The Pancreas, Bicarbonate and Diabetes

pancreas

Bicarbonate physiology is entirely ignored in diabetes as it is in oncology though a wide range of clinicians use sodium bicarbonate for a host of medical problems. Who would stop long enough to think deeply enough to make the connection between acid producing diets (junk foods) and destruction of the pancreas after decades of obsessing with sugar as the main culprit?

Parhatsathid Napatalung from Thailand writes, “The pancreas is harmed if the body is metabolically acid as it tries to maintain bicarbonates. Without sufficient bicarbonates, the pancreas is slowly destroyed, insulin becomes a problem and hence diabetes becomes an issue. Without sufficient bicarbonate buffer, the effect of disease is far reaching as the body becomes acid.”

Understanding of the use of sodium bicarbonate begins with a trip to the pancreas, which is the organ most responsible for producing the bicarbonate our bodies need. The pancreas is a long, narrow gland which stretches from the spleen to about the middle of the duodenum. It has three main functions. Firstly, it is to provide digestive juices, which contain pancreatic enzymes in an alkaline solution to provide the right conditions for the digestive process to be completed in the small intestines. Secondly, the pancreas produces insulin, the hormone which controls blood sugar by the metabolism of sugar and other carbohydrates. Thirdly, it produces bicarbonate to neutralize acids coming from the stomach to provide the right environment for the pancreatic enzymes to be effective.

Allergies generally start with the body’s inability to produce a certain enzyme, or to produce enough enzymes for the digestive process to work effectively. In conjunction with this is an inability to produce enough bicarbonate essential for the pancreatic enzymes to function properly. When this happens undigested proteins penetrate the bloodstream inducing more allergic reactions. Inflammation in such a scenario is systemic but can focus on the pancreas forcing decreases in the production of bicarbonate, insulin and necessary enzymes. [1]

The bicarbonate ion acts as a buffer to maintain the normal levels of acidity (pH) in blood and other fluids in the body. Bicarbonate levels are measured to monitor the acidity of the blood and body fluids. The acidity is affected by foods or medications that we ingest and the function of the kidneys and lungs. The chemical notation for bicarbonate on most lab reports is HCO3- or represented as the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2).

The normal serum range for bicarbonate is 22-30 mmol/L. A bicarbonate test is usually performed along with tests for other blood electrolytes. Disruptions in normal bicarbonate levels may be due to diseases that interfere with respiratory function, kidney diseases, metabolic conditions and a failing pancreas.The pancreas, an organ largely responsible for pH control,[2] is one of the first organs affected when general pH shifts to the acidic. “Monitoring of blood-sugar levels, insulin production, acid-base balance, and pancreatic bicarbonate and enzyme production before and after test exposures to potentially allergic substances reveals that the pancreas is the first organ to develop inhibited function from varied stresses,[3] writes Dr. William Philpott and Dr. Dwight K. Kalita in their book Brain Allergies.

Dr. Robert Young, states, “Excess acidity is a condition that weakens all body systems. The pancreas is one of our body’s organs charged with the awesome responsibility to “alkalinize” us. Can you start to see how our serious acidosis has overwhelmed our pancreas’ ability to operate effectively, which then results in a state called “diabetes?”

Vulnerable Pancreas

When one of many possible biological stresses weigh down on the pancreas it will, as any other organ will, begin to function improperly. When this happens the first thing we will see is a reduction in pancreatic bicarbonate production. Once there is an inhibition of pancreatic function and pancreatic bicarbonate flow there naturally follows a chain reaction of inflammatory reactions throughout the body. The reactions would include the brain as acidic conditions begin to generally prevail. Decreasing bicarbonate flow would boomerang hardest right back on the pancreas, which itself needs proper alkaline conditions to provide the full amount of bicarbonate necessary for the body.

A highly acidic pH level puts the pancreas, liver, and all the body’s organs at risk. Because of the important role played by the liver in removing acid waste from the body, liver function is also particularly at risk when acids accumulate. When acidity prevents the liver and pancreas from regulating blood sugar, the risk of diabetes and thus cancer increases.

There are many causes of diabetes. Heavy metals, toxic chemicals and radiation contamination will affect, weaken and destroy pancreatic tissues. When the body is bicarbonate sufficient it is more capable of resisting the toxicity of chemical insults. That is why the army suggests its use to protect the kidneys from radiological contamination.[4] Much the same can be said for magnesium levels. Magnesium, bicarbonate and iodine all protect us from the constant assault of noxious chemicals and radiation exposure we are subjected to everyday in our water, food and air.

The Centers of Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta declares that  33% of the babies born this year will be diabetic by the year 2050. - Dr. Alan Cantwell

Diabetes, which is expanding rapidly, can in part be traced to the increasing radiation to which we are all being exposed. Every physician knows that radiation can lead to cancer, but making a connection between depleted uranium (DU), for example, and diabetes seems ludicrous at first glance but is not. Most medical doctors have never heard of this but neither have they paid attention to the fact that mercury and other toxic chemicals are also primary causes of diabetes.

Diabetes is a fundamental disease that affects the entire colony  of cells in a person because it has to do with energy metabolism  and the vastly important hormone insulin and its receptor sites.

Diabetes is actually an extremely serious warning to civilization; it is an announcement that the rising tide of radiation, mercury, other deadly chemicals and pharmaceutical drugs are poisoning humanity. We even have to look at how antibiotics are leading to diabetes as well as a host of other problems for the human body. These toxic insults are slamming head on to nutritional deficiencies in the body and the results are telling though still being ignored by the orthodox medical establishment, which has its heart dead set on adding not subtracting to these insults

Dr. Lisa Landymore-Lim in her book Poisonous Prescriptions explains how many drugs used by the unsuspecting public today, are involved in the onset of impaired glucose control and diabetes.  She explains using the example of the drugs streptozocin and alloxan, which are both used in research to make lab rats diabetic. Vacor is a rat poison known to cause insulin dependent diabetes in humans. Allopathic medicine will eventually have to face up to the fact that many drugs, including most surprisingly, the antibiotics including penicillin, as well as an entire host of others, causes changes in the beta cells affecting both insulin and bicarbonate production.


[2] Epithelial cells in pancreatic ducts are the source of the bicarbonate and water secreted by the pancreas. Bicarbonate is a base and critical to neutralizing the acid coming into the small intestine from the stomach. The mechanism underlying bicarbonate secretion is essentially the same as for acid secretion parietal cells and is dependent on the enzyme carbonic anhydrase. In pancreatic duct cells, the bicarbonate is secreted into the lumen of the duct and hence into pancreatic juice.

[3] Brain Allergies: The Psychonutrient and Magnetic Connections.By William Philpott, Dwight K. Kalita Published by McGraw-Hill Professional, 2000

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Comments:

  • Kelly

    Yes, I’ve heard of Dr. Perlmutter and respect him highly. I doubt he’d say that the right kinds of carbs are not essential.

    • gaylep

      This is a quote from his website: “While we definitely require protein and fat, the human requirement for dietary carbohydrate is none, none whatsoever.”

      • Kelly

        Well, with all due respect to the doctor, that’s just bizarre. The brain, the eyes, etc., run on glucose. It’s much more efficient to get glucose from carbs, than to break down proteins (often one’s own muscle) to convert it to glucose. The same with fats. Anyway, we’ll have to agree to disagree.

  • Sundari

    just want to remind everyone to be careful what brand of sodium bicarbonate you are taking!!! make sure it does NOT contain aluminium (Arm and hammer does!!). Aluminum is very dangerous. Buy from vitamin cottage or other health food stores and read the label.

    • Maurice Guggisberg

      Dear Sundari,

      Dr. Sircus and his staff have had communications with Arm & Hammer and have done extensive research into this issue. Arm & Hammer does NOT contain aluminum despite some people’s beliefs. Arm & Hammer has moved to using sodium bicarbonate from natural Trona mines instead of the manufactured sodium bicarbonate from other unreliable sources and there are no additives in their Baking Soda.

      Baking Soda (sodium bicarbonate) brands that make a point of stating “no aluminum” are mainly using this as a selling point, but it does not mean Arm & Hammer baking soda is not aluminum free. In fact Arm & Hammer is aluminum free.

      Please be sure no matter what brand is purchased, that the labeling indicates only 100% sodium bicarbonate with no other additives.

      If you have information disputing this please send us the reference and we will be glad to check it out.

      Best Regards,
      Maurice Guggisberg
      IMVA Support Team

  • Henning Michael Velten

    I am a diabetic or at least that’s what two doctors I went to claims. I was put om metformin in 2010 and the side-effects almost killed me. I was then put on another drug that was forcing my pancreas to produce more insulin. That worked for one day only. Then I started to have bad side-effects from that drug too. One symptom that I have been struggling with is pressure from with my right side of the stomach. Right in the area of my liver. I brought this up to my new doctor, number 3 to be exact. He said there was nothing to it. I forced him to take as much blood samples as possible of me. 8 tubes in all. They all came back “normal”. My blood sugar was a little bit to high and my cholesterol was elevated some. He didn’t wanna put me on any drugs for my cholesterol and because I had reacted badly to metformin and the other drug, nothing was prescribed to me. I am still sick as a dog and I cant get my blood sugar under 10 mmol. My legs swell up almost every night now. I have tried mineral supplements, fish oil, coconut oil and much more. Any type of oil makes the pressure in my side worse. Even coconut oil that is suppose to be good for you. Fish oil makes my blood-sugar rise from 10 mmol to about 13 mmol. I have spent so much time trying to find a “cure” for my problem. Actually to the point of driving me crazy. My mood swings are getting worse too. I take tyrosine for my moods and it seems to help some. My weight is swinging like crazy up and down. From week to week by several kilos. I have a theory that my thyroid is all messed up. Even though my blood samples came back “normal”. Showing nothing to be wrong with my thyroid. At times I can feel my heart skipping or missing a beat. When it kicks back in I can feel this weird sensation in my chest. Most of the time there is no pain when it happens. I found some information about hashimoto and I seem to have the symptoms. here I am sitting and writing this I have like a sensation of a “lump” in my trout. When I touch my trout is feels normal. I also have a pressure between my shoulder-blades. Like there is an object there. I checked my blood-pressure today at the local pharmacy, you can do that in Sweden. My heart-rate was 103 bpm. I have struggled for some time with resting high heart-rate. My blood-pressure (my left arm) was 129-82. The nurse said that for a guy my age (41) is was “low”. I have tried bakingsoda and it does lower my blood-sugar. I have tried fasting and drinking a teaspoon of bakingsoda in a glass of RO water several times a day. Doing that I was able to lower my bloodsugar down below 7 mmol. Something nothing else has been able to do for me. I am just worried about the bakingsoda being bad for my heart. About 30 minutes ago I took a glass of water with bakingsoda and now I feel like i want to puke. I don’t know what to do anymore. I found some information about the gallbladder online. Maybe that’s what I am struggling with?

    • MintyFresh

      You have the correct answer, it’s your gall bladder. That’s why the “fat” such as from “oil” makes you feel so bad, and why adding sodium bicarbonate adds to your discomfort. You might have some success with flushing the gall bladder using magnesium sulfate, also known commonly as Epsom Salts. Usually is done drinking two glasses of water with one tsp of the magnesium sulfate in each glass. When that is done, adding sodium bicarbonate makes the flush even stronger. The trigger is usually some added olive oil, such as soaked onto some toasted bread. There’s a process on the internet in many places on doing it and laying on one side in bed to aid the gall bladder flush. Warning, it could be more harmful to do the flush if you have a large gall bladder stone which at times blocks the gall bladder opening. Maybe your doctor could do an ultrasound of the gall bladder, to see if you have some large cholesterol stones inside it. Your symptoms however suggest you might discover the gall bladder needs removal. If so the operation is not that difficult and you heal fairly quickly.

  • Lev Tolstoi

    I don’t know if some of you will come back here to read(your posts are quite old),
    but a safer alternative to bicarbonate, for a higher PH(you need at least 8.0ph) is the
    gallon water from Traders Joes, is from New Zeeland and its great,8.0 PH! Since I started drinking that, I not taking Prilosec for acid reflux anymore , which I could not live without! Please,
    help your spouses/family/friends telling them about that! Arrowhead and Crystal Gyser waters are ok, 7.6 PH, but not as your main source! How important is to kill the acid in your
    body? Well, Ammonia and Bleach are ..2.5 PH! And so is..Coke and Pepsi(Soda!)!!!!! You do the math!!! Hope this helps!! Alkalize your body! Every organ will benefit,thru the blood!!

    • http://drsircus.com/ Claudia French

      Thanks Lev,

      Don’t forget alkaline water is not the total answer if all the minerals are gone from it….it’s the minerals that will add greatly to the benefits!
      So fantastic to hear this has gotten you away from Prilosec which is now being warned for depletion of magnesium with its use. So consider that you are also now hanging on and able to utilize more of your magnesium intake!!
      And amongst the other negatives concerning Coke and Pepsi they are very high in phosphorus so if any kidney problems are at hand, these should always be avoided as if you want to preserve kidney function and maintain bone health as excesses of phosphorus acid drains calcium from our bones!.
      Claudia French

  • ShellyAnn

    How much baking soda to you use to control Diabetes and what is your recommendations for it’s use and how?

    • http://drsircus.com/ Claudia French

      Hi ShellyAnn,

      You will need to get some pH papers and check your pH on a daily basis for awhile. The amount you will take will be dependent on what your pH is that day. You are going to try to keep your pH at 7.3-7.4. Do not exceed the recommended daily doses which are listed on the box of Arm and Hammer and are different according to your age. No more than 7 half teaspons per day for those under age 60 and no more than 3 half teaspoons per day if over age 60. An alkaline diet must also be followed to maintain good pH levels.

  • Marg

    My husband has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He is taking pancreatic enzymes. Creon 10,000. I was told not to mix bi-carbonate of soda with these enzymes as the bi-carb could melt the enzymes. If it is ok to mix both, he is on
    pan enz 3 times a day with meals, how much bi-carb and when. His ph is 5, stage 4.

    • Claudia – IMVA Staff

      Marg,

      It is always best to take bicarbonate apart from other supplements or medications…..by 1-2 hours to allow for proper absorption of the supplements. Go slowly in raising pH as too fast can cause problems.

  • Judy

    Hello,
    My husband has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He is taking pancreatic enzymes. Here is my question: do you think that it would be okay to take bicarbonate of soda in addtion to the enzymes? I did give him one half teaspoon in a half glass of distilled water and it seemed to make him feel better. I also tested his pH and it was very acidic, 6.0. I will appreciate any advice.

    Thanks!
    Judy

    • stephen

      Hello Judy
      My wife has also been diagnosed with pancreactic cancer about the same time as your husband.
      I wonder if you would like to e mail me. I have been doing a lot of research on this since May this year and can guide you to certain sites that you will find of interest
      Regards
      Stephen

    • stephen

      Sorry Judy
      Forgot to give you the e mail address
      simjams@hotmail.com

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  • http://drozell75@yahoo.com David Rozell

    Hello, Question? I’ve had type 1 for 20yrs, got it in high school, I want to reach natural healin,so best Idea’s & possible cures you know,please. this diease the last few yrs has been very bad, alot of high’s & Low’s. sometimes 29-40 & I’m still walkin around, just alittle out of it, can still talk, but it effects me workin & everything, mood swings,burnin throughout muscles, I’ve lost 12lbs, & this isn’t the first time, I’m weak & drained, not myself. thankyou David.

    • Claudia – IMVA Staff

      Dear David,

      Sounds like you are in trouble with hypoglycemia unawareness…….can cause you great problems….I know because I am a long term type 1 diabetic and had it too. First thing is you need to get using magnesium oil to make sure your magnesium levels are up where they should be……IF your kidneys are working properly…are they? NEVER let your blood sugar go below 70 mg.dl….and if you can keep it up above 70 for 6 weeks, the unawareness will go away and you will return to having symptoms of the lows. The lows can be as damaging as the high blood sugars……you will have to work at this but the magnesium will help. What you are describing is that you are chasing your blood sugars instead of controlling them.

      Have you seen our diabetes site and book? http://diabetic.imva.info/

      There’s a lot of good ideas there on how to remain in better control…including the use of magnesium iodine and sodium bicarbonate, Alpha Lipoic Acid and Spirulina.

      • Kelly

        Alpha LIpoic Acid however should never be used if one has almagam (mercury) fillings in their mouth. Google “Andrew Hall Cutler” and “mercury” for more detailed information…

        • http://drsircus.com/ Claudia French

          Thanks, Dr. Sircus in the past has addressed his disagreement with Andrew Hall Cutler regarding ALA…..Dr. Sircus believes that if a full protocol of the proper minerals and other significant supporting items (e.g. selenium, edible clay) are used to aid in elimination of mercury that the problem with ALA as stated by Dr Cutler can be avoided. He has even recommended certain chelators that have good science behind them showing that ALA can be used safely, even with amalgam fillings present. So this remains a matter of controversy. Please see the work of Dr. Alan Greenburg and Science Formulas: http://www.toxic-metal-chelation.com/chelation-howchelorex-works.html
          It is also believed by Dr. Sircus that the specific type of ALA used makes a difference and only stabilized r-ALA and not r/s-ALA should be used. r/s ALA contains a combination of natural and synthetic ALA which may be more harmful than helpful in our bodies.

          • Joseph

            Wow. That’s very risky advice, in my (and many, many other’s opinions).

          • http://drsircus.com/ Claudia French

            Yes, as I said there is disagreement. But ALA has been used safely in other chelators without problem and also in other disease conditions at high doses without problem as some believe would not be the case. .You would need to read Dr. Sircus’ information on this.

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  • Bridget Copley

    Maybe a little more info would help. This is called paradoxical CNS acidosis. Giving more bicarb pushes reaction to the left, i.e., more CO2 and H2O in the blood. Problem then is that CO2 crosses blood brain barrier (and HCO3 does not).

  • Jan Lueken

    In reading the article/blog, I noticed that the use of reduced breathing was not acknowledged as a way to restore balanced pH. As an instructor of the Buteyko Breathing Method, I understand that working to reduce breathing can have an important contribution to the reduction of acidity. This is a very important finding. Check this out. Find additional ways to work with pH. Overbreathig is mostly a development from stress. It can be worked with directly and will help with the problems mentioned.

  • Jill Fuhrmann

    Remembering seeing an “apothecary jar” in my Dad’s bathroom closet (’50′s-60′s) labeled “Sodium Bicarbonate”. We also always had Milk of Magnesia tablets. Lots of corporate traditional american meals served to dad at noon. He died of liver cancer that had advanced from the colon. Age 63, ’72. And my husband’s dad died of pancreatic cancer. You have my attention.
    Can you please comment/write or refer me to the function of systemic enzymes, specifically, serrapeptase and nattokinase? And address their function in breaking down lung fibrosis in COPD and amyloid plaque/organic brain disease.
    Many thanks.

  • Bridget Copley

    I consulted a recent MD graduate about bicarb. She said that, as shown in the following chemical reaction, that when taking bicarbonate that the blood will become more alkaline HOWEVER the brain becomes acid. Could you address if this is true, or maybe if it depends on if the bicarb taken via IV or through digestion. Thanks.

    CO2 + H2O H2CO3 H+ + HCO3-

  • basia wojno

    ddoes putting soda in drinking water resolve the problem once you are dependent on insulin>. i have proteinuria HOw will the ;kidneys like the idea of using soda? t;hanks and how much per glass of water should I use?

    • claudia

      Basia,
      Recent research shows that oral administration of sodium bicarbonate has been able to prevent progression to kidney problems and sometimes even reverses this. It does not matter whether one is already on insulin or not. Follow direction of your health care provider. Get some pH strips and test your acidity level, and follow an alkaline diet. See the book on diabetes and on kidney problems and bicarbonate at: http://diabetic.imva.info/

      Sincerely,
      Claudia French RN, LPHA
      Assistant Director IMVA

  • http://VitalityHerbsAndClay.com Michael King

    This is an excellent summary of the importance of alkalinity in pancreatic health. I appreciate the simple wisdom that you put forth in your newsletters. Thank you.

  • Joyce

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  • Mary

    You didn’t say if putting baking soda in your water would help this condition

    • Carol Crow

      Once diabetes is contracted, what solutions are available, if any, to rectify the situation?

      • Robert

        The best solution: Low Carb Diet. If you don’t eat sugar (or limit your intake) your blood sugar will drop. Carbohydrate is the only macronutrient which is NOT ESSENTIAL.

        • Kelly

          Absolute nonsense. Carbs are essential, they help the liver make glycogen…our body and brain runs on glycogen/sugar.

          • DCozens

            Where did that information come from? The USDA? LOL.

          • Kelly

            Google ‘glycogen’ and ‘carbohydrates’ and you’ll pull up dozens of university websites. Better yet, use Google Scholar.

    • claudia

      Mary,
      keeping your body alkaline and producing the bicarbonate it needs will definitely help, but you need to use sodium bicarbonate to jump start the process and then follow up with an alkalinizing diet. Supplements alone will not cure diabetes. Let you pH be your guide, check it with pH test strips and go from there. Onlly if your body cannot effectively excrete excess acids might a doctor or health care provider recommend daily use of bicarbonate. Follow their recommendations as there are cautions needed with long term use of bicarbonate of soda. See Dr. Sircus’ books and other writings for this information. And see the diabetes site for other helpful and necessary things to do when you ave diabetes: http://diabetic.imva.info/ .http://diabetic.imva.info/

      Sincerely,
      Claudia French RN, LPHA

  • Harry Francis

    Is alka seltzer suitable for use in obtaining sufficient Sodium Bicarbonates?
    Alka Seltzer does contain aspirin.

    • Judy

      I’m not a doctor, but I think not because I think it contains aspirin–better to go with just the bicarbonate of soda. And, that is better purchased from a healthfood store to avoid led.

  • Graham

    So how do we take Bicarbonate of Soda to alleviate this acid condition, and in what amounts? Also, can this ‘cure’ diabetes? I am type 1 diabetic so am willing to try anything rather than injecting for the rest of my life.

    • Robert

      Read Dr Bernstein’s book;
      “Diabetes Solution”. He is the longestt living person with this type diabetes.

  • Kevin Johnson

    I am so glad you referenced one of my favorite books, “Brain Allergies” by William Philpott, M.D. and Dwight K. Kalita, Ph.D.Only a few paragraphs into your article I knew I had to retrieve that book to review the bicarbonate recommendations. So, it was exciting to see this ground-breaking book as a reference.