I had diabetes as well as high blood pressure and cholesterol. Let me stress the key word in the previous sentence, “had.” Managing the business of you involves ensuring we have resources to do what we need to do with our limited time, energy and attention in this life time. A key resource is obviously our health but there’s another just as important if not more which is our ingestion of information. Let me explain.
I found myself deeply concerned when I was almost turned away from a surgery because of high blood pressure. For years, I assumed it was genetics. Having taken over cooking for the family, I changed our diet practically eliminating going out to eat. We bought a treadmill and began adding more exercise to our already over-constrained schedule. And, yet, there I was being counseled by the anesthesiologist as she brought my blood pressure into an acceptable range for my surgery. After which I began to search for information about what I could do about my predicament other than the standard medical advice of “diet and lifestyle.” What does that even mean!
I’m an avid reader and listener to podcasts. I happened across a reference to a Canadian doctor who was helping people reverse diabetes. I downloaded the audio book so I could listen on the way to work. What I learned from The Diabetes Code by Jason Fung fundamentally changed my life. Diabetes along with cardiovascular disease are associated with metabolic syndrome. Diabetes is characterized by too much or too little glucose in our bodies. I was on the typical path of more than half the people world wide. My doctors prescribed diabetes medications about ten years ago. My heart doctor prescribed blood pressure and cholesterol medications. At the beginning of this year, I was taking 6 different medications. I was a diligent patient and followed all the directions trusting the health industry had my best interests in mind. While the individual doctors want to help, the entire system has some issues we all know about. I don’t want to get into those. What I will share is how science and the pursuit of truth still exists. That’s where Jason’s book comes into play.
Dr. Jason Fung does an excellent job of building a solid argument with new data, meta-data analyses of long “understood” data, and scientific reasoning of how our thinking and societal habits around eating are not supportive of our basic metabolic needs. To feed a world of more than seven billion people, we had to transform agriculture in the last century. Business and more importantly our ego bound profit motive went for the ride and fundamentally changed our approach to eating that had been around for thousands of millennia. Before the 1940’s it was common to not have three meals a day. Going back into the 1800’s our eating could be once a day or every few days depending on our situation. Exploring the past further, it’s easy to see how our hunting and gathering ancestors may have gone for weeks without much to eat. We lived in a feast or famine type world for a very very long time. We fasted on a regular basis as we had to. Our biology adapted to these environmental constraints. When we don’t eat, our bodies switch from using available glucose to stored glucose. We go into a natural state of ketosis when the body burns stores of glucose.
Returning to the present day when we have gotten used to and even expect three square meals a day. What is a square meal anyway? Not eating is seen as negative. And thus The Toronto Metabolic Clinic dares to think again and achieves some seriously excellent results. While I have not attended the clinic, I did read a follow on book about fasting that Jason wrote with Jimmy Moore. In January of this year, I started my own intermittent fasting plan. Realizing I’d have to convince my doctors of my results, I started collecting data on myself including weight, glucose, ketones, blood pressure and other parameters. I also had my blood work up front to establish a baseline by which i could compare my monthly progress to. My wife joined me after a month or so and to make a long story short after 6 months my primary doctor agreed to see what happens after I went off all my medications. I’m still not taking medications and working my weight down to a level she and I agreed upon. My blood work has returned to the levels before I started my medications. My liver function has never been better. I effectively and practically have reversed diabetes lowered my blood pressure and cholesterol. I’m finding my own eating regimen that fits with my lifestyle.
One of our greatest resources is information vetted by professionals and scientists who evaluate data from multiple perspectives. While our society is facing many issues arising from misinformation, there are still threads of truth and value amongst the information chaff. It is our responsibility to sift through information, evaluate its validity, and determine its value for our biz. Applying well vetted information to our lives has the potential to extend our lives. I know this as I’m demonstrating it by reducing the risks of mortality associated with diabetes, high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol levels. I’m back to normal which is a most wondrous thing.
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