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Hack Dr Mark Hyman's "The Blood Sugar Solution"

by 3623 · July 19, 2014 at 06:07 PM

Does anyone have a reaction to Dr Hyman's new book?

Dr Mark Hyman is popular dr with a lot of smart things to say about how health care is whacko. He's re-named T2 diabetes and obesity "Diabesity." His new book "The Blood Sugar Solution" is out, and it sounds like Paleo but he doesnt admit it!

Anyone else been watching this one? The book was just released. He claims to reverse "Diabesity" in 6 weeks (from his website). http://drhyman.com/

I've read Dr Hyman ragging on low carb before, but he writes a book like this!

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1229 · March 02, 2012 at 04:19 PM

Here's my book review, which should ruffle a few feathers here!


The promotional blurbs by the likes of Dr. Oz, Dr. Dean Ornish, and Deepak Chopra predisposed me to dislike this book. But it's not as bad as I thought it'd be.

The good parts first. Dr. Hyman favors the Mediterranean diet, strength training, and high-intensity interval training. His recommended way of eating is an improvement over the standard American diet, improving prospects for health and longevity. His dietary approach to insulin-resistant overweight/obesity and type 2 diabetes includes 1) avoidance of sugar, flour, processed foods, 2) preparation of your own meals from natural, whole food, and 3) keeping glycemic loads low. All well and good for weight loss and blood sugar control. It's not a vegetarian diet.

The author proposes a new trade-marked medical condition: diabesity. It refers to insulin resistance in association with (usually)

overweight, obesity, and/or type 2 diabetes mellitus. Dr. Hyman says half of Americans have this brand-new disorder, and he has the cure. If you don't have overt diabetes or prediabetes, you'll have to get your insulin levels measured to see if you have diabesity.

He reiterates many current politically correct fads, such as grass-fed/pastured beef, organic food, detoxification, and strict avoidance of all man-made chemicals, notwithstanding the relative lack of scientific evidence supporting many of these positions.

Dr. Hyman bills himself as a scientist, but his biography in the book doesn't support that label. Shoot, I've got a B.S. degree in zoology, but I'm a practicing physician, not a scientist.

The author thinks there are only six causes of all disease: single-gene genetic disorders, poor diet, chonic stress, microbes, toxins, and allergens. None of those explain hypothyroidism, tinnitus, migraines, irritable bowel syndrome, Parkinsons disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, or multiple sclerosis, to name a few that don't fit his paradigm.

Dr. Hyman makes a number of claims that are just plain wrong. Here are some: - Over 80% of Americans are deficient in vitamin D - Lack of fiber contributes to cancer - High C-reactive protein (in blood) is linked to a 1,700% increased probability of developing diabetes - Processed, factory-made foods have no nutrients - We must take nutritional supplements

Furthermore, he recommends a minimum of 11 and perhaps as many as 16 different supplements even though the supportive science is weak or nonexistent. Is he selling supplements?

After easily finding these bloopers, I started questioning many other of the author's statements.

I was very troubled by the apparent lack of warning about hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Many folks with diabetes will be reading this book. They could experience hypoglycemia on this diet if they're taking certain diabetes drugs: insulin, sulfonylureas, meglitinides, pramlintide plus insulin, exenatide plus sulfonylurea, and possibly thiazolidinediones, to name a few instances.

If you don't have diabetes but do need to lose weight, this book may help. If you have diabetes, strongly consider an alternative such as Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution.

In the interest of brevity, I'll not comment on Dr. Hyman's substitution of time-tested science-based medicine with his own "Functional Medicine."

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60 · March 09, 2012 at 09:06 PM

I suspect that Hyman knows he's advocating a Paleo like approach. But perhaps he doesn't want to be classified under that heading. Let's face it. Once you've been branded as a Paleo person, people either agree with you or think you're a nut. What I've noticed though is that more and more people are essentially arriving at a Paleo like diet, even if they don't want to call it that. Besides Hyman, there's the author of Cure Tooth Decay who talks about using diet to prevent and even reverse tooth decay. If you read the book, you'll see a huge overlap between his diet and Paleo. So I think authors like Hyman actually help the Paleo movement. They send the message that this isn't just a bunch of nutcases on the fringe. Now we're seeing actual doctors come out of the Paleo closet.

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18 · July 19, 2013 at 08:51 PM

I'm curious... Dr. Hyman .. is he really a "Medical Doctor"? His site list "Ottawa University School of Medicine" ... there is not such school. Is he talking about the "University of Ottawa" in Canada or the one in the the USA that is primary a "mail order" school? No place does it mention where or when he practiced medicine. Did he do an internship somewhere and if so, what was his field of study? There seems to me a big lack of information about his medical training and practice as a Medical Doctor ... Would be interested in finding out more information about the real Mark Hyman, MD ..

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10 · February 16, 2013 at 03:08 PM

I did read Dr Hyman's book after being diagnosed with insulin resistance. It just sounded like clean eating common sense principles to me. I have been eating "clean" for a while but Dr Hyman's approach to looking at the glycemic load of foods really helped me discover what foods (regardless of whether they were healthy foods) I was eating that were causing me to gain weight (ie gluten, some "natural" sugars, dairy, and grains) I cut these foods out of my diet and I have lost 20 lbs in 6 weeks. Even better, this is a way of eating for life that I can live with.

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10 · January 17, 2013 at 07:50 PM

I just want to say to those readers who think this approach is just another diet that the functional medicine approach that Dr Hyman recommends for controlling blood sugar and prediabetes is not just about reducing carbs. It is a multi faceted approach to create a healthier body. This is the difference between his approach and a 'traditional' low carb approach.

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18 · August 19, 2012 at 08:19 PM

Everyone who is susceptible (genetically) gets diabetes sooner or later. All a person can do is postpone it. A friend of mine who was slim all of her life and regularly exercises, got diagnosed type II diabetes - when she was 92. I asked her if she's taking meds (she's now 94) and she told me that she was just maintaining normal sugar levels by lifestyle. My Mum got diagnosed diabetes when she was in her late 60's. She was clinically obese (close to 300 lbs) and never exercised. Was a healthy eater basically but liked her chocolates. A cousin of my husband's got DXed with diabetes when she was 71. She's now 74, still gets around well, clinically obese and didn't really modify her diet. So you see a lot of this is a bill of goods. I am a lifetime member of Weight Watchers and have lost 110 lbs and kept it off for 2.5 years. I am 68 years old, exercise cardio daily, resistance training 3 or 4 times a week and yoga 4 or 5 times a week. No surgery or Dr Hyman's diet and I love my sweets and have them daily (in addition to lots of veggies and good food). I have normal sugar levels. it's hard enough to live on Weight Watchers - you have to journal your food daily. But at least you can eat anything you want. (I just finished a Dairy Queen sundae - I save up my discretionary points and have fun on Sundays). But with Hyman's program, you give up anything which tastes good. You can imagine how long most folks will stay on it. And as you can see, you can be slim and healthy and enjoy sweets and cake and ice cream in moderation.

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125 · March 02, 2012 at 01:06 PM

I like Dr. Hyman and have read several of his books. I think he's on target on a lot of things. I'm a bit suspicious of his association with Dr. Oz (he kinda creeps me out and is definitely too rooted in conventional medicine for my taste). That being said, I haven't read Hyman's new book, but if someone truly wants to control blood sugar and get their body back to a healthy state, applying traditional eating and paleo principles is definitely the way to go. Before I ever even read a Paleo book, I was telling my clients to eat in a paleoesque way as it works and just feels right, particularly related to blood sugar issues. I'm not surprised that Dr. Hyman's book does the same thing, even if inadvertently.

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0 · February 14, 2014 at 03:37 PM

@usernamedan mckinnon

He's legit, graduated from Cornell, and would not have been accepted into a family practice residency and the Univ of California otherwise. His suggestions are excellent compared with those with "diabesity" who've been couch potatoes subsisting on overly processed convenience foods, too many grains and added sugars. The diets and lifestyles of many Americans are horrid. We depend on laxatives, blood lowering/cholesterol lowering drugs, antacids, and all sorts of other unnatural to the body meds--I dare anyone to try eating as he suggests for a couple of months and report back how they're doing!

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77342 · August 17, 2013 at 10:55 PM

AS A MEDICAL DOCTOR WHO HAS GONE OUT OF HIS WAY TO BE AN AUTODIDACT ON THIS SUBJECT FOLLOWING DECADES OF CLINICAL EXPERIENCE AFTER MEDICAL SCHOOL, INTERNSHIP AND RESIDENCY, DOCTORS LIKE DR. HYMAN DO US A VERY GREAT SERVICE EVEN IF YOU MAY HAVE A FEW NIT-PICKY ISSUES WITH THE ENTIRETY OF THE SCIENCE. BECOMING A WELL PUBLICIZED PHYSICIAN WITH A LARGE PRESENCE ON TALK SHOWS AND OTHER T.V. VENUES WITH A POWERFUL THOUGH "PATENTED" MESSAGE, AND A POPULAR AUTHOR BEATS THE YOU-KNOW-WHAT OUT OF THE SAME OLD TREAT DIABETES AND METABOLIC SYNDROME AFTER THE HORSE HAS LEFT THE BARN FROM THE MAINSTREAM MEDICAL COMMUNITY SPENDING 5 MINUTES WITH EACH PATIENT. ADD THAT TO THE APATHY AMERICANS SHOW FOR THEIR HEALTH UNLESS SOMEBODY SHAKES THEIR WORLD A LITTLE BY LINKING THEIR FAT ASSES AND DIABETES WITH A COINED TERM LIKE DIABESITY. THERE IS NEVER A 100% CASUE AND EFFECT LINK IN ANYTHING BUT THE ASSOCIATION IS SO STRONG IN THIS CONDITION AS TO BE WORTHY OF HAMMERING HOME HOWEVER THE GOOD DOCTOR CAN DO IT.

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0 · March 05, 2013 at 12:47 PM

-Eating whole grains instead of factory-processed carbs (including sugar) is not only more healthy, it's revolutionary! The Paleo diet omits carbs altogether, right? That is quite a difference. -Eat protein and grains, both with vegetables, at separate times. And eat fruit by itself. This is the most radical change you can make to your diet. They are digested at different rates by the body. Also with this method it is hard to overeat.

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8 · February 25, 2013 at 06:24 PM

Obviously if you cut calories you will lose some weight, but Dr Hyman's Blood Sugar Solution, is not only about cutting certain foods that make you sick, but also eating foods that will help you heal your body. We have finished the 6 week advanced plan, and we are no longer diabetic. As a side effect we lost weight, but we have no aches, pains, or problems, and we feel great. Most of the comments here are from people that claim not having read the book. Well, we not only read the book, watch the PBS video, but also followed it to a T, and we are grateful for writing it, because it helps us learn much more about the food we eat.

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0 · January 16, 2013 at 04:04 AM

I appreciate your comments here. I think you've given an authentic review. I get almost all of my patients on paleo diet and as you know it takes care of many issues. However, Mark Hyman is on the cutting edge.

I through your comment about how his 6 underlying causes of diseases was absolutely 100% off base. In fact, by addressing those 6 underlying causes I see people overcome almost every disease and disoder that I'm presented with. He's on point. We'll never have the phone stick man "double blind" research studies done on humans that would "substantiate" scientific credibility for the toxins we are exposed to. Would you swollow a cup of benzene or a tsp of mercury. It would be inhuman... The world of science is backwards, just read lead research scientists for Canada Health's book "The Cure for Everything". He brings this truth into full light.

That's all I wanted to say. Great site and thanks for getting your view out there.

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0 · January 01, 2013 at 10:53 PM

I have not read Dr. Hyman's book but have read a lot about his program. Seems to me this is rather similar to the information Dr. Atkins was researching and promoting at the time of his death. His approach was low carb, staying away from sugar, and taking supplements. Some people criticized his plan for being too loaded with fat, but many of us who tried it found that even though we might initially have overdone on bacon, butter, etc., we quickly reached a point where a little went a long way. We ended up balancing our intake of protein, vegetables and fat, and eventually adding in some whole grains. That, with a bit of exercise, does work for losing weight and balancing blood sugar.

I am suspicious of any doctor/scientist whose plan demands you give up everything all the time as it is bound to fail; or any doctor/scientist who claims to cure all these diseases with one plan. Many of these guys seem more interested in making big bucks by promoting their own line of supplements.

Diabetes and hypertension are issues for me, and only now am I seriously starting to address them beyond the medication level. I have begun exercise and am now looking to find a manageable way to adjust my diet. I think I will avoid Hyman's program because I am susceptible to low blood sugar from time to time and I don't want to exacerbate the possibility.

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0 · November 20, 2012 at 11:31 PM

This is not psuedo-science. After much study and deliberation I discovered that modern scientists have known for at least ten years that 55% of modern society doesn't process carbohydrates from baked goods, pasta, etc. as well as the other 45% does. Hence people say they have cut their calories drastically (not good) and are still GAINING weight! For that portion of society, these types of carbs need to be limited and initially the person should not have any off them for a week or two, then slowly add them back into the diet minimally. This is a concept that has been introduced by other doctors and dieticians (see "The Metabolism Miracle"). Why? Because folks who are born insulin resistant that eat too many "simple carbohydrates" have an issue wherein the carbs go straight to the liver, which converts them to fat! If these people aren't limiting those carbs, every time they eat them, even if they are counting calories, THOSE calories are stored as fat. So much for calories in and out, the old mantra we were taught. I actually started doing the DASH diet and removed those types of carbs for about two weeks and slowly added some in, which is supposed to reset the function of the liver. It seems to be working because over a year (I'm near 60) I lost 53 pounds. I'm still losing-and have never lost that much before and KEPT IT OFF. My cravings are minimal and I just have the things I that really want sometimes. I also stay away from additives and etc., soda, which can ruin your stomach. when I was a kid we didn't eat all of these processed foods. I would check in with a dietician who know this method first and make certain that this is a plan for you. But it's not a fad diet...

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0 · September 05, 2012 at 04:32 PM

moderation is the word. You can eat many food but a small portion. I saw people in "all you can eat restaurant"... It is very disturbing....4..5..6...+ plates of food because it is cheap, if food prices in many places were up and smaller portion people would be used to this and eat less. See the european, restaurant portion are much smaller than ours...they are not heavy like us.

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0 · August 11, 2012 at 02:11 PM

@thhq much interested.

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77342 · March 02, 2012 at 01:21 PM

Perhaps you can get a sense of Dr Hyman here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhkLcpJTV9M

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10068 · March 02, 2012 at 11:39 AM

I've never heard of him before and I don't buy diet books, so thanks for the link. The website is slick and garrulous, and focused on selling his books. It reveals a plan that sounds similar to the Mediterranean diet. I didn't see anything about activity, so apparently it's a dietary approach rather than a lifestyle change.

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-4 · June 12, 2013 at 06:40 AM

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