Dr. Mark Hyman: The Blood Sugar Solution
The 700 Club
Dr. Mark Hyman says a staggering 1 out of 2 Americans suffers from diabesity—the condition of metabolic imbalance and disease that ranges from mild blood sugar imbalance to full-blown diabetes. Even a mild imbalance can cause major health problems. “Diabesity is the underlying cause that drives most chronic illnesses,” he says. “Diabesity is the single biggest cause of type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease, cancer, stroke, and dementia in the United States. Yet most doctors still don’t know how to properly diagnose and treat this metabolic disorder even though type 2 diabetes has tripled since the 1980s.” Dr. Hyman estimates that diabesity affects more than 1.7 billion people worldwide, and 90 percent of cases will go undiagnosed. He says there are no national screening recommendations or treatment guidelines to catch diabesity in its early stages, despite the fact that insulin resistance is directly responsible for millions of premature deaths every year.
Fortunately, you can win the war against diabesity, even if you’ve been fighting weight and blood sugar problems for decades, even if you’ve tried every diet under the sun without success, and even if you’re already on insulin or drugs for diabetes, high blood sugar, cholesterol, high blood pressure, depression, and other diabesity-triggered conditions. But Dr. Hyman says there’s a catch. “You can’t sit around waiting for medications to fix you. Pills simply mask the problem,” he says. Dr. Hyman’s step-by-step plan, The Blood Sugar Solution, is a personalized approach to health that works by pinpointing and then eliminating the true underlying causes of your blood sugar dysfunction. It treats the imbalances in your body that are driving the disease, rather than merely treating symptoms as they pop up. Put another way, it treats the true causes of your weight gain and illness instead of just papering over symptoms with medications. He says the rationale behind this approach is simple: when you restore balance to the seven key areas of your biology, great health happens. Illness and disease go away, practically as a side effect. Dr. Hyman explains that with The Blood Sugar Solution, there’s no misguided effort to “stabilize” your blood sugar or “manage” the problem with drugs, because that’s where he believes conventional medicine takes a wrong turn. “Taking the prescription drug route is usually the worst thing you can do because your problems will just keep snowballing,” he says. “You’ll start with a pill for blood sugar … then soon you’ll need another pill for cholesterol … then another pill for high blood pressure … and then even more pills for depression, neuropathy, and other problems triggered by blood sugar disease. Then, you’ll need insulin injections as well when you cross over into full-blown diabetes. It’s not a pretty picture. And it’s made worse by the fact that these drugs are ineffective, have side effects, and can even increase your risk for death in some cases.” Rather than letting you fall into this trap, The Blood Sugar Solution helps you treat the underlying root causes of the condition. “I want to help you cure your diabesity once and for all, not just “control” it,” says Dr. Hyman.
Dr. Hyman’s six-week healthy-living program helps you rebalance the key systems in your body that will naturally bring about normal blood sugar, ideal weight, and true health for life — a state he calls, “UltraWellness.” His seven keys put you on a straight and rapid path to healthy blood sugar success, and all it takes from you is a simple commitment to health. The seven keys to achieving peak wellness include:
- Boost Nutrition: Our current American diet is a problem for what it contains – too much sugar, processed fats, and salt, additives, hormones and pesticides, and genetically altered inflammatory proteins – and for what it doesn’t contain: omega-3 fats, fiber, magnesium, zinc, B and D vitamins, antioxidants, and more. “What is at the end of our fork is more important than what is at the bottom of any pill bottle,” Dr. Hyman asserts. “Our grocery store should be our pharmacy.”
- Regulate Hormones: Our hormones – insulin hormone, sex hormones, adrenal or stress hormones, and thyroid hormones – are interconnected. A critical key to health is proper balance and regulation of hormones.
- Reduce Inflammation: Anything that causes inflammation will, in turn, cause insulin resistance. And anything that causes insulin resistance will cause inflammation. Finding and eliminating the causes of inflammation along with supporting normal immune function is key to health and longevity.
- Optimize Digestion: The American diet of highly processed, high-sugar, high-fat, low-fiber foods has substantially altered the bacteria that historically grew in our digestive tracts, and the change has been linked to weight gain and diabetes. Fixing digestion is the key to health.
- Enhance Detoxification: Everyone is focused on lifestyle, calories in/calories out and medication for diabetes. But scientific data shows that environmental toxins interfere with blood sugar and cholesterol metabolism and cause insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Specific strategies to enhance detoxification support health and weight loss.
- Maximize Energy Metabolism: Our metabolism turns calories and oxygen into the energy that fuels every cell in our body. This energy is made in little factories in our cells called mitochondria. When these are not working properly, we suffer all the symptoms of low energy: fatigue, slow metabolism, weight gain, memory loss, pain, rapid aging, and more. There are specific ways to protect energy system and boost metabolism.
- Soothe Your Mind: In the face of chronic stress, our levels of insulin, cortisol, and inflammatory compounds called cytokines all increase. This drives the relentless metabolic dysfunction that leads to weight gain, insulin resistance, and ultimately diabetes. Soothing the mind is a key strategy to maintain optimal well-being.
Dr. Hyman offers a powerful manifesto to “Take Back our Health” – a call to action for us as individuals, families, communities, schools, workplaces, and faith-based groups in a diverse community-based movement, which he declares, “is the only way to effectively reverse the diabesity epidemic…to help not only ourselves, but our children and their children.” Dr. Hyman has dedicated his career to identifying and addressing the root causes of chronic illness through a groundbreaking whole-systems medicine approach known as Functional Medicine. Through his private practice, education efforts, writing, research, advocacy and public-policy work, he strives to improve access to Functional Medicine, and to widen the understanding and practice of it, empowering others to stop managing symptoms and instead treat the underlying causes of illness, thereby also tackling our chronic-disease epidemic. With Drs. Dean Ornish and Michael Roizen, Dr. Hyman crafted and helped to introduce the Take Back Your Health Act of 2009 into the United States Senate, to provide for reimbursement of lifestyle treatment of chronic disease. He continues to work in Washington on health reform, recently testifying before a Congressional hearing on Functional Medicine, nutrition and the use of dietary supplements. He has worked with President Clinton and the Clinton Foundation and presented at the Health Matters, Achieving Wellness in Every Generation.
Through his work with corporations, church groups, and government entities, such as CIGNA, the Veterans Administration, Google, and Saddleback Church, he is helping to improve health outcomes and reduce costs around the world. He initiated and is a key participant in the ongoing development of a faith-based initiative, called “The Daniel Plan,” that enrolled over 14,000 people at Saddleback Church in a healthy lifestyle program and research study. The participants lost more than a quarter of a million pounds over the course of a year and Dr. Hyman was amazed by the success. He attributes the success largely on the fact that it wasn’t individuals working alone towards his or her own goal, but a group coming together to encourage one another to succeed. He says health doesn’t happen in a doctor’s office, it happens in church, where people live, and where they work and play. In recognition of his efforts with The Daniel Plan, he was recently awarded The Council on Litigation Management’s 2010 Professionalism Award, citing individuals who have demonstrated leadership by example in the highest standard of their profession.
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