iThrive – Diabesity Films – So many causes and cures the same as bipolar

I loved Episodes 1, 2, 3. Episode 4 was disappointing. I’ll share in my next post why I felt it was inferior or perhaps was not ideal as a stand-alone film. Here is today’s episode. I’ve not watched any of it yet…

 

Reversing Diabetes / Diabesity While Keeping Moods in Order

On Olanzapine/Zyprexa (for 14 years) I was heading towards diabetes. Okay, so I only gained about 45 pounds in weight due to psych drugs, but then I was making huge efforts just to not gain more, while losing my physical fitness.

Yes, I have to admit the psych drugs helped me to stay in bed a lot longer, which was a blessing for my family. Perhaps, it was because I was so sedated that allowed my children to do so well throughout school and university. In fact, as I type this I am thinking maybe it was all worthwhile. Did all those years of poor health for me allow better health for those around me?

It was blood tests that left me in no doubt things had to change. Well, yes and no. It was getting up for a ‘pee’, twice, then 3 times, then 4 times every night that caused me to insist on the blood tests. By then my guts were wrecked, so I was lying awake in pain in-between the toilet visits. I was in bed a lot longer, but getting no more refreshing sleep than I had before the drugs or since I have come off all prescription medication. If we can go drug-free (and it is not easy and involves serious risks for many) then the sleep we get is so wonderful. To sleep like a child again is beautiful.

After the drugs my HbA1c measure of damage to my cells by excess sugar was just below pre-diabetic, even though my diet was good. Clearly, these days, good is not good enough when we start to look at food labels. I found the support I needed to cut right back on some of the things going hand-in-hand with my poor eating habits. I went without wheat and dairy for months, lost more weight and my HbA1c came down. I am not 100% free of wheat and dairy, just that I have most definitely broken the addictions and can now go for weeks without the tiniest bit of either.

The big dietary changes I made (and there have been many more of them) included switching to what a friend described as ‘single ingredient’ foods. Basically, if there is a list of ingredients just don’t buy it. I am mostly buying fruit, veg or anything that has no legal requirement for a list of ingredients. Yes, big business is not going to like anyone doing this as it rules out just about anything they can make much money from. It was a simple change and perhaps the main one for bringing my HbA1c down. Down by just ‘one point’… away from diabetes.

Then my HbA1c stabilized at a level I was far from happy with. By then I was working close to full-time as a health researcher and having to learn more and more about the links between high HbA1c and seemingly every chronic condition.

Please do your own research or ask me to send some reliable links to answer questions like… Is elevated HbA1c always a driver for cancer, Alzheimer’s, heart-attack, stroke, pancreatic troubles, liver damage, kidney disease… the list goes on and on. Only yesterday I was working with someone while we discussed how closely HbA1c might be linked with MND (Motor Neuron Disease). Excess sugar and lack of vitamins alone may never cause any of these, just that the evidence is piling up that if we can take control of our sugar and have better levels of vitamins in our blood (and balances between these vitamins too) then risks go way down.

The other big change I’ve made has simply been to stop eating at night. Now, it seems so obvious that eating close to 24 hours a day is going to be linked to weight gain and blood sugar troubles. For people taking high levels of Olanzapine the desire to eat returns every few minutes. On that drug, the only time I stopped thinking about food for more than a few minutes was while I was asleep, but sleeping more was not burning off that sugar coming from carbs eaten late in the evening and replaced within minutes of getting out of bed.

My wife said so often, “You’re always in the pantry”. I do not believe she was ever able to get her head around how a psych drug can effectively eliminate will-power.

I have set myself a new lower target for my HbA1c with a retest scheduled for just 8 to 10 weeks from now. I am going to work towards this by averaging a fasting window of 15 hours in every 24 hours. I’ve worked towards this by getting my gut as physically as fit as it can be at this time. Fasting 15 hours it is not going to be difficult as I am already feeling the benefits from skipping what I used to call breakfast and supper. I still have a huge 9 hour eating window and no restriction at all (for me this is) on calories. I can eat as much fatty food as I fancy, although here I am talking about healthy avocados, olives and a wide range of organic high calorie foods, with nothing at all cooked at high temperatures.

I am staying pretty much grain-free because it aids my clarity of thought, while making it far easier to avoid excess carbs.

Okay, I have typed plenty for today. If you’d like to know more about how my challenge is going, what I eat day-to-day or anything else do ask by email or through the comments option below.

Now, if you’ve not seen any of the iThrive series see if you can check it out. The link  below may only work for the next 20 hours or so. Just listen to what ‘Chef AJ’ says between 6m 14s and 6m 44s [[[just 30 seconds]]] and share this with anyone you love.

I am sure the experts can share a lot more about diabetes than I can. My approach is simple. Check out your HbA1c, research what probably caused your HbA1c to be higher than the ideal, then start eliminating the causes in a way that works for you. I am currently 100% sure that if you remove enough of the relevant causes your body will be able to move you further away from diabetes.

Finally, what has this to do with bipolar?

  1. Bipolar and diabetes have been linked many times. Mood troubles affect food choices and psych drugs can so often make things far worse.
  2. As I have been teaching for more than a decade, if you have mood troubles, so bad that you are getting a mental health diagnosis, then food choices so often have to be made with mood in mind. Yes, we can change anything about our foods, including what we eat, when we eat and whom we eat with, but we still have to keep our moods in order. Staying safe in the short-term is key, while keeping that long-term goal of lower HbA1c or whatever target you have in mind. Get support and get your physical health sorted at the same time as eliminating mood disorder from your life.

If video does not play click here for next episode: diabetes-bipolar-link