CELL SUGAR and TYPE 4 DIABETES
Two hypotheses: Low cell glucose can be a cause of many symptoms. (Call it hypoglycellia.) Cell glucose can be low when blood glucose is normal.
What if a person is sick and tired and medical help doesn’t help? That may happen without diabetes, fibromyalgia, or anemia, or even with various chronic diseases.
Insulin and blood sugar affect many systems and conditions. (Alzheimer’s, neuropathy, hypoglycemia.) Alzheimer’s, in fact has been called type 3 diabetes by researchers at Brown Medical School who have found Alzheimer’s-like pathology in animals with induced insulin resistance in the brain, and that treating insulin resistance is helpful in human Alzheimer’s patients.
What happens in insulin resistance? Blood sugar and insulin go up. All kinds of problems follow. Is high blood sugar toxic? Is insulin toxic? We believe so. What else happens? Obviously (but neglected and seldom mentioned) cells are deprived of glucose. Could that account for all or most of the consequences of insulin resistance? Could more glucose help?
Insulin, like any body chemical or nutrient, has multiple effects. Low insulin is best known as the cause of type 1 diabetes, in which insulin production is so low that a coma may result from cell glucose deprivation, and requiring injected insulin.
Body chemicals and nutrients naturally have both good and bad effects. Insulin, necessary as it is, is a likely factor in the aging process of the body. For cardiologist Al Sears, the first and most important factor he wants to test is the insulin level in the blood.
Insulin resistance is known as the cause of type 2 diabetes. This usually occurs after years of eating too much sugar and starch. Probable factors in insulin resistance include low magnesium, high fructose, lack of exercise, and possible relation to leptin resistance and other hormone irregularities.
With resistance insulin level may be high, but its effect is blocked. In either type of diabetes blood sugar is high, but body cells are deprived. The pancreas has to produce more insulin (or insulin is injected) as the body needs to get more glucose into the cells. Type 2 may begin with a healthy pancreas, but after years of overwork, it may give up and we then have a combination of types, with both insulin resistance and low insulin production.
What is constant in all of this? Cells are deprived of glucose. Body cells, and especially brain cells, need a constant supply of glucose as their main energy source. With low blood sugar which can result from excess insulin, or high blood sugar which is the focus in both types of diabetes, cells are deprived of glucose.
Effects are different in the brain than in other parts of the body. In insulin shock, too much sugar goes into body cells, lowering blood sugar, but depriving brain cells of sugar. Another factor that must relate somehow is that the brain produces some of its own insulin. The pancreas is not alone.
So, what is new? This question: Might higher blood glucose be a good thing, as compensation for insulin resistance? Or, might a person be hypoglycemic, or “hypoglycellic” with blood sugar of 90, 100, or even higher?
Might this be a factor in “sick and tired” conditions, even in people who do not have elevated blood sugar, and are not diagnosed as diabetic?
Where does sugar work? In cells! Why, then, are we concerned about blood sugar, and don’t even think about the constant need of cells for sugar? In writings about diabetes this is a constant: blood sugar is tested and emphasized; cell sugar is not. We are left guessing, or not even thinking about, the amount of glucose where it is most needed.
The medical term for low blood sugar is hypoglycemia. Now can we invent a term for low cell sugar? Hypoglycellia. We test often for blood sugar. Do we not need to test for cell sugar? Is anyone working on that? (HbA1c is not an adequate answer.)
If there is any degree of insulin resistance, whether or not it shows up as elevated blood sugar, this limits cell sugar. Higher blood sugar then might be needed to compensate for low cell sugar. This might be the case long before diabetes, syndrome X, or insulin resistance is diagnosed, and it may be a factor in “sick and tired” diseases that resist diagnosis and treatment. That may be the case while blood sugar has not risen.
Bob Ranson, author of the new book TYPE 4 DIABETES, was in much trouble when his blood sugar was below 100. No doctor would call this hypoglycemia, but it clearly could be due to low cell sugar. He also had severe problems with “autonomic neuropathy” long before he found a problem with blood sugar. But he found that by keeping up his blood sugar level, his neuropathy symptoms faded. That was not because his doctors thought of it. It is reasonable to think that his neuropathy might have been due in the first place by long-time low cell sugar. This idea is backed by the fact that many diabetics-to-be have neurological problems before finding high blood sugar.
Ranson goes on to call hypoglycemia, or at least his type of neurology-hypoglycemia, type 4 diabetes. Better, we could think of low cell sugar as type 4 diabetes. Or, we might not think of this as another type, but a better understanding of what happens in types 1 and 2. This could relate to may people who have chronic illness and strange pains, and neuropathy. Doctors: could your difficult patients need a dextrose supplement?
Diabetics, in time, generally get neurological problems. Does this happen because diabetes treatment (to keep blood sugar down) results in low cell sugar? Maybe being content with higher blood sugar, along with steps to reduce insulin resistance (with magnesium supplement!) will help.
It is claimed that high insulin relates to the aging process. Keeping insulin level low is as much anti-aging as caloric restriction. Or, maybe caloric restriction has its effect by reducing insulin level. Then, low insulin level is accomplished when cells have adequate glucose. Think about it!
(By Ira Edwards, author of HONEST NUTRITION.)
Medical librarian, Nutrition writer
Author of HONEST NUTRITION, an alternative nutrition textbook or manual.
Author of HYPOGLYCELLIA and SPURN TOTAL CHOLESTEROL, papers posted on http://www.naturalhealthweb.com