Sugar – The Deadliest Drug of All (Part 3)

What effect does sugar have on our bodies? Infertility, metabolic syndrome, and insulin resistance. They have all been linked to excess sugar consumption.

I recently spent a cold, cloudy sunday learning about these conditions and how we can help reverse and prevent them from becoming an epidemic. A fantastic seminar held in Sydney by well known naturopath Angela Hywood, respected Professor Kerry Bone (founder of mediherb herbal medicinal company), and experienced Perth clinician Chevonne Clasen.
So here is what I learnt (WARNING this may shock you)
There are 3 recurring themes that are related to these lifestyle conditions:
  1. Obesity (this means your BMI is over 30, a waist measurement of over 88cm for women, and 102cm in men).
  2. Limited exercise (less than 150 minutes per week).
  3. A diet high in refined carbohydrates, sugars, and trans fats.

Part 3- Insulin Resistance (IR)

 How do I make this once boring topic seem relevant and interesting? I know, lets do a test…
Let me ask you some questions:
  1. Do you have carry your weight around your middle?
  2. Do you eat more then one carbohydrate based meal per day (e.g.. cereal/muesli, toast, sandwich, pasta, rice)?
  3. Does anyone in your family have type 2 diabetes?
  4. Do you exercise less than 150 minutes per week (not including incidental exercise like walking the dog, or walking to the train station)?
  5. Do you have difficulty losing weight?
  6. Do you drink more than 4 alcoholic beverages per week?
  7. Do you have any refined sugar in your diet: cakes, lollies, chocolate, biscuits, ice-cream, sugar in your tea/coffee?
  8. Do you or have you ever suffered from gout?
  9. Do you go to sleep after 10pm and have disturbed sleeping patterns?
  10. Do you have high cholesterol or triglycerides?
If you answered YES to any of these questions you are at risk of Insulin resistance. So why should you care about this? Well Insulin resistance is linked to cancer, cardiovascular disease, type two diabetes, sleep apnea, and many other diseases which lower your life expectancy.

So how can you test for it?

You  need to speak to your general physician and have the following tests performed:
  • fasting plasma glucose
  • oral glucose tolerance
  • glycohaemoglobin
  • lipid profile (fasting total cholesterol, and triglycerides)
  • homocysteine
  • electrolyetes
  • urinalysis for microalbuminuria
Once all of these tests have been performed you will have a very good idea if insulin resistance is something you are at risk of. If the case is true and you do have IR don’t stress- because that will only make things worse (elevated cortisol will only worsen the situation). Instead, make an appointment with your naturopath who can help you manage it with diet and herbal medicinal therapy.

Evidence has shown a number of patients respond positively to herbal medicines such as; turmeric, liquorice, gymnema, st mary’s thistle, fenugreek, korean ginseng, globe artichoke, coleus, and many more. By using these herbs in combination with a whole foods (pale style diet), and regular moderate exercise you can protect yourself from IR and there fore increase your life expectancy!

I know it was a bit wordy, and a bit technical but it is a topic that is very interesting to me and I wanted to share what I had learnt. It might not be new information for many of you but some people have little idea about the negative effects a highly processed diet can have on your health.

For more information, or if you would like to look into this further for yourself contact me via Facebook, website, phone, or email and we can make an appointment to get you back on track!