These are notes from a presentation given by Dr. Jason Fung on December 13, 2013.

  • T2D is progressive.
  • As you take medicine, the sugar comes down some, but over time (~ 6 mos) the effect wears off. You then have to start taking a second or third medication to manage it.

Metformin  -> Metformin + Glyburide  -> Insulin -> More Insulin  -> More Insulin

Common treatment progression for T2D
  • Over the years, your sugar might go up or it might go down, but your diabetes is getting worse.
  • Many people incorrectly assume their diabetes is getting better if their sugar is going down.
  • The heart of diabetes is insulin resistance.
  • Insulin Resistance is the disease; high blood sugar is the symptom.
  • Conventional treatment for diabetes is actually treating the symptom (high blood sugar) and not the disease.
  • Studies show that even when patients’ sugar levels are well managed, they still get all of the complications of diabetes – heart disease, stroke, eye disease, kidney disease, etc. (because sugar is just a symptom)
  • Analogy: Taking Tylenol when you have an infection, can bring down your high fever (symptom), but it doesn’t make you better.
  • As you eat, blood sugar goes up and insulin is released to take the sugar into the tissues. This is normal.
  • Insulin causes insulin resistance, which results in more insulin being produced, which results in greater insulin resistance, and so on. It’s a vicious cycle.
  • In the case of diabetes, the current standard treatment (insulin) is treating the disease with the same thing that causes it!
  • Analogy: This is like treating an alcoholic with alcohol.
  • Doctors have wrongly assumed that this is a chronic, progressive disease. Yet, when bariatric surgery is performed, diabetes is cured in 90% of cases.

Treatment Considerations

  1. Key to treatment is reducing insulin, not increasing insulin.
  2. Diabetes is a dietary disease – needs a dietary treatment.
  3. Diabetes is a curable disease NOT a chronic disease.

A simple way to lower insulin is intermittent fasting.

  • The body has the ability to store energy in 2 ways.
    • Sugar – glycogen
    • Fat – unlimited stores
  • At mealtimes, we store energy for use later.
  • The problem, in the case of diabetics, is that there is too much glucose stored in the body and nowhere else to put it, so it “spills over” into the blood.
  • Intermittent fasting causes the body to gradually begin burning the stored glucose, reducing blood sugar levels and insulin.
  • Hyperinsulinemia can lead to diabetes, high triglycerides, low HDL, hypertension, and fatty liver. (metabolic syndrome)

Top 6 Ways to Reduce Insulin

  1. Intermittent fasting
  2. Reduce dietary refined carbohydrates
  3. Eat a high fat diet (natural fats)
  4. Fiber
  5. Vinegar
  6. Spices and herbs

The 35 minute presentation can be watched below.

Last week, stocks had their worst performing week in seven months. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 831 points on Wednesday. And the S&P500 has declined nearly 6% from its high of 2940. It was not a good week for equity investors. During times like this, it’s easy to get spooked out of the market. A little perspective can go a long way towards staving off irrational behavior.

Even after the bad week, the market is still in positive territory for the year. As of Friday’s close, the S&P500 has increased 3.5% year to date. It’s also important to remember that we have been enjoying a nine year bull market where stocks have been on a tear. While your investments may be down this week, they are likely higher than they were a year ago and much higher than they were 8-9 years ago.

Are last week’s declines a sell signal? Is the bull market coming to an end? No one knows the answer. What I do know is that “time in the market is better than timing the market.” Stay invested and rest comfortably knowing that, in the long run, stocks always go up. Since 1928, there has never been a 20-year stretch that didn’t produce a positive return.

As Warren Buffet has said…

The stock market is designed to transfer money from the Active to the Patient.

Sources: Vanguard calculations based on data from Bloomberg, St. Louis Federal Reserve database, and Moody’s DataBuffet. All equity calculations represent the S&P 500 Index.

There is a lot of fear among investors right now. We are nine years into a bull market and interest rates are still historically low.  How long can the good times last? The tightening by the Federal Reserve is well underway and the conventional wisdom is that stocks perform poorly during a rising rate environment. What does the historical data show?

Vanguard recently posted about this on their blog for institutional investors. Here’s a quote from the post –

…in the 11 periods of rising rates we looked at over the past 50 years, stock market returns were positive in all but one of them. And even including the –15% return for the period in 1974, the return of stocks across those periods was in line with the 10% average for stocks from 1925 through 2017.

This is great news for stock investors, especially those near retirement age!