Diana Schwarzbein MD - To The Rescue

You may have heard of Diana Schwarzbein. If you’ve studied nutrition or diabetes at any length, you will almost certainly have read her books, studied her work and looked at her research.

Dr Schwarzbein is an Endocrinologist (study of the hormone systems) and has been in practice for over 25 years.


Throughout my training, and subsequent personal studies, I’ve read everything Dr Schwarzbein has available. If I’d chosen to set up practice using my nutrition qualification, hers would undoubtedly be the recommendations I follow for my clients. And it’s not a ‘one size fits all’ approach.

Yesterday, I was lucky enough to have an email conversation with Dr. Schwarzbein herself. I mean I was pretty taken aback she took the time to reply in person to begin with. Let alone how thoroughly she responded to two emails.

I was following up on some research this week on Ketogenic Diets and I found information on how low carbohydrate diets reduce nitric oxide production. Which is not a good thing people. Increased mortality from cardiovascular incidents is a darn good reason to stop a study in it’s tracks though!

So, less carbs (or fasting, generally) means higher cortisol levels for starters - which is the anti-inflammatory hormone of the body. Which makes you wonder why would the body release this in response to something / anything . . .

. . . but I am not Endocrinology trained (I wish!) and the hormone systems Dr Schwarzbein studies would blow most people’s minds. She admits herself (in the videos I link below) she has to look them back up from time to time because of how complex they are!

Anyway, if you are on - or ever have been on - any kind of diet, including those which support fasting of any kind / duration or eliminating / severally restricting whole food groups, you owe it to yourself to watch these videos and work out is it a ‘building’ or ‘using’ diet you are following. Because if it’s the latter then . . well it’s up to you what you do, but I’d be making some serious changes. Right away.

As I say, it was the nitric oxide research which got me emailing Dr Schwarzbein because this is profound for someone with diabetes. It’s profound if you want to avoid Alzheimer’s / Dementia / Heart Attacks and you DON’T have diabetes, but for someone already metabolically challenged (me!) even more so.

More to follow on the outcome of our chats, but needless to say . . .

Keto Bye Bye.

And although I am a self-confessed guinea-pig for anything which may alleviate the symptoms and horrors of this dis-ease, please do take great, great care when you pick up the latest diet book and decide to follow it. Learn how to assess that information very carefully first.

Low Carb eating is massively popular right now and long-term studies are not going to be in for years.

So no one really knows everything/ Or maybe even anything. Yet.

Yes, it feels soooooooo amazing with diabetes to have stable blood sugars. It does. But if nitric oxide goes down because insulin goes down, which puts you at high risk for all kinds of cardiovascular issues, to be honest - not worth it. Blood sugar control can be gained using another method - it’s called bloody hard work!

Because yes, it does involve a lot of forethought and knowledge about dual bolusing, square bolusing (all the things where most people’s eyes glaze over the moment a PWD starts a conversation about them!!!)… fibre content of foods, balancing ounces of proteins with grams of complex (not simple) carbohydrates. But it’s not rocket science. Not quite.

I’ll save those gems for another post!

I studied nutrition formerly for over 3 years and flew through my qualification with a Distinction. And yet I still struggle to fully comprehend everything out there and the drastic effects nutrition and lifestyle will have on your longevity, your mental health (yes indeed!) and how your body systems will always compensate for the damage you choose to inflict - for as long as they can. When they stop compensating, that’s when you receive your diagnosis.

And that’s the date most people quote as ‘the day I got sick’. Mistakenly.

More posts (less heavy nutritional stuff) next week! Enjoy your weekends.

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Video links:

Dr Schwarzbein: Survival of the Smartest Part 1

Dr Schwarzbein: Survival of the Smartest Part 2