Pastors, church staff, and congregations… are sickly. Sickly in that the latest statistics indicate that the U.S. now has up to 24 million people with diagnosed diabetes, which is 8% of our total population. But, the picture is even darker when it comes to the frequency of pre-diabetes which is impaired fasting glucose.
Almost 26% of U.S. adults over the age of 20 and more than 35% of seniors (age 60 and older) are pre-diabetics. In total, that’s 57 million Americans walking around with pre-diabetes, in addition to the 24 million who have already crossed that sickly line.
That means more than one in four Americans has either pre-diabetes or the full-blown disease…which means that one in four in your congregation has either pre-diabetes or full-blown diabetes – including the pastor and his church’s staff. The world, the flesh and the devil are playing a dangerous diabetic game here in the church of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Pre-diabetes has no Symptoms
Pre-diabetes is a condition that doesn’t have symptoms, meaning that people can have it without even knowing it much like the silent killer – high blood pressure. Left unchecked, pre-diabetes can tragically lead to full-blown type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Fortunately, pre-diabetes can be diagnosed with a simple test, and treatment can prevent many health problems and complications.
Diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2: What’s the Difference?
Diabetes (also known as diabetes mellitus) is a chronic condition traditionally marked by high levels of glucose in your blood which is called “high blood sugar”.
Type 1 is called insulin-dependent diabetes (also known as juvenile onset diabetes), and type 2 is called non-insulin-dependent diabetes (or adult onset diabetes).
Type 1: Insulin-Dependent’ Diabetes
In Type 1 diabetes, your body’s immune system destroys the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas, resulting in a complete deficiency of the hormone insulin. This deficiency of insulin is why Type 1 is called “insulin-dependent” – because type 1 diabetics must give themselves supplemental insulin.
Our preoccupation with sun avoidance plays a major role in the development of type 1 diabetes. The further you move away from the equator, the greater your risk for this disease especially those living above the 37th parallel as you’ll see below in the Vitamin D section.
Women can help reduce their children’s risk of type 1 diabetes by optimizing their vitamin D levels prior to, and during their pregnancy as vitamin D has been shown to suppress certain cells of the immune system that may play a role in the development of the disorder. More on Vitamin D a bit later.
Type 2: Non-Insulin-Dependent Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is by far the more common form of the disease, affecting 90 to 95% of diabetics, and is completely preventable and nearly 100% curable.
Since your insulin is inadequate, sugar can’t get into your cells and instead builds up in your blood, causing a variety of problems. This is why diabetics have elevated blood sugar levels.
Symptoms of type 2 diabetes include:
- Nausea and possible vomiting
- Excessive thirst Extreme hunger (even after eating)
- Unusual weight gain or loss
- Increased fatigue Blurred vision
- Slow healing of wounds
- Frequent infections (skin, urinary, vaginal)
- Numbness or tingling in hands and/or feet
Medications and supplements are NOT the answer for type 2 diabetes; restoring your sensitivity to insulin and leptin is what’s needed through proper diet.
Diabetes Is NOT a Disease of Blood Sugar
Diabetes is a disease of insulin and leptin signaling, not a disease of blood sugar, which is why the medical community’s approach to its treatment is not getting us anywhere.
In addition to diabetes, elevated insulin levels are associated with a number of diseases, including:
- Heart disease
- Peripheral vascular disease
- High blood pressure
Diabetes, like all chronic disease, results from cellular miscommunication.
Leptin: Is It the Missing Link Between Obesity and Diabetes?
Leptin is a hormone produced in your fat cells.
One of leptin’s primary roles is regulating your appetite and body weight. It tells your brain when to eat, how much to eat, and most importantly, when to stop eating. And leptin tells your brain what to do with the energy it has. Leptin is largely responsible for the accuracy of insulin signaling and whether or not you become insulin-resistant.
The only known way to reestablish proper leptin (and insulin) signaling is through proper diet.
When your blood sugar becomes elevated, insulin is released to direct the extra energy into storage. A small amount is stored as a starch called glycogen, but the majority is stored as your main energy supply – fat.
Therefore, insulin’s major role is not to lower your blood sugar, but rather to store the extra energy for future times of need. Insulin’s effect of lowering your blood sugar is merely a “side effect” of this energy storage process.
This is why diabetes treatments concentrating merely on lowering blood sugar can actually worsen, rather than remedy the actual problem of metabolic miscommunication.
Taking insulin is one of the WORST things you can do for type 2 diabetes, since it will actually worsen your insulin and leptin resistance over time.
Fructose: One of THE Major Culprits in Obesity and Diabetes
The presence of massive amounts of fructose (high fructose corn syrup) in our everyday diet is a driving force behind our terrible diabetes epidemic.
Regular table sugar is 50% fructose and 50% glucose; the two are metabolized very differently. Nearly every cell in your body was designed to use glucose for energy – especially your brain cells – but fructose breaks down into a variety of toxins that can have devastating effects on your health.
Fructose has the following adverse metabolic effects:
- Fructose does not suppress ghrelin like glucose does. Ghrelin is the “hunger hormone,” making you want more food hence you get fatter and fatter.
- Fructose does not stimulate a rise in leptin, so your satiety signals are suppressed.
- Fructose raises your insulin and your triglycerides, which effectively reduces the amount of leptin crossing your blood-brain barrier. This interferes with the communication between leptin and your hypothalamus. Your brain senses starvation and prompts you to eat more.
All of this also sets the stage for overindulgence and hence overweight, placing you on the path toward diabetes.
I strongly advise keeping your total fructose consumption below 25 grams per day.
However, it would be wise for most people to limit fructose to 15 grams or less as it’s virtually guaranteed you’ll be getting “hidden” sources of fructose from just about any processed food you eat.
This includes fruits, which also need to be carefully measured to make certain that you’re not going over the fructose limit.
Diabetes Drugs miss the Mark, and are Dangerous
Regardless of what you may have heard, you cannot successfully treat the underlying cause of diabetes with drugs.
Avandia works by making diabetes patients more sensitive to their own insulin, “helping” to control blood sugar levels. In fact, most conventional treatments for type 2 diabetes utilize drugs that either raise insulin or lower blood sugar. Avandia reduces your blood sugar by increasing the sensitivity of your liver, fat and muscle cells to insulin.
The problem is, diabetes is not a blood sugar disease. So, drugs that focus on the symptom of elevated blood sugar, rather than addressing the underlying cause, are doomed to fail in most cases.
Not only that, but drugs like Avandia have dangerous side effects, including causing extensive heart problems that have killed literally thousands of people. In fact, Avandia has been linked to a 43% increased risk of heart attack and a 64% higher risk of cardiovascular death compared to patients treated with other methods.
Is There any Good News?
Yes, nearly 100% of type 2 diabetics can be successfully cured without medications.
Here are some major critical steps to take for increasing your insulin and leptin sensitivity, thus reducing your chances for developing diabetes – or reversing it if diabetes has you:
1. Eliminate Grains and Sugars, Especially Fructose
A huge reason for the failure of conventional diabetes treatment over the last 50 years has to do with the seriously flawed dietary recommendations. Fructose and grains are largely responsible for your body’s adverse insulin reactions.
You have to eliminate ALL sugars and grains – even “healthful” grains such as whole, organic or sprouted ones. This means avoiding all breads, pasta, cereals, rice, potatoes, and corn (which is in fact a grain). This is not good news when it comes to the typical and traditional church banquets and picnics!
You need to avoid fruits until your blood sugar is under control.
Always keep in mind that your diet will make or break you if you’re diabetic or pre-diabetic. Unfortunately, the conventional dietary recommendation for diabetics – that of a high complex carbohydrate, low saturated fat diet – is the exact opposite of what actually works. What works is the high protein, low complex carbohydrate, and medium amounts of good fats diet.
High complex carbohydrates include legumes, potatoes, corn, rice and grain products. Aside from legumes, you actually want to AVOID all the rest to prevent insulin resistance. Nearly all type 2 diabetics need to swap out their grains and sugars for other foods, such as protein, green veggies and healthy sources of fat such as avocados, coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil (the real kind and not the store bought kind). You will want to take special care to eliminate all fructose, which is far more detrimental than any other type of sugar.
Drinking just one sweetened drink a day can raise your diabetes risk by 25% compared to drinking one sugary drink per month; you need to evaluate your diet and look for hidden sources of sugar and fructose. This also means avoiding processed foods of all kinds, as they are loaded with fructose. Again, you may even need to avoid fruits until your blood sugar is under control. And certainly – without exception – avoid all soft drinks including diet soft drinks.
Keep your total fructose consumption well below 25 grams per day. It would be wise for you to limit fructose to 15 grams or less, as it’s virtually guaranteed you’ll be getting “hidden” sources of fructose from just about any processed food you eat…which you should avoid at all costs. And avoid artificial sweeteners at all costs, too.
Sugars You can Consume
For those struggling with diabetes, learning to control cravings for specific foods is absolutely necessary to managing the disease. Most experts advise avoiding eating sweet and sugary foods to help ensure that blood glucose and insulin levels remain as stable as possible, but cutting out sugar entirely isn’t realistic for most people.
Whether you have diabetes or you’re at risk for developing the disease, or if you simply want to choose healthier alternatives to refined sugars, these natural sweeteners can provide healthier – and tastier – alternatives to white and brown sugars and artificial sweeteners. Try incorporating one or two of the following into your diet and enjoy the benefits of a more natural sugar substitute. And if you’ve been experiencing any of the symptoms of diabetes or prediabetes, including extreme thirst, heightened appetite, major weight loss or weight gain or frequent urination, see your doctor to discuss your risk profile and talk about the tests that can help determine if you have the disease.
Fortunately, there are several natural sugar substitutes that make satisfying your sweet tooth a tasty possibility – and many have health benefits in addition to their sweet taste. Here are five alternatives if you’re looking for a substitute for refined sugars:
Coconut sugar: Is made from the sap of the coconut palm, coconut sugar has gained a lot of attention in recent years, thanks to results of initial studies which show that it may have a lower glycemic index than refined sugars, preventing the spikes in blood sugar levels that can interfere with diabetes management and play a major role in weight management. To obtain the sugar, the sap is boiled down into a thick syrup, dried and then ground into a powder that has a flavor similar to caramel. The sugar that results retains many of the healthful properties of coconut, including nutrients like iron, zinc, calcium and potassium.
Raw honey: God’s gift from the bees and flowers, honey is available in 300 distinct varietals in the U.S., all of which have unique flavors based on the nectar source. Raw honey – especially the darker varieties like buckwheat – contains antioxidants that can help fight cell-damaging free radicals, as well as strong antibacterial properties. Because it can be easily used by the body, some studies have reported that consuming honey can improve athletic performance compared to other carb sources. Buy your raw honey from your local farmer’s market. Never buy your honey that comes in those cute little plastic bear containers because it’s highly processed and void of raw honey’s nutrition.
Date sugar: While coconut sugar comes from sap, date sugar comes from the fruit itself. In fact, it is the fruit – dried and then finely ground. That means it has the same amount of fiber as the whole fruit, as well as nutrients like vitamin B6, iron and magnesium. Since its finely powdered fruit, it doesn’t dissolve well in liquids like coffee of tea, but it is great added to other foods and can even be substituted at a 1:1 ratio in recipes that call for brown sugar.
Maple syrup: Is made from the sap of maple trees – mostly sugar maples – the sap is boiled down to create a thick, amber liquid that’s not just sweet – it’s also full of calcium, potassium, manganese, phosphorous, magnesium and iron, as well as vitamins B2, B5, B6, niacin, biotin and folic acid. Maple syrup is about 70% sugar and contains about 50 calories per tablespoon – less than corn syrup, which has 60 calories per tablespoon. To maximize your intake of vitamins and nutrients, opt for the darker, grade B syrup rather than the lighter grade A typically used over pancakes. You can also buy maple sugar, formed when the liquid in maple syrup evaporates.
Molasses: Is actually a byproduct of the white-sugar-refining process, containing all the nutrients and vitamins that are stripped away as sugar cane is refined. Including high levels of iron, calcium, potassium, manganese, magnesium and selenium as well as plenty of B vitamins, Blackstrap Molasses is quite possibly the most nutrient-rich natural sweetener around. For years, molasses was relegated primarily to use as a livestock feed, but today, more attention is being paid to its use in “people food.” There are several grades available, but blackstrap molasses contains the most nutritional benefits. You can read more about this on www.DrJoeFawcett.com when look at the Menu you’ll see “Blackstrap Molasses”, then click on it and it’ll take you to the article.
2. Monitor Your Fasting Insulin Level
This is every bit as important as your fasting blood sugar. You’ll want your fasting insulin level to be between 2 and 4. The higher your level, the worse your insulin sensitivity is.
Exercise is an absolutely essential factor, and without it, you’re highly unlikely to get this devastating disease under control. Exercise is one of the fastest and most powerful ways to lower your insulin and leptin resistance. Even a brisk 20 minute walk every day is extremely beneficial.
When your goal is to lose weight aim to walk for 20 minutes per day. If your diet isn’t as clean as it should be, boost your walking time up to an hour per day. You should be getting in 10,000 steps every day (purchase a pedometer kind of like the one the lady is wearing on her hip in the picture). How much time you walk really depends on how active you are and how much you sit.
And on the topic of sitting, use some of those steps to stand up and walk around the office or home a little at least once an hour. Prolonged time on your rear isn’t healthy and in fact is downright dangerous.
For more information you can visit www.PowerToBeWell.com – in the AAANEWS Section you can access the Exercise Section for some great help.
4. Optimize Your Vitamin D
Vitamin D deficiency has been scientifically linked to increased risk of type I diabetes, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, hypertension, cardiovascular heart disease, and many common deadly cancers.
Have you been getting adequate sun exposure? Probably not. If you’re a pastor or a church worker the odds are you rarely see the light of day. If you’re a church member the odds are you rarely see the light of day, too because you’re probably stuck in an office for at least eight hours and then drive home only to go inside and vegetate for several hours before going to bed. And the whole process repeats itself for five days out of the week. And maybe, just maybe you might get outside for a moment or two on the weekends weather permitting. There are exceptions to this, but this scenario appears to be the norm. And you’ve got to consider where you live. Those who live along or above the 37th Parallel don’t get near enough sun exposure.
Optimizing your vitamin D levels not only also treats type 2 diabetes but can virtually eliminate a child’s risk for type 1 diabetes if you’re pregnant.
It’s also vital for infants to receive the appropriate amounts of vitamin D in their early years for the same reason. All babies should get enough safe sun exposure to produce at least some of their own vitamin D. For breast-fed babies, any vitamin D gap should be supplied by their mother’s breast milk. The amount of vitamin D in breast milk is determined by the mother’s vitamin D status. If Mom’s breast milk is low in vitamin D, then she needs to safely increase her level by sun exposure, supplementing with vitamin D3, and/or adding vitamin D rich foods to her diet. A Finnish study demonstrated that supplementing the mother with 2,000 IU of vitamin D per day was equivalent to supplementing the baby with a very healthy 400 IU per day.
Ideally, you’ll want expose a large amount of your skin to appropriate amounts of sunshine on a regular basis, year-round. Your body can safely create anywhere from 10,000 up to 20,000 IU’s of vitamin D a day by direct UV exposure. If you’re not getting regular sun exposure on large amounts of your skin you may need anywhere from 2,000 to 20,000 units of oral vitamin D3 per day depending upon your needs.
If you choose to take a high dosage oral supplement, it’s essential that you get your level tested regularly by a proficient lab to make sure it’s in the therapeutic range, which is 50 to 70 ng/ml.
More and more studies confirm the power of vitamin D, a steroid hormone, to influence virtually every cell in your body. Receptors that respond to vitamin D have been found in nearly every type of human cell, from your bones to your brain. Recent research shows that women can help reduce their children’s risk of Type 1 diabetes by optimizing their vitamin D levels prior to and during pregnancy, as vitamin D has been shown to suppress certain cells of the immune system that may be a factor in the disease.
Studies published between 1990 and 2009 also revealed a significant link between high levels of vitamin D and a lowered risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, along with cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome. It’ll likely take decades before healthy policy catches up with what overwhelming scientific evidence has already revealed about the benefits of vitamin D, and before increased sunlight exposure becomes the norm. But you don’t have to take part in the waiting game – you can optimize your levels right now but only if you realize this incredible need and can develop a strong “why”. You can learn how to develop a strong “why” in my Attitude Section of my AAANEWS Course on my website I previously mentioned.
Ideally, you should regularly expose a large amount of your skin to healthy amounts of sunshine for about 20 minutes, preferably as close to solar noon as possible, but anytime from about 11 AM until 3 PM can do, but the general rule is that if your shadow is longer than your body, the sun’s rays are not high enough to produce vitamin D.
Avoid sun screening products. Sunscreens with SPF ≥ 15 almost completely inhibit vitamin D3 production. Keep in mind that most commercial moisturizers contain SPFs in the 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s and contain a lot of toxic ingredients. Sunscreens block UVB rays, which are vitamin-D-producing, thus effectively blocking the skin from producing vitamin D with sunlight. Currently, over 70% of the population (USA) suffers from vitamin D deficiency, and vitamin D has proven anti-cancer properties.
I strongly recommend the bracelet product “SunFriend”. Please visit their site for more information about this must have product.
Many studies have shown that obese people have poor and different intestinal bacteria than lean people. The more good bacteria you have, the stronger your immune system will be and the better your body will function overall.
Fortunately, optimizing your gut flora is relatively easy. You can reseed your body with good bacteria by eating fermented foods (like natto, raw organic cheese, miso, and cultured vegetables) or by taking a high-quality probiotic supplement.
People who eat yogurt four times or more per week are significantly less likely to develop type 2 Diabetes compared to those who do not. While yogurt is well-known to contain a wide variety of different vitamins and minerals, it could be the probiotic benefits of yogurt that really makes the difference.
6. Chiropractic Care
If you’re presently not under chiropractic care, I suggest you find a doctor who specializes in KST (Koren Specific Technique: www.TeddKorenSeminars.com – Directory) and / or neurologically based chiropractic care: www.Neuroinfiniti.com – you’ll want to listen to the Webinars Section.
7. Spiritual Health
You can do every one of the above six suggestions and much, much more to combat diabetes or any kind of health problem…BUT if the spiritual issue is not addressed, I believe that any of those helpful suggestions won’t be near as effective.
As a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ you must attack any physical or mental health problem by addressing the spiritual aspect.
I believe the first place to start is to wake up and truly know that your body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit and therefore treat it as such because you belong to Christ. After you’ve come under conviction regarding that and truly turn from the sin, I believe the Holy Spirit will then guide you to do what you have to do. He will also guide you toward what must be done in order to bring Him all the glory and honor so that all people will no longer see a fat, sickly person, but rather a healthier, leaner person that exudes the power to be well.
Spiritual Causes of Diabetes
I believe that diabetes can also have a deep spiritual root cause. It’s usually found in people that have experienced extreme rejection and self-hatred coupled with guilt. There’s also a direct and terrible rejection by a father and sometimes a husband or a man in general. A broken spirit as well as an unloving spirit is usually at play, too. I believe that for any kind of healing, the person must first be able to receive the unconditional love of God…this is an absolute must.
Fat Pastors have mostly Fat Congregations…and both are Sickly
Yes, you read me right. No pulling punches. No beating around the bush. No hushed tones here: Just the hard, cold, cruel facts that I see affecting the Christian church not only here in the USA, but throughout the Christian world.
If you’re a pastor who’s overweight, out of shape and beginning to show the signs of diabetes or prediabetes then hopefully this is your wake-up call to turn away from this sinning and become the man or woman of God who with energy and vitality can lead anyone into a physical, mental or spiritual battle.
Are you willing to drop the yoke of stubbornness and humble yourself? Are you willing to listen to someone who cares about you becoming a healthy representative of the Lord Jesus Christ? Are you willing to discipline daily the taking care of your body – the Temple of the Holy Spirit? Yes?
It’s absolutely critical that pastors and their congregations stop being overweight, out of shape and sickly and begin now to behave in a manner appropriate to their holy stature as God’s chosen people.
“Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth?” Galatians 4:16