Imbalance

Obesity is a hormonal imbalance, not a caloric one. The hormonal problem in undesired weight gain is mainly excessive insulin. Thus, type 2 diabetes, too, is a disease about insulin imbalance rather than caloric imbalance.

“The Diabetes Code” by Dr. Jason Fung

For resistance to develop, two essential factors are required: high hormonal levels and constant stimulus. Normally, insulin is released in bursts, preventing insulin resistance from developing. But when the body is constantly bombarded with insulin, resistance develops. It should be obvious by now that, since resistance develops in response to high, persistent levels of a stimulus, raising the dose only leads to more resistance. It’s a vicious, self-reinforcing cycle: exposure creates resistance. Resistance leads to higher exposure. Higher exposure increases resistance.

“The Diabetes Code” by Dr. Jason Fung

In our train analogy, one way to pack more people into the train is to hire “subway pushers.” In New York City in the 1920s, people were forcibly shoved into the packed trains. While this practice has died out in North America, it still exists in Japan. When passengers are left standing on the platform, “passenger arrangement staff” push more people onto the train. Hyperinsulinemia is the body’s subway pusher. It shoves glucose into the already stuffed cell. When glucose is left outside, the body produces extra insulin to forcibly push more glucose into the cell. This tactic works at first, but as more and more glucose is forced inside the overstuffed cell, more force is required. Insulin resistance causes compensatory hyperinsulinemia. But what was the initial cause? Hyperinsulinemia. It’s a vicious cycle.

“The Diabetes Code” by Dr. Jason Fung

I had a meeting with a counsellor today. We were talking about things that could possibly be related to some of the things I want to change (such as sleep quality), and one of the things that came up was blood glucose.

When I was studying at UBC, a blood test revealed that I was prediabetic. I exercised a lot while I was at UBC, so it was a surprise. Though, if I think more about it, it really should have been expected.

I was a vegetarian, though I ate very little fruits and vegetables. Most of my meals consisted of breads, rice, and pasta. And my snacks were often cookies, muffins, and other sweets.

I was able to get my fasting blood glucose back into normal range (albeit, still on the high side of normal) by going on an extremely low carb diet for 6 months. To make this easier on myself, I decided to lose the vegetarianism.

More recently, I find that the health of my insulin resistance appears to cycle with my diet.

For the past 4 years, I’ve been doing a 6 month bulk and a 6 month cut. During my cut, my fasting blood sugar is usually pretty good. During my bulk, I tend to find myself back in that prediabetes range.

So I’m curious once I get going on my diet again this year and my insulin regulation is back under control whether that will be one less factor having a negative impact on my sleep.

I’ve got another slough of suggested bloodwork to go through, but at least there’s another path to look towards for improvement.

I’m also curious whether if instead of a rapid bulk if I try a lean bulk, whether that would decrease the impact on my insulin resistance. May also experiment with a couple other nutrition patterns this year to see what is effective and sustainable.

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