My Story – On Nutrition, diabetes and sports or how at the age of 30 I healed myself
The picture shows a screenshot from the report of my personal continuous sugar meter – more balanced values than a healthy person. The A1C test shows the concentration of glycated hemoglobin in the blood and is an average of the blood sugar over the last three months. Later in the article I will detail about optimal sugar values.
At the age of 11 I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Years of imbalance and a constant roller coaster of blood sugar levels began to make me feel less healthy. A high-carbohydrate Western diet and night life certainly didn’t add to my blood sugar balance and health. After I volunteered for the IDF and was assigned as a fitness instructor in an elite unit, I began to train intensively in long-distance running. I quickly became a regular at half marathons. I finished every race with impressive results compared to the other participants my age and still all this time deep inside something felt wrong to me. I was thin, fit and ran very fast but still the energy balance throughout the day was too fluctuating. Drops in concentration throughout the day and sudden drops in energy especially after lunch became commonplace and they began to make it difficult for me to concentrate on work and studies. Suddenly simple tasks became more and more challenging. After being admitted to the intensive care unit with life-threatening acid reflux, I felt like I had completely lost control of my health and my life. From that moment I did not stop reading, learning and developing. This is the event that, among other things, led me to study nutrition science and I hope that through the care of others I can pass the knowledge on to as many people as possible.
This is my story and I believe that this story will be useful to any athlete regardless of who he is and even more so if he is dealing with a chronic disease such as diabetes or some physiological imbalance. That athlete will be able to conquer any goal he sets for himself provided he learns to listen to his body along the way. It’s true that it’s a cliché, but how accurate it turned out to be in my case.
To my Facebook community: My Balanced Diabetes.
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How I realized that balancing diabetes would gain me back control of my life
1) Low Carb – The big change started a few years ago when I discovered the power of a low carb diet and the book by Dr. Richard K. Bernstein- Diabetes Solution.
Dr. Richard K. Bernstein was diagnosed at the age of 12 with type 1 diabetes. At the age of 30, he was already suffering from severe complications as a result of unbalanced diabetes and eating according to the guidelines of the American Diabetes Association, that is, a Western diet high in carbohydrates. A little before turning 30, his doctors informed him that at this rate he might not make it past 30. Being an engineer, he began looking for an orderly plan of action to solve the complex and variable problem of type 1 diabetes. He managed to get his hands on a home device for measuring blood sugar levels, which which unlike today was almost impossible at that time. With the help of a low-carbohydrate diet that he arrived at through trial and error, Bernstein was able to normalize his blood sugar levels, which means living around the value of 83 mg/dL around the clock. Slowly and surely he cured the diabetes complications from which he suffered. At the age of 45, Bernstein decided to study medicine after years of the medical community scorning the articles he published claiming that he was “not a doctor”. Today he is 88 years old and still works and treats his patients in his clinic located near New York. Dr. Bernstein’s approach is the ultimate solution and the most effective way to treat type 1 diabetes. For decades, Dr. Bernstein has maintained an exemplary balance and exercises every day to this very day, especially strength training. Among other things, he was also responsible for the marketing of the home sugar meters to the general public, thus essentially closing a circle. For that I and many other diabetics owe him quite a bit. His life story proves that balancing a single parameter, as basic and necessary to life as blood sugar concentration, prolongs life and has the potential to heal the human body from diabetes but also from many other diseases beyond diabetes, diseases that are so common in the modern western world.
Back to me – with the help of a lot of high-quality animal protein and fat, very few vegetables, a pinch of nuts and a lot of strength training, I’ve been walking around for several years with a glycated hemoglobin, a measure for evaluating the average blood sugar levels, of 5 or less (more balanced than the glycated hemoglobin values of a healthy person without diabetes that stands at an average of 5.5 +-). Because of the unwarranted fear of hypoglycemia and a lack of knowledge of true blood sugar balance, the official guidelines for diabetics are that it is “okay to have an A1C of 7” even though a diabetic like anyone else will suffer the same deadly complications when the small blood vessels, tissues and all organs of the body are exposed to the devastating effects of Blood circulation. There is no justification for taking it easy with high blood sugar in diabetics and at the same time being stressed when a non-diabetic person reaches a value slightly above the norm in the blood test. A diabetic person’s body is subject to the same biological laws as any other human body. With or without diabetes, high blood sugar over time causes damage and complications, some of which are life-threatening. Doctors prefer to keep diabetics’ sugar high just to avoid hypoglycemia. It is true that hypoglycemia brings us closer to a dangerous situation of severe hypoglycemia, a situation that can cost us life, but the secret is to know how to maintain the delicate balance within the range, without hypoglycemia and without hyperglycemia.
Shortly after switching to the new way of eating I started to feel like I had never felt before. I found myself managing to concentrate day after day on the things I love, work or studies for 10-12 hours or more. In addition, I felt fresh enough to incorporate a short and focused strength training every day. Finally she also started to build a nice muscle mass that I never really had. My aerobic fitness improved as well without changing anything in the workouts themselves!
In addition to all these, my mood stabilized and disturbing thoughts that accompanied me for years left me as quickly as I started to feel good. Everything happened at once just like in the stories. Another important figure that I only realized in retrospect is related to my lifestyle is the health of my teeth. Since I changed my diet and balanced my body from the inside the dental problems stopped at once. The same dental problems that until that moment oh
Expired every so often for no apparent reason. Mostly I remember a root canal treatment I had when I was only 13 years old. So of course I didn’t have the tools to understand that the teeth are a mirror of health and everything stems from the internal balance of the body. Dr. Weston A. Price studied the connection between dental health and our physical health in depth.
Studies and testimonials from patients have previously demonstrated the close connection between unbalanced blood sugar levels and depression. Beyond that, Dr. Bernstein states in his book that all of his new patients reported that the diet cured them of depression that they had been harboring for years. This statistic amazed me when I first read it.
Beyond that, a diet low in carbohydrates is used as an effective tool for treating most of the causes of morbidity in the Western world – type 2 diabetes, obesity, the metabolic syndrome and autoimmune diseases. Another detail I mentioned to her is that since I changed my diet I don’t get sick with viral diseases. If I do get infected once in a while – it passes as quickly as it arrived. A matter of 1 to 3 hours of mild symptoms and it passes. The same is true for the phlegm in the throat which has been reduced to the point where it is no longer noticeable. It is true that phlegm has very important roles in our body, beyond internal shielding, phlegm functions as the first line of defense of the immune system and we need phlegm to live, but if so it is important to remember that phlegm overload can make our lives difficult and may indicate a state of hyper-inflammation.
Other imbalances that often appear with diabetes
2) Hormonal balance – after about a year and a half on the diet, my doctors started to stress. Cholesterol in the blood, the great fear of many doctors in the West began to climb. This is a controversial and mostly trite topic that, in my opinion, has already been discussed enough in the past. Disturbed and full of unanswered questions, I began to investigate the issue from every possible direction. An in-depth reading led me to understand that the “cholesterol myth” does exist and that hospital transparency in Israel is light years from the latest science in the field. The official guidelines are based on the historical and scientifically limited studies of Ansel Keys. Just like in the US, so also in Israel, doctors prescribe statins (cholesterol lowering pills) in uncontrolled amounts to every patient who enters their clinic with cholesterol that seems to them to be a bit high when to this day it is not clear exactly what the upper limit for cholesterol values is. The doctors rely on an upper limit that was arbitrarily set somewhere in the 50s of the last century in the USA.
The ironic part of the story is that those who are afraid of cholesterol at all will not be able to answer the simple question – what is cholesterol? I will answer very briefly that cholesterol is an oily and lipid molecule that is the most important building block for our body. All our cells need cholesterol to exist. Without cholesterol we would all die. Cholesterol is also the basis for hormones that are so important for the proper functioning of the hormonal system. A small part of the cholesterol comes from the food we eat and most of the cholesterol is produced by the liver. The body knows how to regulate the amount produced. there is no direct relationship between the amount of cholesterol consumed in the diet and the cholesterol level in the blood. The relationships between the various lipoproteins that carry the cholesterol – mainly HDL, TOTAL and LDL are usually kept as they were before the transition to a high-fat diet and that is what is important. LDL and HDL are generally carriers of cholesterol and not cholesterol itself. The basis for the fear of high levels of cholesterol in the blood stems from the claim that it causes calcification of arteries. Contrary to this opinion, which is relatively outdated, what has been shown to be a more accurate predictor of arterial calcification and heart disease are more “prestigious” values such as oxidized cholesterol and small LDL particles. These are risk factors that must be examined together with other metabolic indices and various inflammatory indices in the blood tests. These “prestigious” tests are not tested at all in the State of Israel as of today.
For those who are really worried about their condition, I recommend having a Calcium Score test that provides a current picture of the level of arterial calcification. This is a relatively simple test that is available in Israel and for some unknown reason few people perform it. It is important to remember that the A1C test that I mentioned earlier is still an excellent measure for assessing metabolic health and those who are metabolically healthy will most likely not suffer from heart disease. A1C is tested in Israel and it is easy to get a referral at the health insurance company.
All along the way, the voice of Dr. Bernstein echoed in my head, saying many times “If your cholesterol is very high, you should check your FREE T3, FREE T4” aka thyroid hormones. After prolonged insistence on my part and a lot of anticipation, I checked the real full panel of the thyroid gland (really not just TSH) and I was surprised to find out: the hormonal values and especially the T3 (the active hormone) were on the floor. The so-called hypothyroidism. Do you know the phrase “trouble comes in bunches”? This is especially true when it comes to autoimmune diseases. They come together, it’s called twin diseases. Another connection shown in studies. One autoimmune disease will almost never be diagnosed on its own. Type 1 diabetes, celiac disease, Hashimoto’s (thyroid gland), psoriasis. A combination of these is very common. Two diseases together and sometimes several diseases together.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism: severe fatigue, mental fog, sensitivity to cold, constipation, loss of libido, low mood, avoidance of social situations, low blood pressure, very high cholesterol and sometimes obesity and hair loss.
This is how I realized after thorough research that cholesterol is never the problem itself if at all. Contrary to popular opinion, cholesterol is not treated but deeper physiological imbalances. There are unusual cases of structural hypercholesterolemia but they are really very rare and really do not represent the general public.
In hypothyroidism, the entire metabolic system of the body slows down. You probably already understood by yourself that the source of the abnormally high cholesterol values is the slowing down of the mechanism for removing fats from the blood which is also “lazy”.
The symptoms of hypothyroidism can appear together or only one symptom can appear. Hypothyroidism is a phenomenon that is not so easy to diagnose. It is necessary to repeat the hormonal tests and at the same time pay attention to si
Maphtoms. In my case, after careful balancing of the thyroid gland by supplementing the hormones and refilling the missing nutrient stores – all other indicators were balanced in the blood. What made me much happier was the fact that the symptoms I was suffering from disappeared completely.
Thyroid balance is a subject that is not fully resolved by endocrinologists in the western world. Most of them will tell you that “everything is normal and there is no reason to treat the thyroid”. If they do decide that treatment is necessary, they will most likely automatically prescribe one hormone – T4 (levothyroxine) without touching the root cause of why your thyroid stopped functioning as it did before. It is important to understand that in many situations in our lives the thyroid gland will temporarily lower its hormone production rate in light of an internal or external crisis. In these situations, the thyroid gland can often be awakened naturally.
Thyroid. Additional hormonal problems that are often diagnosed with diabetes
The dangers of overtraining and insufficient amounts of protein
3) Never bring yourself to over training (OT)– Over training. A topic so important that it is hardly mentioned in the mainstream of the fitness world and in trainer schools. Quite a few famous athletes came to OT during their professional lives. Daily OT will eventually lead to heavy and continuous stress on the physiological system. This is high stress on a daily basis. Mild and prolonged OT can be easily resolved by easy rest for about a week to a month. Intense and prolonged OT may deplete the hormone stores in your body, especially the steroid hormones such as cortisol and also the thyroid hormones. In OT, these two hormones are released in higher quantities than usual and the organs are not sufficient to renew the reserves in light of the increasing demand.
In intensive and prolonged OT, years of rehabilitation may be necessary. This situation can easily develop into Adrenal Fatigue and even Adrenal Crisis, i.e. failure of the adrenal gland. I myself brought my body to moderate OT which resulted in a heavy load on my physical system. Fortunately, within six months, I was able to restore the balance of the missing hormones with the help of careful treatment and, above all, rest. The symptoms are very similar to those of hypothyroidism and not coincidentally, the organs of the endocrine system are interdependent. All endocrine glands work synergistically with each other in a mechanism called Feedback Loop. They are affected by each other’s function.
4) Sufficient amounts of protein – when it comes to protein and fat from the diet, we must not ignore the amount of energy our body expends throughout the day. This is a very common mistake among athletes who switch to a diet low in carbohydrates and high in proteins. It is your duty to make sure you are not starving your body excessively. The best tools you will have at your disposal are the tools nature gave you: the body’s hunger/satiety mechanisms and monitoring weight changes. Especially during the transition period to the new diet. Rapid weight loss will be a good clue that you may be starving your body. Dropping to the point of being underweight will be a warning sign that you are not returning to the body the amounts of protein required to build muscle cells. Never force yourself to eat and never force yourself to fast. Prolonged hunger for too long will cause prolonged stress on the system and you can find yourself in situations like Adrenal Fatigue mentioned above.
Whether you are an active professional athlete or whether you do a few push-ups and push-ups every day, the health benefits of which are not necessarily less than those you will get from practicing professional sports, there really is no limit to where your body can go. This is of course provided that you make the transition to this diet in a smart and careful way and follow the instructions mentioned in this article. You will become familiar with a lifestyle that once you get used to it and succeed in the difficult weaning period from carbohydrates – it is impossible to go back. Unlike other diets and trends, it really is a nutritious and complete diet. The body gets all the micronutrients and macronutrients it needs.
Meat from a high-quality source, parts of the face/bone stock once in a while, and the addition of high-quality sea salt. This is the whole Torah on one leg. You can always add fatty dairy products, fruits depending on the situations you are dealing with and green vegetables of your choice in a small amount but these are just additions. You will get everything your body needs from quality animal food. It is important to note that any transition to a certain diet should be done in full coordination with the attending physician or nutritionist. The process should be done while monitoring the relevant values in the blood tests and monitoring symptoms and physiological changes.
*The information on this website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The said information is intended for informational purposes only and stems from personal experience. The text is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any specific disease or medical condition. Reviews and testimonials about nutrition, training and various health approaches represent individual experiences and what is stated on the site does not guarantee any results for your specific situation. Any choice of a specific way of eating or medical treatment according to a given situation should be made under the guidance of professionals qualified to do so.