This has been an interesting couple of weeks for me. Twenty some years ago I began losing feeling in my feet. It is a classic symptom of diabetes, but for over twenty years I have been told that I do not have diabetes and G6PD Deficiency and type 2 diabetes are not related. I even went to the Mayo Clinic to find out what was causing it. They said it wasn’t diabetes and it wasn’t related to G6PD Deficiency either. They didn’t know what was causing me to have peripheral neuropathy (PN), but as though it would be of some comfort to me, they told me that the cause of PN in over thirty percent of patients was not known.
I accepted their diagnosis and resigned myself to a life of pain for ten or so years, but the pain got worse and the PN got worse until I had to try to find an answer for myself. That road led me to create G6PDDeficiency.org.
The more I learned about G6PDD, the better my health got, but the PN didn’t go away and continued to get worse. Why???
Ten days ago I went to a doctor from India who has a practice in California, and my life changed. The first thing he did was order a bunch of blood tests, including an A1C, which is the classic diabetes test and gave me a blood sugar meter. I’ve had the A1C before, but have been told that the lab cannot do the test on my blood. This time was no different. They couldn’t run the A1C test. But this time I had blood sugar results for a week and it was a revelation.
In classic diabetes, during a fast your blood sugar drops below what is acceptable. Mine didn’t. BUT, when I eat a meal, my blood sugar goes above what is acceptable. Very odd. But it explains why I have PN. When blood sugar goes too high, nerve damage results.
Back to the doctor from India. The first thing he did when I told him I have G6PDD was to tell me that he knew about it and even knew that we are to avoid legumes. I almost fell through the floor. It turns out that he has family with it.
So, what does all this mean? If you want to read some research about recent discovery of the prevalence of diabetes in G6PDD patients, go to http://g6pddeficiency.org/wp/ and look in the references section. There are a couple of articles about it there. I don’t know all the answers yet and neither do the researchers in the references just mentioned, but I’ve got some ideas. Here are my thoughts.
I have been advocating a diet lower in carbs for some years now. The reason is that I went on a low carb diet about eight or ten years ago and felt better than I had ever felt before. Now I know why. G6PD plays a role in the conversion of carbs to useable form. It is the process that also produces reduced glutathione, the substance that protects red blood cells from oxidative stress. Since blood sugar spikes when we eat too much refined carbohydrates, we need to reduce our intake of carbs. Especially refined carbs like sugar, high fructose corn syrup, bleached white flour, etc. I have found that my blood sugar doesn’t spike when I consume potatoes and whole grains. It is the refined carbs that seem to be doing the damage.
So, what does that mean for you? For some unknown reason we are prone to type 2 diabetes and we need to curtail consumption of refined carbs. That doesn’t mean you can’t eat any refined carbs, just cut down. For me, eating refined carbs later in the day does the most damage.
I encourage you to start avoiding the things on the avoid lists and following the diet suggestions on the website early in life. The earlier you do, the better your health will be later on.