- Do you crave a sweet, chip, or caffeinated beverage at least once a day?
- Do you eat snacks between meals to prevent a blood sugar crash?
- Do you carry extra weight around your belly, hips, or thighs?
- Do you experience more and more “senior moments” with uncharacteristic brain fog?
All of the above are early signals that may point to a specific combination of factors experts are calling the next epidemic.
I always tell my patients to listen to their bodies’ signals when they are whispering, not to wait until they’re screaming. In this article, I’ll talk about symptoms of this epidemic, the cyclical stress effect that wreaks havoc on the body, and, ultimately, how to safeguard your health using simple tools.
The Next Epidemic
This next epidemic involves a staggering number of health concerns linked to the combination of high-normal blood sugar levels and holding on to extra weight.1 This duo is what experts are calling the largest epidemic the world has ever faced,1 predicted to affect 366 million people by 2030.2
Stress Effect: Congested Lymph
According to new research, a lifestyle of stress, overeating, lack of exercise, and a diet of processed and indigestible foods result in a cascade of potentially damaging biochemicals.3 One of these biochemicals, cytokines, are small proteins that play a key role in cell signaling, essentially telling other cells what to do.4
When under excess stress, the body produces cytokines as the first response to heal. The problem is, these cytokines are ultimately lymph-congesting, and they can disturb blood sugar hormones from optimally metabolizing fats, sugars, and proteins.5
When the lymphatic system becomes congested, the body holds onto water and lymphokines, a type of cytokine that get stuck in traffic. Over time, the lymphatic system can’t circulate well.
Glycation + Aging
Advanced Glycation End Products (AGES) are also a major contributor to the next epidemic. They are produced when excess sugar in the blood binds to certain proteins. This glycation process has an affinity for two proteins responsible for the youthful look, function, and glow of the skin: collagen and elastin. Losing the services of these two proteins may negatively affect the health and beauty of the skin on the outside and inside of the body, which is a gamble we don’t want to take.
Even though we all want to look good and age gracefully, it is the inner skin—the skin that lines the arteries, gut, and respiratory tract—that will deliver a long and healthy life and, as a bonus, beautiful skin!
Researchers believe that glycation, as a result of blood sugar levels even within the “normal” range (just reaching the high end of what is considered normal), may be the silent contributor to the next blood sugar, weight, and health epidemic.
What Happens When Blood Sugar Crashes?
In discussing glycation and its end products above, I’ve mentioned that this is caused by high-normal sugar, or glucose, in the blood. Let’s take a closer look at the signs and, more importantly, how we can tell if we are at risk.
Most of us have experienced a “blood sugar crash.” You’re fatigued, maybe you haven’t eaten, and a headache is creeping in. You can’t concentrate and your mood starts to suffer. Moodiness, difficulty focusing, and irritability are all signs of blood sugar crashing, and this is often accepted as a normal part of life.
As common as they are, a blood sugar crash is actually a big stressor for the body, and has a cascading effect throughout all the body systems that can easily be prevented.
We RecommendThe Dangers of Frequent Eating
Effect #1: We Stop Burning Fat
When under any kind of excessive stress—even too much exercise or a blood sugar crash—the body produces degenerative stress-fighting hormones that have a litany of effects, including storing fat.
Because of excess lifestyle and dietary stress, we’ve lost the ability to burn fat well as a culture.
Fat is calm, stable, detoxifying fuel. Carbohydrates, the body’s other primary source of fuel, burn quick, resulting in energy ups and downs. Because of excess carbs, we as a culture have been riding the blood-sugar roller coaster.
Each time energy goes up after a satisfying high-carbohydrate or sugary meal, it quickly crashes. The body responds to this crash as a fat-storing, sugar-burning emergency. From here, the body starts producing stress-fighting hormones, cytokines, and AGES that wreak havoc on the body’s tissues.
We have been told for 30 years that fats are bad. All the while, we subsidized farmers to grow wheat and corn (sugar, basically) for pennies on the dollar. So we replaced fats, fuel we’re genetically wired to burn, with carbs and sugars, which burn quickly and leave us hungry.
Of course, “fats are bad” is at best, only half the story, because all fats are not bad: the bad ones are cooked, processed, refined oils that can sit on a shelf for months without spoiling.
Effect #2: Lymph System Backup
Lifestyle and dietary stress causes lymph to congest, which will:
- Congest natural detox pathways.
- Lead to poor waste removal and weight gain.
- Additional weight gain causes further cellular and lymphatic congestion, exacerbating the above symptoms.
Effect #3: Cravings
Lifestyle and blood sugar stress will trigger cravings for sweet, salty, and stimulating foods. As a result:
- Blood sugars are forced to spike and fall excessively during cycles of crave/eat.
- Pancreatic insulin and digestive enzyme production lags.
- Insulin and cortisol rise, which cause us to store fat four times faster around hips, organs, and belly than anywhere else on the body. This is the most dangerous place to store fat in terms of health risks.
Effect #4: Imbalanced Intestinal Mucosa
Excessive stress can impact intestinal mucosa, which may compromise detoxification, nutrient assimilation, and fat metabolism:
- Reactive intestinal mucus causes gut-associated lymph congestion.
- Trillions of microbes, which support immunity and bodily functions, are damaged.
Effect #5: Compromised Pathways
Digestion, assimilation, and detoxification pathways are compromised, leading to:
- Increased lymph congestion defaults toxins to the liver, which can affect liver function.
- Thickened bile and congested bile ducts.
- Congested pancreatic ducts, which share an opening with bile ducts, cause pancreatic stress and fewer digestive enzymes released into the stomach.
- Congested bile cannot properly neutralize stomach acids. To prevent the digestive tract from being burned, the body produces weaker stomach acids, leading to indigestion. As a result, we have another epidemic brewing: intolerance to wheat and dairy.
- Undigested food imbalances intestinal villi and mucosa, and causes lymph congestion.
RESULT: The combination of lymph congestion, weight gain, and high-normal blood sugar levels initiates a process that takes years to develop into the bundle of full-blown symptoms of the next epidemic.
We are simply not genetically wired to deal with a sedentary lifestyle, processed foods, and a diet of carbs and sugars. The bottom line is that if we eat more fuel than we can burn, we will convert it into fat. Excess carbs or fat will end up around the belly.
We spent millions of years evolving to endure famine, trying to store fat every chance we could. In the last fifty years, we have finally reached a point where, for some of us, famine is no longer a concern. But we are still genetic experts at storing fat. Once, it was our primary means of survival. Today, it is killing us.
Interestingly, our new epidemic is not from eating too much dietary fat, but too many simple carbs, which store as fat more quickly. We have never dealt with excess food until recently, and we have to make some changes accordingly.
Tools to Master Your Metabolism, Cravings + Weight
- Exercise at least five days a week
- Avoid processed foods
- Eat smaller quantities of food less frequently (2- 3 meals a day is best)
- Focus on nutrient-rich foods
- Get good fats
- Mitigate stress, so we have energy during the day and sleep well at night
- Monitor blood sugar through regular testing
Now that you know how blood sugar and fat-storing work, you can take these steps. It sounds simple—and it is. So let’s do it! Our health and longevity depend on it.
Do it with the help of our free eBooks: