Raw Food Explained: Life Science
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Other factors may produce hypoglycemia. An overdose of insulin by the diabetic patient often results in hypoglycemia. Depending on the amount, this can result in coma or even death. Certain oral hypoglycemic drugs such as the sulfonylureas often result in low blood sugar. Hypoglycemia can be induced by alcohol, salicylates (in aspirin, etc.), and other drugs such as aminobenzoic acid, halopenidol, propoxypene and chlorpromazine.
Deficiency of contrainsulin hormones such as glucagon, cortisol, growth hormone, epinephrine or thyroid hormones can result in low blood sugar. In fact, any excess or deficit in any gland or organ may have some effect. This is so because the body works as a unit and never as separate parts or units.
As in diabetes mellitus, not any one factor results in hypoglycemia but it is the total effect of our general lifestyle that affects our health. For example, our diet may be perfect but if our sleep is insufficient, all vital organs will be affected.
Most physicians group the symptoms of hypoglycemia into two categories:
- Faintness, weakness, tremulousness, palpitation, diaphoresis, hunger and nervousness, such as may result from epinephrine administration.
Epinephrine is a hormone that has multiple effects to prepare the body for many different kinds of stress. Its effect on glucose is very rapid and can produce minute-to-minute changes in blood glucose levels. Stress stimulates epinephrine release, and the hormone then serves to mobilize glycogen to yield a higher blood glucose level. Epinephrine also suppresses insulin release to further enhance blood glucose levels. Acute hypoglycemia with epinephrine-like symptoms indicates that endogenous epinephrine-induced glycogen mobilization has already started.
- A pattern of central nervous system symptoms including headache, confusion, visual disturbances, motor weakness, palsy, ataxia, and marked personal changes. These CNS disturbances may progress to loss of consciousness, convulsion and coma. With recurring episodes of hypoglycemia in the same patient, the symptoms may be repetitive, although the tempo and severity of an attack may vary.
Symptoms of anxiety, including sweating, headaches, hunger, tachycardia, weakness, and occasionally seizures and coma may suggest hypoglycemia but not necessarily. At any rate, the underlying cause is the same and that is enervation leading to toxicosis and eventual impairment of all (not just one) bodily functions. The various symptoms demonstrate systemic involvement.
If the blood sugar drops too low, the nervous system is in jeopardy. The brain relies on blood sugar for its functioning, and if it is deprived of it, it cannot continue. This is what happens when a diabetic gets an overdose of insulin. All the sugar enters the cells.
There is none readily available for the brain, so the person lapses into a coma. Though such a drastic drop in blood sugar is not usually experienced by the hypoglycemic, the decrease is still interpreted as a danger signal, and the adrenal glands usually respond by secreting adrenalin.
This helps mobilize stored glucose from the liver, but it also sets off a general alarm, alerting the whole body as for emergency action. One may feel apprehensive, tremulous and find that his/her heart is beating rapidly, his/her hands are becoming cold and clammy and s/he is breathing in a rapid and shallow way. How severe these symptoms are depends on how low the blood sugar drops and how drastically the adrenal glands respond.
It has been demonstrated that those who experience drastic dips in their blood sugar levels excrete more of the breakdown products of adrenalin in their urine. They are repeatedly responding as though to danger. The result can be an overall feeling similar to what we call “anxiety.”
It has been proposed that drops in blood sugar constitute a sort of “internal stress” and may create a great deal of wear and tear on the individual, both provoking mental problems, aggravating emotional crises, and increasing irritability and difficulty in working with others. Such chronic stress and the resulting chronic anxiety could be a factor in the development of ulcers, headache or simply general enervation.
Though hypoglycemia may be one aspect of the development of any of a variety of disorders, it cannot itself be called the “cause” of anything. It is rather one symptom in a chain of events that may have begun with the improper selection of food, along with lack of rest or exercise, etc., and continues to worsen as these bad habits are continued.
The body is really not set up to handle concentrated sugars. Although ‘sugar’ (not refined) is the fuel that runs our entire body, using concentrated forms of sugar found in pastries, pies, sugar-coated cereals, candy, etc., overloads the delicate control mechanism and the pancreas overreacts by producing too much insulin.
There will then be a signal for food and too often a wrong choice is made when this need is acute. Thus a vicious circle is established with general effects upon our entire system and all the attendant symptoms resulting from it. Often, too little fruits and vegetables are used. Instead, the convenience-type foods take over a large percentage of the daily intake.
The sugar that the body cannot use as energy when it has been acted upon by insulin will be converted to glycogen, and is stored in the liver and muscles; or what cannot be stored as glycogen will be converted to fat.
In normal body function, there is a conversion mechanism that protects us against the rapid drop of blood sugar. The adrenal glands secrete a hormone (epinephrine) that begins the change process of glycogen back to glucose. This same response is brought into play when fear, anger or expenditure of energy requires lots of fuel, so glycogen from the liver and muscles is immediately turned into glucose.
If the glycogen conversion mechanism is not working well, the body has a backup mechanism. This consists of the conversion of amino acids and triglycerides into a fuel. Amino acids are capable of being converted to glucose but do so at the expense of tissue repair and making of enzymes, hormones and other essential processes which require amino acids. Since it is a kind of emergency assistance, you can easily imagine how the body suffers if this must take place on a continual basis.
Carbohydrates are converted to glucose in the gastrointestinal tract and absorbed into the bloodstream where they then pass on to the liver. If there is too much glucose, the liver will convert it to glycogen and store it until needed. When blood glucose levels drop, a hormone from the adrenals (epinephrine) facilitates the conversion back to glucose.
Many of these mechanisms are dependent upon hormones, and particularly upon adrenal hormones. Many physicians are convinced that the single most common cause of hypoglycemia is a poorly functioning adrenal system,. However, we must also ask, “What caused the adrenal system to go amuck?” It is the same reason that caused the hypoglycemia and other symptoms. That is, general enervation and toxicosis. Underlying causes must be sought. You must stop treating symptoms and begin correcting the errors behind the symptoms.
Hormones That Maintain Balance
Several important hormones play significant roles in maintaining blood glucose balance:
- Cortisol (hydrocortisone) and cortisone
Cortisol and cortisone belong to a class of steroid hormones synthesized in the cortex of the adrenal glands, known as glucocorticoids. They have a primary effect on carbohydrate, protein and lipid metabolism. They are in many ways antagonistic to insulin. They elevate blood glucose and increase production of glucose from protein.
- Adrenocorticotropin (ACTH)
This Hormone is liberated by the anterior pituitary gland and stimulates the cortex of the adrenal glands. If too little of this hormone is secreted, the adrenal glands will secrete too little of their hormones and if ACTH is present in too large amounts, adrenal hormones will be secreted in too large amounts.
- Growth Hormone (Somatotropin)
Growth hormone is the only hormone of the anterior pituitary gland that does not exert its effect on other endocrine glands. Growth hormone or somatotropin is a protein. It stimulates growth, increases protein synthesis, decreases carbohydrate utilization, and increases fat catabolism. Because somatotropin suppresses carbohydrate utilization, blood glucose increases, stimulating insulin secretion. Two factors from the hypothalamus control secretion: the growth hormone releasing factor and the growth hormone release inhibiting factor. During protein deficiency, growth hormone secretion increases as it does when the blood sugar level falls. Exercise increases secretion also.
In times of stress, small amounts of epinephrine (adrenaline) are discharged from the adrenal glands into the bloodstream. Epinephrine ultimately causes the release of a flood of glucose molecules from the liver into the bloodstream for quick energy for the muscles. One epinephrine molecule is thought to cause the release of about 30,000 molecules of glucose.
- Thyroid Hormones
Thyroxine and triodothyronine are two chemically similar hormones secreted by the thyroid gland. Both have the same physiological effect on tissues. The most obvious effect they have is to increase the rate at which cells burn glucose. They also work in “partnership” with cortisol in defending the body against stress resulting from extreme cold. In general, thyroxine comes into play when there is an extra demand for energy.
As you can see, there is an intricate relationship between all bodily parts and the disfunction of one affects all. The more you study physiology, the more you realize the foolishness of treating symptoms. They are merely indications of systemic impairment.
Progression Of Hypoglycemia
A vicious cycle begins to emerge when repeated errors of diet are made. These errors do not always result in hypoglycemia, but they can. In some persons, severe symptoms will arise elsewhere.
However, in the person demonstrating symptoms of hypoglycemia, this is what happens:
A concentrated sugar-containing food is consumed. Blood sugar begins to rise rapidly. Because of the intense sugar concentration of the food resulting in an abrupt rise in blood sugar, the pancreas is stimulated to produce a large amount of insulin needed to dispense the sugar. If the adrenals do not quickly produce a counter-balancing hormone to signal the end of insulin production, it is possible that blood sugar levels will fall below an acceptable level.
At this point, blood sugar levels are below normal and the signs of hypoglycemia are present: fatigue, headaches, irritability, etc. This will often be “cured” by the consumption of either a concentrated sugar product or an adrenal stimulant such as coffee, cola or nicotine. The cycle is repeated over and over, thus resulting in enervation of bodily organs and glands and toxic accumulation from the refined sugar products and other wastes.
An organ in the body that plays a great part in the blood sugar regulation is the liver. It is in the liver that sugar is converted to glycogen for storage, then stored in the liver as well as muscle tissue, and, as needed, converted back into sugar again. It is easy to see the importance of good liver function for proper blood sugar levels.
The liver can be damaged or have its functional capacity reduced by several factors: alcohol consumption, tobacco, smog and toxic drugs. Fortunately, the liver is one of the fastest regenerating organs in the body and, once these factors are overcome, it will restore itself and carry out the many body functions it performs. It is these same factors that also result in impaired function of all of the other vital organs in the body and it is imperative that these errors in living be corrected for health to be restored.
Actually, large quantities of sugar should never reach the bloodstream in the first place. Food absorbed from the intestines is taken up by the portal vein and goes directly to the liver. Here all blood is filtered and nutrients are sorted out, some put in storage (in the form of glycogen) and others released for immediate use, according to what is appropriate. If the liver is healthy and is able to store glucose, then excessive amounts of this sugar are not dumped wholesale into the blood.
Hypoglycemia then, is not necessarily due to only an inappropriate insulin response but to a weak or sluggish liver that is unable to perform its duties properly. This is illustrated by alcoholics where the liver is damaged from habitual drinking. They are often hypoglycemic. Consumption of large amounts of protein put further burden on the liver.
There is no real reason why a flood of sugar has to be delivered to the bloodstream or to the liver. Whether it is or not depends on what kind of carbohydrate was eaten. White sugar is rapidly absorbed from the intestine and immediately floods the blood with glucose. On the other hand, carbohydrates in the form of fruits are absorbed more slowly owing to their more complex nature, and are therefore taken into the blood more slowly and the pancreas is not unduly stressed.
Hyperinsulinism is another term that is often used synonymously with hypoglycemia. (However, hypoglycemia is not necessarily accompanied by hyperinsulinism.) This term simply means too much insulin in the blood. Another interesting tie-in of the adrenal glands and the pancreas is seen here.
When the amount of insulin necessary to do the job on a given amount of sugar has been secreted, it is the job of an adrenal hormone to send a message to the pancreas to stop producing insulin. A sluggish adrenal will be late in this function, thus allowing an overproduction of insulin with a resultant excessive lowering of the blood sugar. Epinephrine and norepinephrine act directly on the pancreatic islets to inhibit insulin secretion.
What To Do If You Have Symptoms Of Hypoglycemia
Fasting is the best way to quickly eliminate the toxemia that resulted in your hypoglycemic symptoms. Through the fast you will give your body the rest that it needs to carry on its job of cleansing and repairing.
People with hypoglycemia are often fearful of fasting. They believe they will go into shock if they don’t eat some protein every few hours. But professional Hygienists have seen these people regain their health after a fast. However, they do need expert supervision.
Dr. William Esser says, “Hypoglycemia can very definitely be benefited by a fast.” He says that functional types of hypoglycemia can be corrected without too much difficulty through fasting and a change in habits.
Since hypoglycemia is a condition that arises out of factors of irritation, abuse and exhaustion, involving the entire body, the only “remedy” for this exhaustion is rest. The body must be allowed to slow down and the stress factors must be eliminated as much as possible. A period of fasting under proper supervision is important for the purpose of fostering metabolic housecleaning and a thorough physiological rest for the exhausted organs and glands. All draining of functioning power must cease. Emotional, sensory, and physical power is restored by physiological rest.
The fast should be continued long enough to marshal all the power and force of the organism to regenerate itself and to return to normal functioning. It is only through the return of this power that the organs involved in blood sugar metabolism can resume the work that they have been created to perform.
After fasting, all refined foods and other harmful substances should be eliminated, especially white flour products, refined white sugar, alcohol, caffeine, salt and nicotine. Any small amount of these poisons may overstimulate and exhaust the pancreatic-adrenal mechanism, thus reactivating the hypoglycemic pattern.
The natural diet of humans is one of raw ripe fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Dr. Frank Sabatino suggests that for a period of time, the elimination of certain foods, such as sweet and dried fruits, may be necessary. Even such an excellent food as bananas may be on the prohibited list for a while.
In the fruit family, the more desirable items during this period, according to Dr. Sabatino, should be citrus (oranges and grapefruit), and sub-acid fruits (such as peaches, pears, apples). He also suggests a three-meal-a-day plan of one fruit meal and two salad meals, with ample use of greens, sprouts and avocados. After, health is restored, more fruit meals with sweet fruits included may be eaten.
In addition, you should not neglect the other conditions for health such as proper exercise, fresh air, sunshine, emotional poise, rest and sleep. This is the only way to regain health and correct this condition of disturbed physiology.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does the pancreas have any reserve capacity after it has been partially destroyed?
The pancreas has an enormous reserve functioning capacity. This has been proven experimentally in animals where large amounts of pancreatic tissue have been removed. In these experimental animals, diabetes mellitus has been induced by different methods. The method most often employed is depancreatectomy. In order to attain significant diabetes, at least 90 to 95% of the pancreas usually must be removed, otherwise, the islets of Langerhans in the remaining pancreatic tissue will often be able to hypertrophy significantly to supply enough insulin for normal metabolic needs. This indicates that the islets of Langerhans normally have a tremendous reserve capacity.
I heard about a high-carbohydrate and high-fiber diet that is supposed to be a "miracle cure" for diabetics. Is this true?
There are no "cures." The high-fiber diet may temporarily alleviate the symptoms because the glucose is entering the blood at a slower rate due to the types of complex carbohydrates that are eaten. However, no causes have been removed and the errors in living that resulted in diabetes have not been corrected. There is no other way to achieve health.
Why has the incidence of diabetes increased so dramatically in recent years?
Statistics show that many more people are going out to eat now than ever before and they most frequently go to the fast food restaurants. Consumption of prepackaged dinners and other junk foods are increasing.
Also, people are exercising less and indulging in other enervating habits such as cigarette smoking, coffee, alcohol, etc. All of these factors lead to toxicosis and the end result, in many people, is diabetes.
Is there any other clinical evidence that diabetics have had success on a raw foods program?
According to Dr. John M. Douglass, of the Southern California Permanent Medical Group and Kaiser Foundation Hospital of Los Angeles, diabetics who make an effort to eat more raw foods may be able to decrease or eliminate their need for insulin.
One of Dr. Douglass' patients, an elderly man, had been taking insulin twice a day. When he started eating more foods in their raw uncooked state, his insulin requirements began to fall. After four years, he was able to get by with just half his usual amount of insulin a day.
A second patient, a young Mexican-American man, complained to Dr. Douglass that he would rather die than continue taking insulin "shots." By shifting to an 80% raw diet, he was able to control his diabetes with oral drugs alone. (Perhaps if a 100% raw food diet were implemented, he would have been able to dispense with the oral drugs also.
What led Dr. Douglass to try the raw food regimen? "My rationale was that since early man lived entirely on raw food, perhaps such a diet would be less stressful to the human system in general and less diabetogenic than a cooked food diet." Raw vegetables, seeds, nuts, berries, melons and other fruits and part of Dr. Douglass program.
Raw Food Explained: Life Science
Today only $37 (discounted from $197)