THE EIGHT ESSENTIALS
The Low Carb Diabetes Association is named for the most scientifically proven diet designed to prevent diabetes and control all types of diabetes. However, the LCDA advocates a much more comprehensive integrative diabetic protocol, which we have named “The Eight Essentials”®.
The Eight Essentials® consists of the eight most noted categories that will help pre-diabetic patients and diabetic patients move from victims to victors. Spreading this information is the mission statement of the LCDA.
The Eight Essentials® consists of these categories:
1. Whole Food Low Carb Diet
4. Stress management
5. A healthy gut/microbiome
6. Environmental Detoxification
7. Supplementation (vitamins, minerals, oils, nutraceuticals, and botanicals)
Essential #1 is the diet. The diet is the key to diabetes prevention and treatment. Although a vegan, macrobiotic type high carb outlier diet called MA-PI2 has been shown to be effective at helping to control diabetes, a low carbohydrate diet in many variations is a standard diet in most comprehensive integrative protocols, and the science is established about its benefits. Without focusing on the diet, and spending time to teach patients how to implement it, diabetic patients will not be able to achieve good control, will require more and more medications and may develop complications. Diets also need to be high in nutrients, and anti-inflammatory, as inflammation is a key facet of insulin resistance and diabetic complications. This is why the diet is our #1 Essential, and needs to be included in a comprehensive integrative protocol of diabetes.
The #2 Essential is exercise. Muscles use a great deal of glucose and fat when being used and even when at rest. Creating and committing to an exercise regimen is vital for patients with pre-diabetes or diabetes. The LCDA encourages aerobic exercise, such as jogging, treadmills, elliptical machines, swimming, rowing, hiking, and resistance exercise, using weights, chin-ups, sit-ups, squats, exercises which isolate a group of muscles and push them fairly hard. Individuals should be analyzed by their medical practitioner if any type of cardiovascular work-up is necessary before beginning to exercise. A knowledgeable physician and/or personal trainer can help pre-diabetic and diabetic patients in starting an exercise regimen. Exercise is a highly important aspect of a comprehensive integrative protocol of diabetes.
The #3 Essential is sleep management. The National Sleep Foundation says that forty-five percent of Americans have poor or insufficient sleep at least one time a week. Many Americans do not wake up feeling refreshed and ready to go. Health is associated with sleep quality. Sixty-Seven percent of Americans who sleep poorly have “poor” or “only fair” health. Not getting enough sleep can significantly increase the risk of developing diabetes. Having sleep apnea, a condition where breathing is interrupted during sleep, really increases the risk of developing obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Not all patients have sleep problems, and a knowledgeable physician can help discern which patient needs sleep analysis. This is why the LCDA believes that focusing on sleep, and promoting good, deep sleep for 7-9 hours a night needs to be included in a comprehensive integrative protocol of diabetes.
Stress management is the #4 Essential. Poorly managed stress can increase both the development of, and worsen control of, diabetes. And, diabetes can cause a great deal of stress, as well, having to poke fingers for glucose, watch the diet, worry about complications, take medications, and have poor control even though following a medical practitioners advice. A knowledgeable physician can help discern which patient needs stress management. This is why the LCDA advocates for focusing on lowering stress, and includes it as a key part of a comprehensive integrative protocol of diabetes.
The gut microbiome is the #5 Essential. The microbiome is the collection of gut bacteria, viruses and fungal species in our intestines, and has a huge role in a person’s overall health in the gut and in the rest of the body. A healthy microbiome protects us against auto-immunity, insulin resistance, weight gain, depression and anxiety and does many other functions. The gut microbiome helps us absorb nutrients and detoxify our body. There are many ways to negatively effect the microbiome and lose those functions it should perform, and cause damage to the lining of the intestine, causing intestinal permeability, gut inflammation, and digestive problems. Not all patients have problematic microbiomes, and a knowledgeable physician can help discern which patient does. That is why the LCDA has made returning the gut to health and maintaining the healthy microbiome a priority in a comprehensive integrative protocol of diabetes.
The #6 Essential is detoxification. Environmental toxins are highly associated with causing insulin resistance and auto-immunity. Environmental toxins are chemicals and heavy metals found in our air, our food, our water, in the toxins sprayed on crops, and used by exterminators inside and outside our homes. Environmental toxins can have devastatingly negative effects on our health, and may lead to the development of both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Engaging in detoxification programs may prevent the onset of diabetes and may help diabetic patients be healthier and lose weight easier. Not all patients need detoxification, and a knowledgeable physician can help discern which patient needs it. That is why the LCDA feels detoxification must be part of a comprehensive integrative protocol of diabetes.
The #7 Essential is supplementation. The use of supplementation is extremely helpful for patients with diabetes but is not in and of itself a cure. Supplementation synergistically enhances a patient engaged in all the other appropriate Essentials they have been analyzed as needing to address. The use of vitamins, minerals, omega-3 oils, nutraceuticals, and botanicals is important as many patients are nutrient deficient, or have bodies that need help having more energy, lowering their glucose levels, having better moods, getting better sleep, reducing inflammation, enhancing their antioxidant status, controlling the appetite, helping the other Essentials,and so forth, actions that supplements can support. That is why the LCDA feels supplementation must be part of a comprehensive integrative protocol of diabetes.
The #8 Essential is prescription medications. Obviously, Type 1 diabetic patients require insulin replacement, but many patients are not taught well how to combine food and insulin dosing to ensure level glucose readings without highs and lows. In Type 2 diabetes, many oral hypoglycemic agents, non-insulin injectables, and also insulin are prescribed. Unfortunately, most of them do not truly deal with insulin resistance, the key etiological factor of Type 2 diabetes. The LCDA acknowledges the value of medication when medication is necessary. The LCDA also acknowledges there are times when Type 2 diabetic patients do not need medications to get glucose levels under control and may be able to reduce or stop medications when actively following a comprehensive integrative protocol for diabetes.
The Low Carb Diabetes Association wants to educate society to empower people to prevent the onset of diabetes, and to control or reverse diabetes by following “The Eight Essentials.” That requires finding a physician who does comprehensive integrative care of diabetes. Search our Physician tab to find a physician near you.
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