Sourced from: Infinite Health Blog, by Dr. Davis,
originally posted on the Wheat Belly Blog: 2013-10-09
letter to Tom Hanks: Don’t be diabetic!
announced on the David Letterman Show that he was diagnosed with
diabetes after many years of struggles with blood sugar. All the
news media have captured the story; here’s the USA Today story.
Mr. Hanks seems like a genuinely nice guy.
So here is my open letter to him. Should he stumble on it, it
provides the blueprint that I have been using to get rid of
diabetes, a very realistic prospect for most people with
diabetes–if they choose to do it and stick to it.
Now, not knowing the full details of
Mr. Hanks health and lab values, I make the assumption
that he is a type 2 diabetic. Adults
can indeed develop type 1 (which is often triggered by wheat,
by the way, via autoimmunity). Adults can also develop a sort
of diabetes often regarded as in-between types 1 and 2
called the Latent Autoimmune Diabetes of Adulthood (LADA),
though it behaves more like type 1. (There are also other
forms, though rare, such as type 1 diabetes that develops
from pancreatic disease beyond autoimmune beta cell destruction.)
Because type 2 diabetes is, by far, the most common and
the form that is driving the nationwide epidemic, I will
assume that is the form Mr. Hanks shares. (LADA is next in line.)
Dear Mr. Hanks–
I believe it was very courageous to share
your diagnosis on television with a national audience. I am
sure you will be flooded by well-wishers as well as many people
with advice. I’d nonetheless like to alert you to several
issues relevant to diabetes:
—The majority of diabetes is
reversible. Most people can make the choice to have diabetes
or to not have it. I hope that you choose not to have
it. This is because it is caused by diet. Sadly, it is caused by
conventional advice to “cut your fat and eat healthy whole
grains.” People often blame too many soft drinks and junk
food, but there are many people like you who, I’m sure,
try to eat well and don’t drink or eat sugary
foods–yet have diabetes. This is due to grains.
More than sugary foods, grains raise
blood sugar to high levels. The glycemic indexes, for instance,
of whole wheat bread, oatmeal, and multigrain breads are among the
highest of all foods. They ENSURE having high blood sugars. (To see
for yourself, use your glucose meter and check a blood sugar
immediately prior to a meal; consume the food in question, then
recheck a blood sugar at 1-hour after eating, not 2 hours as
often advised to assess the adequacy of blood sugar control on
diabetes medication. You want the blood sugar peak, which
is around 1 hour. You will see blood sugars of 200, 250, or
300 mg/dl after eating grains.) High blood sugars from
“healthy whole grains” are also toxic to the beta
cells of the pancreas (“glucotoxicity”), making blood
sugars go even higher. In some people, the loss of beta cells
means there can be no reversing diabetes, but this is less common
early in the diagnosis.
—Ignore conventional dietary
advice. Even better, do the opposite. Unfortunately, in
the world of conventional diabetes advice, including that from
most healthcare professionals, “Stupid is as
stupid does.” The diet advised for people with
diabetes makes fasting blood sugar and HbA1c (the 90-day measure
of blood sugar) go higher, not lower.
–There are a number of other reasons
that grains, especially wheat (white and whole) can be blamed: The
gliadin protein of wheat is degraded in the
gastrointestinal tract to small peptides that act as opiates and
bind to the opiate receptors of the human brain. This triggers
appetite for carbohydrates, the worst foods to eat for anyone with
diabetes. Wheat germ agglutinin, another protein in wheat, blocks
leptin and cholecystokinin, both of which should trigger satiety.
In the presence of wheat, appetite is not satisfied.
Beyond the powerful strategy of grain
elimination, we do not restrict fats but get plenty of olive oil,
coconut oil, and the fats from animal organs and meats and
insulin-sensitizing effects of raising your 25-hydroxy vitamin D
level to 60-70 ng/ml helps regain control over blood sugar.
A typical male requires 6000 units of D3 in gelcap form
to achieve this level.
supplementation–While the effect is modest,
correcting common magnesium deficiencies stacks the odds in
your favor of regaining control over blood sugar. I advocate
magnesium malate, 1200 mg, twice per day.
acids–from fish oil. After eating a meal, there
is a flood of particles in the bloodstream (lipoproteins),
representing the digestive byproducts of the foods consumed. These
particles can block insulin. Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil
activate an enzyme that accelerates clearance of after-meal
lipoproteins, reducing their insulin-blocking effect.
I advocate 3000-3600 mg per day of the EPA + DHA
omega-3 fatty acids, divided in two doses for assured day-long
reduction of lipoproteins.
Those of us who follow the above principles
drop fasting blood sugar and HbA1c precipitously, often enough to
get off medication, reduce HbA1c into the 5.0% range, and become
assuredly NON-diabetic. Even if you are among the few who have
impaired pancreatic beta cells and produce insufficient insulin,
elimination of grains will minimize need for medications. And, by
the way, we should also pass this information onto David Letterman,
who also admitted to having high blood sugars during your interview.
My sincerest hopes that you benefit from
these suggestions, I remain
William Davis, MD
Author, Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight
and Find Your Path Back to Health