Why do you work?

No, I don’t mean why do you do your daily duties, whatever they may be, but why does your body function? How does it all come together so that when you open your eyes in the morning you see things, when you tell yourself ‘Get up!’, your body moves and you begin to do things?

While life is, perhaps, a mystery that we can continually study and find increasingly complex and wonderful, there are basic components to the nuts and bolts of our physical being that are very well understood, and the interactions of these physical components in a certain way are necessary for us to go on living.

One of the most basic of these physical interactions is our body’s need of fuel to produce energy. On a cellular level we’re like any other engine; we need fuel to burn, to produce the energy to run all the gears and generate the electricity to keep the onboard computer running. Without power, we shut down and black out—and the brain cannot live long in this condition.

The basic component for the cellular activity is glucose, or ‘blood sugar’, as it is commonly called. The brain must have a constant supply of this, it cannot substitute anything else. The body has a number of ways that it can transform other substances, like fats and proteins, into this all important, basic, blood chemistry component. Once it is in the blood stream, it needs to gain entrance into the cells of the various parts of the body as they have need. In order to accomplish this, there is another system that must be working properly:

Through specific cells (called beta cells) in areas of the pancreas called ‘islets of Langerhans’, the body produces a very important hormone called insulin. This hormone is the key that unlocks the doors of the cells to let the glucose in. Without this key in the lock to open the door, the cell cannot produce energy, the body will die.

Diabetes is a condition where the glucose cannot get into the cell, which causes an uncontrolled rise in the blood sugar levels. There are two basic types of diabetes:

Type I diabetes is a condition where there has been a physical destruction of the insulin producing cells in the pancreas. While it isn’t completely understood why this happens, it is thought that there is a connection with certain infectious disease processes and an incorrect autoimmune response by the body. This may have its roots in genetic predispositions, and this condition strikes people into their middle years. Often it follows a general flu--type infection. In this condition the person must take insulin to survive, and there are a number of options available to the type I diabetic to manage this condition successfully and lead a normal life. The type I diabetic, with intelligent management, can participate in any activity that a non--diabetic can, they just must use the conscious brain to do the work that the pancreas normally does automatically, and administer insulin manually, whether through shots or a programmable insulin pump. There are currently many promising interactions in the research phase that may, in the future, bring a further measure of ‘cure’ to the type I diabetic.

Type II diabetes is a different story altogether. Where the type I diabetic cannot produce insulin, the type II diabetic has become insulin resistant. This is largely a lifestyle related issue—something we bring upon ourselves.

The best way to envision this is to go back to the lock and key model: When the key is placed in the lock, it cannot get in because the lock mechanism has been jammed full of a foreign material!

Our blood is the river of life for our bodies. It is of a very specific composition, and all the various components have a very specific purpose. The chemical condition of the ‘river’ is determined by our choice of diet and other lifestyle elements.  

Yes, it’s up to us.

The current Western high fat diet, combined with the sharp rise in non--active lifestyle habits, is the primary cause of the current epidemic of type II diabetes.  Type II diabetes goes along with the epidemic of obesity that is being seen in both young and old! We consume large amounts of refined foods, high in fats and sugars, and this turns our blood stream from a river into a swamp! Combining alcohol consumption with this doesn’t help, as this further thickens the blood by causing the red blood cells to clump together. Over the years, in many people, the ‘locks’ on the cells get so slugged up that the ‘key’ of insulin cannot get in to open the door! The body becomes insulin resistant, and the blood sugar level begins to rise. If the blood sugar level is not regulated, serious complications develop gradually over the years:

It’s like a snowball; the bigger the problem gets, the faster it grows.

It has been demonstrated repeatedly through lifestyle management (see also: www.diabetesmiracle.org and NewStart) programs that this condition can be contained, and often reversed, by lifestyle change. Often, within thirty days, a drastic change can be accomplished through lifestyle modification. The biggest aspects of this change are:


Serious consequences, like amputations, have been avoided by people who worked to establish and maintain these new lifestyle habits. Developing more healthful habits can and will protect those of us who are not challenged by this condition from developing it in the future, along with other serious disease processes like heart and blood vessel disease and cancer. One of the big benefits of a high fibre, plant based, diet is that it binds and carries many toxins and irritants out of the body quickly, thus protecting from exposure and absorption.

Don’t become part of the epidemic! Tell your friends and family and be part of a growing movement toward intentional health and the happier life that goes with it—which is really the best craic!

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