Dr. Scott and Tommy discuss the rising costs of diabetes and blood sugar medications. As the solutions to modern healthcare problems become increasingly complex, they look for simple solutions and how to improve blood markers without breaking the bank.
Show Transcript: www.thefastingforlife.com/blog
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Fasting For Life Ep. 94
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:00:01] Hello. I'm Dr. Scott Watier
Tommy Welling: [00:00:03] And I'm Tommy Welling, and you're listening to the Fasting for Life podcast.
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:00:08] This podcast is about using fasting as a tool to regain your health. Achieve ultimate wellness and live the life you truly deserve.
Tommy Welling: [00:00:15] Each episode is a short conversation on a single topic with immediate, actionable steps. We cover everything from fat loss and health and wellness to the science of lifestyle design.
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:00:25] We started fasting for life because of how fasting has transformed our lives, and we hope to share the tools that we have learned
[00:00:30] Along the way.
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:00:40] Hey, everyone, welcome to the Fasting for Life podcast. My name is Dr. Scott Watier and I'm here, as always in the good friend and colleague Tomi Welling. Good afternoon to you, sir. Hey, Scott, how are you doing? Fantastic, my friend. We are going to get down and dirty with some conversation today around diabetes, blood sugar related issues, heart disease and some pretty heavy talking points and material in terms of overall health for us individually. But, you know, as a country and as a world as well. So we want to be encouraging on the front end. I'm going to say it now that if you're new to the podcast, today's conversation might start out feeling a little bleak. But we have some really great encouragement and action steps that you can do so if you're new. Listen through, we're going to give you some things you can put into your day to day life to starting today that can help kind of uncover why we believe that fasting for life, the insulin friendly lifestyle and using fasting as a tool to lose the weight, regain your health and keep that for the rest of your life. So, Tommy, that's quite the intro there, sir. I'm really excited about the conversation today.
Tommy Welling: [00:01:56] Yeah, so am I, because this really kind of came from a point of, you know what, what tools do we have as individuals to kind of swim upstream when we need to and kind of, you know, go against what what we see as far as the the larger overall trends that are happening that seem to just be getting worse and worse and worse by the year and by the decade? Well, how do we how do we solve those problems and how do we as individuals kind of like, you know, get outside of that moving target that seems to be coming for for the majority of us
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:02:31] And where the perspective is coming from is our own journey. But then with your medical background, you know, with my clinical background, with our own personal experiences, how do we how do we distill it down or how do we kind of peel the layers back on why it was a problem and why? Why we feel that it's so important to get this message out there? And the initial kind of like, wait a minute, I think we can probably build out a really important conversation around an article that I had seen in the Business Insider, and it was about diabetic diabetes prices of insulin and people having to decide whether or not they're going to buy groceries or buy and pay for their insulin medication. Yeah. And this hit home close to close to home for me, as my dad is no longer a diabetic, he's lost over 60 pounds and, you know, completely come off more than a dozen medications off all of his insulin. And this all happened within three to six months of adopting this lifestyle. Yeah, and completely transformed his life. And I asked my my mom, I was like, Hey, so what were you guys paying for insulin? He was on two different forms of insulin and. One of them was a short acting one was a long acting, he had the pens, but you know, they had health insurance. Both retired. Both have health insurance, good health coverage and they were still having to pay eight hundred dollars out of pocket for the gap, for just the gap between what was covered and what was uncovered. And I saw my dad and he was tired all the time. He was carrying a ton of extra weight and he was pretty unhappy with the treatment that he was getting on, you know, on 15 plus medications, you know, seeing multiple specialists and really getting nowhere. So when I saw this article and I sent it over to you, Tommy, I was like. This is frightening because this is a reality for people, especially recently when the costs have escalated.
Tommy Welling: [00:04:52] Yeah, that's a really tough spot to be in because, you know, I mean, so they're on a fixed income retired, right? But but seeing this gap that they have to to kind of fill. But we know diabetes and and other related ailments only strike worse on on lower socioeconomic status. So as as our income goes down and our resources go down, we tend to have more of these costs, not less. And so this is already a burden, even if you're financially well off. This can be a huge burden. And then and then you're having to make some some really tough decisions, like you said.
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:05:26] Yeah, so just to put some numbers out there, which really started the thought process on this conversation that we want to build out today was really just discussing the numbers, right? The numeric numbers actually of what it costs. And there was a story in the article about once someone who is a type one diabetic and should mention that the vial cost of insulin at one point was twenty five dollars, and now it can cost up to $600. And without health insurance, supplies to treat can be anywhere between twelve to eighteen hundred dollars a month. And I was absolutely floored by that, so I pulled up. You know, you and I talked about finding some numbers of like what it is right now because the prices have been increasing. So I want to share those and then move into the conversation and mentioning things like other options that you guys have and why this is so important. So there was a photo, Tommy in one of the natural diabetes groups that I'm a part of on Facebook because I'm in all these different groups and fasting groups and intermittent fasting for men. And, you know, just trying to learn and aggregate as much information as possible so we can continue to reach more people and get the message out that you guys have a choice when it comes to your health and that following the status quo might not be the best option. So I'll quote two things here and then share a couple of numbers and we can start to unpack it. So this was from a post from one of the people that run the group that one of these natural diabetes groups and I'm a part of.
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:07:00] And they mentioned a book by Dr. Joseph Craft called Diabetes Epidemic in You and he this is this. This guy is been in practice a long time, and where he got his information from was not just anecdotally, you know, treating the patients over the years. It was from looking at over fourteen thousand glucose tolerance tests and insulin assays or fasting insulin and looking at these patients and coming up with an idea, a process of how to identify. Blood sugar related issues earlier, and I'm going to connect the dots here, so in the book, he says normal fasting, blood sugar, normal weight and normal cholesterol does not exclude you from being a type two diabetic. You would be one of the millions of undiagnosed people in the country. And the person in this group mentioned saying that heart disease and diabetes type two simply exist together, although one may or may not be diagnosed at that given time. So I want to make sure that we unpack that and land the plane with what tests should you start with if you're looking to get some blood work done? That is not the standard operating procedure, you know, like fasting, glucose and those those types of things. But the realization that this problem is there and you don't even know if the problem is there. So how in the heck can you know what to do about it? Yeah.
Tommy Welling: [00:08:32] Yeah, that's that can be tough to to like. Just just look at the situation and know there's a real issue. If nothing's come up like obvious on your bloodwork or your doctor hasn't told you, yeah, there's obviously a problem, right?
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:08:46] Yeah. And you still don't feel right. You're carrying a little bit of extra weight. You still having cravings. You're struggling with your relationship with food. We'll talk about what your options are. You might feel hangry if you miss a meal you tired in the afternoon or after you eat weird tingling sensation, right? Yep. Yep, blood sugar issues all of these different symptoms that can pop up when. Um, blood sugar related symptoms, excuse me, but yeah, but your numbers might be normal, and just to mention the cost that really kind of hit me in the face, it was the average list price of insulin has increased 11 percent annually from 2001 to twenty eighteen. Wow. And because of the patient's out of pocket costs are typically based on list price. The patient's expenses have risen substantially despite the decrease in net price for many of the most commonly used insulin products. So we're talking about one hundred and twenty one billion dollars a year in total spending, or almost twelve thousand five hundred dollars per patient just for insulin. That's not for the metformin and all the other different types of medications that are typically used. Insulin is brought into the equation later in the picture after the other medications don't work, or you can't make the lifestyle changes to reverse it naturally. But these trends are increasing dramatically where the really the take-home message here is, OK, well, what do you do about it? How do you know if it's there and then breaking that, that cognitive dissonance, right, Tommy?
Tommy Welling: [00:10:21] Yeah, the cognitive dissonance is big because we've been we've been kind of on a on a path like a medical path, as a country and as a world to kind of, you know, get a grip on these things and try to slow down the trends that have been taking over for decades. And they only seem to be accelerating as we as we kind of throw more tools at them trying to trying to figure this out. But the cognitive dissonance comes in when when the evidence is now starting to show, just like you alluded to with with Dr. Kraft, that there's something going on underneath the surface that's not being addressed early on, but it's being missed because it just doesn't have clear labels sometimes. And sometimes it's it's kind of these fleeting things that a variability within the insulin response that's happening, but not necessarily numbers looking bad on normal bloodwork. So what kind of blood work you know could be could be used to get at an earlier, you know, an earlier indicator that something's going on?
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:11:27] Yeah. And that was one of the big realizations for me personally. Even being in health care, you know, doing my testing and my fasting blood sugars are normal. And I still had a lot of the prediabetes indicators waking up at two to three o'clock in the morning most nights feeling tired, having some, you know, I don't want to say adrenal fatigue, but like, like wired and tired, anxious feelings, all of the stuff I already mentioned about the different symptomatology that can happen, the cravings, et cetera I always craved, you know, the salty, savory foods at night. Those types of things. And what I love about Dr. Kraft's, you know, mantra is, you know, far too many people are told, don't worry, you're fasting. Blood sugars are normal, but the earliest diagnosis of prediabetes. And why is again, is this important? Because this is directly related to cardiovascular disease, which is the number one leading cause of death in the world? Right? So it's not just the blood sugar, it's long term health metrics. It's heart health. It's long term lifestyle type, health related issues and the earliest diagnosis of prediabetes is hyper insulin. So insulin that is raised, but it's still showing so an insulin assay or an insulin test that is normal with, excuse me, hyper insulin that is raised with normal glucose tolerance or glucose tolerance test, not even just your basic fasting glucose, but a glucose tolerance test, one that is done in 30 minute increments where you're in the lab for multiple hours, going through a longer, more specific type test. And even with that, that can come back normal in your insulin can still be high.
Tommy Welling: [00:13:09] Yeah, because the body is really sensitive at sensing our blood sugar levels and it's going to it's going to do a lot. It can dump out a lot of insulin to keep those blood sugar numbers within a tight, normal range. So even when the blood sugar numbers are seeming to track OK, insulin response could be through the roof at that point. And that's one of those early signs that that a lot of times isn't being discovered very early because it's not just commonly ordered tests, right?
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:13:39] Yeah. And one of the things, too is that, you know, we people a lot of people come to fasting for specifically for weight loss, right? Because we everyone out there, especially in today's world, you can get on Dr. Google or the Google machine or I prefer use DuckDuckGo, but you get on there and you search. And pretty much everyone at this point knows that carrying extra weight can result in unhealthy metrics later on down the line, right, so it can have an adverse. Yeah, it's not good long term. Right, and one of the things that most people come to fasting for is for the weight loss piece, right? And that is absolutely. I don't like when it is like the next diet fad or the next whatever fad. And that's why we talk a lot about building that healthy relationship with food long term, being able to allow the hormones and the Crayton that control the cravings to balance out and never mind the additional benefits that come with fasting that are non weight loss related. But looking at this from the perspective of what are the options out there, right? So we've talked a lot about insulin and blood sugar medications and the standard operating procedure. And maybe you you don't even know what an insulin, a fasted insulin test or an insulin assay is. It's literally just an insulin test in a fasted state where they measure the amount of insulin that's in your body, and that is a great place to start. But what are the other options? So one of the options out there is bariatric surgery. And at one point there was a board of forty five medical professionals and different groups that came together and said that one of the first treatments for advanced diabetes should be, you know, stomach gastric bypass surgeries.
Tommy Welling: [00:15:31] Mm hmm. Yeah. And I think that's. I've personally known a lot of people to go through that process, and it's one that can have immediate benefits and sometimes life saving benefits as well. But you know, my one of my issues that I've seen come up through bariatric surgery is is retaining those old habits that that got you into that position where you needed to have the bariatric surgery because you can see immediate effects. And basically it's it's hard to consume as many calories. Usually you can't you can't intake that much food volume. So it tends to be naturally calorically restricting and it tends to lead to rapid weight loss. And sometimes that can be sustained. But oftentimes it's not, especially when looking five to 10 years down the road, but sometimes that that is because the relationship with food and the old habits still remains, even if you can't physically ingest the same number of calories. So there there definitely is some work that needs to be done to go along with that bariatric surgery to keep those those results and have them be long term sustainable.
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:16:42] And we've had a lot of conversations with people, some some back in the day when we're doing some one on one coaching now in our groups and we get questions. Had bariatric surgery, I lost one hundred and fifty pounds. I've put on seventy five of it again and it keeps going up. What do I do? Well, you know, you know, Dr. Fung says the techniques for managing diabetes, and he's a, you know, a nephrologist, right? So he was dealing with people in advanced stages, kidney failure, et cetera. You know, managing diabetes, they're expensive, which we talked about. They're invasive, which we just mentioned, right? And they do nothing to actually reverse the problem. So there's this disconnect that, well, I'm fine, but I don't feel fine, right? And then it's the OK, well, now I finally have the symptom. Ok, well, now what do I do about it? Well, here's your options. You can try to lose some weight, right? You can eat. The American Diabetes Association recommended food guidelines, which I wouldn't. You can go on metformin because that's going to help. And then eventually, you know, those the numbers increases the medications, increase your numbers, your A1C don't stay where they should, they slowly increase over time.
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:17:50] If you do have a gastric bypass surgery, you're literally like not allowing, especially those that treatment out there called the thin sleeve or the thin tube, where it causes the body to eject food before the calories can be absorbed. So you're literally like starving your body like medically sanctioned bulimia, but you're not giving your body the opportunity to to get the nutrients that it needs. And then you end up having to get to the point of managing. And that's why I love the thought that started this whole conversation from that article. Do you buy food or do you buy your insulin? Yeah. Well, in the short term, my recommendation would be. Don't buy the food and fast, right? And then use the insulin as needed, but as your numbers start to come down, guess what you won't need either. Yeah. And people don't see the forest through the trees because they don't know that the options out there. And that's why we love fasting. Specifically, some of those longer fasts to help see those numbers drop dramatically, and I know we have some stats on that too.
Tommy Welling: [00:18:50] Yeah, we do. And there's some really cool things that start to happen as we as we get into the twenty four and the 48 hour fast. But you know, when when we actually look at fasting insulin levels, there's there's some good studies out there that show that fasting insulin drops up to 70 percent of the way down to its lowest possible levels once we hit a seventy two hour fast. And so that's that's a really cool thing because there's there are some powerful rebalancing going on and some healing taking place within the body. Now when when we when we do that, it's not always easy to just jump right in and just jump into a 72 hour fast, but we have some some resources to help you kind of get the process started. And so setting your sights on a 72 hour fast, that's going to be that's going to be a free tool right there. And that's going to save some money on on several meals and might save a little bit of money on insulin as well.
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:19:53] Yeah, one of the. So I want to get into the 72 hour fast what you just said. There is up to the 72 hour mark. Your insulin will drop up to 70 percent. So the problem with when we mentioned cognitive dissonance earlier and this is something Dr. Frank talks about too, is is that the system is set up for to treat it a certain way. And the the a lot of the docs that aren't that don't specialize in this kind of stuff, and we're still learning in the new the new research when it comes out, we try to digest it and kind of live somewhere in between of not just being stuck on one extreme or the other, but OK, how do we apply this stuff, right? But one of the things that we hear a lot and I want to highlight someone in our group that's recently done a 72 hour fast and I believe it was her first and or longest. But what the blood sugar numbers actually did. And she finally found a provider that is willing to help her manage the medication side of things and come off of those high priced meds. But being a provider with the tools that you have, I can't imagine being a medical provider in today's system, you know, prescribing the actual cause of the problem. The problem is the insulin. Yeah, right. And the overconsumption. And you know, we can get into the whole, you know, how did I get to 100 pounds overweight, right? There's other things factors in there as well. But at some point, if the patient isn't changing, individuals not changing or know how to change or even know that it's possible to change, then you're prescribing the actual thing that's causing the issue that started the issue decades prior. And that dissonance there must be. Just really hard to
Tommy Welling: [00:21:31] Work through, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:21:33] So the the cool thing in the group was this woman had had done the 72 hour fast with with the continuity group. And she she posted a picture of her numbers and they dropped below the pre-diabetic range for almost like an entire day and a half. Yeah. So just think about maybe you're not ready for a 72 hour fast and you've downloaded the fast start guide and you've done some home ads one meal of days. If your new homemade means one meal a day, or maybe you're on if and you're just starting with an eight hour eating window, know that if you want to get to the point where you never have to worry about this and the blood test and the medications and the cost and those types of things, and you want to decrease your chance of heart disease, then working your way up to a seventy two hour fast is extremely powerful.
Tommy Welling: [00:22:23] Yeah, it is. And one way to do that is just just get started. If you've never done a fast jump in, download the fast start guide, set your timer and you know, just just work to keep increasing that one or two hours every single day you'll you'll get there. It gets easier. You know, no one said it was. It was super easy. The first time you do it right?
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:22:45] Yeah, right, right. For sure. And if you're a little bit farther advanced, you've been fasting and you feel like you might still have some insulin resistance. You can also go to the website v fasting for LifeCare. Download the insulin resistance assessment. Have the conversation with your medical team, your medical providers. If the doc is not willing, then we're going to encourage you to find somebody that is willing to help to get you that fasted insulin or that insulin assay test. It's going to give you some good metrics on where you are on the spectrum and the intentionality of the heaviness of this conversation. Tommy was to be encouraging that you have everything you need to be able to control and take back control of your health. Yeah, and it's going to feel like you're swimming upstream. So use the assessments, reach out to us. Continue to listen to the podcast. Let us know how we can help. And I'm just excited because we continue to kind of go layers deeper over the last, you know, 18 months now and rapidly approaching two years of really trying to help as many people as we can adopt a fasting and insulin friendly lifestyle.
Tommy Welling: [00:23:53] Yeah. And we've seen some incredible stories and we're going to we're going to keep seeing more and more of those. And it's just it's really cool. I love the power in in the method, and sometimes it just takes hearing one or two more of those stories coming from that kind of angle to go, Yeah, you know what? I think there is something possible here, and maybe it's it's time for me to give it a shot.
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:24:14] Yep. You guys know what to do, Tommy. As always, sir. Thank you so much for the conversation and we'll talk soon.
Tommy Welling: [00:24:21] Thank you. Bye. So you've heard today's episode, and you may be wondering, where do I start? Head on over to be fasting for life and sign up for our newsletter, where you'll receive fasting tips and strategies to maximize results and fit fasting into your day to day life
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:24:36] While you're there. Download your free fast start guide to get started today. Don't forget to subscribe on iTunes, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. Make sure to leave us a five star review, and we'll be back next week with another episode of Fasting for Life.
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