Sugar Intolerance

My hair tissue mineral analysis indicated that I was severely sugar intolerant. This is really the same as being carbohydrate intolerant because carbohydrates turn to sugar in the body, and sugar also, is a type of carbohydrate.

I did notice the dehydrating and anxiety-inducing effects of sugar later on, and concluded that the mineral analysis had been correct in diagnosing this imbalance. I didn't want to believe it at first, because I was in the raw food mindset and believed that something as natural as fruit could not be bad for you.

But in this case it turned out that because of specific imbalances in my body, limiting the amount and type of fruit I ate was beneficial for my health, enabling weight loss, less anxiety, less heart palpitations, better moods and better energy. This was not, of course, only from limiting fruit, but primarily from eliminating sugar and processed carbohydrates from my diet. And the person who first got through to me to make me actually try a sugar-free diet was the Chinese Doctor, although I had done a sugar-free diet some years back and felt good from it. That was the McCombs candida diet.

This article is about the hair mineral analysis, how they determined I was sugar intolerant, and what imbalances of the body were linked to this problem.

Sugar Intolerance

This is one of the emails I received from my hair mineral analysis nutritionist at the time, regarding the mineral levels found by ARL Labs in the sample of hair I had sent in:

"High calcium and low magnesium indicates substantial levels of fatigue and stress. We call it [sugar] intolerant because adding lots of carbohydrate or sugar to your body is only going to make it more tired than it already is – this is really no secret for anyone that studies nutrition, as lots of carbs and sugar make the endocrine system work hard to metabolise." - Will Houghton, in an email

So, there were indicators of calcium toxicity. This in turn was seen an indication of slow metabolism, and thus fatigue. Calcium toxicity and how it is related to metabolism is discussed more here.

From the hair mineral testing report:

"The excessive intake of carbohydrates in the diet is often associated with the development of many health conditions including hypoglycaemia, diabetes, digestive difficulties, yeast infections, fatigue, depression and others. Excessive carbohydrates may also upset the balance between calcium and phosphorus and between calcium and magnesium.

"Your hair tissue mineral analysis indicates significantly impaired sugar and carbohydrate tolerance as indicated by your elevated calcium/ magnesium ratio."
I first thought that this would get corrected as my gland imbalances improved, however, once they did start improving, I started detoxifying heavy metals, which was the suspected cause why my sugar intolerance got worse!

The way to manage sugar intolerance is to ensure as stable blood sugar as possible, by not eating refined carbohydrates or processed sugars, and by combining any good carbohydrates with protein or fibre to slow their release.

Sugar intolerance is very closely linked with sugar or carbohydrate addiction, which is worth reading about as well.

I was listening to a talk by David Wolfe at work where he mentioned that polysaccharides are the best types of carbohydrates, and are also called essential sugars. He listed medicinal polysaccharides as follows: aloe vera, noni, oats, reishi, mitake, shiitake and coriola mushrooms. So these could be some of the good carbohydrates to add.

It seems that I get weakness in my legs and sometimes arms, kind of fever-like achiness, when I eat lots of sugar/carbs and not enough protein. I think I even got that feeling on a partly pasteurized fruit juice fast. I first started getting this feeling this in the mornings, in 2007, and then more often. This may be a combination of sugar intolerance and protein deficiency. It seems that I feel stronger when I have plenty of protein in my meals (eggs, fish, spirulina, greens, beans, etc.). I also tried the caveman diet for a while which seemed to make me feel stronger and help with anxiety but also caused other problems.

I tested my blood sugar levels during a juice fast, mainly based on fruit juices, and the levels were stable. It seems from what I've read since then that measurable blood sugar level fluctuations are not actually necessary for sugar intolerance to cause symptoms, e.g. irritability when hungry, etc.

My Second Hair Mineral Analysis, Calcium/Magnesium Ratio - Severe Sugar Intolerance

My current Ca/Mg ratio is 41:1. The ideal ratio would be 6.67:1. In other words, my current ratio is 615% of the ideal, way too high. In other words, I have too much calcium and too little magnesium deposited in the soft tissues of my body.

mineral ratio, test results, calcium magnesium
"A cal-mag ratio lower than 4.5 or greater than 8.5 [my case] is indicative of a sensitivity to sugars and simple carbohydrates. Over 12:1 [my case] and less than 3:1 are considered a severe sugar and simple carbohydrate sensitivity range. [...]

"Ratios greater than 10:1 [my case] and less than 3:1 also indicate a tendency for calcium precipitation in the tissues. This can cause bone spurs, arthritic changes, arterial calcification and calcium stone formation in the kidney or gall bladder. Magnesium is required to keep calcium in solution. When the ratio is imbalanced it may reflect a relative magnesium deficiency.

"Highly imbalanced ratios - above 12:1 [my case] and less than 3:1 - often indicate emotional difficulties."

- Quoted from my Tissue Mineral Analysis -report by ARL Labs.

The causes of sugar intolerance and the linked problem, sugar addition:

"An imbalanced calcium-magnesium ratio usually indicates excessive carbohydrates in the diet. [...] If you have thoroughly ruled out excessive dietary carbohydrates, consider the other possible causes: stress; emotional stress; zinc, taurine and vitamin B6 deficiency; and metal toxicity."

And one of the main causes of all diseases, stress, is highlighted as a major component of sugar intolerance as well:

"Stress of any kind can affect the Ca/Mg ratio. This is most likely due to its effect on the adrenal glands and glucose metabolism. Stress can increase blood sugar through the action of cortisol, leading to reduced sugar tolerance. Nutritional depletion from stress, and sustained excessive cortisol and insulin secretion can cause increased insulin resistance. [...]

"The Ca/Mg and Na/K [sodium/potassium] ratios may correlate because of a direct relationship between calcium and sodium, both extracellular elements [outside of the cell] and between magnesium and potassium, both intracellular elements [inside the cell].

"Also, sodium and magnesium tend to be antagonistic, as do calcium and potassium. That is, one rises when the other one falls. [...]

"... if the Ca/Mg and the Na/K ratios are [both] elevated [my case], the high Ca/Mg ratio may reflect a more severe high Na/K pattern, associated with acute stress, inflammation and related symptoms."
mineral ratio, sodium potassium ratio
"Emotional stress, even positive stress, can affect the Ca/Mg ratio. Perhaps it is because stress affects carbohydrate tolerance. Other factors may also contribute. For example, the 'calcium shell' phenomenon is related to an excessively elevated calcium level. This has a numbing and protective effect in the face of stress. [...] Copper toxicity, often related to stress, also initially affects the calcium level. [...] Addressing emotional factors may be essential for balancing the Ca/Mg ratio."
"Deficiencies of zinc, taurine and vitamin B6 affect magnesium levels. These nutrients are synergistic with magnesium. High-carbohydrate diets deplete zinc and vitamin B6 and often lack taurine, which in found only in meats.

"Deficiencies of these nutrients may cause a magnesium loss or biounavailability. Recall that high level of any nutrient element on a hair analysis often indicates biounavailability, or loss of the element into the hair tissue.

"Most diets are also low in magnesium. This is made worse by drinking a lot of milk, taking calcium supplements that do not contain magnesium, or eating refined-food diets. While calcium deficiency gets lots of press, magnesium deficiency also occurs commonly.

How to Correct Sugar Imbalance

To improve the calcium-magnesium ratio and, consequently, to reduce sugar intolerance, the recommendation was to:

- reduce carbohydrates and cut out sugar
- supplement with zinc, magnesium, vitamin B6 and taurine
- reduce stress

"Reducing stress may be very important. Severe stress can inhibit or even override any dietary or supplement program! Any time the Ca/Mg ratio is very imbalanced - greater than 15:1 [my case] or less than 2.5:1 - emotional stress is likely and important to address."

"If toxic metals are affecting the ratio [as is likely in my case], the diet and supplement program can help mobilize these from storage, at which time the ratio will often improve."

Update: Parasites

(February 2015:) Note that although I can keep my sugar imbalance in check by avoiding all forms of sugar, all starches and all grains (eating only very little fruit here and there and plenty of protein on every meal), I now think that there is an underlying cause that needs addressing, which is causing this extreme sugar intolerance: parasites. Specifically, in my case, I think I have an aspergillus infection, but other viruses, bacteria, and many other parasites can cause similar problems. Note that the hair mineral analysis is unable to diagnose parasites. You can read on my progress in eliminating aspergillus, and whether it fixed my sugar intolerance, here: Natural Health Remedy Library: Aspergillus.

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