A Holistic Approach to Diabetes – Part IV

The pancreas is one of the hardest working organs in our body. It is the
“end organ” of digestion, providing numerous enzymes and hormones that allow us to assimilate or “take in” the outside world on a very cellular level.

The pancreas is also a metaphor for our relationship with others and the world around us, as it literally allows us to take in, integrate and nourish ourselves from the macro to the micro level.

In this regard, problems related to the pancreas, or the third chakra, relate to our relationships with self and others and our sense of belonging — the real sweetness of life. The pancreas also correlates with psychologist Abraham Maslow’s third hierarchy, which is the need to belong that connects us with each other, our family and our community or tribal bonds.

Often when we build our diet around starchy, complex carbohydrates or find ourselves craving them, this can be a way of “self-medicating” our emotional needs by eating foods that lead to increased serotonin levels as compensation for the lack of loving relationships or connections in our lives.

Regardless of the emotional motivation, over time excess consumption of starchy complex carbohydrates and overeating can result in the pancreas not working as efficiently as it was designed to.

This can lead to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) or hyperglycemia (high blood sugar.) Paradoxically, if we are feeling the ups and downs of hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia, this may produce feelings of anxiety or apprehension that further undermines our emotional sense of well being, security and self-esteem.

The chronic anxiety that stems from these emotions often leads to more self soothing behaviors of overeating and elevated starchy carbohydrate consumption which eventually results in mature onset diabetes.

When our feelings of poor self-esteem, a fear of not belonging, or a need for approval and acceptance are dealt with by “medicating” with serotonin producing foods, we are simply treating the symptoms. This masks the underlying emotional cause of diabetes and allows the feeling/feeding cycle to continue.

Next Installment – Part V – Chemical and Nutritional
With all good wishes,

Copyright 2010 G. Donadio