The disease of Diabetes is growing at epidemic proportions in America and around the world. When we say Diabetes, we are talking about two different disorders. Diabetes Type I and Diabetes Type II. Type I Diabetes is due to an autoimmune syndrome where our own body’s immune system destroys the insulin producing cells of our pancreas. There is no longer any production of insulin and a person with this disorder must take insulin at varying times throughout the day to survive.
Type II Diabetes is the kind most people talk about and is rampant in our communities. This type of Diabetes is genetically determined but due to the body’s acquired inability to process and utilize glucose properly and abnormal secretion of insulin to compensate. Simply put, Diabetes is Starvation in the Midst of Plenty. We have more than enough fuel but our body is unable to put the fuel in the right places at the right time.
To Diagnose type II Diabetes, simple blood tests can be done. However, the disease of Diabetes has been ongoing for a long time before the blood tests say you have the disorder. This is a progressive disease that begins with mild resistance to our own insulin requiring the pancreas to produce additional insulin to keep our blood sugars in a controlled range. Once the pancreas “burns out” and can no longer produce high amounts of insulin, blood sugar levels go way up and a patient is told they have Diabetes. When these blood sugars go up, the disease is well advanced at that time.
Our blood sugar levels go up because we are not able to put the sugar (glucose) into our tissues for use when needed. The excess sugar floating in our blood is then converted in the liver to fat. The more fat we make and have the more difficult it is for insulin to do its job and the cycle spins out of control. High blood sugar leads to high body fat which leads to greater insulin resistance which leads to higher blood sugars. The cycle must be broken.
To break the cycle, it is mandatory to reduce calorie intake and to spread out our intake of fuel throughout the day so we may process it more efficiently. Eating one or two larger meals a day assures that we will be unable to process it as fuel and will convert it into storage fat. We also eat too many carbohydrates, which is just a term for sugar based foods. Breads, potatoes, pasta, rice, and almost all snack foods are carbohydrates.
To reduce our blood sugar level we must reduce carbohydrate, increase protein, and eat a balance of healthy fats. We must slow our digestive process with adequate fiber and burn off fuel more quickly with exercise. Exercise also prepares our muscles and other tissues to more efficiently burn our sugar fuel. The problem comes when the Diabetic cycle creates excess body fat and a person then struggles to get the physical activity they need. It is often difficult to break this cycle.
Many Type II Diabetics believe that the medication a Dr. gives them for the disorder will correct the problem. The medications are great tools, but dietary change, physical activity progression, weight loss, hydration, and proper sleep play the greatest roles in correcting the metabolic problems inherent with Diabetes.
This disease is reversible. The sooner it is recognized and treated aggressively, the greater the response is. Many patients can reverse the disorder with proper eating and activity implementation. This work is exactly the same work as weight loss in a non-diabetic, however in the Diabetic, the body has a natural resistance to weight loss. This frustrating process will cause many Diabetics to give in and give up. This is not for you.
The proper treatment of Diabetes requires dietary adjustment, slow and progressive physical activity, various medication therapies which enhance the body’s ability to process glucose and fat along with regular monitoring of progress and adjustment of treatments.
The negative effects of Diabetes on the body include early heart disease, stroke, kidney damage, retinal damage leading to blindness, blood vessel damage, and foot and leg ulceration leading to amputation. This disease is worth treating and worth reversing. By doing so one can live to a normal life expectancy and avoid the perils due to under treatment of the Diabetes disease.
We live at a time where food is plentiful, concentrated with calories, high in sugar and fat, and tastes amazing. Since food is everywhere around us and relatively cheap, we can easily be lured into overeating and stressing our poor pancreas. We must be kind to our pancreas and provide limited but proper amounts of fuel at the right time. If you have a family history of Diabetes, then it is imperative to learn all you can about this disease and how to reverse the underlying factors that can ultimately lead to a shorter and more uncomfortable life. Learn to Live Lean, Live Long, and Live Life to the Fullest. Beat the Diabetic Genes!