Diabetes and the Glycemic Index

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Windytalker, Oct 10, 2015.

  1. Windytalker

    Windytalker Member

    Decided to catch up on what's happening here on PH and there's a lot of chatter about Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes. Thought those of you with this problem and wanted to perhaps offer some help.

    The link below explains the difference between "Glycemic Load" (GL) and "Glycemic Index" (GI). It still can be confusing and some of the other sites mainly go by the GI...which is mainly what I use. I had originally found this site when I was trying to eat the Atkins' plan which was too restricted for me. This was very helpful (and still is). There's an extensive list of foods and their GI (but it leans towards British foods yet it's still helpful).


    This website is from the Harvard Medical School. It's list is fairly limited, but is useful when you want to determine the food's impact quickly. It also shows GL and GI.


    Another "quick list":


    I found this site and have no clue how it works, but perhaps you may find it helpful.


    Since drinking even 1/2 glass of wine affects me (I get reactive hypoglycemia), I always have food with it. But, I've now read, it has little to no impact on blood sugar (unless it's mixed with something else). Here's some info on alcoholic beverages. Please note, however, alcoholic beverages are high in calories and not recommended for people with diabetes.


    I wish you all good health!

    Warm hugs,
  2. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Hi, Windy. How thoughtful of you to provide these websites. Thank you so much. It sounds as though you have also found the subjects surrounding diabetes and prediabetes to be more complex than originally thought. I only wish our PCP's were as interested. Guess we would have to see an endocrinologist if we want the basics. I think all the self-education we can get helps us to deal with the issues. Have you got blood sugar issues or are just trying to eat healthier? I wish you great good health and vitality.

    Love, Mikie
  3. sunflowergirl

    sunflowergirl Active Member

    Thanks Windy.......and Mikie.......I've been inundating her with my sugar problems so she did a lot of research.
  4. Windytalker

    Windytalker Member

    Mikie...to answer your question. I went to a fertility clinic to get pregnant. This was 50 years ago. After running several tests, my doctor told me I was hypoglycemic. He suggested when my energy flagged to eat something sweet, then follow it with a protein. He also said as we age, hypoglycemia can change to Type 2 Diabetes. Back then, there was no name for the condition I had that kept me from getting pregnant, but now it's called PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). It's said this is possibly inherited and there are reports it impacts blood sugar.

    Since diabetes runs in my family and I have PCOS, I tend to watch my simple carb intake. I learned about the Glycemic Index about 20 years ago while a member of a low-carb eating newsgroup and I've found it helpful. With time, you get to know what's allowed and what's not.

    One thing I've always done is take my doctor's advice...if I eat a simple carb, I eat a protein with it or something else that will help slow down insulin response. I'm far from perfect, but, so far, I've never had a blood sugar problem (knock on wood). I'm gluten-free and this has to be watched carefully, too. GF doesn't necessarily mean it's "carb free". In fact, most substitutes are made from white rice or corn. If I can find substitutes that are made from beans or nuts, I feel more comfortable eating them.

    And, yes, the fertility clinic helped me...I now have a son who will be 50 next February. :D

    It's bad enough we all have our FM/CFS/etc. battles. I sincerely hope this info helps keep diabetes at bay...none of us need yet another battle. Yes, we're all warriors, but the fewer enemies, the better. And, that's what I want for all of you. :)

    Warm hugs,
  5. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Windy, again, thank you so very much. Also, thanks for telling us your story. I admire how you've taken over control for so long. What a nice reward--a son!

    Yes, I think it takes a bit to figure out what sets off our blood sugar levels but that is key in avoiding problems. I'm so glad you have not gotten diabetes. I would take my own doc's advice except that his advice is to ignore the problem because he doesn't see a problem. I'm glad you've had good docs. I don't change my PCP because he does the peptide injections. I'll just have to do the rest on my own. I couldn't do it alone, though, without the help of such caring and sharing people as you and Sun.

    Love, Mikie
  6. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Sunflower Girl suggested I copy this from the Porch to here. It is a bit of what I've put together from reading, "Diabetes Without Drugs," by Suzy Cohen. It's a great book and I'm learning so much but the whole issue is far more complex than I thought. Here is what I posted on the Porch:

    Sun, I have read a few of the chapters in the book but I've gotten into some of the more complicated explanations of how everything works in our bodies, the different explanations of the various hormones and chemicals released, the different types of high blood sugar conditions, etc. I don't know whether I really need to know all this but, if I do, I'll have to reread it. The nice thing about the Kindle is that I can electronically bookmark any pages I want to revisit. I can also make notes to self. I did get some good answers...

    According to the author, the liver stores the sugar the body can't use for later release. Then it dumps it in the form of fat when it gets the message from the pancreas. Exercising can help prevent this fat dump by keeping the blood from becoming saturated with sugar and having to have the liver store it. I think I'll be exercising more, even tho it can leave me tired. Exercising causes the muscles to use more sugar and the receptors on the cells are more apt to take the sugar inside and use it to produce NRG instead of leaving it in the bloodstream.

    The author doesn't believe in many meals a day. She says if we eat continually, the liver won't get the signal to dump the excess sugar and can lead to a fatty liver. I actually feel better just getting three meals a day with no snacking in between. This flies in the face of accepted, conventional Western medical thinking. I continue to examine all those beliefs and always will. My own reading and researching is what has saved me. That, and what I've learned from all our generous and caring members here.

    I connected one of the reasons the author calls Alzheimers, Type III Diabetes with what I heard on one of the TED Talks episodes. The combination of too much sugar and too little sleep can leave the brain with too much sugar in the liquid bath around the brain. The brain cleanses itself during sleep. If there is not enough sleep for it to do this, the TED Talks guy said it can lead to the plaque associated with Alzheimers. Several of the TED speakers believe the brain can heal itself and they have had good results for Alzheimers and MS. Researchers used to believe we only have a set number of neurons in the brain for life. New research shows that the brain continues to make new neurons but, if the plaque is present, the brain may not be able to make them fast enough. They are using stem cells from the patients' own bodies to supplement the new neurons.

    Same with MS patients whose brains cannot keep up with the destruction of the myelin sheaths surrounding the nerves. Again, exercise seems to slow the destructive action in both conditions. My neighbor has MS but is now asymptomatic because she is a runner and keeps herself in top condition. The research with stem cells is agonizingly show to go from the lab to accepted treatment. It will also likely be expensive to put into practice. If we can do anything to slow the progress of these diseases, short of stem cell replacement, it will be all for the good of the patients and skyrocketing healthcare costs. It's not people's faults that they have these conditions; the links to poor diet, exercise and sleep are only now coming into the light and, even if people practice good lifestyle choices, they may still get sick. There is a type of diabetes that slim people seem to get.

    The book author talks about cognitive issues because, when the brain can't use the sugar in its cells, it slows down without the fuel each cell needs. Reducing the sugar in the fluid surrounding the brain and allowing the brain's receptors to use the sugar to fuel its cells seems to be key. It's the same with the mitochondria in our body's cells. They need sugar to fuel the Krebb's Cycle in order to create NRG. So, our brains can feel sluggish as well as our bodies. Eating right and exercise seem to be a cure or, at least, the treatment to keep the symptoms at bay. Sleep was introduced on TED as the third key issue and, after this last week, I believe it. OMG! When I'm sleep deprived, I am a whole different person. That's where the mindset comes in. Mine is horrible when I'm sleep deprived and sick. I am depressed and feel hopeless. Despite all my whining, I'm really an optimistic person at heart.

    I've moved on to renal issues related to blood sugar problems. Everything is connected. I have kidney stones and found out it isn't unusual in people with high blood sugar. So, not only are our brains affected but also our kidneys. I'll add to this if I find out more info I think might be helpful.

    Love to everydobby,

    OK, this is what I've been able to synthesize so far. I apologize for this looooong Warren Peace post but I think the info is vitally important. I only wish I had know more decades ago but then, who did?
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2015
  7. Windytalker

    Windytalker Member

    Mikie...What terrific information! Everyone truly needs to be aware of how too much sugar impacts our bodies. It, basically, all boils down to this regarding sugar...and it's "sugar". Sugar (or simple carbs) is as addictive as alcohol, heroine, nicotine, etc.

    Has anyone ever read "Sugar Blues"? Basically, the book boils down to this. The British were involved with the cocaine trade using their clipper ships. What they didn't like was having empty ships. When they realized that sugar was as addictive as cocaine, they no longer had empty ships...they filled their ships with sugar. As a result, it has become a major food item in all our lives.

    It's now a recognized fact that cancer feeds on sugar...although your doctor may not tell you this. Many don't want you to know. Cancer is big business. Yet, one of the main tests to determine if you do have cancer and where it's located is the "PET Scan". This test is based on giving the patient radium infused with sugar. The cancer feeds on the sugar and "lights up" during the scan.

    The only doctor who has ever talked with me about blood sugar was this particular fertility specialist.

    Most doctors these days want to prescribe medications and suggest a diabetic diet. However, it's my "personal belief" these medications can cause more harm to the body than good...again, that's a personal belief. Medications can cause sleep disruptions...and this is not helpful to the diabetes patient. Also, medications can cause dementia...read the side effects and many will say they cause memory loss. Sugar alone may not be the cause of Alzheimer's. "Chemicals" can cause it, too...including aluminum.

    Since I tend to lean toward hypoglycemia, over time, I've learned to eat something when I'm hungry or feel woozy. I don't stick to the 3 meals a day routine. Blood sugar drops can be just as bad as sugar highs. I generally snack of some sort of protein between meals (cheese, sardines, nuts, etc.)...but just enough to get me to the next "true" meal.

    The more we all can learn, the better...we all know this. The hard part is putting it into practice especially for those who are prediabetic or just learned they have diabetes. Changing eating habits can be hard. I don't like to call these changes "diets"...it's a lifestyle change.

    Again, Mikie...great info.:D

    Warm hugs,
  8. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Hi, Windy, you have provided lots of good info too. My discussion regarding three meals a day is what's right for me but I don't have hypoglycemia. I know those of you who do need to eat more often. Another problem with the drugs is that they can cause too much sugar to be removed, leading to a hypoglycemic event.

    That's very interesting about the sugar on the ships and its addictiveness. Scans of brains on sugar light up in the pleasure centers just as do the brains of drug addicts. Basically, that is how we become addicted to anything; it gives us a high or makes us feel happy. Then, we continue to crave it. My addiction is nicotine and it was really difficult to stop smoking. I am still eating a bit of sweet stuff, like my dark chocolate bark with pumpkin seeds, but I can get by with just a wee taste and don't feel the need to gobble up the whole bag. I can't do that with the cigs; I'd be back to a pack a day if I even lit one up. Now that I've changed my lifestyle, I don't crave sweets at all and I don't feel hungry all the time.

    That is also interesting about the sugar's feeding cancer cells. Yikes! How many things are related to sugar? I also feel that there may be other factors involved in Alzheimers Disease. Some medications may be implicated. Some medications can lead to Parkinsonism, which mimics Parkinson's Disease. My doc was upset that I refused to take an acid reflux med because there was a HUGE warning on it that said it could cause Tardive Dyskinesia, a horrible condition which can cause involuntary facial jerks or can cause the tongue to dart in and out like a snake's. Even discontinuing the med wouldn't help once the dyskinesia appears; it's for life. The fewer meds we have to take the better to avoid side effects and negative interactions. Also, as the author of Sun's book points out, some meds can steal vitamins and minerals from our bodies, further exacerbating the condition for which we were taking the drug in the first place. Oy!

    I'm off to check out your websites. It may take me a bit but I really appreciate your providing them for us.

    Love, Mikie
  9. Windytalker

    Windytalker Member

    I think it's great we each have something to share about this topic. The more we learn the better off we are.

    I think the part about Tardive Dyskinesia was alarming! I wonder if doctors prescribing meds that cause this discuss the ramifications of this horrible side effect. Most likely not. I'm soooo glad you ended up refusing to take it. Since I refuse to take all medications (for me, there's always a major side effect of some sort) so I understand your doctor's reaction. Mine believe I'm crazy...and I say "so be it"...

    Warm hugs,
  10. sunflowergirl

    sunflowergirl Active Member

    Let's keep on sharing what we learn. And......could this post be put someplace where it will be perpetually be seen by others rather than slipping down to oblivion?

    I was sharing yesterday a little of what I've learned with my cleaning lady who has to use insulin at least 4 times a day. When I mentioned diabetes 3 she stood there with her mouth opened in shock. So I printed out what Mikie had gleaned from the book, and I gave her the title and author. I think she's going to down load onto her kindle.

    I think I'm developing acid reflux.....it seems to hit me after I swallow pills. I need to do more research on taking vinegar for it....wondering if I should take some after I swallow pills.
  11. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Hi, Kids,

    Windy, I was shocked at my doc's reaction when I told him I wouldn't take the drug which can cause dyskinesia; he wasn't worried because he said it is time and dose which affects dyskinesia. To me, it's just irresponsible to even prescribe a drug with any risk of that severe a side effect. This wasn't just a listed side effect of the drug; it was a huge warning right up front. My doc thinks I'm crazy too.

    Sun, I've made this a sticky thread so it will stay at the top. Would it be better to put it on the General Health forum so others can see it? I have acid reflux and take generic Zantac because the effects of long-term acid reflux outweigh the side effects (none so far that I have noticed but the author identifies it as a mugger of vitamins) of the drug.

    A friend, who is a nurse, stopped by this morning. She sees nothing to be concerned about with my annual lab test which showed my BS as 105. I explained about the book and the fact that I have high BP, kidney stones and numbness and tingling in my feet. She agreed that it is far better to be proactive and stop BS problems before they become diabetes. It's just that, as a culture, we are programmed not to take action until we are sick. That is changing and I'm glad to see it.

    Thank you both for being so generous in your sharing here. It is always helpful to get info from various sources and support from friends.

    Love, Mikie
  12. sunflowergirl

    sunflowergirl Active Member

    Mikie: Yes, move it to the general health forum so more can see it. Apparently pre diabetes is rampant! And you're like me, I want to stop and change something BEFORE it becomes a problem. My DH ate terrible for years, drank at least 2 pepsi drinks a day even after I warned him at least 4 years before he got sick. Nothing was going to change him. A year before he got sick I told him he needed to see a doctor because his "body smell" had changed......I guess I've got a nose like a dog because I can also walk around the neighborhood and determine where's there's gas leaks.

    Once I called the repair man for the gas com. showed him actually where I could smell it, so he started digging and using his meter. I kept telling him to keep digging because I still could get a whif of it. Finally about 2 feet down he got a reading and fixed it. Of course our whole entire neighborhood is riddled with gas leaks. The gas company ripped up a lot of streets and fixed the leaks.....supposedly, but I need to call on another spot down the street.

    And did you start the alpha lipoic acid yet? My doctor last week said that was GOOD that I was taking it but that I should up it to twice a day. I was just taking 600.
  13. Windytalker

    Windytalker Member

    About the acid reflux...I have to be very cautious how a med or supplement is "packaged". Most have been encapsulated in a "vegetable/gel capsule" of some sort. I get an upset stomach/acid reflux immediately.

    Since I refuse meds, I focus on supplements and try to find sublingual forms. They stem my having to battle an upset stomach. But, I've also run into problems on occasion with sublinguals causing an allergic reaction.

    Here's some food for thought. Most "veggie caps" are made from soy...and 90% of all soy is genetically modified. Is it the soy itself that causes the acid reflux or is it the herbicide/pesticide in the soy that causes it? (Also, most common vegetable oils are just one molecule short of being plastic...and soy is used in many plastics.)

    If you do decide to move this thread, please post where it's been moved to.

    Diabetes is so prevalent these days! I even get upset when I see TV ads showing kids eating sugared cereals for breakfast along with toast and a large glass of OJ. Imagine the impact that makes on the poor child's insulin response!!

    Here's too good health!
  14. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Hi, Kids,

    I'll just copy and paste this to the General Health Forum. The more I know, the more I realize just how important this issue is for everyone.

    Sun, that is amazing; maybe you can get a job with the utility co. I'm only kidding but it is disturbing to know that your hood has all those leaks. Yikes!!! I did start the alpha lipoic acid, the one which also contains acetyl L-carnitine. I started out with only once a day but may up it to twice.

    Windy, most of my meds and supps do not have those coatings. The supps I've bought here do not contain soy. The only problem I have is getting them down my gullet. The ones without coatings tend to stick in my throat. The best sublingual supp I have found is the methylcobalamin vitamin B-12 from the PH store. Suzy Cohen recommends this form of B-12 in the book.

    Gonna go. Check out my post on the Porch. I heard from my ex.

    Love, Mikie
  15. Windytalker

    Windytalker Member

    Mikie...I lean towards taking Superior Source sublinguals (B12, Vit D and C). I selected this brand since there are very few ingredients (the D3 only has 3). But, I have to be cautious...acacia gum is used and if I get too much, I develop a twitch below my right eye (go figure...life's little challenges).

    As for swallowing, have you tried coating them first? Some people use butter or coconut oil. Worth a try...:)

    Warm hugs,
  16. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Hi, Windy,

    Thanks for the heads up. I can use all the help I can get. The methylcobalamin B12 sold here is great. My neighbor was low and his doc told him she'd have to give him shots. He asked whether he could try the PH brand and his B12 came back up to normal and he didn't have to get the shots. His doc couldn't believe it.

    Love, Mikie
  17. CynthiaLane

    CynthiaLane Member

    thank you very much for sharing these websites. for these years, the treatment for diabetes seems to be more and more promising as with the development of medicine. and recombinant human insulin has become available for diabetes patients, making the situation much better than that of years ago.
    But paying attention on the food also matters much. thank you again for your share. i will see what i can get.
  18. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Hi, Cynthia,

    So good to have you posting. Yes, there have been advances in diabetic treatment; however, the whole idea behind the book is to try to prevent Type II Diabetes by controlling diet, exercise and other lifestyle choices before the blood sugar is out of control. Even Type I Diabetes is helped with a good diet.

    I never realized just how much high blood sugar and, therefore, insulin spikes affect our bodies. This book is so excellent at explaining it all. My weight loss, which now stands at 24 pounds, is just icing on the cake. Perhaps this isn't the best analogy. :)

    Please visit our virtual Porch here on the Chit Chat forum. It's a great bunch and, I think, you might enjoy it.

    Love, Mikie