Dr. Brian Mowll is the founder and medical director of SweetLife® Diabetes Health Centers and serves clients worldwide as The Diabetes Coach™. He is a master licensed diabetes educator (MLDE), CDE, and was one of the first doctors to be certified to practice functional medicine by the prestigious Institute for Functional Medicine. Since 1998, Dr. Mowll has been helping people with all forms of diabetes properly manage their complex health conditions. Additionally, with type 2 diabetes, pre-diabetes, and metabolic syndrome, his goal is to not just manage but to reverse these conditions using a natural, personalized lifestyle approach.
Dr. Mowll has spent over 20 years studying and applying clinical nutrition, physical activity, lifestyle management, functional medicine, and diabetes self-management education. He is the host of the popular “Diabetes Summit”, as well as a prolific writer, blogger, and speaker.
In addition, he has written hundreds of articles about diabetes and natural health and has been a featured speaker and contributor on diabetes. Dr. Mowll treats clients locally in the greater Philadelphia area and nationally through his acclaimed Mastering Blood Sugar™ programs.
Key Questions and Highlighted Responses
1:42 What is Diabetes? Is it a sugar problem or something else?
- Diabetes is the pinnacle of metabolic disease – disaster – your liver is no longer processing correctly is where metabolic syndrome starts. you start storing fat, your hormones go awry, your hunger signaling malfunctions – your metabolic system falls apart resulting in storing sugar as fat and insulin get out of balance.
- Diabetes is associated with every major killer today from heart disease to cancer to dementia
4:50 There are over 70 drugs and yet diabetes is on the rise, what are we missing?
- We are missing the core cause of diabetes
- Doctors conventionally diagnose diabetes as an excess sugar in the blood and focus on reducing your sugar levels
- Fasting serum test should be between 76 and 92 with mid 80s being ideal
- Post meal blood sugar typically should be under 140, we like to see it under 120
- So doctors are focussed on bringing the sugar to above levels but it’s not the root cause of the disease, it’s just a symptom
- The root cause of the sugar is far more complex and prescribing medicines doesn’t remove the cause
7:00 In your 20 years what have you found to be the root cause?
- That’s why I love functional medicine because we evaluate the whole person
- A lot of my new patients are not even overweight
- We have to go deeper and look at chronic infections, sleep, adrenal and thyroid dysfunction – many factors play a role in the underlying issues that cause diabetes
8:33 There are so many diets these days, what are your thoughts on Keto, Paleo, Dash etc…
- There is a maintenance diet with lots of veges, fruits in moderation and in season, whole foods, plant-based, legumes etc
- I am more cautious about grains and certain grains can be problematic
- Healthy fats like olive oil, nuts, and seeds
- When it comes to Diabetes, you have to put filters on the above diet – example if you have allergies to dairy or gluten issues then you need to put a filter.
- For a Diabetic, we have to apply a low carb filter as it causes an insulin surge and that leads to insulin resistance
- So grains, starchy veggies are out for a while, cut down even on beans and legumes and limit fruit consumption even more
- Focus on salad greens, cruciferous veggies, organic protein sources and nuts and seeds
- Some people genetically can’t handle a high-fat diet then you need to move towards a plant-based and low fat
12:30 Which is your favorite diet these? Keto?
- I don’t especially like Keto as people get obsessed with tracking and that isn’t always great
- What I like about Keto is that there are great resources and recipes. So if you want to keep your net carbs below 50 then there are options on keto site
- The point is to limit the carbs
13:53 What is causing the rapid rise in fatty liver disease?
- Three things- #1 Inflammation – our bodies are bombarded with stress from the environment it triggers systemic response and makes it difficult for the liver to detoxify causing congestion
- #2 Toxins- various studies on persistent pollutants like plastics etc that stay in our bodies and even get passed down to our kids through cord blood (listen for the list of Diabetogens which we are exposed to daily causing liver congestion)
- #3 Insulin resistance – listen to the interview for what’s creating this and how it results in storing more fat. Why even fruit can be problematic for pre-diabetics or diabetics
- Cause of obesity
21:01 Sounds like the liver is critical for health, what is the Functional Medicine approach to liver health
- The liver is the main metabolic organ in the body
- Next to brain each cell has up to 2000 mitochondria
- The liver has hundreds of functions but detoxification and production of certain hormones and cholesterol etc are made in the liver, along with being the main energy producer
- The liver is where Type 2 Diabetes begins – its that congestion and that back up that pushes us over the edge
- The liver is the hub of the wheel but in conventional medicine, the liver is largely ignored unless you have something like cirrhosis
- We start our new clients with a detox program, with an elimination program and we see drastic improvements in just 30 days
24:05 What connections do you see with perimenopause or menopause and diabetes? What recommendations do you offer women?
- Hormone imbalance is perceived by the body as stress even though its an internal stress
- The body releases cortisol which then spikes sugar
- Any stress from poor night sleep to work to an infection your body will experience cortisol surge which drives ultimately insulin resistance
- Listen to the detailed explanation of the link between adrenals, thyroid, and liver creating the perfect storm for women in perimenopause and menopause to get diabetes
- His #1 tip for women is to make sure your adrenals are healthy before you get into this stage of life
27:01 What are the top 10 tips to reverse or prevent diabetes?
- #1 Find the root cause of your diabetes, and it’s not the sugar spike.
- Do you have gut issues, chronic pain, adrenal issue, a thyroid issue, chronic infection like Lyme disease…Diet and nutrition, Physical activity, Sleep, and Stress are the 4 core factors to look at to determine your root cause.
- Rate each of the 4 on a scale of 1 to 10 then focus on the area that needs the most improvement.
- Physical activity means you are getting slow fat burning cardio, some resistance training and high-intensity interval training. Listen to what he recommends in terms of minimum 10 minutes of resistance training 2 to 4 times and 150 minutes of cardio. Most important is to do something every day.
- #2 Balance your stress factors – both external and internal. Your body doesn’t know the difference between out of control hormones, a fight with a spouse or a deadline at work. Meditation, journaling, breathwork, visualization, heart variability work, massage therapy, yoga,
35:24 How HealthBootcamps allows you to implement what Dr. Mowll recommends
36:01 What latest gadget or app or tech tool do you favor or like?
- Trackers for activity levels and carb tracking
- Activity and sleep trackers are helpful
- But no perfect solution yet, and not yet a big fan of the smartphone sugar trackers
- He recommends basic blood sugar tester Precision Neo as its affordable, simple, can be purchased at any local drugstore
- The ones that connect through iPhones just don’t seem to work very well and the apps get too complicated
- Worst he disagrees with the results and recommendations and he shares an example
- No app that he is comfortable recommending yet
39:38 Diabetes summit details
- Labor of love started 5 years ago
- Interview 30 to 40 experts from all areas of health and healing
- Plant-based experts such as Dr. Joel Kahn
- Eat Stop Eat book on intermittent fasting
- Frank Lipman who talks about ideal diet for diabetes
- Susan Pierce Thomson and many others
- Starts April 23r, runs for 7 days and is completely free
- Click here to Register today for the Diabetes Summit >>
43:10 What is the #1 most important thing people should do starting today to prevent or reverse diabetes?
- Eat real whole foods diet that is low carb
- Give your body a real chance to heal by giving it 30 days rest
- Just as important is what NOT to eat – cut out the stuff that is not contributing to your health
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