Monthly Archives: February 2012

Diabesity – A Reversible Epidemic
Mark Hyman, MD

What life threatening, life sapping, energy robbing condition affects one in every two Americans (that is EVERY OTHER person) including 80% of those overweight and up to 40% of normal weight people? What condition is responsible for more deaths from heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes and dementia than anything else? What condition also causes acne, infertility, sexual dysfunction and depression?

What condition accounts for more then 70% of our $2.4 trillion annual health care bill and will account for most of the $47 trillion we will spend globally over the next 20 years to deal with chronic disease? What is responsible for nearly twice as many deaths every year as infectious disease, even in the developing world?

And what condition is not even diagnosed in over 90% of those who suffer from it?

What condition are doctors not trained or reimbursed to diagnose, treat or prevent, yet makes up the majority of health care visits and costs?

And what condition is nearly 100% preventable, treatable and reversible?


It is the single biggest health challenge facing us individually, as a nation and as a global community.

Diabesity is the continuum of metabolic disturbances from mild blood sugar and insulin imbalances to pre-diabetes to full blown type 2 diabetes. It occurs in about 40% of people of normal weight – these are the skinny fat people who look thin but are metabolically fat and have all the same risk factors for disease and death as those who are overweight. And it occurs in 80% of overweight people.

Since it affects every other American, watch this video to see if you have it.

The solution is not coming from our health care system or doctors, not from our government, or from most corporations. There are too many people vested in maintaining the status quo or worse profiting from making us fat and sick. We need a solution.

That is why I wrote, The Blood Sugar Solution. It has a bold central goal: to address and begin to reverse a global epidemic. It is a personal guide and plan, as well as a program for helping people get healthy together, based on functional medicine, and it is a blueprint for us to take back our health as a society.

Obesity, pre-diabetes and diabetes or what I call diabesity, which now affects one in two Americans arises out of existing social, economic and political conditions. In fact obesity and diabetes are social diseases and need a social cure and collective action on many levels to reverse the tide.

Over 10 years, these conditions will cost America over $3.5 trillion in direct costs, not including lost productivity and the costs in quality of life. From 1983 to 2008, worldwide diabetes rates increased seven fold from 35 million to 240 million. In just 3 years from 2008 to 2011, the roll call for diabetes increased another 110 million.

Children less than 10 years old now get type 2 (or adult onset) diabetes, and have strokes and heart attacks by age 15 or 20. One in three children born today will have diabetes unless we do something differently.

I wrote The Blood Sugar Solution to tackle this problem head on.

It is a personal plan that breaks through myths about obesity and diabetes that keep us sick and fat. And lays out the seven key steps to preventing, treating and reversing diabesity by dealing with the underlying causes. It is an eight-week plan that takes you through step by step how to reboot your metabolism, lose weight, reverse type 2 diabetes.

It is a plan for us to be more successful by working together to get healthy. We do twice as well and lose twice as much weight when we get support from others in community. We are better together.

We recently did a “beta test” of this program with about 150 people. Their results were astounding:

  • The group lost a total of 1,536 pounds in just eight weeks. That’s an average weight loss of over ten pounds per person!
  • More than half the group lost more than ten pounds. Some lost as much as 28 pounds.
  • Average waist size decreased by 1.5 inches, and some people lost so much of their waist that they had to go out and buy new clothes. One woman lost eight inches from her waist. Imagine, eight inches in eight weeks. No medication can help you do that.

But The Blood Sugar Solution is about far more than weight loss; it’s about taking back your health and your life. People who completed the program reported an average reduction of 14 points on their systolic blood pressure, their fatigue evaporated and they had more energy than they had felt in years, their joint and muscle pain vanished; the program improved their mood and sleep, eliminated their brain fog, and a provided a deep sense of well being. The Blood Sugar Solution gave these people a new lease on life, here are a few of their stories.

The Blood Sugar Solution is a plan for each of us to take back our health as a society. Our health has been hijacked from us, taken from us slowly, quietly, over the past century. Our current food, social, family, school, work, faith-based, and community environments, health care institutions, and government policies make it hard for us to make healthy choices. We are presented with choices that foster bad habits. But together, getting and staying healthy is possible given the right information, tools, support, and collective action to take back our health.

Navigating the Terrain of Disease: Getting to the Root of the Problem

To effectively treat diabesity we must shift our focus away from the symptoms or risk factors of the disease and begin taking a hard look at the causes. All of our attention is on treatments that lower blood sugar (diabetes drugs and insulin), lower high blood pressure (anti-hypertensive drugs), improve cholesterol (statins), and thin the blood (aspirin). But we never ever ask the most important question:

Why is your blood sugar, blood pressure, or blood cholesterol too high and why is your blood too sticky and likely to clot?

Put another way: What are the root causes of diabesity?

Answering that question must be the focus of our diagnosis and treatment of the disease if we are going to solve this global epidemic.

The good news is that the answer is shockingly simple.

The Real Causes of Diabesity

The entire spectrum of diabesity including all of its complications—diabetes, elevated blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol—are simply downstream symptoms that result from problems with diet, lifestyle, and environmental toxins interacting with our unique genetic susceptibilities.

Those are the real causes of diabesity.

And the reason these dietary and lifestyle factors lead to diabesity is because they create a condition known as insulin resistance. Contrary to what most people think, type 2 diabetes is a disease of too much, not too little, insulin. Insulin is the real driver of problems with diabesity.

When your diet is full of empty calories and an abundance of quickly absorbed sugars, liquid calories,i and carbohydrates (like bread, pasta, rice, and potatoes), your cells slowly become resistant to the effects of insulin and needs more and more to do the same job of keeping your blood sugar even. Thus you develop insulin resistance. A high insulin level is the first sign of a problem. The higher your insulin levels are, the worse your insulin resistance. Your body starts to age and deteriorate. In fact, insulin resistance is the single most important phenomenon that leads to rapid and premature aging and all its resultant diseases, including heart disease, stroke, dementia, and cancer.ii,iii

As your insulin levels increase it leads to an appetite that is out of control, increasing weight gain around the belly, more inflammation and oxidative stress, and myriad downstream effects including high blood pressure; high cholesterol; low HDL, high triglycerides;iv weight gain around the middle; thickening of the blood; and increased risk of cancer, Alzheimer’s, and depression. These are all a result of insulin resistance and too much insulin. Elevated blood sugar is not the source of the problem.
And because insulin resistance (and diabesity) are a direct outcome of diet and lifestyle, the condition is 100 percent reversible in the vast majority of cases. Most people just need to eliminate the things that are sending their biology out of balance and include what’s needed to help the body rebalance itself. For most the interventions required are extremely simply and extraordinarily effective.

8 Steps to Reversing Diabesity

In my new book  The Blood Sugar Solution I outline a comprehensive 8-week plan for overcoming diabesity in all its forms. Here is a sneak preview of the steps outlined in the book:

1. Get the right tests. Most doctors focus on fasting blood sugar. This is actually a poor indicator of diabesity. The best test to tease out the condition is an insulin response test where insulin levels are measured fasting and then 1 and 2 hours after a glucose drink. Demand this test from your doctor.
2. Get smart about nutrition. Despite the media hype and the seeming confusion amongst doctors, the basics of nutrition are extremely simply. Eliminate sugar and processed carbohydrates, include whole real foods like lean protein (chicken or fish), veggies, nuts, seeds, beans and whole grains.
3. Get the right supplements. There has recently been a frenzy of negative reports about supplements. Most of them are unfounded. Supplements are an essential part of treating diabesity. A good multivitamin, vitamin D, fish oil, and special blood sugar balancing nutrients like alpha lipoic acid, chromium polynicotinate, biotin, cinnamon, green tea catechins, and PGX (a super fiber) should also be included.
4. Get relaxed. Stress is a major unrecognized contributor to insulin resistance and blood sugar imbalance. Push your pause button every day with deep breathing, visualization, yoga, and other relaxation techniques.
5. Get moving. Aside from changing your diet, exercise is probably the single best medication for diabesity. Walk for at least 30 minutes every day. For some, 30-60 minutes of more vigorous aerobic exercise 4-6 times a week may be necessary.
6. Get clean and green. Environmental toxins also contribute to diabesity. Filter your water, look for green cleaning products, and avoid plastics when you can.
7. Get personal. While the steps above will address 80 percent of the problems with diabesity, some may need to take additional steps to optimize key areas of their biology. Remember, the medicine of the future is personal medicine. Seek out your own biological imbalances and look for ways to address them.
8. Get connected. Research is beginning to show that we get better more effectively when we get together. Invite your friends, families, and neighbors to change their diets and lifestyle along with you. Together we can all take back our health.

I hope that my book The Blood Sugar Solution will be the beginning of a larger transformation – for individuals, communities and for society. In the book I outline all of the social, economic, biological, and medical underpinnings of this health epidemic and provide an 8-week, step-by-step system that will allow you to dig deep into your own biology and heal even the most severe cases of diabesity.

Get a book, get two and give one to someone you love  – you might be saving their life. When you purchase the book from this link you will automatically receive access to the following special bonuses:

  • Special Report—Diabetes and Alzheimer’s: The Truth About “Type 3 Diabetes” and How You Can Avoid It.
  • More Delicious Recipes: 15 Additional Ways to Make The Blood Sugar Solution as Tasty as It’s Healthy!
  • Dr. Hyman’s UltraWellness Nutrition Coaching – FREE for 30 days!
  • Hour 1 of The Blood Sugar Solution Workshop DVD

For more on diabesity, join us on


i Chen L, Appel LJ, Loria C, Lin PH, Champagne CM, Elmer PJ, Ard JD, Mitchell D, Batch BC, Svetkey LP, Caballero B. Reduction in consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with weight loss: the PREMIER trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 May;89(5):1299-306.

ii Bhashyam S, Parikh P, Bolukoglu H, Shannon AH, Porter JH, Shen YT, Shannon RP. Aging is associated with myocardial insulin resistance and mitochondrial dysfunction. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2007 Nov;293(5):H3063-71.

iii Ryan AS. Insulin resistance with aging: effects of diet and exercise. Sports Med. 2000 Nov;30(5):327-46. Review.

iv Gaziano JM, Hennekens CH, O’Donnell CJ, Breslow JL, Buring JE. Fasting triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein, and risk of myocardial infarction. Circulation. 1997 Oct 21;96(8):2520-5.


Karen Russell health coach


We all have stress! We can’t escape it! We need to learn how to effectively manage our stress. It will play a big part in influencing your overall health.

Your body pays a heavy physiological price for every moment you feel anxious, tense, frustrated or angry.

The danger is in experiencing these emotions on a chronic basis! Some things it does along with weight gain:

  • Speeds up your heart rate

  • Diverts most of your blood supply to your large muscles to run or fight

  • Slow down digestive system or shut it down

  • Stimulates release of extra glucose into your blood for energy

  • Causes adrenal glands to increase cortisol which will increase blood sugar and other chemicals in the body

This can cause:

  • High blood pressure

  • Heart Disease

  • Indigestion

  • Constipation & Upset Stomach

  • Low sex drive

  • More susceptible to colds, flu and other diseases like cancer

There is hope! There are skills you can learn that will reduce the output of stress hormones, limiting the effects of chronic stress. Chronic stress causes increased cortisol levels and weight gain around the belly. We all have stress in our lives and just need to learn to handle it differently. Eating a balanced diet and getting rid of foods that cause inflammation helps immensely. You can learn what to eat step by step with the help of a Health Coach.

Of course, none of these things will help unless you do them. Learning to manage stress takes action! So, start today.

  1. Breathe deep and regularly! By deliberately breathing slowly and deeply, you will begin to immediately counteract the effects of stress and will be able to face your problems with a clear head. Practice deep breathing for at least 5 min. twice daily. It will make a difference in your stress level and promote relaxation and good digestion!

  2. Spend some quiet time every day in prayer, meditation, or a purposeful relaxation session. This can help decrease blood pressure, pulse rate, and improve blood circulation. There are many CD’s out there. Try some and use on a regular basis. You can listen at night while going to sleep or in the day at the computer or while doing things like walking, etc.

  3. Practice Visualization. Almost all great athletes do this. Spend time daily visualizing yourself going about your day in a balanced and emotionally poised manner. You can include this in your prayer/meditation/relaxation exercise.

  4. Make sure you’re getting the nutrients that you need for a healthy nervous system. Your nutritional status makes all the difference when you are handling stress so you don’t suffer health problems. Eat well balanced diet and get adequate B vitamins, vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids.

  5. Drink your stress and anxiety away! It’s not what you think. I’m talking about water. Even slight dehydration affects your nervous system, increasing your level of anxiety and nervousness. Drinking more pure water will help you fell calmer and sleep better. Skip the sodas, coffee, and energy drinks. All the sugar and caffeine will just add to your feelings of stress and anxiety. So will alcohol, as it rapidly turns to sugar in your body. Drown your troubles with water!

  6. Move your body. Regular exercise is one of the best habits to help avoid depression and stay balanced. It doesn’t matter what kind of exercise you do. Ever notice how just taking a walk when you feel stressed helps you to clear your mind? Any enjoyable activity like yoga, swimming, golf, walking, etc. will help you burn off stress hormones and relax! Use your muscles and joints on a regular basis. Use it or lose it!

  7. Be honest about your feelings. One of the best methods to increase awareness of what you are truly feeling is journal writing. Just write down whatever you feel. Pure thoughts from your mind and heart onto a piece of paper or computer even work. Regular journaling can be extremely beneficial to your emotional health.

  8. Relax and get a good night’s sleep. Sleep is vital to our health and ability to deal with life’s problems. Think of how much better you feel after a good night’s sleep. Use some natural supplements if necessary. Turn off lights, computers, etc. before bed to give your body time to unwind and avoid the stimulation of these things.

  9. Pamper yourself a little. A pleasurable experience does more good for the body than a stressful experience does harm. Pleasure enhances health, energy and emotional well-being. It causes our muscles to relax and even triggers healing. So, instead of focusing on avoiding stress, plan time for pleasure, instead. Get a massage, engage in a pleasurable hobby or activity, take a relaxing bath, soak in a hot tub, listen to beautiful music, and surround yourself with pleasant fragrances, colors and sounds. Doing these things will counteract the harmful effects of stress on your body and mind.

  10. Do these things for yourself. You deserve it. Put them on your “To Do List!”


Free Consultation when you Contact Karen Russell, Certified Health Counselor

7Recipe 4 Wellness | Karen Russell Ways to Live Healthy

What does it mean to be healthy? It’s not always easy. The decisions you make and what you eat play a big part in being healthy. It takes time and you need to do it a little bit at a time. As time goes on, you get used to making healthier decisions. After awhile, being healthy will seem effortless.

Here are some ways to live healthy:

  1.  Realize that it’s not easy at first. None of us want to have extra weight, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes or any other health issue. So why do we still eat unhealthy? It has to do with the foods available, our emotional ties to the foods and our lack of understanding what’s really good for us and what’s not. We need to educate ourselves and find out why we are attached to certain foods.
  2. Don’t buy unhealthy foods. It sounds easy but you have to be conscious about making that decision no matter what you’re doing or where you are. Pack your lunch. Replace unhealthy food with healthy food (that tastes good).
  3. Get support from family and friends by telling them that you are going to eat healthy and why. If someone teases you or tries to convince you to eat something unhealthy, don’t cave in! Stick to what you know is right. Misery loves company!
  4. Set goals and stay motivated. Why are you doing this? Write it down and put it where you can see it. Break it up into small mini steps. Remind yourself of your goals daily and reward yourself each step of the way.
  5. Make it liveable. You will be successful if you are making recipes you like and eating where you like to eat. As you make healthy changes, you will change. Find new places to eat and shop.
  6. Stop the negative thoughts. These go through our heads all the time! As soon as you get a negative thought, replace it with a positive one. Over time, this habit will change your outlook and you will feel better.
  7.  Move often. Don’t sit for long. Get up and move. Stretch, dance, run, walk or jump. Just move.

If you incorporate these healthy ways into your life, you will do them without thinking and you will have a better and more fulfilling life!


Karen Russell is a Certified Health Coach and Nutritionist with over 20 years experience working with the most challenging health issues facing our society; weight and blood sugar management, including: diabetes, hypoglycemia, and metabolic syndrome.  Contact Karen for your free consultation!



  • Organic Kale
  • Celtic sea salt
  • Nutritional Yeast
  • Spray Oil


Clean kale and pull of stems into pieces.
Place on baking sheet and spray with oil or drizzle oil on top.
Sprinkle with nutritional yeast.
Bake at 400 degrees for about 8-10 min. Don’t burn. They will be crispy and delicious!

Better Than Chips!


More recipes can be found in our Gluten Free Living cookbook!

Dieting Mentality

Recipe 4 Wellness | Karen Russell

One thing that hasn’t worked for me in my life is putting my focus on what I shouldn’t be eating. I’ve tried it it in the past with sugar, carbs and chocolate! The more I focused on dieting and staying away from these foods, the worse I did.

As a result of thinking this way, my weight would go up and down and I would tell myself things like, I was bad today or I cheated today on my diet. These are very negative comments that we say to ourselves a lot. It’s part of the reason that dieting doesn’t work in the long run and why we end up feeling so bad about ourselves.

Wouldn’t it be better to concentrate on what we should be eating and learn how to tweak what we do eat to make it taste delicious but healthy? I can’t even imagine a life without chocolate!

So, what’s one food you are saying NO to? How can you create a YES?


Karen Russell is a Certified Health Coach and Nutritionist with over 20 years experience working with the most challenging health issues facing our society; weight and blood sugar management, including: diabetes, hypoglycemia, and metabolic syndrome.  Contact Karen for your free consultation!


Are you exercising, taking supplements and eating decent but still not losing weight? So many women are in this boat. So what does stress have to do with weight loss?

Our bodies respond to stress by storing fat around our belly. Here’s what happens when we are stressed:

  • Cortisol levels increase.
  • Leptin sensitivity goes down. (This is what tells us we’re full.)
  • Hunger goes up.
  • Belly fat increases as fat gets stored. (Visceral fat)

  Finally, weight goes up!

This all takes place even if stress is not real and only perceived. When cortisol is out of whack and our adrenal glands aren’t functioning the way they should, we can gain weight in the belly and also have less energy when we need it. With long term stress, cortisol and insulin remain high and the extra glucose gets stored as fat. This cycle continues unless you get to the root of the problem.

Here are some symptoms:

  1. Do you feel tired during the day and perk up at night?
  2. Do you like to snack in the evening or stay up late?
  3. When under pressure, do you feel shaky, hungry or confused?
  4. Do you rely on caffeine and sugar to get through the day?
  5. Do you notice a spare tire around your middle?
  6. Do you exercise and eat right but still have a hard time losing weight?

These are some signs that you may have imbalanced cortisol levels. You can go on for a long time this way but the end result in the long run is exhausted cortisol levels and very low energy or possibly disease.

The good news is that you can get to the bottom of this. You can have your cortisol levels checked to see what’s going on. I have test kits available with all my programs to help you get to the root of the issue so you can be successful with losing weight and increase your energy.

Your cortisol levels are checked 4 times during the day with saliva to see if you are out of balance at any or all of these times during the day. It’s easy to do and very informative.

CONTACT ME to set up a time to talk about it.

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Lost Weight & No Longer Pre-Diabetic!

I was suffering with health issues and have an apple-pumpkin shaped body. My overall weight seems to be in my torso. I have lost 4″ on my chest and 4-5″ on my waist and about 25 lbs.! I’m in a different pant size and I have decreased my medications. I am no longer pre-diabetic! My

Steve Shanken Arizona June 1, 2015


Karen Russell

Certified Health Counselor

140 Schuerman Drive

Sedona, AZ 86336

(by appointment only)





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