HOLLY CARLING: Balancing blood sugar: Part I

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Balancing blood sugar is an important key to good health today. Balancing our desire for it is as well. So how bad is it, and how can we help get it under control?

Diabetes continues to be a leading cause of death in the world. Complications from diabetes cost us dearly both financially and in suffering. The suffering could be as “simple” as having to control our diet, experiencing some mild tingling or burning sensations, or the other end: heart disease, severe neurological symptoms, blindness, kidney disease, poor wound healing (frequently leading to gangrene and amputation), etc. Elevated blood sugar levels also cause an inflammatory response in the body, measured by CRP.

CRP (C-reactive Protein), is measured in the blood. It is released whenever there is an acute injury, infection or inflammatory stimulus. It is a marker of inflammation in the body. CRP is being used to forecast the likelihood of developing a heart attack or other degenerative diseases. As blood sugar levels rise, insulin rises in response, cortisol levels rise, and so does adrenaline. These are all pro-inflammatory hormones — they all increase inflammation in the body and contribute to cardiovascular disease.

Diabetes is not the simple disease that was originally thought. It was identified thousands of years ago by Chinese physicians, who originally defined many of the symptoms we see today (called “Shao Ke” Syndrome). Chinese practitioners had a simple way of testing for it: they would pour some of the patients’ urine on the ground by a mound of ants. If the ants went after it, the patient was diagnosed with “Shao Ke” Syndrome. It was also described in Egyptian and Indian papers as early as c. 1500 BC, as well as in Greek and Roman manuscripts many hundreds of years later. It is just recently that western medicine has associated these same symptoms and collectively calls it “diabetes.”

While managing blood sugar isn’t always easy, it is possible. Where there is insulin resistance — a term used when chronically high blood sugar eventually causes the body to resist being able to get glucose into the cell (needed for cellular energy) — it can be changed.

Balance is key, but when it has progressed to diabetes and/or insulin resistance, more work is needed. Getting help sooner than later can make a profound difference in the time and work required to get it under control. Learn more by attending our upcoming health class, How to Balance Blood Sugar Naturally, Wednesday, November 7 p.m. at Vital Health in CDA. Fee: $10. RSVP: (208) 765-1994.

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Holly Carling is a Doctor of Oriental Medicine, Licensed Acupuncturist, Doctor of Naturopathy, Clinical Nutritionist and Master Herbologist with nearly four decades of experience. Carling is a “Health Detective,” she looks beyond your symptom picture and investigates WHY you are experiencing your symptoms in the first place. Carling is currently accepting new patients and offers natural health care services and whole food nutritional supplements in her Coeur d’Alene clinic. Visit Carling’s website at www.vitalhealthcda.com to learn more about Carling, view a list of upcoming health classes and read other informative articles. Carling can be reached at (208) 765-1994 and would be happy to answer any questions regarding this topic.

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