Great Smokies Medical Center of Asheville

Q/A: Pass or Bypass the Bread?

by Dr. Wright

Q.I am a Type 2 diabetic and want to know what you think about my eating the bread I love and just taking extra insulin to cover it. It would really make my life a lot easier.

A. Thanks for your great question. While Type 1 diabetics make very little or no insulin, Type 2 diabetics can make very large amounts of insulin. Their insulin is ineffective in lowering blood sugar for a variety of reasons but still circulates in the blood stream where it causes other problems. If you are already making too much insulin and eat bread (or pasta, corn cereal, potatoes or desserts), your body will make more insulin, resulting in even higher and more harmful levels of insulin. Some oral diabetic drugs in a class called sulfonyureas also result in increased insulin production. (The popular oral diabetic drugs Glucophage and Amaryl are not in this catagory.) Excess insulin, whether it is “homemade” or taken by syringe, has been shown in studies to directly contribute to obesity, high blood pressure, cancer, heart attacks and strokes. These medical conditions would in no way make your life easier.

The best way to support good health is to avoid the bread and the resulting insulin excess. Instead, maintain normal blood sugars with the least amount of insulin possible by restricting carbohydrates.

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