The Death of a Client

I never realized how damaging type 2 diabetes could be until I saw it take the life of a client. The diabetes that I witnessed had absolutely no mercy. It unleashed a vicious attack! My poor client experienced three leg amputations, glaucoma, Parkinson's disease, and was receiving dialysis on a regular basis. He was confined to a wheelchair or bed most of the time and had very little motor use by the end. Bedsores were common, and he constantly faded in and out of consciousness.

It was quite sad. Here was a well-known public figure – a human rights specialist who was highly respected and someone that I adored – with a team of healthcare professionals treating him, yet his condition deteriorated fairly quickly until it was finally too late.

Before the diabetes unleashed its mighty onslaught, I made an interesting observation. You see, I would train this client and his wife at their house two mornings a week. Every once and a while I would catch him eating breakfast. It was always the same: a bowl of cereal with low-fat milk and half a banana, a glass of orange juice, and a cup of black coffee. Lunch and dinner were not much different. Basically, his diet consisted of mainly processed, packaged, and refined foods that were high in carbs, and low in protein and fat. Of course, insulin was used to manage his blood sugar levels.

I couldn't comprehend the whole process of jacking sugar levels through the roof and then using insulin injections to bring those levels back down (those huge spikes cause damage over time), so one day I made a suggestion: I asked my client if he would consider trying a different approach, one that involved natural, unrefined foods with a higher level of protein and fat, and a lower amount of carbs. His condition was getting progressively worse, a new approach couldn't hurt.

"I can't," he said. "This is what the dietician tells me to eat, so I do what she says. She's the expert!"

How To Make Sense Of It All

There are many variables involved in the progression of diabetes, but you can bet that diet plays a huge role. For some people, a high-carb approach with insulin injections may work to control their diabetes for an extended period of time. Obviously, for my client, it didn't.

It just doesn't make sense to consume a high-carb diet when insulin resistance exists, and then have to take medication to deal with the consequences. It makes more sense to shift to fat as your primary fuel source and improve your insulin sensitivity in the process. Research has shown that the heart and brain can run 25% more efficiently on ketones than on blood sugar (ketones are byproducts of fat metabolism when carb intake is low), so you won't suffer in that regard.

You will suffer though if your blood sugar levels constantly run high – sugar can be like shards of glass to your cardiovascular system, cancer cells preferentially feed off of sugar, high sugar diets can lead to Alzheimer's disease, and the list goes on.

Play Your Cards Right

You may have been dealt the cards for this ugly disease, but it doesn't mean that you have to fold your hand. The concept of epigenetics indicates that a healthy lifestyle may turn things in your favor when the cards are stacked against you. If you have type 2 diabetes and you haven't had much luck with the conventional approach, then consider an alternative approach like the following:

  • consume natural, unrefined foods that are free of toxins, chemical additives, artificial hormones or hormone mimickers, and genetically modified organisms
  • eat healthy fats (including saturated fats like coconut oil and organic, grass-fed butter or ghee); fibrous, nutrient-dense carbs from organic sources; and clean proteins like grass-fed, pasture-raised meats and wild-caught fish and seafood
  • perform short bouts of moderate- to high-intensity exercise (like weight training) on a regular basis to drive glucose into the muscle cell and improve insulin sensitivity
  • get a sufficient amount of quality sleep every day

Of course, before you decide to take such a "life-altering" approach, make sure to discuss it with your physician!

To your health,

John Paul Catanzaro

P.S. The Diabetes Summit is one of the best resources I've come across during my twenty years of practice to help manage this debilitating disease. The summit is on again and you can register for free. I urge you to do so! It may save the life of someone that you adore.

Posted Apr 24, 2018

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