Archive for the ‘Diabetes’ Category.


The events of any given day may bring on a desire to eat. The familiar and obvious smell of fresh baked goods when you walk past a bakery can trigger an addictive attack, as can a more subtle (and seemingly irrelevant) event like a disagreement with a colleague at your place of work.We call these day-to-day experiences “addiction triggers.” Here is a list of some of the most common triggers we have observed in the carbohydrate addicts we have treated at the Carbohydrate Addict’s Center.
EMOTIONAL STATES The following feelings may provoke a desire to eat:Anger you can’t expressA sense of being out-of-control or of being powerlessDepressionExcitementFrustrationSelf-blame
DAY-TO-DAY ACTIVITIESMany quite unexceptional day-to-day activities can cause the carbohydrate addict to progress to higher addiction levels. These include:Changes in home lifeChanges in working conditionsExerciseIllnessPregnancyPremenstrual changesQuitting smoking• Stressful situations of almost any kind EATING HABITSNot surprisingly, a range of dietary and nutritional factors can also trigger addictive response’s. Among them are:Extreme dietingThe sight or smell of foodRapid weight gainRapid weight loss
HIGH-CARBOHYDRATE FOODSConsuming high-carbohydrate foods is another surefire way to trigger the desire for more carbohydrates. Among the foods that most of our dieters have found trigger their addictions are:Bread and other grain products, including bagels, cookies, cereals, cakes, crackers, pastries, doughnuts, and rolls.Fruit of all kinds, including grapes (and raisins), bananas, cherries, date’s, apples, and oranges. Juices too.Sweet dessert foods, including ice cream, chocolate, candy, puddings, sherbets.Snack foods like popcorn, potato chips, pretzels, cheese puffs, and nuts.And other foods, too. including some beans (Boston baked beans, rich with molasses, is a classic trigger); all kinds of pasta, from simple spaghetti and egg noodles to ziti and ravioli; rice (alone and in other dishes); French fries; and—don’t forget— plain sugar, too, even just a spoonful of it in your coffee or tea.*22\236\2*


It is your diabetes and you are the person who has to live with it. The sooner you get used to adjusting your own insulin dose the better. I am astounded by the number of diabetics who know that their glucose control is poor but who wait, sometimes for months, until their next appointment for the doctor to tell them to increase their insulin. Many diabetics are afraid that a small change in their insulin dose will cause a catastrophic hypoglycemic reaction. It is most unusual for this to happen. I usually suggest that anyone who needs to alter the insulin dose starts by adjusting it by one unit at the appropriate time and watches what happens over the next two or three days, making further one unit changes as needed after this. Gradually, most diabetics find that they can make adjustments of two, three or four units at a time if necessary. Discuss how you should set about adjusting your insulin dose with your doctor or diabetic adviser.
I need hardly say that you should reduce your insulin if you are suffering hypoglycemic episodes and increase it if your blood glucose level is high. If you are taking a combination of insulins you must consider which one is acting at that particular time.

Adjusting your diet
In trying to correct a low or high blood glucose level at a given time of day, it may be simpler, or more appropriate, to adjust your diet rather than your insulin or pills. Perhaps you are using extra energy at that time and need an extra snack. But beware of a common trap – too much insulin makes you hungry or hypoglycemic, so you eat more and your glucose level goes up, then you take more insulin and get hungry again, then you eat more and get fat and become even more resistant to the action of insulin. Perhaps the timing of your meals or snacks could be modified.

Energetic Ed attends our clinic. He has succeeded in adjusting his diet to suit a varied and very active life.
Ed is twenty-four years old and works as a general builder and decorator. He is a very athletic man; he plays tennis several times a week, plays football most weekends and plays the drums in a rock group. He has been diabetic for four years and has never let his diabetes get in his way. He takes rapid-acting and medium-acting insulin twice daily – sixteen units Velosulin and twenty-eight units Insulatard in the morning and ten units Velosulin with eighteen units Insulatard in the evening.
One Monday morning he was going to demolish a brick wall as part of a renovation scheme on a large project. He knew that this would use more energy than, for example, painting or carpentry. That morning therefore, he reduced his fast-acting Velosulin by four units and not only ate a larger breakfast than usual (double helpings of cereal, and an extra slice of toast) but took an extra snack to eat during the morning. He always plays tennis on Monday nights so his usual food and insulin were already adjusted for that.
The following day Ed’s job was to prepare some of the outside woodwork for painting. Because this was less energetic, he had his usual insulin and food that morning. However, at lunchtime he played an unexpected and vigorous game of football with his mates and ate his emergency biscuits from the tin he always keeps in his toolbox. That night his rock group was booked to play at a birthday party. Ed puts everything he’s got into the drumming! He reduced his evening Velosulin to eight units and, because it was a late night party, reduced his Insulatard to sixteen units. He ate his usual evening meal but had a snack while he was setting up the amplifiers at the party. He also ate some bread, cheese and fruit at the party. He restricted his beer intake to one pint (unlike the rest of the group) because he had had a bad hypoglycemic attack two years previously after a similar party when he drank too much and ate too little and his glucose fell during the night. When he finally got home at three in the morning he had a bowl of cereal before he went to bed.



The pancreas is a gland which lies near the liver, stomach, and duodenum. It has a number of secretions, some of which go directly into the intestine and are concerned with digestion. One secretion goes instead into the blood and is intimately concerned with the way in which the body uses sugars. This substance is called insulin. A deficiency of insulin in the body results in a chronic disease called diabetes mellitus. Diabetes has been known for thousands of years and was described by ancient Greek and Chinese writers, who were principally concerned with the large amounts of fluids excreted by the body in this condition. The fact that the urine contained sugar was first noted in the seventeenth century. Not until 1889 was it proved that diabetes results from failure of the pancreas. In 1921 Banting prepared an extract of the pancreas which is now called insulin. At least a million people now in the United States have diabetes, and the number increases, because the condition tends to come on with advanced years. More than half the people with diabetes develop the condition before they are fifty years old. Women are affected more frequently than men, particularly in diabetes in advanced years.
Studies of diabetes show that heredity plays an important part. This relationship is becoming more and more clear as people with diabetes tend to live longer and have more children. Once diabetes in childhood was considered invariably fatal. Now these children grow up, marry, and have families. We now know that if both parents are diabetic, the children will most certainly inherit the disease. Overweight is also important in relationship to diabetes. Not everyone who is overweight develops the disease. In fact, diabetes is seen in only a small proportion of the people who are overweight. However, nine out of ten people who develop diabetes are overweight. Among those who are overweight and who develop diabetes, dieting and restoration to normal weight lessens the severity of the symptoms and sometimes controls the condition. The person who is overweight, however, can produce more and more insulin and this may be a factor in exhausting the function of the pancreas. Both the pituitary gland and the adrenal glands are also related in their functions to the use of sugar by the body. Excessive action of the pituitary gland may result in the appearance of sugar in the urine. Excessive action of the thyroid gland may make diabetes worse by increasing the work of the gland, through the fact that the person is taking in large amounts of food.