Last week we looked at the fact that inflammation has been seen to be the cause of many diseases, including heart disease, arthritis and diabetes.

Many believe that the primary cause of type 2 diabetes is insulin resistance. That means that insulin is no longer effective at normal levels, so you have to produce more insulin to perform the same job and have the same effect.

In a non-diabetic person, dietary carbohydrate is converted into glucose. The blood glucose level goes up and insulin is produced to deliver sugar to your muscle cells to make energy.

If your muscle cells are full, any extra sugar is diverted to fat cells, and if your muscle cells use up all the available sugar, then fat can be converted into fatty acids as spare fuel.

Insulin resistance is said to make it difficult for glucose to enter the muscle cells, so more insulin has to be generated to overcome this resistance. No one seems to know why this resistance occurs. In the meantime, the glucose entering your fat cells induces them to expand and increase in number to accommodate this extra content.

This is particularly common around the midriff. It is vital this extra sugar is diverted somewhere, otherwise your blood sugar levels would rise and lead to hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar). So you could say this diversion is a brain protection mechanism.

Unfortunately for prediabetics and diabetic people, high levels of insulin in the blood puts a lock on fat cells, making it impossible for them to release fat as an alternative to glucose. As your muscle cells have not received their correct supply of sugar, you remain hungry and tired and find it impossible to carry out any exercise. As a result you eat something sugary to give you a boost – this, of course, doesn’t have the desired effect and perpetuates the unhealthy cycle.

If this goes on for years, your pancreas becomes exhausted from the overstimulation, you fail to produce enough insulin, your blood sugar levels rise and you show signs of becoming diabetic.

As I mentioned last week, the secret cause of diabetes is inflammation. It is an essential function used to fight off an invading organism. The chemicals produced in this process divert glucose to the fat cells. This was explained in last week’s article. However, what causes inflammation in the first place?

The most likely source of inflammation is what you eat and drink

It could be an infection or some sort of virus, a toxic chemical or even mercury, lead or aluminium. Also stress, petrol or diesel fumes or even gas from your cooker. However, the most likely source of inflammation is what you eat and drink. So instead of the inflammatory reaction being turned off, it will carry on because you are continuing to eat the foods that are causing a reaction in your bloodstream.

How do you track down what foods you might be reacting to? There are two ways of doing this. An inexpensive, but lengthy method is to make a list of all your food and drink and divide them into food groups: meat, dairy, fish, vegetables, fruits, salad items, grains, pulses, nuts, herbs and drinks.

Write down the name of a food on the left side of the page. Draw about six lines vertically down the page, moving to the right, so that you can put a tick in any column against a food, depending on how often you consumed that item. For example, daily, two or three times a week, once a week, once every two weeks or once a month.

Investigate the foods you consume most frequently. Don’t forget to include cups of tea and coffee, any juices and also what you put in your coffee and tea.

Most people eat and drink pretty much the same things almost every day, or every week. I have seen this when looking at weekly food diaries. Start with one of your common foods. It is possible to buy a kit to test your blood sugar at home.

Select a named food, avoid it, totally, for five days (this makes your sensitivity reaction more acute), then challenge yourself with a suitable helping of that food, entirely on its own for breakfast on the morning of day six. Test your blood sugar before and about one hour after eating that food.

If you are sure a particular food produces a significant change in your blood sugar, make a note and leave it out of your diet for the time being. Do the same with any other foods you are not sure of.

As mentioned, this is an inexpensive way, but slow. You can take the antigen leucocyte antibody test (ALCAT), which measures the reaction in a tiny sample of your blood, incubated for an hour, compared with an extract of named foods (see www.alcat-europe.de).

If you are already working with a medical professional, work with them to find your culprits and assess what could be affecting you. Patrick Kingsley is the author of The New Medicine and develops this subject much more in depth in the book, drawing from his years of experience in treating patients with these diseases where he found inflammation in every case.

kathryn@maltanet.net

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