November Focus ~ Facing the Challenges of Diabetes
Most of us connect November to Thanksgiving, family, football, and, of course, the turkey with all of the trimmings. I just realized that it is also the month recognizing diabetes, a disease that can lead to blindness, kidney failure, heart disease, stroke, memory problems, and even loss of toes, feet, or leg. It is almost difficult to enjoy all that stuffing, homemade rolls and pumpkin pie when we know that a meal like this, filled with lots of carbs, can make our blood sugar rise!
Did you know diabetes just became the #1 killer in Mexico? And that one out of every two Americans already has type 2 diabetes or its precursors? According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) 86 million of us (1 out of 3) have prediabetes ~ which is when your blood sugar is higher than normal but not high enough yet to be diagnosed as Type 2 Diabetes. One frightening statistic is that 9 out of 10 do not even know they have it.
In his book, YOU: Staying Young, Dr. Mehmet Oz gave the startling fact that Type 2 diabetes (the kind associated with being overweight) increases the risk of Alzheimer’s, probably by increasing inflammation or arterial aging, but also because too much of the hormone insulin in the brain can stimulate beta-amyloid buildup. In fact, Alzheimer’s is now being called type 3 diabetes!
Another interesting fact I learned from Dr. Oz is in reference to believing that diabetes is caused by eating too much sugar. He states that all food ~ no matter whether it’s a protein, fat, or carbohydrate ~ gets broken down into glucose. When you have insulin resistance and you overeat, be it too much meat, potato, or coconut cream pie, the cells in your body are unable to absorb the extra glucose, resulting in higher blood glucose levels. And that blood glucose level is monitored by cells in your pancreas that are the lone producers of insulin which we know is the hormone that transports glucose from the outside to the inside of your cells so your body can transform that glucose into usable energy. Unable to keep up with this glucose-insulin struggle, a person with type 2 diabetes is now storing fat (causing insulin resistance), which makes us eat more, which causes more fat, which is associated with eating more, so we accumulate more fat, which causes more insulin resistance, and on and on……
In spite of this vicious cycle, Dr. Oz reassures us that we can manage this disease with these tips~
- Exercising at least 30 minutes a day (just a little bit can dramatically improve the ability of insulin to get glucose into many cells, especially muscle)
- Keeping our blood pressure under control
- Keeping our weight at a normal range ( a small amount of weight loss can make the difference between elevated blood sugar and normal blood sugar)
- Eating a healthy diet (which includes, of course, managing all of those pesky simple carbs we are always tempted with).
- Including a half teaspoon of cinnamon a day (can increase insulin receptivity by over 50%)
- My own suggestions include a great beginning to the day ~ a tasty shake that is low glycemic, non-GMO protein sources, gluten-free, lactose free, kosher, and of course free of artificial sweeteners, preservatives and flavors and ….
- Glucose Regulation Complex, a Shaklee natural supplement that helps retain normal blood sugar levels, containing ingredients that promote efficient glucose utilization. Find it on my website here http://pws.shaklee.com/joanne-estes
Go here to sign up for a great series by doctors specializing in diabetes to learn more about this disease and what to do. It is a free site and will give you additional information about prevention as well as reversing this deadly disease.
Making these little changes each day can perhaps make a difference between a lifetime of debilitating issues or living a life filled with energy and great health. Definitely food for thought! Happy Thanksgiving 🙂