HOLLY CARLING: The sugar path

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Whenever we hear about blood sugar challenges we think of sugar consumption, cravings and feeling deprived if we are told we cannot keep consuming it. Or, we think of the disease aspects — primarily obesity and diabetes — but not some of the other ramifications of sugar intake.

We are continually learning about the negative effects of sugar on our health. I think, for the most part, people realize that eating sugar isn’t good for them. But, many don’t know why, other than those two primary diseases, but it is deeper than that.

For the sake of simplicity, when I say “sugar,” I mean primarily refined sugar, however, carbohydrates turn into sugar, and there is fruit sugar and many other types of sugar — all are referenced here to varying degrees under the generic term “sugar.” Eating “sugar” has many detrimental effects on our body.

When sugar is consumed it affects the blood. When sugar levels are too high, they erode the vessels. It can lead to hardening of the arteries, and microscopic cracking of the vascular walls. The body then responds by sending cholesterol to heal the damage. Now you have thickened blood due to high glucose, triglyceride and cholesterol levels. This thickened blood can raise blood pressure and now you’ve increased your risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack or stroke.

Eating sugar robs the body of B vitamins. B vitamins are essential for proper functioning of the heart and nervous system. They are important for cellular metabolism, the release of energy, and coenzymes for many metabolic processes. Many heart, blood, skin, mental health and neurological dis-eases have a root in B vitamin deficiency.

Sugar is an acid, and as such, pulls minerals to try to neutralize it. Minerals are critical for organ function — every organ in the body has a mineral which it is dependent on for function. As you rob the body of these critical minerals, a variety of health issues are likely to happen.

But what about low blood sugar. On the surface that may sound like you’re eating too little sugar, but it is quite the opposite. In the world of sugar consumption, always remember “what goes up, must come down!” The degree of drop in blood sugar (in the beginning), is generally commensurate with the amount of sugar consumed. The more sugar you consume, the farther blood sugar will drop. That is until the pancreas gets burned out and the cells become resistant to insulin. Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), always precedes type II diabetes. You can have low blood sugar for months, years and even decades before it spirals down to diabetes. For some that never happens. But for those with type II diabetes (also known as acquired diabetes) the path was the same.

There is much we can do to control sugar and not go down the path of disease. Finding a health practitioner that doesn’t just manage your disease, but helps you to reverse it is a better path to follow.

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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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