Receiving a diagnosis of diabetes can be difficult and frightening to hear. It is a chronic condition that will be with you for the rest of your life.
Living with diabetes is constant, costly, time-consuming, and inconvenient. To properly treat diabetes you must change your diet, endure frequent finger sticks to monitor blood sugar levels and even self-inject medications such as insulin and others. The goal is to try to maintain blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible to protect blood vessels from the damage caused when blood sugar levels are too high. As time goes by, you are more prone to serious complications such as blindness, amputations, kidney disease, and heart disease unless you are very vigilant and are given proper advice.
A recent study from the UK found that people with diabetes die five to seven years earlier than those without the disease. Causes of death include ischemic heart disease, stroke, heart arrhythmia, kidney and liver disease. Certain cancers such as oral, pancreatic, and liver cancers occur at a higher rate than in people without diabetes.
Of special interest is that more women with diabetes die prematurely than man from ischemic heart disease. Of course, women in general have a poorer prognosis with heart disease than men.
Not discussed in the article is the kind of advice these patients were given. The common advice for those with diabetes is to follow a carbohydrate heavy diet and take any number of medications to attempt to control blood sugars. Statistics show that most people with diabetes, even those on medications, are not meeting treatment goals.
We have the experience to know that a low-carbohydrate diet is an essential step to control blood sugars and to support weight loss for people with diabetes. Because this approach works so well many people are able to control blood sugars at a safe level without medications. For people who have had diabetes for a long time most will be able to decrease the number of medications they take.
Since carbohydrates are the primary foods that increase blood sugar why do health authorities continue to recommend a treatment that fails? Carbohydrate restriction has been shown to be safe and effective. You don’t have to follow bad advice.