One other common type of diabetes is gestational diabetes, or diabetes occurring during pregnancy in women who haven't had diabetes before. Gestational diabetes has the same risk factors and symptoms as Type 2 diabetes, although its potential for troublemaking is, by its nature, double: trouble for the mother and trouble for the baby. Make that quadruple trouble, because you face all the problems of Type 2 diabetes in general, plus special problems stemming from being diabetic while pregnant.
A study of twenty-three thousand pregnant, obese women with Type 2 diabetes showed they are three times as likely as nondiabetic pregnant women of normal weight to have babies with birth defects-seven times as likely to have a baby with a craniofacial defect such as cleft palate or abnormal limb development. Nearly 6 percent of babies born to women with Type 2 diabetes have major defects.
Uncontrolled gestational diabetes increases the risk for a difficult delivery or C-scction, as well as the chances of the baby being born with dangerously low blood sugar, jaundice, or breathing problems. Babies of moms with gestational diabetes tend to weigh much more than normal, and that creates special health problems, including potential damage to their shoulders during birth. These babies have excess insulin, which puts them at higher risk of developing obesity and Type 2 diabetes themselves. Diabetes that starts during pregnancy usually goes away after the baby is born, but you'll still be at increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later in your life.
Measuring Blood Sugar Levels
Normal blood sugars, tested after you've fasted for at least eight hours, should be 110 mg/dl or less. (If tested not on an empty stomach, then it should be 140 mg/dl or less.) If your levels are between 110 and 126 fasting (or between 140 and 200 not fasting), that's called impaired glucose tolerance (GLT) and is considered prediabetes. Higher than those numbers, and you officially have diabetes. To confirm a diagnosis, your doctor may give you a glucose tolerance test, drawing your blood two hours after you've had a certain amount of sugar-water solution to drink. If your blood sugar level then is 200 mg/dl or above, you're diabetic.
Causes of Diabetes
According to traditional medical science, the cause of diabetes is something of a mystery. A leading theory is that Type 1 is an autoimmune disorder in which white blood cells attack and destroy the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas as if they were threatening invaders. The roots of Type 2 diabetes are more fully mapped out, and obesity is at the epicenter. Just what it is about carrying around extra weight that makes the body's production and use of insulin go haywire isn't clearly understood, though. Indeed, this is still a chicken-and-egg question: Does obesity cause diabetes, or does diabetes bring on obesity?
Looking at this through the lens of New Biology, however, it becomes clear that diabetes is not a disease of the pancreas or the beta cells therein. Rather, it is the result of a pi I imbalance in the fluids of the body-systemic acidosis-that interferes with the optimum functioning of the cells they surround. Beta cells surrounded by acids do not or cannot produce sufficient insulin. Acids destroy insulin receptor sites on the cellular membrane so body cells cannot properly use the hormone. Diabetic symptoms-which can include frequent urination, extreme thirst, ravenous hunger, weight loss, extreme fatigue, muscle wasting, and life-threatening ketoacidosis-are all a result of the body attempting to regain or maintain the delicate pH balance of the blood and tissues.
The New Biology
I more thoroughly explain the principles of the New Biology in our previous book, The pH Miracle, and if you want to really understand more of the science of the theory you can review it there. For our purposes in this book, I just want to briefly review the key points. Then we'll get on, without any further delay, to what you can do to free yourself from the grip of diabetes.
The one indicator most crucial to your health is not your blood sugar level-or your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, or anything else-but the pH of your blood. That is, how acidic or alkaline (basic) it is. The pH scale runs from 1.0 (most acidic) to 14.0 (most alkaline), with 7.0 being neutral. Just as your body strictly maintains its temperature, it will do anything and everything it can to keep the blood in a very narrow pH range-a mildly alkaline 7.365 pH. (Some bodily systems, notably the stomach and colon, are rightly acidic, though it is all too easy for them to swing too far in that direction.) The pH level of the blood and other bodily fluids and tissues affects every single cell. The whole metabolic process depends on alkalinity as well-overacidity is what keeps you fat. Just about every negative symptom you can think of-not least of which is the cluster of symptoms surrounding diabetes-happens when the body has to go to desperate extremes in an attempt to maintain its pH.
One of the potentially most devastating effects of an acidic environment in your body is the cozy home that this makes for yeast, fungi, mold, bacteria, and viruses, known collectively as microforms. While many of these live benignly or beneficially in a healthy body by design, nasty ones thrive in an acidic environment, and even the nice guys can overgrow enough to become harmful. And then we get a triple whammy: Not only can the microforms themselves be dangerous, but they can also create poisonous (acidic) excretions, exotoxins and mycotoxins, which they do as they digest-or ferment-the energy sources our bodies would otherwise use themselves, and release those acids into the bloodstream.
This is where Bechamp's work fits in. What he discovered, and what I've seen so many times in my own microscope, is that harmful microforms can come from our own cells. I'll give you one guess as to what kind of environment must exist for this to happen. That's right: acid. Not to mention the fact that external microforms (germs) can only contribute to illness when they land in such an environment.
As Bechamp described so many years ago, our bodies, like all living things, contain what are called microzymas living independently in cells and body fluids. These can and do evolve into more complex forms-all cells evolve from them in the first place. And in some environments, microzymas evolve into bacteria and fungi. Harmful microforms can also de-evolve back to microzymas, a much happier state of affairs that, no surprise, depends on a healthy (nonacidic) environment. As microforms evolve, they change form and function (depending on the environment), which I call pleomorphism. Harmful pleomorphic organisms do not, and cannot, evolve in healthy (alkaline) surroundings. This is the true nature of matter, and the way it organizes and disorganizes. Physical or even emotional disturbances can cause disorganization, or de-evolution, which in turn acidifies the environment further still, creating a vicious cycle.
In this way of looking at things, there is only one sickness (overacidification) and one cure (restoring alkalinity). Acidity in different tissues of the body shows up with different sets of symptoms, which have had various disease labels slapped on them by mainstream medical science. When the acidity is in the pancreas, diabetes is the result. But all these problems trace back to the same thing, though science has focused too much on the trees to be able to see this forest. The beauty of seeing that whole forest at last is that the pathway running through it to good health for each and every one of us becomes clear and attainable.