Balancing Blood Sugar and Hope for Type 1 Diabetics
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Kami Lingren: Welcome to The Wellness Crossing. I’m your host, Kami Lingren, and this podcast is designed to share real experiences and inspiration for reclaiming health, reviving the soul, and embracing a life defined by you. Join me each week as we pursue healing and learn to be our best advocate in health and beyond.
Kami Lingren: All right, listeners. Welcome back to today’s episode of The Wellness Crossing. I’m so glad you’re here. I’m really looking forward to sharing today’s guests, Lyle Haugen, with you. He is just a powerhouse in teaching and sharing his knowledge of diabetes and how to manage blood sugars. So really without getting into anything more, I really would love for you, Lyle, to share what it is you do, what you’re passionate about, and what brings you here today.
Lyle Haugen: Well, thank you Kami. Wonderful being on your show. It’s great. I am a type 1 diabetic. There are two types, type one … Actually, there’s about three or four, but I won’t get into all that right now. There’s type one and type two. They’re the two that most people are familiar with. I’ve been type one since 1985 after an industrial explosion. The explosion caused the onset of type 1 diabetes.
Kami Lingren: Wow.
Lyle Haugen: That has kind of been where I’m at for the last 35 years.
Kami Lingren: Is there something you believe that was a part of that triggering diabetes starting, and do you feel like that’s something that can be common for other people as well?
Lyle Haugen: I do. To be honest with you, Kami, I spent 27 years following the mainstream medical system as to how to manage, and control, and take care of. They made some great advances over the years in technology and better insulins, but they still never truly figured out how to manage because it’s such a fluid system. I mean, you put one thing in your mouth that does this thing. You put another thing, and it doesn’t do the same thing. So, it’s very confusing for a lot of people. It’s very taxing.
Kami Lingren: Sure.
Lyle Haugen: There was an expression made by somebody in … Coming up here soon, it’ll be a hundred years since the discovery of insulin by Banting and Best, two Canadian researchers. During that discovery, prior to that, there were sanitariums for type 1 diabetics that you basically went to die. So with the discovery of insulin, we’ve turned this from a death sentence to a life sentence.
Kami Lingren: Amazing. Amazing.
Lyle Haugen: But in that life sentence, it depends on how you approach a lot of things. There are some doors that get closed. During my journey, I had recently come back from Los Angeles and had been trained as a commercial deep sea diver. Kami, I was trained to dive to a thousand feet plus, and I also became a diver medic, which may have a little bit to why I became a coach eventually here, but…
Kami Lingren: Wow.
Lyle Haugen: The medical portion of that …. Give you a little visual representation because there is a lot of stuff in the news now about going back to the moon, and going to Mars, and space travel. That was kind of my … That was my thing when I was a kid because I was six, seven years old when we first landed on the moon. I wanted to be an aerospace engineer. When things didn’t work out that way, my next chance at it was to be a diver, which is very much like being an astronaut. Matter of fact, astronauts train in the water. So, there’s a lot of similarities. There’s a lot of science. There’s a lot of engineering. There’s a lot of excitement to do that kind of stuff. It’s kind of you’re not supposed to be there. Right?
Kami Lingren: Totally.
Lyle Haugen: It’s a little bit of thrill and excitement that steered me in that direction but then I ended up becoming diabetic. I’ve now, in the last five years since I’ve made a lot of changes, really sort of delving into my history and kind of thinking like, “What was I like? What was going on at the time? What was happening?” Because your question was, what can set you up to become … Is there a possibility of being set up to become a type one or any diabetic? And I believe there is. I truly believe there is. There is a lot of, I should say, few studies as to how that is, as opposed to managing a cure. Maybe we should be looking at prevention as opposed to a cure.
Kami Lingren: Powerful.
Lyle Haugen: Do you see where I’m going with that?
Kami Lingren: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Lyle Haugen: I kind of looked at my life. I was in a lot of stress. There was a lot of anxiety. I’d just come back from dive school. I was recently married six, seven, eight months prior to that. A lot of stuff going on in my life. Then, all of a sudden, I opened this door of a building, and building blows up, blows me 45 feet across the lease. I worked in the oil and gas industry, and that totally changed my life. I lost my diving career. Eventually, because of being a new diabetic when you go through the lows and highs in your blood sugar it, it drags your emotions with it. Have you heard the expression hangry?
Kami Lingren: Yes.
Lyle Haugen: Right? Well, that’s low blood sugar, okay?
Kami Lingren: Yeah.
Lyle Haugen: The thing is, most people don’t understand what high blood sugar is. So when you get type one, you are blessed to have both of them. And I say that facetiously, right? So you get to see both sides of the tracks here, and both sides really suck. It really does. You have this narrow window where you’re supposed to be between. In Canada, we call that 4 to 8 mmol. In the US, I think it’s 70 to 150 mg/dl, somewhere in there. that’s where your blood sugar level is supposed to be travelling in.
Lyle Haugen: Now, what could be setting all this stuff up? Type one is an autoimmune disease. So what is it that’s flaring up the autoimmune? Well, if we track some of that back, we can go all the way back to Hippocrates, and he says all disease begins in the gut. If we have issues with our intestines, with our gut, at the time of a stressful event, such as me being blown up that can disrupt the immune system.
A few months later, I’d gone to diabetic school with a guy that had just gotten married. That was his stressor. A lot of people get a virus. That’s their stressor. But, there has to be a perfect storm before, I believe, before this to ever takes hold.
Kami Lingren: That makes a lot of sense. Even when I think of my journey with illness as well, there were years leading up to it and triggers along the way that, as you said, that perfect storm. So many people I know, too, have experienced that, and it is beyond the onset of whatever they’ve experienced next in their diagnoses or in their health. So for you then, you’ve kind of shared some of the big ways it’s affected your life, and leaving a career you loved and were passionate about. What are some of the day-to-day ways that it affects your life, and how do you manage that?
Lyle Haugen: Great question. Before I sort of got a bit of a routine of what I do now and what I can teach people how to do, it was sort of all over the map. A lot of the reason for that was that there were different insulins to work with. I’ll try not to get this too complex for everybody out there. The insulin that you make as a nondiabetic that secretes from your pancreas is what we would call out of the vial, regular insulin or short-acting insulin. Insulin is a hormone that secretes into the bloodstream, and it is there to move glycogen out of the bloodstream and into the cells. That’s all it’s … Well, that’s not all it’s designed to do, but that’s one of the major functions it’s designed to do.
Lyle Haugen: So, the bloodstream does not like to have an excessive or high percentage of sugar in it. When it gets too much, we start scratching the blood vessels. We start creating a lot of issues in there. That’s why type ones or diabetics have some of the largest amounts of heart problems, stroke problems, kidney problems because it’s actually a vascular disease. It breaks down the blood vessels. It also creates problems in our eyes. So again, being vascular, we ended up with eye issues, basically, retinopathy where the retina detaches from the back of the eye because of a bleeder, we get little aneurysms in there or little strokes kind of thing, and they just … They keep bleeding and they don’t stop.
Lyle Haugen: Those are things that we need to watch. But all of this stuff that we need to watch is only because our blood sugars are out of normal range, Kami. The trick here is to keep everything into the normal range, and that’s the challenge that most people face.
Kami Lingren: So for those who are listening then who maybe feel like they’re questioning, is it even possible for them to maintain more control, more … I don’t know if balance really is the right word, but more of a semblance of balance with their blood sugars. Do you believe there’s hope and are there some kind of insights you would give as to where to even start?
Lyle Haugen: Another great question. So to be honest with you, before I started working exclusively with type one and type two’s, I actually worked with the general population. Because as I made some discoveries for myself and balancing my own blood sugar, the amazing thing was that I found out how to balance blood sugars in nondiabetics.
Kami Lingren: Oh, wow.
Lyle Haugen: Most of my work was initially, the first four or five years, was balancing blood sugars in nondiabetics. And believe it or not, when you have balanced blood sugars in a nondiabetic, they all lose weight, if that’s one of their problems. It’s a side benefit. If you balance your blood sugar, your body will stabilize back to where it’s supposed to be. Happens every time.
Lyle Haugen: Now, there can be some other issues with hormones that we need to fix and work with and all that kind of stuff. But, I figured if I can balance a nondiabetic’s blood sugar, then why can’t we move that over to the diabetic category? So what did we do in the nondiabetics? We worked with the food. One thing is diabetics are taught, especially type ones, they go, “Oh. Ever since Banting and Best, you’ve got it easy now. You’ve got insulin.” Well, it’s not easy but … And we do have insulin. That’s great, but this is not like taking a blood pressure pill, Kami, and you take it once a day and you don’t think about it.
Kami Lingren: Sure.
Lyle Haugen: You can’t do that with diabetes because it’s so fluid. You can eat something, 20 minutes later your blood sugar will double in 20 minutes.
Kami Lingren: Wow.
Lyle Haugen: An hour later, that whole doubling will go away. Remember we were talking about hangry?
Kami Lingren: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Lyle Haugen: Here’s the setup for hangry. Most people typically in the morning will have a high carbohydrate breakfast, whatever that is. Cereal, toast, milk, all the traditional stuff we were advertised to or grew up on because your friends and everybody else did it, right?
Kami Lingren: Yeah.
Lyle Haugen: So you start out with this high carbohydrate breakfast. You’re wide awake instantly. You’re basically on a sugar high. You’re going through your thing, running through a couple of little things in the morning. Next thing you know, that hangry shows up. Well, if we look underneath the body, what’s going on there? Well, as we ingest a lot of these fast carbs, they absorb into our system, into our bloodstream. Our blood sugar level starts to rise. Our system goes, “Hey, we can’t have this going on.” It starts injecting insulin.
Lyle Haugen: The problem is if you have … A lot of foods now with the refining and processing, they have just about vertical rise once you ingest them, you know, like a Richter scale. So as they’re elevating blood sugar, your pancreas is trying to gallop to keep up because it will not allow you to go over this 8 mmol or this 150 mg/dl blood sugar level threshold. That’s your ceiling as a normal person. It doesn’t want you to go above that, so it will produce as much insulin as it needs to make sure you don’t go over that point. Then, your blood sugar starts to drop. And when you get down to that hangry point, that’s when you’re low. See, you, like a normal person by what you ate, overproduced your own insulin.
Kami Lingren: To get to that hangry position?
Lyle Haugen: Exactly. Is that fairly clear or did I make that vaguely?
Kami Lingren: Yeah. No, it makes a lot of sense.
Lyle Haugen: I developed a few recipes and some different things. One of them was on all night sleep solution that I’ve got here. It’s actually an energy bar, but it works to keep you going through the night because it’s got a perfect balance of nutrition and a great macro split between fat, protein, and carbohydrates. The fact of the matter is even in normal nondiabetic people, we have these insulin fluctuations. Are you seeing that now?
Kami Lingren: Yeah, yeah.
Lyle Haugen: So if you’re not diabetic and you’re eating these high carbohydrate foods or you’re drinking the Big Gulp from 7-Eleven, or you’re doing whatever, your pancreas has to keep up with all that sugar that you’re putting in there. And at some point, if you stop putting that sugar in, you’re going to end up probably having a lower reset in your blood sugar, because finally, the insulin will catch up.
Lyle Haugen: But that whole process, all these carbohydrates we’re putting in … There’s a lot to it, more than this. But in general, that flooding of carbohydrate, because the body only wants a certain amount in the bloodstream, it knocks it out of the bloodstream and it goes to the liver, it goes to the muscles, and then it goes to fat.
Kami Lingren: And this is in … Maybe you said and I missed it, but this is in how a normal body will function?
Lyle Haugen: Yeah, that doesn’t … That’s not diabetic, right?
Kami Lingren: Yeah.
Lyle Haugen: So now, let’s bring in this complication of diabetes where type two we’re not really recognizing it. And actually, that sort of set up that I brought you up to right there is kind of the setup for type two. So because you’re kind of ringing your bell a little too much, I say, the pancreas, you’re overextending it, and then if we’ve been doing that for a long time, we start gaining some weight. We’re getting a little out of shape. We’re not using our muscles as much. Well then, those extra fuel storages … Your muscle is a place to store fuel case you need it, so is your liver. But as we become a little more sedentary or we get little stress going on, we get some muscle degradation, next thing you know we’re just not using those stores anymore, and we start falling down in sort of the whole process, and everything starts getting stored the fat.
And when it gets really, really lazy and the liver gets plugged up, then we start not recognizing our own insulin because it’s not recleaning out everything that it should be. This is where we ended up with, kind of type two. So we can become resistant to our own insulin because a lot of people have been over flooding the system with it. Then, eventually, the cells just don’t pick it up anymore. Now, there’s a lot of complications to that, too. That’s a really simplistic, basic explanation.
Lyle Haugen: In my case as a type one, my pancreas has been attacked and shut down. We can see that with the clinical blood test results. If you take a blood test of somebody and you’re not sure if they are either type one or type two, there’s an IgG4 factor I believe they look for, which is a gammaglobulin something or other. A little off the track on that one, but it’s a … It’s basically saying the body’s under attack. All right? And that’s from a leaky gut.
Here’s an interesting prospect. As I travel and I work with type ones, I’m finding, like myself, as my diabetic life developed over 27 years, I accumulated additional autoimmune diseases. You know what the-
Kami Lingren: Beyond type one?
Lyle Haugen: Yeah. Now, statistically, if we were only talking that autoimmune has a genetic component, and we only say, well, it’s your genetics however it is statistically impossible to have more than one or two additional autoimmune disorders. Or sorry, to have more than two autoimmune diseases or even one. The odds are astronomical that one person’s going to get two, or three, or four. Now, I’ve dealt with clients that have seven additional autoimmune diseases, Kami.
Kami Lingren: Wow.
Lyle Haugen: Seven of them. So what’s going on here? What is happening? Why are we … You know, we get type one, and then we get this, and then we get that. Or I worked with another person, they got lupus, and then they got type one, and then they got Crohn’s, colitis, IBS. Then they got … Do you know what I’m getting at here?
Kami Lingren: Yeah, yeah.
Lyle Haugen: So, why are we getting multiples of these?
Kami Lingren: Sure.
Lyle Haugen: Well, it’s environmental factors are the only other possibility. That’s the only other possibility, environmental factors. So what I do with everybody, and what I did with myself, was, first of all, I healed my gut. I cleaned up my diet. I stopped eating a bunch of stuff that’s we’re not supposed to be eating or that we used to be able to eat, but now we can’t because they messed with it too much. Eliminating a lot of those key bad foods then allowed me to get more stable with insulin, all right?
Kami Lingren: Right.
Lyle Haugen: So if you’re eating sugar, all right? Kami, if you had a can of Coke, regular Coke right now, you’d need to produce or take about five or six units of insulin to counteract that.
Kami Lingren: Wow. From one can of soda. Yeah.
Lyle Haugen: Right? There is a typical insulin program, you have what’s called a basal or a baseline of insulin. As far as the type one is concerned, we’ve established a baseline of insulin coming into our system. Then, every time we eat a meal if you can see in your mind, like in a graph, all right? So, your blood sugars going to go up. But how do we keep that from going up too high? Well, we take a little bit of short-acting insulin. That should get it to crest over, not go too high, and start to come down. This is how we’re supposed to try to keep balance. But if you have that baseline too low and your necessity for short-acting insulin is too great, you put yourself in a position of the rollercoaster. And that is when you’re chasing a low to a high then high to a low followed by a high.
Lyle Haugen: When we get a low blood sugar, we get that hangry feeling. Okay, don’t get in the way of a type 1 diabetic in the refrigerator or your arm will be lost, guaranteed. Or, maybe you come in in the middle of the night, you might find your spouse in the refrigerator with chocolate cake all over their face and that kind of deer-in-the-headlights stare, right? Because you’re just caught them. But that’s what happens to us. We have to get that sugar because the insulin drives us down to a point where we will die or become unconscious first. All right?
The brain has a minimum factor of how much sugar it needs to operate. And if we mess with that, it’s quite dangerous. The sad part is, because of that, we don’t go close enough to that proper level, the proper blood sugar levels, and we end up tending to run higher and higher, which has long-term consequences that are just disasters.
Kami Lingren: So if you were to give a piece of advice or a tip, someone who’s maybe feeling, and they’re hearing all of this, and it’s resonating, they’re thinking, “Oh, maybe I … ” Either they already know they have type one or are considering, maybe something that you’ve said today is getting them curious about maybe they have a blood sugar issue. Where would you encourage them to start, just today? If you were to break it down to either a resource or something for them to just look at in their life or diet, what would you say?
Lyle Haugen: Well, first thing, I would probably get a good diagnosis. That would definitely be the proper thing to do first. There’s been kind of a grey line into here of whether it’s type one or type two because type two’s are showing up now in children and type ones are showing up in what they call LADA, latent autoimmune diabetes in adults. So, this is really unusual. I would first see your doctor. Figure out which one you got. Then, follow what they do for a little while because there are the medical professionals, but they’re afraid to do things the way I’m willing to do them. Because they don’t get a chance to see people very often.
Lyle Haugen: I’ll give you a couple of little stats. First of all, there are 40,000 people a year in the US that become type 1 diabetic.
Kami Lingren: Wow.
Lyle Haugen: Since we’ve had this conversation, two people have become type one.
Kami Lingren: Wow.
Lyle Haugen: And 19 more have become type two. So if we’re going to get medical help, now let’s look at this … Endocrinologists are supposed to be looking after the hormone issue with type one and type two’s. So if you look at the stats on them, there are only enough endocrinologists for … In the US, I believe it’s 7,500 patients a piece. And in Canada, it’s over 8,000. So if they saw a patient every 10 minutes, you might be able to get to see them once a year.
Kami Lingren: This is for if you’re diagnosed.
Lyle Haugen: Yes, this is for if you’re diagnosed with diabetes, how do you get help, right? Who do you go see, okay? These are the people that are supposed to help you. There are courses that happen in the medical industry and that type of stuff, but who is really going to give you the inside track on this? Probably somebody like myself who is on the inside that has been through a lot of things, see stuff work, see stuff that doesn’t work, and can truly experience and understand what low and high blood sugars will actually do to your system. Because as much as the professionals see it, they still have this little … They’re afraid to let you go down a little bit too low because, unfortunately, if you die on their watch, they get in trouble. I understand that.
Kami Lingren: Sure.
Lyle Haugen: You don’t want that. Nobody wants to die. But, to really truly be in control, we need to be a little bit lower than what they’ve been telling us.
Kami Lingren: Interesting.
Lyle Haugen: So, I would seek out somebody who’s really well-versed at this, and preferably probably somebody that’s got a little bit of training and is possibly a diabetic themselves, because that’s where you get the true empathy.
Kami Lingren: For sure. That understanding and also that, as you said, that insight into you, not just what it feels like to be a diabetic. But, you’ve also seen what helps beyond what the medical profession is able to offer you, which is powerful, and helpful, and definitely has its place. But, what I’m hearing from you, and what really resonates with me, is being an active participant in your wellness as you do incorporate a medical professional, but you also do your own research, your own insight, and your own exploration with how to support your own wellness with what you can do from home is what I’m hearing, right?
Lyle Haugen: Exactly. So remember we kind of talked about a death sentence to life sentence? Well, this life sentence now is every minute of every day for the rest of your life you got to pay attention to this.
Kami Lingren: Yeah.
Lyle Haugen: And because of that, there tends to be a lot of burnout. There tends to be a lot of resistance. There tends to be a lot of … Probably 95% of diabetics are depressed from carrying that burden all the time. I believe a lot of that is because we’re still eating the wrong foods because diabetics get overlooked. If you’ve seen in the last 10 years, the explosion on the internet of wellness advice, a lot of it is really good, some of it’s a little shady, but a lot of it is really good. The thing is we’re able to talk like you and I are doing right now. We’re able to communicate from across the countryside just like that because of the wonderful technology. That allows us to communicate ideas, and issues, and things that we’ve instantly found out what is going on and what isn’t going on. Then, we get the ability to double check it with somebody else instantly. Is that correct? Is that not correct?
Lyle Haugen: This is going to be phenomenal. Eventually, there won’t be people like me. We’ll be talking to artificial intelligence, to be honest with you. That’s where it’s going to end up going. But in the meantime, what do we do? All right? What do we actually do to help our health? We have to be involved, Kami, just like you said. Every single morning you’re going to have to probably eat breakfast unless you’re fasting, right? Every day you’re going to need lunch. Every day you’re going to need supper, and you’re going to need that every single day that you decided to be alive.
Kami Lingren: Yeah, yeah. And every day to be a participant in our wellness.
Lyle Haugen: Right, right.
Kami Lingren: I love it. Well, thank you-
Lyle Haugen: And the most important part … I’m sorry. The most important part, I believe, is cooking your own food, being involved with your food, touching it, feeling it. Actually, I grow it in my backyard when it’s growing season.
Kami Lingren: I love it.
Lyle Haugen: I get quite involved with my food, and that’s very important. To just sit in a booth or a seat and wait for somebody to bring you food, you don’t have the same attitude about the food if you just took a half an hour to try to make it. Because you waited there for half an hour in the booth waiting for it. Why weren’t you making it? This is what I don’t understand people that eat out all the time. You sit just as long as it takes for them to make it as it would take for you to make it at home.
Kami Lingren: Powerful. Powerful. Well, thank you so much, Lyle, for all of your just gold insight today and from sharing your own journey to sharing just really tangible tips and insight into how any of us can take more control of our blood sugars. I know you also have a freebie that you offer right now. Do you want to share a little bit more about what that is and how they can find it?
Lyle Haugen: Sure. It’s my type 1 diabetes sleep all night solution. Been making a few changes. One of the things that I did was they stabilized my basal to a much higher level than what the industry would probably want you to do. But, that allows me to now … I kind of surf on my insulin because I’ve got my insulin level up just at the metered amount. Every so much per hour comes in, then I can just kind of ride it down. So, I eat a little bit, it brings up my blood sugar to about close to eight. I let it pan out a few hours down the road. I used to eat every two to three hours as a diabetic, now I eat every maybe four to six.
Kami Lingren: Okay, okay.
Lyle Haugen: And because of that, that allows me to actually regain my life. That actually simplifies the diabetes process because you’re not eating every two hours. Part of this was to be able to get through the night, and I developed an amazing energy bar that people tell me … I’m not just saying it, but everybody loves this thing. It allows you to get through. It also works through the day, but download this free report. There’s lots of great information in there as to how to make a couple of little changes that we didn’t really discuss on here, Kami.
Kami Lingren: That sounds amazing. Thank you so much. I will make sure I have a link to that available in the show notes of this episode. So thank you again, Lyle. Go ahead.
Lyle Haugen: I’m sorry. And if anybody wants to jump on and on my website, you can just get in touch with me one-on-one. Let’s do a 30-minute free call. Let’s discuss where you’re at. I want to help the people that have additional autoimmune diseases when they go to their doctor and their doctor says, “Well, of course, you’ve got another one. Your type one. You’re going to get more.” And when you ask them why and they just kind of glaze over, come ask me. I’ll tell you why.
Kami Lingren: Beautiful. I love it.
Lyle Haugen: Because I got rid of mine.
Kami Lingren: That’s awesome. So awesome. Well, thank you so much again, Lyle, for joining me today and making the time to be here. I just really appreciate everything you’ve brought to the table today.
Lyle Haugen: Well, I appreciate you, Kami, for doing all this. This was wonderful. Thank you very much.
Kami Lingren: Maybe over the last few weeks as you’ve been hearing me share about Reiki and my Reiki practice, you’ve had a little curiosity inside, but you don’t really know where to start. I want to invite you to my free guide, Is Reiki For Me? This guide will walk you through a few simple exercises to help you not only understand what Reiki is on a little deeper level but also get in touch with your own intuition and deciding is reiki something that could benefit me. You can access this free resource on my website at livinggraceblog.com/isreikiforme. Reiki is spelt R-E-I-K-I. I would love to share this healing energy with you, more about it, and how to get in touch with a great practitioner to help you on your own healing journey just like it’s helped me and my clients.
Kami Lingren: Thanks for tuning in to today’s episode of The Wellness Crossing, my friends. I’m Kami, and if you feel called to share this episode with your friends or family, I would be so grateful. You can also leave a positive rating or review on iTunes, and that also helps this podcast expand its reach and grow. Take care of you, and I’ll see you right here next time on The Wellness Crossing podcast.