Exercise to lose weight to avoid or treat diabetes? Give me a break

A few years ago, a missionary friend of mine visited us here in Ontario.  He was keen to go fishing, and so one early afternoon, we rented a canoe at Lake Opeongo and headed towards North Opeongo beyond which was located our campsite.  But the winds were against us and soon they had driven us to the far shore of East Opeongo; and so we had no choice but to make camp there despite not having a permit for that area.  My friend was in pain, especially in his shoulders and he slept badly.  I thought it odd that a few hours of paddling had put him in such agony.  The next day, he called canoeing an “extreme sport”.  A few years later, this same friend had to leave the mission field for a medical furlough.  His vision had clouded over and the diagnosis was Type II Diabetes; his hbA1C was 14%. He had undoubtedly been suffering from hyperglycemia and experienced a bout of severe tendonitis from our little excursion.

I remembered this story recently, as I was thinking back about the many sports injuries I myself had suffered trying to stay active to lose weight.  Peripheral neuropathy destroyed my ability to canoe–the tingling in my hands was too severe; it also hindered weight training.  Later, weight training became impossible when I experienced debilitating rotatory cuff tendonitis.  Often, after playing basketball, I couldn’t even walk for three to four days, and I frequently suffered from Achilles tendonitis, a couple times so bad that I needed crutches.  I had lost most of my flexibility, but if I stretched, I could cause severe injury to my tendons.

It is commonly thought that an effective treatment for diabetes is exercise.  That’s fine and may help, but if the patient has tendonitis, peripheral neuropathy, or loss of proprioception (loss of coordination–I often fell inexplicably when working around the house, walking up steps or when doing sports), then the devastating effects of high blood sugars would make exercise at best difficult at worst impossible.  Diabetics and prediabetics who like me suffer from tendonitis must first control their blood sugars before they can expect to exercise.  In his book, Why we get fat and what to do about it, Gary Taubes makes an important point:  We don’t get fat because we don’t exercise.  We don’t exercise because we are getting fat.  In other words, therapists (e.g., physicians and nutritionsts) who recommend losing weight and exercise to treat obesity and diabetes–i.e., the vast majority of the imbeciles who practice medicine and nutrition–have a buggy-driven horse.

As soon as I gained control of my blood sugars I began to notice major improvements.  After a couple weeks, though I had the energy to walk, I still suffered injury to my knees and Achilles tendons, but now these problems are much less severe after exercise.  Before I started to low-carb, I tried to do my rotator cuff exercises after a hiatus of many moons; I suffered an immediate relapse of the tendonitis which took a couple weeks to lessen.  It is clear to me that I couldn’t exercise to lose weight that way.  But now that my blood sugars have normalized after four months of low carbs, I can pretty much exercise every day as necessary.

I am exercising in the evening to achieve perfectly normal over-night blood sugars and I am having considerable success with it.   This is about fine tuning the blood sugars. That is impossible on a high carbohydrate diet, and it is often cruel to recommend to diabetics that they must exercise to control blood sugars.

I become angry when I read that diabetics and prediabetics must exercise and lose weight to control their diabetes.  Rather, those of us who suffer from hyperglycemia must first achieve normal blood sugars via low carbohydrate diet, and then the weight loss will take place naturally and exercise will become possible.  I look forward to going canoeing again now that my peripheral neuropathy is gone.

Could a ketogenic diet help prevent or even cure cancer?

In 1977 my mother passed away from cancer at the age of 47.  I was thirteen and my little sister was eight.

Fairly recent research has shown remarkable facts about cancer cells (Gary Taubes, Good Calories, Bad Calories, ch. 13):  cancer cells use thirty times as much glucose as healthy cells because they depend on fermentation for energy.  Furthermore, they are not insulin resistant–when other cells in the body resist the efforts of insulin to import glucose for energy, cancer cells happily accept them.  Thus, cancer cells apparently thrive in people who have high levels of blood sugar (e.g., prediabetics who have glucose intolerance), for diabetics and prediabetics have a much higher rate of cancer than people with normal blood sugars.

So I ask myself if it would be possible to starve cancer cells to cure cancer or to prevent their appearance in the first place.  With a little bit of internet research, I found a some sources that may suggest this:  (1) A 2011 scientific study shows that a low carb diet could prevent cancer in lab mice; (2) Some claim that a ketogenic diet (i.e., a diet consisting of a absolute minimum of carbohydrates resulting in the burning of fat for energy) is a useful therapy against cancer, also in combination with traditional therapies (chemo or radiation).  One man claims that a ketogenic diet cured his cancer when doctors had given him only three months to live (see here).

Now the medical profession as a whole has been slow to accept low carb dieting, and this is much to their shame.  Personally, I’ve benefited from low carbing: I now enjoy normal blood sugars, normal blood pressure, 35 lbs of weight loss, and a significant attenuation of all my diabetic symptoms.  I feel better and I have hope that I may actually be able to live longer with much better health.

My mother was a physician and she had diabetes.  But I am certain that she did not have her blood sugars under control–our family ate rice everyday, along with other high carb foods.  Moreover, the technology to be able to monitor blood glucose at home did not exist before 1977. Dr. Richard K. Bernstein champions the Diabetes Solution, which requires diabetics to monitor their blood sugar several times a day and implement an ultra low carb diet (30 gm of carbs per day)–Dr. Bernstein only started using a portable glucose tester for the first time in 1969 (p. xvi).  The makers of this glucose tester designed it for hospital use only, but Dr. Bernstein, who was an engineer at the time, was able to obtain one through his wife who was a physician.  Then it took him a few years to perfect a technique for establishing normal blood sugars.  Today, many diabetics use his method to successfully maintain normal blood sugars.

It makes me wonder:  Had my mom been able to control her blood sugars, could she have prevented her cancer? I hope through this blog post to encourage low carb dieting as a legitimate effective therapy and preventative method–for many ailments related to diabetes, but perhaps also for cancer.  I think that this is where the research is leading us, and hopefully the medical profession will pay attention.

PS:  As I finished writing this post the news of Hugo Chavez’ death from cancer at age 58 has surfaced.  Undoubtedly, he suffered from metabolic syndrome, as his girth would suggest.