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Health Risks & Mitigation

Cortisol

This is probably the cause of all kinds of seemingly inexplicable blood sugar spikes. Minimizing carbohydrate intake does a lot. I don’t want to discount it. But even when I got down to under 5 or 10 net carbs per day I would sometimes get spikes. And I don’t cheat. Haven’t cheated in 3 months. It’s not worth it.

So clearly carbohydrate restriction only does so much. And knowing about gluconeogenesis, we have part of the puzzle. The other part seems to be the influence of cortisol on glycogen in the liver and muscles. Stress causes cortisol release, which in turn causes glycogen to break down to glucose and be released into the blood. Stressful events for me include: waking suddenly and jumping out of bed to turn off an abrasive alarm clock sound, waking up from a bad dream, listening to angering news, fighting with people, or lingering on bad thought patterns and obsessive compulsive behaviors (like washing hands and kitchen utensils after every little soiling, even if it’s just oil or butter or cheese). 

I like to remind myself that my ancestors didn’t wash their hands 10 times a day with antibacterial soap. And they were just fine. I’m here, aren’t I? Clearly it is me that messed up along the way to end up with diabetes, the end stage of a progression of the more general metabolic syndrome (diagnosed by eastern practitioners as “damp heat”).

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