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Distanskurs i örtterapi.

Hemochromatosis.

Not all adult-onset diabetes is adult-onset diabetes.

A lady called me a few weeks ago, asking what herbs she should take for adult-onset diabetes. She specifically asked for herbs to curb sugar production in the liver.

I dropped into the nearest chair and exclaimed: "That approach is utterly and completely wrong!"

She asked why. I explained that if you curb your liver's sugar production your liver will get damaged, sooner or later. Which is why all those type II diabetics (= adult-onset diabetes) (= the one where you ingest too much sugar and high-glycemic index foods and have done so for years, which means that your pancreas makes loads of insulin), who pop their pills faithfully, will have to switch sooner or later, to something else. Which will damage something else.

The only appropriate way to address adult-onset diabetes is to bloody stop the bloody carbs already. And the sugar. More on this in the syndrome x series ...

... anyway, she then said that yes, she's been on a low-carb diet for the last few years, because she didn't want to pop pills.

Woot.

Had she said "yes, but the low-carb diet is so difficult", which quite a lot of type II'ers do, I'd have hung up on her.

As is, I listened to her story. Her doc had told her that she had adult-onset diabetes. Now, docs should remember that their patients really are interested in their own health, and that they're experts in their particular complaints. This lady had done quite a bit of research into the why of things, because she didn't feel that she was a syndrome x'er. And so she insisted that the doc do a blood test, going for iron levels. Which came back as being through the roof.

The doc still told her that her diabetes was adult onset, even after he'd found out that hemochromatosis, that is, too much iron in the blood, caused insulin-producing cells to shut down in the pancreas.

Adult onset, my tiny hiney.

The iron also damages the liver, is responsible for arthritis-like symptoms, can cause early menopause, and can cause hypothyroid symptoms.
A few of which are confusingly like syndrome x symptoms...
... anyway, any diabetes where the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin is type I (= juvenile-onset diabetes), nevermind that this lady was way past menopause. And sooner or later, when insulin production stops altogether, she's in for insulin shots.

The problem is genetical: if both parents carry a gene that says "let's store lots of iron" their kid gets an iron overload, come adulthood. Men don't bleed, so they get problems in their late 20s or early 30s. Ladies bleed about 1 dl of blood every month, so they get problems 5-10 years after menopause. After they stop bleeding.

There's a very easy cure: go give blood every few months. Now, post-menopausal ladies' blood isn't accepted by the local blood services, cos the lady is too old. Bother, eh? There's a tradition of cupping up here. And some of the cuppers (or whatever they call themselves) do blood cupping. Which of course isn't as sterile etc. as formal blood services, but hey, if that's the only way you can get rid of excess iron, that's what you have to do.

Also do liver herbs, go for low-carb (that'll make your insulin last you longer), exercise more (that'll shoo in blood sugar without the need for insulin: that's needed elsewhere).

Genetic hemochromatosis is surprisingly common, at least in Finland. Other people are affected too - I remember hearing that Russians carry the gene, as do Scots. I think. And a few others.

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There are non-hereditary hemochromatosises as well. If you ingest red meat with vitamin C you'll get loaded with iron. Drop the vitamin C when you eat red meat. Eat far less red meat. Avoid red wine as well. Do dairy with your iron-rich foods. Do tea with your iron-rich foods. Go for the advice for anemiacs and do exactly the opposite.

Luck!