So far, 2012 seems to be the year of the “diabetes celebrity.”
Coming on the heels of the recent Paula Deen controversy is the new revelation that Alec Baldwin, star of NBC’s “30 Rock,” was diagnosed with prediabetes.
But Baldwin, unlike Chef Deen, chose to cure his condition by changing his diet, rather than sign a multi-million dollar endorsement deal with a diabetes drug company.
Alec Baldwin shown on the left, before reversing his pre-diabetic condition and
losing 30 pounds as a result (at right).
Alec Baldwin is a genuine “diabetes hero”
Baldwin’s story caught my eye because I’m putting the finishing touches on my new book, “Diabetes Heroes,” which profiles people diagnosed with Type 2 who beat the disease by changing their diet, instead going the drug route.
They rebelled against the mainstream message that “there’s no cure for diabetes” and proved it wrong.
In doing so, they demonstrated that almost anyone can reverse Type 2, get off their drugs, and return to a normal, healthy life.
I’d love to feature Baldwin in my book — so if you run into him at your local Starbucks, please ask him to drop me an email.
How did he do it?
Those of you who visit this column regularly — or who are familiar with The 30-Day Diabetes Cure — won’t be surprised to learn how he reversed his pre-diabetes.
“I stopped eating refined sugars, desserts and sweets and things,” Baldwin told an interviewer.
“I gave up sugar … and lost 30 pounds in four months. It’s amazing.”
But that’s not how the media chose to spin it.
Every story I’ve seen has attributed the 53-year-old actor’s turnaround to his weight loss (just as they did two years ago when comedian Drew Carey reversed his Type 2.
One account of Baldwin’s triumph even went so far as to say: “Obesity is a leading cause of Type 2 diabetes,” which is pure baloney.
Why is the media publicizing the wrong story?
The reason seems obvious to me.
Big Sugar and Big Food would throw a major hissy fit if doctors started blaming their products for today’s Type 2 diabetes epidemic — and these are two of the most influential lobbies in Washington.
So, you see, it’s much safer to pin the rap on “weight gain,” which — in a very sneaky way — makes diabetes your fault.
While numerous studies demonstrate that Type 2 and prediabetes are easily reversed with simple diet changes (i.e., quit consuming sugar, sodas, refined carbs, and baked goods like Baldwin did), doctors and the drug industry would have us believe that “lifestyle interventions” involve a lot of work and sacrifice.
That’s if they even mention diet-and-exercise at all.
“Eat less and exercise more”
Official treatment guidelines advise physicians to recommend “lifestyle interventions” to all new, non-emergency Type 2 and pre-diabetes patients for a period of several weeks before prescribing medication.
But it rarely happens this way. Usually, people newly diagnosed with Type 2 or pre-diabetes are given a drug immediately.
If a patient balks and asks about his/her non-drug alternatives, physicians tell him/her to go home and lose some weight.
When the patient asks “How should I do that?,” the standard response is: “Eat less and exercise more.”
“Lifestyle changes fail in the majority of people.”
That’s the verdict from Dr. Anne Peters, director of the clinical diabetes programs at the University of Southern California — and most physicians would agree.
But when you consider the lame lifestyle advice that the average doctor dishes out, it’s easy to understand why.
“Eat less” (restricting calories) never works for losing weight because you’re always fighting your hunger — and (surprise!) hunger always wins.
“Exercise more” is equally doomed because, as I pointed out before, exercise is a terrible way to lose weight.
Why? Because most people work up such a hunger during exercise that they consume more calories after their workout than they burned during it.
“Losing weight” is a red herring
No, this isn’t a new diet food. A red herring refers to something intended to divert attention from the real problem.
And that’s exactly what blaming Type 2 and pre-diabetes on weight gain and obesity does.
Yet it accomplishes absolutely nothing with regard to stopping and reversing the spread of this nasty condition (which will soon afflict one out of every three Americans).
Of course, this keeps the $400 billion-a-year diabetes gravy train rolling right along (soon to be a one trillion dollar “industry” by the end of this decade).
More diabetes means more business
And that’s why doctors and drug companies will never find a cure for diabetes — because there’s more money to be made from treating it.
More patients mean more customers for the companies that make diabetes test strips, glucose monitors, diabetic foods, and all those drugs.
More cases of diabetes also boost the income of doctors, surgeons, hospitals, diagnostic labs, diabetes educators, therapists, research scientists, healthcare and insurance executives, pharmacists — and everyone connected with treating it year after year.
This is why the public is constantly reminded that “there is no cure for diabetes” (so the treatment juggernaut can roll on).
But word is starting to get around that this is a lie.
And Alec Baldwin is the latest proof
The press is running with the angle that weight loss cured his diabetes. But they’re missing the point.
Baldwin’s diabetes cure came because he reversed his body’s insulin resistance. When this happens, the weight falls off effortlessly.
It kills me how all those vested interests love to pay lip service to sincerely wanting to see diabetes wiped out.
But this intent only goes as far as their advertising, PR campaigns, and appeals for your donations.
Their ulterior goal is to keep you completely confused so that your only recourse will be to rely on drugs and medical treatments. Here’s a perfect example…
“There is no one diet, whether it’s a Mediterranean, low-carb or low-fat diet, that is consistently better at helping people manage diabetes,” says Stephanie Dunbar, director of nutrition and medical affairs for the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and one of the authors of a new review of diabetes diets published in February’s Diabetes Care.
But this just isn’t true
Convincing research shows that low-carb (and no-carb) diets are highly effective at controlling — and even reversing — Type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes.
One example: In a six-month study conducted by Duke University’s Medical Center, Type 2 patients who restricted carbohydrates were able to reduce — or completely eliminate — their diabetes medication.
“It’s simple,” says lead researcher Eric Westman, MD, “if you cut out the carbohydrates, your blood sugar goes down, and you lose weight which lowers your blood sugar even further. It’s a one-two punch.”
Another: In a separate study also sponsored by Duke and led by William Yancy, Jr., MD, seven of the 21 Type 2 patients on a low-carb diet were able to discontinue their medication after 16 weeks — while another 10 significantly reduced their doses.
And still others: More than a dozen peer-reviewed studies published since 2003 display the striking health benefits of a low-carb diet for people with diabetes and pre-diabetes.
“Many people are essentially cured of their (Type 2) diabetes by low-carbohydrate diets, but that message is not getting out,” says Dr. Richard Feinman of the SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Studies in 2004 at the Minneapolis V.A. Medical Center and the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, and published in Diabetes have produced groundbreaking research — though sadly, little-reported — showing dramatic results.
The researchers found that Type 2s diabetes significantly improved their blood glucose levels simply by switching from the ADA’s low-fat diet (55% carbohydrates, 15% protein, and 30% fat) to a low-carb diet (20% carbs, 30% protein, and 50% fat).
“We were shocked,” said Dr. Frank Q. Nuttall, the chief investigator. “We thought they’d be improved, but we didn’t think it would be improved as much as it was. The results were better than you get when you put patients on oral agents (drugs).”
And then there are the numerous patients of Dr. Stefan Ripich, as well as the many readers of our book, The 30-Day Diabetes Cure, who have reversed their Type 2, gotten off all their diabetes drugs, and returned to a normal, healthy life. (Click the video screen below to hear their powerful testimonies…)
The science is very clear
Sugar and refined carbohydrates elevate blood sugar and over time, this leads to insulin resistance and pre-diabetes. Left unchecked, Type 2 develops — and eventually Type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes will set in.
Cutting out these troublesome foods and beverages keeps blood sugar in the normal range, so there’s no need for glucose-lowering drugs. it’s really that simple.
So why doesn’t the ADA tell doctors to advise their Type 2 patients to restrict sugar and carbs?
Because the drug companies can’t make money with this approach — and, make no mistake, Big Pharma calls the shots when it comes to treatment guidelines.
The other reason is that a large chunk of the ADA’s funding, besides coming from the makers of diabetes drugs, is derived from food companies who sell some of the worst high-carb food products that contribute to diabetes and obesity — including Coke, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, Hershey’s, Cadbury Chocolates, and various refined-carb breakfast cereals.
These companies essentially buy an endorsement from the ADA (at $500,000 a pop!), which includes the right to use its logo on their food labels.
Big Pharma’s deadly seduction
To make drug treatment appear more attractive, the drug industry portrays low-carb diets as dull, dreary, restrictive, and impossible to stick with. You’ve heard this before, right?
“If you give someone a list that says they have to eat this or that, and those are not foods they like, then they won’t be successful, and they’ll end up eating in secrecy,” says the ADA’s Dunbar.
The inference, of course, is that Type 2s can eat whatever they want and then simply “cover” it with a drug that lowers their blood sugar.
But this is a lie, too.
Diabetes drugs won’t protect you
In fact, many diabetes drugs can make things worse.
Two large studies in America and in Australia demonstrated that using glucose-lowering drugs and insulin to control blood sugar provided no reduction in heart attack rates or death from diabetic complications.
Indeed, this approach significantly increased the number of deaths from heart disease and other causes.
This finding was confirmed in 2008 by the famous ACCORD study of 10,000 Type 2 patients. Those in the group reducing blood sugar with aggressive drug therapy had a 22% higher death rate than the control group.
The only real solution to Type 2
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…
There’s only one proven strategy that will free you of Type 2 and pre-diabetes.
That’s by shunning the foods and beverages that jack-up your blood sugar (so you can get off all these dangerous drugs entirely)…
… and switching to a diabetes-healing diet that can stabilize your blood sugar levels naturally and help your arteries repair themselves.
In fact, Type 2 diabetes can be completely reversed in as little as 30 days with this drug-free approach.
Thousands of people have already succeeded — and you (or someone dear to you who has Type 2) can too.
If you could use a little help, I urge to you to check out The 30-Day Diabetes Cure .
Shortcomings of current diabetes treatments
When it comes to diabetes, most doctors go by blood sugar numbers.
If your reading is under 110, you don’t have diabetes.
If it’s between 110 and 125, you have pre-diabetes.
And if it’s 126 or higher, you officially have Type 2.
But these cut-off points aren’t based in reality — and they don’t gauge the damage that chronically elevated blood sugar and insulin do your arteries, organs, and tissues.
A more practical approach is to understand that with diabetes, there is a spectrum that travels from health to mild dysfunction to full-blown disease.
Unfortunately, conventional medicine isn’t well equipped to intervene at the early stages of diabetes’ development — even though this is when the problem can most easily be remedied.
Could you have pre-diabetes right now?
Currently, nearly 80 million Americans have pre-diabetes, which spikes your risk of a sudden heart attack and/or stroke by a whopping 50%.
The real tragedy is that 90% of these people don’t even know they have it — and you might be one of them.
Here are 10 symptoms that indicate you may be at risk…
1. Belly fat. A large abdomen is an early sign of insulin resistance.
2. Depression. The stress associated with depression actually causes the liver to flood the body with high levels of cortisol (the “worry hormone”), which elevates blood sugar.
3. Low blood sugar. If you feel agitated, jittery and moody, and experience immediate relief when food — especially carbs — is eaten, you might be hypoglycemic (a state of low blood sugar).
4. Fatigue. Insulin resistance wears people out.
5. Brain fog. The fatigue caused by insulin resistance often expresses itself as a mental tiredness.
6. Intestinal bloating. This may be a tipoff that your metabolism isn’t functioning properly because of insulin resistance.
7. Too much (or too little) sleep. Many people with insulin resistance get sleepy immediately after eating a carbohydrate-rich plate such as pasta. People who sleep less than five hours each night are 250% more likely to develop insulin resistance or impaired glucose tolerance.
8. Dental problems. Elevated blood sugar encourages bacteria that cause periodontal disease (gum infections).
9. Frequent colds and infections — and/or slow-healing wounds. A bloodstream overrun with glucose blocks the action of cells that fight infection.
10. Sexual problems. Between 35% and 50% of men with prediabetes or Type 2 experience erectile dysfunction and sexual problems. Excess insulin in the bloodstream damages the functionality of blood vessels.
How to take action
If you have any of these symptoms, I urge you to get your blood sugar tested immediately. This can be done for free at many pharmacies and public health centers.
Should your blood test show that you are diabetic or pre-diabetic, I urge you follow Alec Baldwin’s example — and not Paula Deen’s.
In almost every case you can completely reverse the problem by changing your diet and getting some regular physical activity.
Be a diabetes hero — not a tool
You can be a diabetes hero, just like Alec Baldwin and so many other smart “ex-diabetics.” And your example will inspire others to turn their health around and save their own life.
If you need any assistance, Dr. Ripich and I are here for you. Just send us your questions and comments here and we’ll respond right away.
Together, we can wipe out Type 2 diabetes in our lifetime — or die trying!