appetite. Kidney damage is a leading cause of death in diabetics. As it is kidney function can be a direct correlation to the quality of a person’s life.




Strokes

High blood glucose levels create all sorts of negative domino effects in the body. One part of the domino effect is the scarring and deterioration of blood vessels that occur. The body attempts to repair these blood vessels that are constantly under attack. In doing so the material used to make the repairs “builds up” in the blood vessels creating blockages. Sometimes these blockages occur in arteries and blood vessels that supply blood to brain. When the blockages are severe enough a stroke soon follows. The result of the stroke could lead to paralysis, speech loss, inability to coordinate movement or even death. Smaller strokes could lead to dementia or senility.




Heart Attacks

Diabetes and cardiovascular diseases seem to go hand in hand. Primarily because of the circulatory issues created by having diabetes in the first place. From there it becomes much easier for cardiovascular disease to gain a foothold especially if poor lifestyle habits and predisposition to these diseases exist. Diabetics experience heart attacks more frequently than non-diabetics. Diabetics are also twice as likely to die following a heart attack as non-diabetics.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Diabetes: A 21st Century Scourge - The Ravages of Diabetes

So far we have discussed some of the causes of diabetes mellitus (aka Type II diabetes). Now it is time to look at what diabetes does or can do to the body if reversal or proper mitigation is not undertaken (*Note: I did not use the word “management” purposefully which will be discussed later). Diabetes has a methodical way of slowly shutting down very important body processes. At first it is a silent thief roaming the body undetected causing painless harm. Later the harm becomes great enough to cause discomfort, outright pain or worse. The silent portion of the process can take years and could remain undiscovered for much of that time. The resulting complications are life changing.



Our Poor Eyes

According to the National Institute of Health (NIH) diabetes is one of the leading causes of blindness affecting 4.1 million adults in the U.S. The blindness is caused primarily by a condition called diabetic retinopathy. One of the most devastating aspects of diabetes is how it affects blood flow and circulation. As blood flow to the retinas decrease due to diabetes the body attempts to compensate by creating new blood vessels. Unfortunately these blood vessels tend to be weak and they rupture. Bleeding in the retina obstructs vision and the laser treatments used to stop the bleeding often destroys portions of the retina. Retinal hemorrhaging and treatments for it can separately or in combination cause permanent blindness.  



On Pins and Needles

Circulatory issues figure prominently with Type II diabetes. It can cause blindness and it can also cause another condition called neuropathy. Neuropathy occurs as blood vessels that supply the peripheral nervous system begin to weaken. The peripheral nerves, starved of nourishment, begin to degenerate creating pain. At first it could feel like being pricked by pins and needles as numbness begin to set in. A downward spiral ensues with ever decreasing circulation causing ever increasing pain.



Ulcers and Infections

Foot ulcers, because of poor or insufficient blood supply, can become a common problem. Blood vessels have the tendency to become clogged in diabetics especially in the extremities robbing them of nourishment and proper attention from the immune system. No nourishment causes tissues to degenerate causing ulcers. In addition, simple cuts or bruises can result in life threatening infections. Both conditions can lead to the onset of gangrene and require amputation of the infected limb. There are approximately 185,000 amputations per year in the U.S. with more than half of those (54%) attributed to vascular diseases (either diabetes or peripheral arterial disease). Diabetics are cautioned to take good care of their feet paying close attention to them. Most practitioners would advise diabetics to never go barefoot and to keep their feet warm, dry and clean.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Diabetes: A 21st Century Scourge - Causes of Diabetes Continued



As we continue to discuss the causes of diabetes there are two significant contributors that must be discussed. Seldom mentioned in most dialogue regarding this scourge are the massive amounts of medications that is consumed the world over and the staggering result of unmitigated stress on our bodies.



Medications

Watch most any pharmaceutical commercial and you will likely notice that about 20 seconds of a 30 second commercial is about all the terrible things the medicine may do to you. Of those 20 seconds a few sound something like this: “Be sure to tell your doctor if you have a liver condition or poor liver function” or “Liver test may be necessary to check liver function”. There are a multitude of reasons why these pronouncements are important but for the sake of this article we will stick with the diabetic angle.

Poor liver function is a death sentence. This may sound ominous and a bit over the top but consider what the liver does (e.g. cleanse the blood, regulate metabolism) and the picture becomes clear. A Poor liver leads to a poor life and possibly diabetes. Medications can slow liver function by creating the need for continuous cleansing of highly toxic substances. These substances may be specifically toxic to the liver breaking down cellular function which decreases the organ’s efficiency.

Also, some medications can actually slow down metabolic processes in the liver causing it to become fatty and sluggish. A fatty liver has great difficulty controlling fasting glucose levels. A fatty liver also increases the incidence of insulin resistance. It is estimated that some 80% of people suffering from Type II diabetes have fat in their liver.



Stress

When it comes to silent killers stress, in my opinion, is second only to inflammation. Chronic stress is a major health issue these days and it comes from multiple sources. Family and other relationships, traffic jams, even video games can induce stress responses in the body. One of the chief responses is elevated cortisol levels. Cortisol is released into the blood stream to give the body a boost of energy to accommodate the “fight or flight” response to stressful situations by increasing blood glucose levels. When cortisol is constantly released it increases blood glucose constantly and insulin resistance is not far behind because the cells do not actually need the energy. Once insulin resistance sets in Type II diabetes rears its hideously ugly head.


In addition, because the body does not actually need to fight or run the extra glucose in the blood stream has to go somewhere. That is when the body produces visceral and abdominal fight to store the unused glucose. This type of fat is extra special and not in a good way. It tends to adversely affect the metabolism essentially becoming its own endocrine system and affecting the hormones that either stimulate or decrease hunger. The net effect is a downward spiral alternating between unmitigated stress, increased abdominal and visceral fat, and increased appetite. All this leads to continuous elevated blood glucose levels and increased insulin resistance. Combined with the cumulative effect of chronic stress we are left with nothing short of diabetic trouble.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Diabetes: A 21st Century Scourge - Causes of Diabetes



Where and how does one of the most prolific medical scourges of the 21st century begin? Let's start at the table. Whether that be at home, work or your favorite restaurant what we put on it can sometimes be the beginning of the end. Our sugar laden, artificial and bleached foods combined with an abundance of alcoholic drinks, prescriptions and over the counter medications has helped to establish what is and continues to be a tragic epidemic on a global scale.



Artificial Sweeteners - The Zero Calorie Killer

Along with diabetes artificial sweeteners are linked to other adverse health conditions including weight gain. It is one of the most insidious food additives on the market today. The sweeteners cause spikes in blood insulin levels. How is this possible? The body is wired to prepare for the introduction of carbohydrates since carbs are the chief and most energy efficient forms of fuel. When artificial sweeteners wash over the tongue the brain signals the body to prepare for sugar intake. But this is no normal preparation. Consider the fact that artificial sweeteners are up to 300% sweeter than regular sugar. The body thinks it is getting tons of it which drives insulin production sky high. The cells in the body continuously seeing insulin in the bloodstream for seemingly no reason begin to build a sensitivity towards it thus the term insulin sensitivity. This is not the only way cells become sensitive to insulin but it is one of the main reasons. To add insult to injury what blood sugar is in circulation gets swept up by the excess insulin driving blood sugar levels low. The low blood sugar levels are detected by the body and triggers the production of a hormone called ghrelin. This hormone makes us feel hungry and usually we will eat. The weight gain trap is sprung as most people will alternate between artificially sweetened products (especially soda) and eating highly processed foods mostly unaware of the weight gain connection. Zero calorie foods tend to make people consume more calories of other foods and that is a killer both figuratively and literally.

These diabetes inducing sweeteners can be found in almost anything like: prescription medication, cough syrup, aspirin and other over-the-counter drugs, chewing gum, anything labeled 'sugar free', and drink powders to name a few.



Highly Processed Foods and Our Love Affair with Bleach

Walk down the aisle almost any grocery store and pick up a prepackaged item containing wheat. These would be your breads, cereals, cookies and pastas. Read the list of ingredients on the back. If it is not organic some of the first words you will see are bleached or enriched. This is code for 'we have stripped the goodness out of this product and added what we think you would like to taste'. Why would anyone do this? To make us eat more and eat more often. Bleached and enriched foods undergo chemical processes that converts them from complex carbohydrates (good) to simple carbohydrates (really bad). Once this happens the producer of that food experiences an increase in profit because you will eat more of it and you will eat it more often. As their profits increase so does our waist lines and risk of diabetes. I am sure that there will be some who read this and decide this is a conspiratorial view but consider the chart from the previous article. As food distribution around the world increases (usually simple carbs) so too does the incidence of diabetes.

High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS): Americans consume an astounding 60 lbs. of HFCS every year. What's so astounding about this? Consider the fact that fructose is metabolized in the liver into fat more readily than glucose. When bombarded with fructose all at once the liver becomes sluggish and fatty itself. Fatty livers usually precedes insulin resistance which can ultimately lead to the development and persistence of Type II diabetes. The reason Americans can consume 60 lbs. of HFCS on average is because it is found in many processed foods and is often one of the first three ingredients in a product. Some of the products include soft drinks, pancake syrup, yogurt, canned fruits, barbecue sauce, pasta sauce and fruit drinks that are not 100% juice just to name a few. HFCS is a metabolic nightmare that many of us are unaware of including diabetics. Are you or do you know someone who is diabetic or pre-diabetic? Have you or they ever been warned to stay away from HFCS? If not, please consider this a warning.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Diabetes: A 21st Century Scourge - Part I



The Introduction

Sadness is staring an avoidable tragedy in the face and blinking. Have you had the chance to ponder the chart above? In each block are a group of numbers representing various regions of the world. The number at the top of the box represents the number of known Type 2 diabetics as of 2003. The number under it is the projected number of diabetes cases in 2025 with the correlating percent increase under each. By 2025 it is projected that there will be a 62% increase in diabetic patients worldwide. The cynic in me says to invest heavily in diabetes medications and paraphernalia. The optimist in me says I should lend a hand. Digressing to my better nature and refusing to enrich myself on the backs of those who suffer by causing suffering I offer the beginning of my multi-pronged diabetes project (more information will be given on the project at a date sometime in the future). 

Sadness is also having to witness triple digit increases projected in parts of the world that are already stressed and void of much hope. It is interesting that shortages of the most basic needs (food, water, medical attention) in these areas abound but a metabolic syndrome often associated with indulgent eating or consuming way more sugar than the body can handle would become a scourge. More on this point and why it is happening in a later article. 

Type 2 diabetes, also known as diabetes mellitus, is a metabolic disorder that occurs when the cells in the body become so resistant to insulin that blood sugar levels can no longer be controlled by the body (this is a simplistic definition and will be expounded upon later). Often medical intervention is undertaken and treatment can include having to take insulin shots, prescription medications and the need to check blood sugar levels often. The American Diabetes Association estimated that diabetes treatment in the U.S. alone cost more than $245 billion in 2012. If price levels remain the same that would mean an increased expenditure of $140 billion bringing the total to $385 billion annually by 2025 just in the U.S.! That would be more than the GDP of the Federated States of Micronesia (in other words a small country).

Sadness surrounds us but it does not have to remain or persist. We have the power to change it and ourselves. There is a growing contingent of well informed and well-meaning people who are helping to either prevent the scourge of diabetes or bring balance to those who have the condition reversing it and freeing would be lifelong diabetics from their conditional prisons. Let the word go out, if it is not already known, that diabetes is a condition not a disease. It is not something you catch but something you develop and what is done can be undone no matter what the cynics and robbers of joy and health say.

This series will focus on some of the causes, health implications, and modalities concerning diabetes mellitus and is designed to offer and inspire hope for what is a seemingly overwhelming epidemic. Have faith, be strong and let us share this ride together!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Articles Published on Natural News



Life has been coming at me fast and furious these days which has left me little time to write articles. I have a new series in mind and I am gearing up to crank those out in addition to more rebuttals to articles I have found that make me scratch my head from their sheer gall and blatant misrepresentations.

With that being said I would like to offer a sampling of various articles I have written for Naturalnews.com. Over the years I have written about many health related matters that did not necessarily make it to the blog. When time permits please click this hyperlink to the website. It will bring you to four pages that list my articles specifically. If you see something you like and you think it would make for a pretty good blog series let me know. In the meantime, read, discuss and share until your heart is content.

Peace, light and love....always.

Derrell


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Medical Conspiracies - Are We the Crazy Ones Part III



Over the past 10 -15 years you may have noticed an increasing trend in branding people as conspiracy theorist simply because they were saying or asking something that had not been verified by some authoritative figure or entity. The term has become so demeaning and hurtful in nature that no one wants to be called one for fear of being seen as delusional or in need of mental evaluation. Other than outright censorship I can think of no better way to stifle ideas, discourse and critical thinking. Perhaps that is the point. What happens to a society when critical thinking or critical questioning is no longer allowed? We get media outlets, government agencies even some teachers and church officials that tell us what to think and how to think and dare us to question it. Meanwhile, we slip down the slippery slope of the type of apathy that leads to man’s inhumanity to man going unchecked and extreme environmental degradation.

In the days of Enron the company had a thought provoking slogan and philosophy. It was simple: Ask why. We all know what happened to Enron and the irony is not enough people asked ‘why’ they were able to show wildly increasing profits without having to prove those profits existed. Another irony is that the one Wall Street analyst, John Olson, was considered crazy (read conspiracy theorist, nut) for suggesting something was wrong with Enron and eventually had to “move on” for his views. Not long after that the roof fell in at Enron exonerating that nut Olson all together causing 20,000 people to be laid off and drying up almost every dime of their pension fund while top executives took home millions in pay outs (man’s inhumanity to man).




If you question 9/11 you’re a nut. If you think vaccines may lead to autism you’re a nut. If you didn't think there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq you were a nut. The problem doesn't lie in the position of the person thinking these things. The problem is the lack of substantive, thoughtful and civil discourse. There is so much vitriol and mean spirited talk and it is all to stop the thought process. Our thoughts, along with reason and a healthy emotional and spiritual disposition, are precious commodities that, when used, form the basis of a well-functioning society that is not prone to exploitation, subjugation and an apathetic spirit.  Keep thinking. Keep asking questions no matter how absurd. Transparency leads to the naked truth and it is questions that takes its clothes off.