Hunter (thrifty) gene research blog
I need help to improve,correct etc. my research article (probably will appear in Science and/or Scientific American but they probably do not make a solid commitment in case it never happens). Here is the latest version of the paper.
This is an explanation of why I had such disturbing symptoms for about 50 years until I figured out that a very low sugar/starch diet seemed to be relieving my symptoms. It then took approximately an additional 2 years for almost all my symptoms to clear. It then took about 6 years and a lot of serendipity to figure out what was the problem. I am sorry that this explanation is long but I have been told it is complicated. It is a fact that about ½ the women in India have my gene and it leads to all the sugar problems in pregnancy. Considering my gene leads to a diagnosis of prediabetic that is what ex Indians told me. I quote from one nurse who said about the sugar problems in pregnancy “it must be genetic”.
I wish to help fund a study that follows the glucose tolerance tests (GTT, see footnotes 1 and 2) of women before, during and after pregnancy.
A major reason for this study is that a doctor on PBS in 2015 drew two graphs of a GTT. GTT’s run for 2 hours. The first GTT went up and then down. He indicated this is the expected GTT. The second GTT slowed its rate of assent but was still rising as he lifted his marker. The second is my GTT (2) taken in 1964. Does anyone know the name of this doctor? He defined such people as having a “hunter” gene. He said people with this GTT did not lose weight on his weight loss diet. The diabetic community says this sounds like the “thrifty” gene. Since people with the “hunter” gene should be better able to survive famines there must be a downside to this gene. I guess one downside is that women with this gene have problems controlling their blood sugar during pregnancy.
The following paragraph contains my actionable conclusions. Details describing them and what lead up to some of these conclusions follow.
In my wildest dreams this article would eventually lead to everyone getting a baseline glucose tolerance test (GTT), I strongly suggest you ask your physician to take a GTT to find out if you have the normal GTT or the “hunter” GTT. Another dream is that doctors would publicize that you can get an autoimmune disease if you have the “hunter” gene, if you have the “hunter” gene and become chronically fatigued I suggest you see if cutting back you’re sugar/starch improves how you feel. An even bigger dream is that a very low sugar/starch diet would be tried on all type 2 diabetics and it successfully controlled high blood sugar, for some diabetics this may be a better option then the standard treatment. In that case make sure you monitor your blood sugar to see if you have cut your sugar/starch enough. Another dream is that it would be found that people with the “hunter” gene tend to become fat on the modern diet, for me a low fat diet worked if you have the “hunter” gene see if this works for you. As the weight loss doctor said “people with the hunter gene do not lose weight on his weight loss diet”. This would then lead to the following obvious question. Is the hunter gene the reason for the weight problems, when they try the modern diet, with the Indian population, American Indians, Pacific Islanders etc.…? If so all my advice follows for these people. Since all humans probably have the ability to produce hormones which create insulin resistance maybe type 2 diabetes is these hormones gone amok. In that case a treatment which affects the hormones may be superior to all the present possibilities. After years on a severe very low sugar/starch diet my high blood pressure corrected itself without medication. Is the amount of insulin produced by our diet the fundamental reason for most high blood pressure? Could a low sugar/starch diet generally lead to a correction of high blood pressure?
An ex Indian told me approximately ½ the people of India are diagnosed as prediabetic (1). This indicates why. I also present a theory about an alternate method of sugar storage used by some humans. I have the following question, assume a women has sugar problems during pregnancy. How can you see if her GTT has returned to normal after pregnancy if you don’t know what is her normal GTT? I have the following observation if women with the “hunter” gene are much more susceptible to sugar problems during pregnancy maybe you can explore possible pre pregnancy interventions with these women.
In 1964 a doctor looked at my GTT and said I was prediabetic (1) and was developing insulin resistance. I am fat and have done all the wrong things but I am not a diabetic. The reason for my GTT in 1964 is that I get low blood sugar many hours after eating too much sugar/starch/alcohol (S). I know of 4 other people with the hunter gene who also have this symptom. We also have other symptoms starting with much lower values of S. The symptoms are some degree of brain fog and fatigue. These symptoms are controlled by never letting our blood sugar go above an unknown value.
I theorize that the hunter gene allows people to only store sugar when their blood sugar rises above some value (3). Consider the following. Evolutionary changes are often additions to existing processes. Women with the “hunter” gene have insulin resistance in pregnancy. Insulin is needed to process protein. Look at my glucose tolerance test (2). I am lead to the following weird conclusion. With the “hunter” gene people are normally in a state of insulin resistance. They are usually simulating type 2 diabetes. When their body determines that the blood sugar is heading for dangerous territory, that is, it will affect the general chemistry of the blood, the body cuts insulin resistance and generates insulin so that the excess blood sugar is changed into fat. My wild guess is that the “hunter” or “thrifty” gene people are constantly producing hormones to create insulin resistance (7). When the blood sugar gets too large they stop producing these hormones and maybe start producing a little insulin. After a time gap to allow the hormones to clear they produce a large enough quantity of insulin to make most of the sugar in their blood become fat. Then, I guess with lower confidence, when their blood sugar gets low enough to possibly lead to hypoglycemia they restart their hormones. I further speculate that people with the “normal” sugar processing also use these hormones for a short time when hypoglycemia threatens. I think that people with one of the reactive hypoglycemia symptoms have disabled this response.
I am on a very low sugar/starch diet. I am simulating a type 2 diabetic almost all the time. I speculate this was true for the hunters from which I arose.
I have reason to believe I had an episode which was an autoimmune reaction (4). I therefore theorize that doctors should be aware that it is possible for people with the hunter gene to have one type cell of their adrenal glands destroyed which compromises the possibly complicated chemistry that allows them to store sugar based on their blood sugar. Doctors should advise people with the reactive hypoglycemia and GTT I have described that they will feel better if they carefully control the S in their diet (5). I only know of 5 people with the autoimmune problem I describe and only two have had their symptoms diagnosed by doctors. The doctors noted that diet controlled their problem but had no idea what was happening. I therefore suggest that doctors make people with the hunter gene aware of this possibility.
My diet is low enough in sugar/starch that with my hunter gene I have turned off the effects of insulin. My evidence is that my fasting blood sugar has risen, but is very normal, because I never lower it with insulin (6). Further on occasion I have gained weight on this diet. I comment that years ago I was able to lose about 80 pounds in approximately 1 year on a crash diet of pasta with cottage cheese with enough vegetables for vitamins. I also comment that I am presently losing weight on my very low sugar/starch diet by cutting out almost all cheese. Since my meat portions are comparatively small I assume I am losing weight for the standard reason. Further I have no discernible problem with exercise even with my extreme diet with very low sugar/starch. My fasting blood sugar has stabilized at near the highest but normal values, ever (6). Have I returned to my hunter roots?
(1) Defined as too high a blood glucose reading 2 hours after ingesting sugar after a fast.
(2) GTT 70, ½ hr 130, 1 hr 175, 2 hr 185, extended 3 hr 100.
(3) I have read that up to 1/3 of the energy in sugar is used up in storing and later releasing the sugar.
(4) During 1957 in approximately 2 months I lost approximately 20-25 pounds developed an overactive bladder and started my fatigue symptom.
(5) I eat a very low sugar/starch diet. Another patient posts he/she feels fine with a diet which includes slowly absorbing starch.
(6) Latest: Fasting blood sugar 98 A1C 5.5
(7) Dr Vaidya pointed out that the body produces HPL in pregnancy which creates insulin resistance. This could be the hormone used to create insulin resistance in the “hunter” gene population. Judging by my GTT the body probably stops the (HPL?) when the blood sugar gets to approximately 170. The time lag before it then tries to mop up the sugar in the blood seems to be over 1 hour.
I wish to give thanks to Dr. Vaidya of Harvard University who has been emailing with me for years as I developed these theories.
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