Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

Ray Joseph's Notebook: Observations on the Mystery of Diabetes, Its Treatment and Prevention

Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

Ray Joseph's Notebook: Observations on the Mystery of Diabetes, Its Treatment and Prevention

Article excerpt

MANY ERRORS IN DIABETIC DIAGNOSIS are the result of using the glucose tolerance test to determine presence of the disease.

Dr. Marvin D. Siperstein, recognized as one of the nation's foremost authorities on diabetes, declared recently that many people have been misdiagnosed and subjected to harmful therapy.

As vice chairman of the Department of Medicine at the Veteran's Administration hospital in San Francisco, he charged that the glucose tolerance test may give a false positive reading as much as 80 or 90 percent of the time.

He further warned that treating diabetes where it does not exist could cause brain damage and other harmful conditions.

Other criticism has been expressed by doctors at St. Francis Hospital in Milwaukee. Drs. Roger Turkinton and Howard Weindling complain that they have received patients diagnosed as diabetic who were only overweight with marginally raised glucose levels.

PSYCHOLOGICAL STRESS can cause blood sugar to rise. According to studies recently published in The New England Journal of Medicine, acute stress can disturb metabolic control in diabetic patients and result in soaring blood sugar levels. (4:24:86).

Sudden short-lived emotional arousal, the report concludes, will not jeopardize insulin-treated diabetics.

"SUGAR-FREE" MAY BE HARMFUL. Makers of candies, cookies, and chewing gum sometimes advertise their products as sugarless even though they contain sorbito!, a substance that turns into fructose. In addition, the calories are there, and many consumer overindulge, believing the products are also low in calories.

WEIGHT REDUCTION AN IMPORTANT GOAL. Now that obesity is clearly linked with the inability to absorb insulin into the cells, another aspect of the problem is the need for exercise.

A regular program of physical activity decreases the insulin requirements of both nondiabetic and diabetic individuals.

Exercise also normalizes fuel oxidation rates, increases amino acid uptake, and provides ample storage supplies of glycogen that aid in evening the blood sugar flow.

Glucose and fatty acid metabolism are also improved. A warning: Too much exercise in diabetics in whom the condition is poorly controlled may have the opposite effect, that is, increasing blood sugar levels and the probability of coma.

THE LINK BETWEEN DIABETES AND ARTERIOSCLEROSIS can be found in vascular lesions caused by the disease. A deficiency in vitamin [B.sub.6] (pyridoxine) has been noted by an Irish doctor, Nina Carlson of Royal Belfast Hospital in Northern Ireland.

From autopsies performed in young diabetics, her research group concluded that an insufficiency of the vitamin was apparent and that the amino acid methionine could not be metabolized with the aid of [B.sub.6]. Methionine is vital in preventing development of particular deleterious compounds in the blood (homocysteine).

RAW FOOD REDUCES PANCREATIC FATIGUE, the authors of Victory Over Diabetes (Keats) maintain. Since the pancreas is principally responsible for producing enzymes to be digested with food, relieving that organ of some of its work could be beneficial, they say.

"...We must also always keep in mind that the more we use our enzyme potential, the faster it is going to run out. When you eat food that is raw," the book explains, "enzymes contained in the food immediately start breaking down the food that is ingested. Your chances of not over-burdening the pancreas are better if you eat as much raw food as possible. …

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