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Diabetes Should Never Happen To You

by Dr. Gabe Mirkin, M.D.

One of three North Americans will become diabetic, and almost all are pre-diabetic long before they become diabetic.

Signs of pre-diabetes include:
  • a protruding belly
  • small buttocks
  • love handles around the belt line
  • high triglycerides (greater than 150)
  • low HDL (good) cholesterol (lower than 40)
  • fatty liver
  • fasting blood sugar above 100
  • blood sugar above 120, two hours after eating.

If you change the habits that cause the signs of pre-diabetes, you can probably avoid ever becoming diabetic.

Image from
Exercise Helps Lower High Blood Sugar Levels.

People who are pre-diabetic have a far more dramatic lowering of high blood sugar and insulin with exercise than non-diabetics (Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, December 2011;43(12):2231-2240). High blood sugar levels cause sugar to stick to the outer surface of cell membranes and destroy them. High blood insulin levels constrict arteries leading to the heart to cause heart attacks.

Intense Exercise is Far More Effective in Controlling Blood Sugar Levels Than Just Exercising.

In another study, men performed the following workout three times a week: They warmed up by pedaling on a stationary bicycle for five minutes, performed two 20-second hard sprints and then cooled down by pedaling slowly for five minutes (European Journal of Applied Physiology, December 2011). After six weeks, there was an incredible drop in blood sugar and insulin levels, far more than a diabetic achieves by exercising less intensely for more than one hour a day. The authors write: "These sprints break down as much glycogen in two 20-second sprints as moderate endurance exercise would in an hour."

Muscles store sugar inside their cells as glycogen. Emptying muscle cells of glycogen markedly improves the ability of muscle cells to remove sugar from the bloodstream.


If you have type II diabetes, you probably did it to yourself. More than 90 percent of diabetes is caused by inability to respond to insulin. Insulin cannot do its job of driving sugar from the bloodstream into cells until it attaches on special hooks on cell membrane called insulin receptors. So anything that blocks insulin receptors prevents insulin from working and causes blood sugar levels to rise too high. Also, anything that drives sugar into cells without needing insulin helps to prevent and treat diabetes.

Behaviors that block insulin receptors include:
  • Eating Red Meat. The saturated fat in red meat blocks insulin receptors to prevent insulin from doing its job.
  • Being Fat. Full fat cells block insulin receptors.
  • Lacking Muscle. Contracting muscles can remove sugar from the bloodstream without needing insulin. However this effect lasts only during exercise and up to 17 hours afterwards, so you have to exercise every day. Exercise draws sugar into cells without even needing insulin, and exercise makes your body respond better to insulin (Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: December 2011;43(12):2231-2240).
  • Lacking Vitamin D. Vitamin D is necessary for your cells to respond to insulin. Lack of vitamin D blocks insulin receptors and prevents insulin from doing its job of lowering blood sugar levels. Vitamin D levels should be above 75 nmol/L.
  • Sugar and Other Refined Carbohydrates. Eating or drinking sugar and refined carbohydrates (such as bakery products and pastas) raises blood sugar levels the most. A high rise in blood sugar causes sugar to stick to cells. Once there, sugar can never be removed. It eventually is converted to sorbitol that destroys the cell to cause all the horrible side effects of diabetes: blindness, deafness, heart attacks, strokes, dementia, impotence, kidney failure, amputations and so forth.

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