Home' Army Acquisition Logistics and Technology Magazine : Army ALT July-September 2018 Contents The issue of carbohydrate reduction as a means to prevent wild
blood sugar swings is equally important to Bernstein, and one
on which he continues to assail the much larger forces of the
ADA and the food industry.
Whereas Bernstein, based on his experimentation, has arrived at
maximum limits on carbohydrates that diabetics should observe
in order to maintain normal blood sugar, the ADA is nonspe-
cific in its dietary guidance. Rather, it offers a generic statement
on the many choices diabetics face in deciding what to eat and
defers to the diabetic to make the right choices in consultation
with their health care providers.
“Carb counting may give you more choices and flexibility when
planning meals,” the association states on its website. “It involves
counting the number of carbohydrate grams in a meal and
matching that to your dose of insulin. With the right balance
of physical activity and insulin, carb counting can help you
manage your blood glucose. It sounds complex, but with time
you and your diabetes care team can figure out the right balance
for you,” the website states.
The ADA’s bottom-line position on the right diet for diabet-
ics? “There isn’t one. At least not one exact diet that will meet
the nutrition needs of everyone living with diabetes. Which, in
some ways, is unfortunate. Just think how simple it would be to
plan meals if there were a one-size-fits-all plan that worked for
everyone living with diabetes, prediabetes, or at risk for diabetes.
Boring, yes, but simple!
“As we all know, it’s much harder than that. In the long run, an
eating plan that you can follow and sustain and that meets your
own diabetes goals will be the best one for you .”
ONE BRIGHT LIGHT IN THE DARK
By 1975, the only encouragement Bernstein had received for his
efforts to promote normalizing blood sugar was from Charles
Suther, in charge of marketing diabetes products for Ames
Division of Miles Laboratories, the company that made the
blood glucose meter he had bought. Suther also hand-distributed
Bernstein’s rejected article to diabetes researchers and physicians
around the United States.
Suther arranged for free testing supplies to support the first
of two university-sponsored studies in this country, which
demonstrated that normalizing blood sugar levels could
reverse early complications in diabetic patients. Those stud-
ies led, in turn, to the universities sponsoring the world’s first
two symposia on blood glucose self-monitoring. Bernstein was
becoming better-known and received invitations to speak at
international conferences on diabetes, though not in the United
States. The ADA nevertheless continued to block blood sugar
Frustrated that self-monitoring was still not accepted and that
he could not get published, Bernstein reluctantly pursued
another path. He hoped that an M.D. degree would enable him
to publish. So, in 1977, he quit his job, took premed college
courses, got high grades on the Medical College Admission Test
and entered medical school.
Six years later, he opened his practice in Mamaroneck, a suburb
of New York City, determined to do things differently. Instead
of spending an hour or less with a new patient, Bernstein’s initial
evaluation and training spans three days. Nowadays, he makes
himself available to patients not only at his office, but through
free monthly teleseminars and videos in which he answers ques-
tions sent to him from around the world.
Spending those three days with new patients enables Bernstein
to address other issues that may affect their blood sugars. “They
may have eating disorders. They may have a neuropathy of the
digestive system, which is very common in diabetics, called
gastroparesis. They could have other things that screw up the
diabetes, like infections or the need for steroids and so on.
Almost every patient presents with new variations, new prob-
lems. I’m trying to keep their blood sugars in a very narrow,
Now the author of nine books, Bernstein is best-known for the
560-page “Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution: The Complete
Guide to Achieving Normal Blood Sugars,” originally published
in 1997 and updated in 2011. His book has become a light-
ning rod for patients and families who are desperate, as he once
was, to not be at the mercy of diabetes. As the title indicates, it
goes into great detail on how diabetes affects the body; how diet,
exercise and insulin of various types, for example fast-acting
versus slow-acting, affect blood sugar; and the optimal times to
measure blood sugar and take insulin (a minimum of five shots
a day for Type 1 diabetics; for Type 2, any where from none to
five a day depending on the severity of their diabetes).
The book also goes into candid detail about the many medica-
tions for treating Type 2 diabetes, describing the appropriate
circumstances for their use as well as their values and shortcom-
ings and modes of use.
106 Army AL&T Magazine
PATIENT, TEST THYSELF
Links Archive Army ALT April-June 2018 Army ALT August 2018 Special Edition Navigation Previous Page Next Page