Sugar is, indeed, toxic: new studies tie it with increased rates of diabetes now too #foodie friday

This op-ed in the New York Times from a few days ago is perfect for today. Friday. Yes, foodie friday.

raw sugarIt’s the Sugar, Folks

Sugar is indeed toxic. It may not be the only problem with the Standard American Diet, but it’s fast becoming clear that it’s the major one.

A study published in the Feb. 27 issue of the journal PLoS One links increased consumption of sugar with increased rates of diabetes by examining the data on sugar availability and the rate of diabetes in 175 countries over the past decade. And after accounting for many other factors, the researchers found that increased sugar in a population’s food supply was linked to higher diabetes rates independent of rates of obesity. (read more)

MORE on Beyond Meds: SUGAR: infographic and general info

A collection of links on diabetes, obesity and metabolic issues

Many of us who’ve been on psychiatric drugs (really any psych drug) have insulin resistance even if we’ve not developed diabetes yet. It’s worth learning about even if you’ve not gotten to the point where your doctor calls your issues diabetes.

I have had significant metabolic issues and they are much better since I changed my diet, and yes, I’ve cut out all sugar and sweeteners. (and got off the offending medications). I continue to tweak things and learn more and more. Much of what I’ve learned about diet and nutrition is collected on this archive page: Nutrition and gut health — my metabolic health is actually very good now, several years into my healing adventures. It took time and patience and learning to listen to my body

These are all good introductory posts on issues surrounding blood sugar, hypoglycemia and diabetes.

Eating wholesome whole real food is important for body/mind/spirit health and well-being. I’ve written a lot about my adventure with diet and healing here:  Nutrition and gut health, Mental health and diet

And you can find more Foodie Friday posts and recipes here.

Are You At Risk For Diabetes and Obesity? If you’ve taken psych drugs the answer is YES #foodie friday

This is a foodie Friday post because what you eat matters. 

Since lots of people who’ve taken atypical antipsychotics have developed diabetes or are on the way to developing diabetes, it’s important for anyone with any metabolic issues that have been caused by psych drugs to know the information shared in the below video and the links I share. Also, it’s important to know that if you’ve taken psych drugs, you may have some of these problems without realizing it. These issues are societal wide but those of us who’ve taken psych meds have a substantially higher risk. Conventional medicine only diagnoses diabetes once the disease process has moved quite far along. So if you learn about the risk factors now you might be able to stop the process and get healthy and never develop diabetes!

This is a good intro to what is going on with diabetes type 2 and the metabolic issues that lots of people have prior to a full-blown diagnosis.

I got one of these to learn how to stay on top of my blood sugar issues. It worked. Click pic for info.
I got one of these to learn how to stay on top of my blood sugar issues. It worked. Click pic for info.

Many of us who’ve been on psychiatric drugs (really any psych drug) have insulin resistance even if we’ve not developed diabetes yet. It’s worth learning about even if you’ve not gotten to the point where your doctor calls your issues diabetes. The fact is, as this video speaks to, diabetes is a late stage in the disease process. If you catch it early enough you don’t have to develop diabetes.

Again, it seems that most people who’ve been on psychiatric drugs have insulin resistance. You may not know this and your doctor may not know enough to figure it out either. Learn how to take care of your body before it becomes full-blown diabetes and while you can still reverse the disease process.

I have had significant metabolic issues and many of them are much better since I changed my diet. I continue to tweak things and learn more and more. Much of what I’ve learned about diet and nutrition is collected on this archive page: Nutrition and gut health

All of what I write about on that page is actually also supportive of moving AWAY FROM DIABESITY. I just have never used that language nor concentrated on diabetes, because I’ve never developed it.  I was, indeed, moving in that direction, however, and I clearly do have some metabolic problems associated with the many years I was on psychiatric drugs. In any case,  the fact is, that healthy eating is healthy eating and most chronic illness and disease responds to very similar sorts of lifestyle changes! The sooner you make changes the more likely you will move into old age and remain healthy.

When it comes to psych meds and weight gain and getting fat and trying to change eating habits, I understand it’s very difficult. I write about those issues here: Psych meds and fat. Learn what you can. It takes time to make changes but the more we learn the easier it becomes.

 I really like Chris Kresser and he, too, has done extensive writing about what both he and Mark Hyman call “diabesity.”
_______

From Chris Kresser’s archive page on diabesity:

Obesity, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes have reached epidemic proportions. There’s not a person reading this article who isn’t affected by these conditions, either directly or indirectly. Yet as common as these conditions are, few people understand how closely they’re related to one another.

It is now clear that not only do these conditions share the same underlying causes – and thus require the same treatment – they are 100% preventable and, in some cases, entirely reversible.

Because of these similarities, Dr. Francine Kaufman coined the term diabesity (diabesity + obesity) to describe them. Diabesity can be defined as a metabolic dysfunction that ranges from mild blood sugar imbalance to full-fledged type 2 diabetes. Diabesity is a constellation of signs that includes:

●  abdominal obesity (i.e. “spare tire” syndrome);

●  dyslipidemia (low HDL, high LDL and high triglycerides);

●  high blood pressure

●  high blood sugar (fasting above 100 mg/dL, Hb1Ac above 5.5);

●  systemic inflammation; and,

●  a tendency to form blood clots.

It’s almost impossible to overstate how serious and far-reaching a problem diabesity is. It affects more than one billion people worldwide, including 100 million Americans and 50% of Americans over 65. Recent statistics suggest that diabesity may already be the leading cause of chronic disease and death in the world, and its impact is expected to rise dramatically in the next 25 years.

 In this series, we’re going to get the bottom of the diabesity epidemic. We’ll leave the conventional model of understanding diabesity – which is now about 40 years old – in the dust and replace it with an updated 2010 model that reflects the current scientific literature. We’re going to uncover the real causes of of diabesity, and we’re going to find out exactly how it can be prevented and even reversed in the majority of cases.

Articles

●  Diabesity: The #1 Cause of Death and Disease?

●  The Autoimmune-Inflammatory Model of Diabesity

●  How Inflammation Makes You Fat and Diabetic (and Vice Versa)

●  Not All Fat People Get Diabetes, and Not All Diabetics Are Fat

●  Think Skinny People Don’t Get Diabetes? Think again.

●  Are You At Risk For Diabetes and Obesity?

●  The Top 3 Dietary Causes of Obesity & Diabetes

●  10 Ways Stress Makes You Fat & Diabetic

●  A Healthy Gut is the Hidden Key to Weight Loss

●  How Toxins Are Making Us Fat and Diabetic

●  Why Your “Normal” Blood Sugar Isn’t Normal (Part 1)

●  Why Your Normal Blood Sugar Isn’t Normal (Part 2)

●  How To Prevent Diabetes and Heart Disease for $16

●  How To Lose Weight and Prevent Diabetes in 6 Minutes a Week

If you like Mark Hyman these are some of his books:

●  The Blood Sugar Solution: The UltraHealthy Program for Losing Weight, Preventing Disease, and Feeling Great Now!

●  The UltraSimple Diet: Kick-Start Your Metabolism and Safely Lose Up to 10 Pounds in 7 Days

 

Eating wholesome whole read food is important for body/mind/spirit health and well-being. I’ve written a lot about my adventure with diet and healing here:  Nutrition and gut health, Mental health and diet

And you can find more Foodie Friday posts and recipes here.

Blood Sugar: Fixing The Problem

A few days ago I posted the first of a series that this woman gives on youtube. This is about solutions to high (or low) blood sugar and diabetes type 2. I do indeed, like she suggests, eat very little carbs. I don’t eat grains at all. Not just because they’re carbs but also because gluten is a problem for me. See the other post from the other day with additional commentary here: Excellent information on blood sugar and how diabetes develops: learn this and get healthy

A very, very large part of these problems are reversible, contrary to what most people think. Dr. Marlene Merritt from the Merritt Wellness Center in Austin, Texas explains what to do to lose that belly fat, get your hormones balanced, get your energy back, and restore your health. Surprise your doctor!

For the rest of the series visit youtube: Blood Sugar series from Merritt Wellness

good snack to keep balanced blood sugar

She doesn’t go into specifics of diet much really. For extensive information on diet that has worked for me look here: Nutrition and gut health Mental health and diet

More posts on this very important topic! – Are You At Risk For Diabetes and Obesity? If you’ve taken or take psychiatric drugs the answer is YES

Remember if you’re still taking psychiatric drugs they work against healing these issues and may make them impossible to heal blood sugar problems and diabetes. Consider finding ways to support your mental health that don’t require psychiatric drugs if at all possible. Minimize their use if you can’t manage to eliminate them. And remember psychiatric drugs may be fine in crisis but they’re often prescribed for far longer than necessary and can ruin our bodies. Seek care-providers that will help you consider how you might minimize their use.

Excellent information on blood sugar and how diabetes develops: learn this and get healthy

Excellent video on how blood sugar works. This is very important for most people. Especially important for people on psychiatric meds and those who’ve ever been on psychiatric meds since our bodies get out of whack from having been on them.

Also important for anyone at risk of being diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder since underlying blood sugar issues can impact mood in numerous ways.

And yes, adrenal fatigue is related to this!

Since lots of people who’ve taken atypical antipsychotics have developed diabetes or are on the way to developing diabetes, it’s important for anyone with any metabolic issues that have been caused by psych drugs to know the information shared in the below video and the links I share. Also, it’s important to know that if you’ve taken psych drugs, you may have some of these problems without realizing it. These issues are societal wide but those of us who’ve taken psych meds have a substantially higher risk. Conventional medicine only diagnoses diabetes once the disease process has moved quite far along. So if you learn about the risk factors now you might be able to stop the process and get healthy and never develop diabetes!

For solutions to Blood Sugar issues see another video with the same woman: Blood Sugar: Fixing The Problem

Many of us who’ve been on psychiatric drugs (really any psych drug) have insulin resistance even if we’ve not developed diabetes yet. It’s worth learning about even if you’ve not gotten to the point where your doctor calls your issues diabetes.

Again, it seems that most people who’ve been on psychiatric drugs have insulin resistance. You may not know this and your doctor may not know enough to figure it out either. Learn how to take care of your body before it becomes full-blown diabetes and while you can still reverse the disease process.

I have had significant metabolic issues and many of them are much better since I changed my diet (and got off the offending medications). I continue to tweak things and learn more and more. Much of what I’ve learned about diet and nutrition is collected on this archive page: Nutrition and gut health

More posts on this very important topic! (I borrowed some of the above text from this post, but there is much more there) — Are You At Risk For Diabetes and Obesity? If you’ve taken or take psychiatric drugs the answer is YES

For information on learning how to eat the right way for good all around health, mental and physical see here:  Nutrition and gut health Mental health and diet

Are You At Risk For Diabetes and Obesity? If you’ve taken or take psychiatric drugs the answer is YES

Since lots of people who’ve taken atypical antipsychotics have developed diabetes or are on the way to developing diabetes, it’s important for anyone with any metabolic issues that have been caused by psych drugs to know the information shared in the below video and the links I share. Also, it’s important to know that if you’ve taken psych drugs, you may have some of these problems without realizing it. These issues are societal wide but those of us who’ve taken psych meds have a substantially higher risk. Conventional medicine only diagnoses diabetes once the disease process has moved quite far along. So if you learn about the risk factors now you might be able to stop the process and get healthy and never develop diabetes!

This is a good intro to what is going on with diabetes type 2 and the metabolic issues that lots of people have prior to a full-blown diagnosis.

Many of us who’ve been on psychiatric drugs (really any psych drug) have insulin resistance even if we’ve not developed diabetes yet. It’s worth learning about even if you’ve not gotten to the point where your doctor calls your issues diabetes. The fact is, as this video speaks to, diabetes is a late stage in the disease process. If you catch it early enough you don’t have to develop diabetes.

Again, it seems that most people who’ve been on psychiatric drugs have insulin resistance. You may not know this and your doctor may not know enough to figure it out either. Learn how to take care of your body before it becomes full-blown diabetes and while you can still reverse the disease process.

I have had significant metabolic issues and many of them are much better since I changed my diet. I continue to tweak things and learn more and more. Much of what I’ve learned about diet and nutrition is collected on this archive page: Nutrition and gut health

All of what I write about on that page is actually also supportive of moving AWAY FROM DIABESITY. I just have never used that language nor concentrated on diabetes, because I’ve never developed it.  I was, indeed, moving in that direction, however, and I clearly do have some metabolic problems associated with the many years I was on psychiatric drugs. In any case,  the fact is, that healthy eating is healthy eating and most chronic illness and disease responds to very similar sorts of lifestyle changes! The sooner you make changes the more likely you will move into old age and remain healthy.

When it comes to psych meds and weight gain and getting fat and trying to change eating habits, I understand it’s very difficult. I write about those issues here: Psych meds and fat. Learn what you can. It takes time to make changes but the more we learn the easier it becomes.

 I really like Chris Kresser and he, too, has done extensive writing about what both he and Mark Hyman call “diabesity.”
_______

From Chris Kresser’s archive page on diabesity:

Obesity, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes have reached epidemic proportions. There’s not a person reading this article who isn’t affected by these conditions, either directly or indirectly. Yet as common as these conditions are, few people understand how closely they’re related to one another.

It is now clear that not only do these conditions share the same underlying causes – and thus require the same treatment – they are 100% preventable and, in some cases, entirely reversible.

Because of these similarities, Dr. Francine Kaufman coined the term diabesity (diabesity + obesity) to describe them. Diabesity can be defined as a metabolic dysfunction that ranges from mild blood sugar imbalance to full-fledged type 2 diabetes. Diabesity is a constellation of signs that includes:

●  abdominal obesity (i.e. “spare tire” syndrome);

●  dyslipidemia (low HDL, high LDL and high triglycerides);

●  high blood pressure

●  high blood sugar (fasting above 100 mg/dL, Hb1Ac above 5.5);

●  systemic inflammation; and,

●  a tendency to form blood clots.

It’s almost impossible to overstate how serious and far-reaching a problem diabesity is. It affects more than one billion people worldwide, including 100 million Americans and 50% of Americans over 65. Recent statistics suggest that diabesity may already be the leading cause of chronic disease and death in the world, and its impact is expected to rise dramatically in the next 25 years.

 In this series, we’re going to get the bottom of the diabesity epidemic. We’ll leave the conventional model of understanding diabesity – which is now about 40 years old – in the dust and replace it with an updated 2010 model that reflects the current scientific literature. We’re going to uncover the real causes of of diabesity, and we’re going to find out exactly how it can be prevented and even reversed in the majority of cases.

Articles

●  Diabesity: The #1 Cause of Death and Disease?

●  The Autoimmune-Inflammatory Model of Diabesity

●  How Inflammation Makes You Fat and Diabetic (and Vice Versa)

●  Not All Fat People Get Diabetes, and Not All Diabetics Are Fat

●  Think Skinny People Don’t Get Diabetes? Think again.

●  Are You At Risk For Diabetes and Obesity?

●  The Top 3 Dietary Causes of Obesity & Diabetes

●  10 Ways Stress Makes You Fat & Diabetic

●  A Healthy Gut is the Hidden Key to Weight Loss

●  How Toxins Are Making Us Fat and Diabetic

●  Why Your “Normal” Blood Sugar Isn’t Normal (Part 1)

●  Why Your Normal Blood Sugar Isn’t Normal (Part 2)

●  How To Prevent Diabetes and Heart Disease for $16

●  How To Lose Weight and Prevent Diabetes in 6 Minutes a Week

If you like Mark Hyman these are some of his books:

●  The Blood Sugar Solution: The UltraHealthy Program for Losing Weight, Preventing Disease, and Feeling Great Now!

●  The UltraSimple Diet: Kick-Start Your Metabolism and Safely Lose Up to 10 Pounds in 7 Days

“The seriously mentally ill die, on average, 25 years earlier than the general population…”

(exploring the source of a statistic)

Are you familiar with this oft-quoted statistic: “people with serious mental illness served by the public mental health system die, on average, 25 years earlier than the general population”?  You see it everywhere – for example in TIME magazineUSA Today, and throughout the mental health blogosphere.

It comes from this 2006 report on mortality and morbidity in the seriously mentally ill population published by the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors [NASMHPD].  The report also contains several other [less frequently quoted but no less powerful] statistics.  Consider:

  • suicide accounts for 30% of excess mortality [in the population suffering from “serious mental illness”], but 60% of premature deaths are due to other causes such as cardiovascular and pulmonary disease, obesity, and smoking – causes which are in some ways preventable.
  • people diagnosed with schizophrenia are 2.7X more likely to die of diabetes than the general population; 2.3X more likely to die of cardiovascular disease, 3.2X more likely to die of respiratory disease, and 3.4X more likely to die of infectious disease.  All of these causes of death are exacerbated by the following risk factors – obesity, smoking, diabetes, hypertension, and dyslipidemia [high blood cholesterol] – which are, again, significantly more prevalent amongst this population.

These are shocking things for science to say, surely a kind of gauntlet thrown at the feet of this population and those who serve/support/love them.

Methinks a champion is required; and this guy is probably NOT it.

What causes this shocking mortality/morbidity problem, and what can be done?

Are you thinking what I’m thinking?

In light of all that we’ve recently learned about psychotropic medications, antipsychotics in particular (causing brain shrinkagediabetesobesityheart disease, et al): does the NASMHPD report have the guts to honestly own up to the fact that most of the abovementioned risk factors can often be traced back directly to the psychotropic medications so glibly prescribed to this population?  Actually, they do a pretty good job, acknowledging all of the following:

Residence in group care facilities and homeless shelters (exposure to TB [tuberculosis] and other infectious diseases as well as less opportunity to modify individual nutritional practices)… symptoms associated with serious mental illness [such as] feelings of hopelessness and powerlessness, learned helplessness…

Psychotropic medications may mask symptoms of medical illness and contribute to symptoms of medical illness and cause metabolic syndrome… [and] polypharmacy [is] identified as a risk factor for sudden death.

(from the 2006 NASMPHD report on mortality in the mental health population)

 

Seeing such promising signs – a willingness to acknowledge these usually unspoken-of risk/causative factors – I eagerly turned to the “Policy Recommendations” section…

Only to be severely disappointed.  Nothing addresses the risk factors listed above.  NOTHING.

[alright – they did briefly mention a tool used in New York State hospitals to insure folks weren’t prescribed 3 or more antipsychotic medications at the same time but that was just a subordinate clause in a very long sentence buried near the bottom of page 47… and I feel that’s just a tad inadequate, don’t you?]

Here’s what they do instead:

 

Policy Recommendations?  Change the language, of course…

The “Policy Recommendations for Providers and Clinicians” section starts out with some powerful and exciting language: mentally ill people must be assisted in finding “hope for tomorrow” and to “understand the hopeful message of recovery.”  They must be “enabled to engage as equal partners in care and treatment” and “empowered.”

But what is really meant is that the language must be changed so that these things are implied, while treatment remains largely the same.  Here is how NASMHPD recommends achieving a “partnership with the people we serve:”

Agree on a Treatment Plan

“Adherence” is the goal because it implies sticking to a collaboratively developed plan, as opposed to the more directive term “compliance.”  Six specific actions can increase the likelihood of adherence: keep the regimen simple, write out treatment details, give specifics about the expected benefits of treatment and the timetable, prepare the patient for side effects and optional courses of action, discuss obstacles to moving forward with the regimen, and get patient feedback.

(from the 2006 NASMHPD report)

So partnership” between providers and “consumers” is to be achieved by a mere change of language (from “compliance” to “adherence”), which no longer implies the directive (ie use of force), power flowing from provider to patient.  Never mind that involuntary commitment and treatment of the mentally ill is as frequent a practice as ever, and that a patient’s supposed mental competence/ability to provide informed consent is often judged solely on the basis of the patient’s willingness to “adhere” to whatever lucrative treatment the doctor prescribes (take for example the strange case of Paul Henri Thomas, who was competent as long as he said “yes” to expensive ECT treatments, but was immediately “incompetent” upon refusing treatment).

What’s more, from the NASMHPD’s above use of the terms “regimen” and “side effects,” it’s clear they’re mainly talking abouttreatment centered on medication.

So in an almost incomprehensibly illogical turn of events, the NASMHPD first acknowledges that psychotropics and polypharmacy are causative factors for the increased mortality rate of the seriously mentally ill population, and then strongly emphasizes in the policy recommendations section the importance of compliance with/adherence to medication regimes!

What’s the big deal?

Ok. So the NASMHPD put out a lousy report in 2006 that, while acknowledging the mortality rate for the mentally ill population, failed to make good policy recommendations addressing its own listed causative/risk factors… so what?

What it boils down to is there’s a reason this statistic is quoted so often (a reason apart from its shocking nature).  The NASMHPD report forms the very foundation of some of the most important nationwide “official” mental health initiatives — and what I mean by that are SAMHSA [Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration] and DHHS-funded [Department of Health and Human Services] initiatives.  These initiatives are meant to address the issue of mortality of the seriously mentally ill population; but they’re also taking their cues from the fatally flawed “Policy Recommendations” section… and that’s not a good thing.  In fact, it’s the most self-defeating setup imaginable.

[to make comments, visit the original post here]

Seroquel user’s testimony for FDA’s psychopharmacology advisory committee

Philip at Furious Seasons who has been covering the AstraZeneca debacle gave me permission to post a “consumers” testimony that is going to be part of the hearings. I’ve barely mentioned what’s going on with Seroquel and AstraZeneca lately and it’s very important stuff. Do go have a visit to the second link I list there. It’s a list of posts on the issues of late from Furious Seasons.

These hearings are AstraZeneca’s attempt to get Seroquel approved for things like “depression” and insomnia and anxiety. Scary shit.

Here is the Seroquel user’s testimony. For many of us, it will be a sadly familiar, if not also dramatic example of the same old thing:

I was prescribed 300 mg.seroquel in 2000 for sleep problems. I gained 75 pounds in 6 months. I developed diabetes. I went through profound withdrawals when I inadvertently missed a dose and had to be hospitalized. The withdrawal caused psychosis which was attributed to a new diagnosis rather than to the drug. I lost all my teeth due to dry mouth. I developed cataracts. I had constant intrusive suicidal ideation. I had akathisia, difficulty swallowing and severe muscle cramps. I lost my critical thinking ability, the ability to make decisions and generally access my ‘executive functioning.’ Because the medical establishment refused to accept that their “therapy” could be poisonous they continued me on this drug for 8 years and added new drugs to cover up the symptoms of massive endocrine dysregulation.

“The use of these classes of drugs must be sharply curtailed. These drugs must not expand the wealth of shareholders as they destroy the bodies and brains of the most vulnerable classes of people in our society. Psychoactive chemicals ‘work’ by disabling nerves, not by restoring their normal function. Emotions cause chemical changes in the brain not the other way around. No-one knows how the staggeringly complex interactions of neurons actually work. The neurotransmitter theory is based on observing the brain damage caused by psychoactive chemicals, not on any understanding of how a normal brain operates. Time and human support are the safest and most effective means for getting through difficult emotional challenges.

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