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My wife, Heather, and I are doing a six week sugar cleanse before Thanksgiving. The greatest part of cutting sugar is your sweet taste buds recalibrate so you don’t crave it as often and, when do you indulge, you are satiated more quickly. It just so happens that November is American Diabetes Month, so ProActive Chiropractic invited our favorite family medicine MD to guest write on the topic.

This is an timely article as we go into the holidays. Thank you to Dr. Payal Bhandari, MD for a concise, information-packed article:

Here are just a few of the recent statistics about diabetes in the United States:

  • Nearly 30 million children and adults have diabetes.
  • Another 86 million Americans have prediabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
  • The total national cost of diagnosed diabetes is estimated to be $245 billion, according to the American Diabetes Association.
  • Diabetes is 99% preventable. Diabetes can be reversed.

Education is the key to preventing and reversing diabetes.

Every day, most Americans consume about three times the amount of added sugar recommended for a healthy diet. There is growing evidence that all this sugar is not just making us overweight, it is making us sick.

Unlike sugar found naturally in whole foods like fresh fruit, added sugar is any caloric sweetener that is added in food preparation – whether it’s at the table, kitchen or processing plant.  It can be difficult to know how much sugar we are consuming, since added sugar is hidden in 74% of all processed foods, ranging from bread to salad dressing.  Added sugar masquerades under at least 60 aliases like sucrose and high-fructose corn syrup.

How much added sugar is considered too much?  The recommended amount is 1 teaspoon of added sugar, or 4 grams, per day.  Major health impacts occur when women exceed 6 teaspoons (25 grams), men exceed 9 teaspoons (38 grams), and children exceed 3 teaspoons (12 grams) per day. (See our prior post on this)

The metabolism of excess levels of sugar cause most of the same toxic effects as excess alcohol since the liver metabolizes sugar and ethanol (a.k.a., alcohol) the same way.  Short term sugar overload causes issues like hot flashes, bloating, abdominal and bladder pain, flu-like symptoms, and more.  Long term, there are more than 70 documented adverse effects like insulin resistance/diabetes, failing liver, kidneys, eyes, thyroid, and heart, cancer, dementia, stroke, infertility, and developmental delay.

Americans are developing diabetes and corresponding diseases at younger ages.  If you are interested in preventing and/or reversing diabetes and corresponding diseases contact Dr. Payal. Thanks Doc.