A bitter sugar solution

This is going to be a bit of a brain dump: loosey-goosey around the edges, without footnotes, and incomplete in research to back it up. For now, that is. The bottom line is that I am more hopeful than scared that later this morning, I will undergo an endoscopy ultrasound (with fine needle biopsy) in a local cancer center with a top specialist in the Midwest. Because for me, blood sugar issues may have been festering if not causing my worst symptom in this 8 years battling serious illness: daily convulsive episodes. The episodes are worse when my blood sugar has peaked too high or too low. I am more vulnerable to a plethora of triggers when I am hungry; it is possible that I may not have even been aware when it was low blood sugar and maybe not hunger that was the underlying issue. And just 2 days ago, I figured out a way to manage it despite the cyst in my pancreas wreaking havoc on the normal order of things. No, not insulin. No, not glucose tablets or the like. So what can you do to quickly lower blood sugar without drugs?

Drink unsweetened bitters after eating!

Here are the three biggest discoveries that have helped make this strategy successful for me this past week, even when very sick.

  1. The tongue and gut both have taste receptors. These receptors recognize sweet, salty, bitter, and sour tastes when the food touches one’s tongue during eating. It is the work of Dr. Jason Fung, alerted to me by my chiropractor, Dr. Lee Nagel, that showed how the body reacts to the taste of sugar as soon as the sensation is detected. The body then stimulates an insulin response right way, beginning a cascade of events that goes well in folks with normal metabolisms -or- triggering various disease responses in folks with hyperglycemia/diabetes or even hypoglycemia. This finding about taste receptivity changes everything we knew about managing blood sugar through diet: from being about TASTE in addition to CONSUMPTION. Dr. Fung advocates an extremely low carb diet, advancing to the ketogenic diet if possible. (I have tried both with marginal success for my worst symptom, yet continue with the former anyways.)
  2. Bitter food receptors can initiate its own cascade of events. The literature shows how bitter foods and supplements can be used to help manage respiratory diseases. Incredible. Those of us familiar with various detoxification protocols know the value of bitters in the forms of liposomals and tinctures to stimulate bile flow. They are also used to support the kidney. But what does this have to do with blood sugar? Enter here the finding that the bitter taste may in fact be THE DIRECT OPPOSITE of the sweet taste! How is that possible if the tongue divides taste receptors into 4 equal quadrants? Maybe check your Bible to see how the Lord used bitters and sweet tastes as opposites like dark-and-light in Isaiah 5:20. Twenty-five hundred historical facts have never been refuted in the Bible since it was written over 2,000 years ago. Seems plausible to me that this metaphor, given to make a point about good-and-evil, might know something about the way our bodies were crafted as well, enough to use bitters and sweet tastes in an analogy that has a timeless uses for us, for me today.
  3. Stimulating the liver with a bitter herb may very well play a role in balancing the effects of the pancreas secreting insulin. We know that the liver stores and releases glucose. This gets triggered with the release of glucagon from the pancreas (opposite of its release of insulin) and a complex sequence of events that I need to research further. In the middle of a waking seizure attack a couple of nights ago, I had a choice to make. A) Take a bit of honey to raise my blood sugar that I assume was low and hold on while nausea followed, knowing that a) I could not tolerate anti-nausea medication and b) would have to convince my exhausted husband to bring me a complex carb/protein snack to prevent a crash thereafter. It was after 1:00 a.m. In a moment of inspiration, I thought about the liver and kidney detox products that I have used and the relationship of the liver to the pancreas in diabetes. I was just diagnosed as prediabetic! What if I B) used bitter tastes to stimulate the liver? Would stimulating the liver to produce bile flow also somehow release glucose without triggering a merry-go-round that happens when taking oral glucose? What if it’s the swinging of blood sugar levels and not the high or low endpoints are what triggers this hell?
  4. Drink a hot cup of plain, roasted dandelion tea, even if you need assistance and a straw. Result: within 90 seconds, a 30-MINUTE CONVULSIVE EPISODE, after a series of prior episodes, STOPPED AND NEVER RE-STARTED. Holy cow. Praise the Lord!!!!!!!!

Alright now. Was this bitter tea thingy just another rescue remedy to add to the list? Prednisone tops the list from multiple ER visits as often stopping the worst episodes. But doesn’t Prednisone raise blood sugar? Maybe it’s no wonder then that taking it didn’t always work for me. Maybe it was helping with some kind of inflammation somewhere . . . I usually took Prednisone with a couple of crackers which is a simple carb. Sometimes the episode stopped and then restarted again. When it did stop, I was usually ravenously hungry. While I still can’t track everything with direct cause-and-effect, it has been becoming clearer the last few days that fluctuations in blood sugar plays a significant role in this mysterious illness that has stumped dozens of medical, chiropractic, genetic, orthopedic, alternative, dental, functional medicine doctors and professionals and me too. Suddenly I had something new with which to experiment.

Dandelion Root Tea as an option for bitter tastes

The Experiment

I tested out the use of bitter tastes to bring down blood sugar after a meal, even in the presence of a wild card: a pancreatic cyst. I found that if the bitter taste was taken WITH a meal, it made no difference. I found that if the bitter taste was mixed with a sweet taste, even an artificially sweet taste like glycerin, it made no difference. (I read that persons who are diabetic and in a hypoglycemic crisis are instructed to take glucose every 15 minutes, checking their blood sugars, until their meter reading come back into a safe range as determined by their doctor.) I found that taking a certain amount of an unsweetened bitter taste, 15 minutes after a meal CORRECTED THE BLOOD SUGAR SPIKE. My blood sugar came back into a normal range and the shift began as soon as I could taste the flavor on my tongue. The pre-tic symptoms of a convulsive episode would not completely stop with just a taste; I needed to consume the amount of the bitter product that worked for me, within a minute, and re-test my blood sugar 15-20 minute later. The results were sustained until I became hungry again 3-4 hours later. Barely a tic zip squeezed through for the next 2 days.

So an unsweetened bitter solution brought down elevated glucose quickly for me, even in the presence of a pancreatic cyst, without insulin. Holy cow! But what about the role of the pancreatic cyst? Later today, Lord willing, we will find out more about what it is and if it is playing a role in my health. Is it an insulinoma even though I do not meet all of the lab criteria? Is it a neuroendocrine tumor that is pre-cancerous or cancerous despite the fact that it hasn’t changed in size over the past 10 months? Is it a pancreatic pseudocyst that can have either no impact or a myriad of impacts on the function of the pancreas depending upon its location? And most importantly for me, will the fabulous gastroenterology specialist, renowned for introducing new procedures here in the Midwest and specifically at our new, local cancer center, be able TO REMOVE IT TODAY? Of course, I want it outta here!

In the meantime, a lunch bag with a low-carb meal and cup of roasted dandelion root tea will be waiting for me when I wake up from my procedure aka chemically-induced nap. Thereafter we shall praise the Lord for a simple tool that helped me and my beloved hubby, Steve, cope with the last grueling days of waiting for this moment to come. Thank you Lord for your sustaining grace these past 8 years. I pray that your hand works through the skilled doctor today to heal me. Thy will be done for Your glory my precious Lord. JJ

It’s Legal: CBD Oil is Here to Stay

A couple of years ago, I ordered my first bottle of CBD oil from Bluebird Botanicals.  My hope is that it would take away the seizure attacks that I experienced on a daily basis as part of a serious and complex illness.  The preliminary research showed that CBD oil made from industrial hemp would be legal for me to purchase in Indiana, was effective for intractable seizure disorders affecting children, and would bear few if any side effects.

I tried it.  I slowly increased my dose over the next 3 weeks to the level indicated in the testimonies and research that I had found online.  Then things went terribly wrong.  I started to have frightful nightmares.  They increased in vividness and horror then were joined by waking night terrors.  These are the kind that don’t stop when you wake up!  I was scared to continue.  I backed down my dose, took a break, re-started and nothing seemed to bring relief.  The benefits of halting or preventing seizure attacks did not outweigh these horrible side effects.  Eventually I abandoned CBD oil altogether.

While medical marijuana has Cannabidiol (CBD) as an ingredient, you don’t need to live in a State where medical marijuana is legal to obtain CBD oil by itself.  Medical marijuana also contains THC which is a schedule 1 controlled substance in the United States.  CBD oil from industrial hemp only contains .3% THC.  This allows sale of pure CBD oil in all 50 States.  For me the .3% was still too much.  I would later understand that I don’t even have a genetic disposition in my opiate receptors to explain my hypersensitivity to THC.  Heck, I smoked pot occasionally as a young adult without any ill effects.  There would simply be no explanation for my intolerance of legal CBD oil from industrial hemp.

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Flash forward 3 years.  I became acquainted with a company who manufactured pharmaceutical grade liposomal products.  When they introduced a CBD oil product made from industrial hemp, I decided to try it again.  I still suffered from daily convulsive episodes although the number of hours lost per day to them had decreased after beginning IV antibiotics for chronic Lyme disease.  Seizures, tics of organic origin, non-epileptic seizures (or whatever you want to call them) were a definite neurological complication of latent Lyme disease.  The episodes were less per day but not gone.  I ordered a bottle.

I did not get past a single dose of the new product before suffering another waking night terror incident.  Dang!  The only difference this time was that the superior liposomal nanoparticle size delivered the CBD more quickly to my brain than the Bluebird Botanicals product — and for me that was not good.  I returned the bottle to the healthcare professional from whom I had ordered it.  And then I waited.  There would be no other compelling rescue remedies to reduce my suffering when the nightly episodes came.  No doctor would order medication for me to even try; I have been to the Emergency Room 10 times over these past 4 1/2 years because of wretched convulsions!  Even over-the-counter Benedryl would leave me unable to function very well the next day if it did stop them (and render me too sleepy to care about anything the next day).  A few herbal antibacterial supplements offered temporary relief on occasion and the reason for that will be another blog post about Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO).  Neurotransmitters and hormones that can give rise to seizures are manufactured in the gut dontcha know . . .

I learned that one of the better manufacturers of CBD oil was preparing to introduce a THC-free CBD oil so I contacted the owner.  I leveraged everything and asked to try a beta version of their new product.  Within 2 weeks the bottle arrived in the mail.  It took around 15 drops to get a significant response:  their THC-free CBD oil definitely helped reduce the intensity and duration of the nightly seizure attacks.  Yeah God!  This benefit happened even when herxing (or reacting) to a new antibiotic used in the treatment of SIBO.  Some relief came at last!  I am optimistic for the benefits that I might receive when the first round of antibiotics for the treatment of SIBO are completed in 5 more days.  Perhaps healing my gut will help everything as well.  In the meantime I have contacted the owner again to see if I might obtain additional product; my hope is to transition from using it as a rescue remedy to having enough for regular dosing that can help prevent the episodes altogether.  I may need to switch brands to get this accomplished.  We’ll see.

CBD oil is legal for purchase in all 50 States of the USA.  If you are frustrated with noxious symptoms especially tics, seizures, pain, depression, or anxiety, there may be hope in the use of CBD oil from industrial hemp.  Please do significant research on the track record of the manufacturer, look for independent lab testing of purity/potentency/concentration of active ingredients and absence of unnecessary fillers before making your purchase, especially if online.  Very likely you will not find a superior product at your local health food store as hemp seeds and hemp oil contain too low a concentration of CBD to make much difference for a serious health condition.  Here is one brand that is available only from healthcare practitioners nation-wide:  Colorado Hemp Oil.  And this website has some good general information although note that it used to be funded by a manufacturer of industrial hemp products:  Project CBD.  I am not sure of its current status.

This is my story and I’m sticking to it!  I am not an expert by any means just a gal trying to find some relief in an ethical, legal, and medically sound manner.  Feel free to share pertinent information below.  Please don’t try to sell me anything!

Take care, JJ

 

 

 

Alternative Health Technologies for Sale

Looking to improve your health with some alternative health technologies?  I am selling an Ionic Foot Bath and a Full Spectrum Bright Light therapy lamp with details noted below.  Just leave a comment and we will figure out things from there.  Prices are US dollars and shipping is provided to the US only!

Ionic Foot Bath

Start your detox with this ionic foot bath! Includes unit, instructions, and a new array. Generic brand used about 12 times. Add your own basin of warm water and 1 t non-iodized salt. $75 USD price includes shipping. Purchase via Pay Pal. Works great but hey, sold as-is, no warranty. Cross posted!

Northern Light Technologies Full Spectrum Lamp

Enjoy the benefits of sunlight at your convenience with this full spectrum light therapy lamp from Northern Light Technologies. 10,000 LUX. New price is $230; asking $95 for Pay Pal purchase plus $20 shipping and special packaging = $105 USD. Unit is in excellent condition. Used about 20 times for less than 30 minutes total over a few years. Note slight paint chip near the on/off switch. Works great but hey, sold as is, no warranty! Will mail to street address. Cross posted. Link to the company provided for comparison: Northern Light Technologies.