OK, for the first week of my virtual book club we supposedly read the first sections of the latest edition (2011) of "Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution" by Richard K. Bernstein, M.D. -- through page 54.
I have always enjoyed hearing his amazing success story (page xiii) and this time was just as touching and inspirational as my previous readings. That he has not just survived T1 since 1946, but has also both thrived and helped so many other diabetics is quite amazing. After sixty-six years of T1 he is chipper, spry, bright, busy, happy and helping others all over the world. Wow.
The anecdotal evidence of his successful patients' stories (page 3) is bitter-sweet every time I read them. There is so much suffering, so much fear -- and then again, so much healing and hope. People freely and honestly admit how hard it has been for them to accept the intensity of Dr. Bernstein's approach -- especially giving up former favorite foods. But when it's a question of eyesight vs. gorging on sweets, is there really any question at all? Really?
In Chapter 1 (page 35) he gets into "Diabetes: The Basics". After ten years with diabetes, there wasn't a lot in there that surprised me, but I was very personally moved by the description he gives of the vicious cycle of insulin resistance: "...Since he's resistant to insulin, his pancreas has to work that much harder to produce insulin to enable him to utilize the carbohydrate he consumes...but his blood sugar continues to rise, since his cells are unable to utilize all of the glucose derived from his meal. Bob, therefore, still feels hungry...the excess insulin and the 'hungry' cells in his brain prompt him to want to eat yet more food...Even after all this food, he still may feel many of the symptoms of hunger."
It's really gratifying to finally hear doctors saying to diabetics and the general public what the obese have been saying for years, "Yes, I know I ate a lot of food -- I'm not stupid -- but nevertheless, I'm still hungry!" It's not our imagination, nor are we lying gluttons; this bottomless pit of hunger that so many obese people experience is a biochemical result of insulin resistance (genes) coupled with a high-carb diet (culture.) I have already experienced a huge drop in my hungry feelings just as a result of cutting way back on carbs, especially "fast" carbs like pasta, bread and starches.
Have you read this part of the book? What did you think?
For next week, I'll be reading pages 55 through 114, "Tests" through "The Law of Small Numbers."