Mastering the Stuff of Life

Continued my fascination with managing Blood Sugar. A few years ago I was under a lot of stress at work and my Father passed away.

To make matters more interesting my Doctor informed me I was loosing control of my Blood sugar and if I didn't do something Diabetes was probably not far off.

Perhaps fortunately it gave me something to distract my attention and focus on and I happened upon reducing table sugar in the diet. This led to people assuming I was "on a diet" and guessing it was "Low Carb".. a popular fad at the time.

The changes in blood chemistry were somewhat dramatic for me. And later I'd run into a YouTube video by Lawrence Lustig on a theory that it wasn't the sugar exactly, but the "Fructose" bound up in the sugar that was sabotaging all the finely tuned regulatory systems in our bodies, causing a cascading chain of events that .. coincidentally leads to a symptom called Obesity. 

But the real problem is the release of Insulin, which is rather like blinds on a window to a body cell, when its released it flips the blinds open so that glucose can enter the cell. The cells then "burn or store" the glucose. But when this happens too much the cells become saturated and the Insulin "blind flipping" doesn't work any more. The glucose floods the blood and the liver struggles to reduce the load on the arterial system by linking the glucose molecules together in chains, called Fatty Acids, the specialized cells called fat cells scoop this out of the blood so there is room for other vital supplies to get moved around the body.

Too much glucose (or blood sugar) is like a traffic jam to the body, the transport system becomes derailed and time critical or life critical messages and supplies can't get through. Tissues can die, regular processes can get thrown off track.. really bad things can happen. Not the least of which is the lingering glucose and fatty acid soup can begin to "React" with raw body materials "glycating" and permanently cementing various pathways and organs so that they never work again.

Managing blood sugar is a delicate dance between Life and Death. You need blood sugar to live. But too much and you don't.

Rather the Liver is the ultimate machine to restore an imbalanced body system. It has a lot of tricks up its sleeves, but too much Fructose and it can become pre-occupied or "stunned" such that it can't keep up with the emergency that a flood of blood sugar can become.

Fructose ironically is "what makes table sugar sweet" its relatively rare in fruits and berries or elsewhere in nature. But due to our growing expertise in chemistry outside the body, we have come up with large quantities of it and put it back into all kinds of foods that never had it before.

Fructose dulls the body's sensitivity to glucose, it can not be used by any other part of the body except the Liver, which must convert it to fat and nasty by products to dispose of it. Meanwhile the rest of the body has to deal with the excess glucose that might accompany the Fructose without any help from the Liver.. it draws out the high blood sugar episode, wrecking more damage.

Worse, Fructose appears to disable the feed back loop that tells the body its had enough food when eating.. hence it causes the body to draw in even larger meal quantities than it can actually use.. provoking a kind of self inflicted wound upon a person as they eat.

I've had a rather myopic view of Fructose for some time, but I think managing it is more important than managing the glucose or the table sugar. It just so happens we currently over simplify and say, anything sweet has sugar in it.. not quite true.. it probably has Fructose in it.. and the more the worse it is for you.

Artificial sweeteners are also drawing my attention.

At first I thought some were okay, but the deeper I looked the more I realized, many breakdown later in the gut.. due to bacteria we carry around inside us.. turning it back into simple sugars, or worse by-products.. which can promote some pretty bad things further down the digestive system.

We are only just now considering what happens inside us to the food stuff we can't digest.. fiber and such are not necessarily "inert" or harmless.

This year we kind of mapped the three big kinds of bacteria; suphur, methane and hydrogen by-product producers and where they reside inside us. We recognized that they compete with bad bacteria and other microbes that would do us harm in an active symbiotic way.. that is more "current" than "any" static antibiotic medicine. Someday antibiotics will be looked upon with the simplicity of chemotherapy.. just too simplistic to ever believe they were effective.

In the same way vaccines "manipulate" a far more complex immune system into preparing for an assault the immune system cannot see coming. Food choices can prepare the gut for an assault by chemicals and food stuffs the gut bacteria cannot see coming.

Life gets more complicated.