Diabetes is one of the most common diseases affecting Americans today. Linked closely with the increasing unhealthy ‘fast food’ diets, it is believed that diabetes will remain a leading health concern well in to this century. Diabetes can impact the lives of sufferers in many ways. The American Diabetes Association placed the cost to the healthcare system at over $200 billion each year, with over 26 million affected by the disease.
Lifestyle, diet, and a lack of education around the disease can shoulder most of the blame for the growing epidemic, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t light at the end of the tunnel for those who are suffering.
Exactly what is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a complex disease that can affect all areas of physiology. The two classifications of diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2, are both characterized by a lack of insulin production, or permanent insulin resistance. Insulin is the sugar delivery hormone in your body, providing energy to your cells. Insulin problems lead to problems with blood sugar levels. Defining diabetes as those with high blood sugar is actually a description of a symptom, rather than the underlying cause.
Obesity and diabetes are not always associated. While diabetes can be caused by problems rooted in obesity, it’s not uncommon for individuals to suffer from a type of Latent Autoimmune Diabetes where insulin production ceases due to pancreatic deterioration.
How does Diabetes Develop?
Insulin resistance is a precursor to fully developed diabetes. At this stage, cells require higher levels of insulin to effectively process sugar. As insulin receptors become completely saturated sugar cannot enter cells to be used as energy. It is then converted in to triglycerides, a type of fat.
Even in this early stage blood sugar levels can be normal, this is because the pancreas will produce more insulin to compensate for the problem. Eventually the pancreas will wear out and fail to function, and this is where it becomes necessary for sufferers to manually introduce insulin in to their systems through injection.
Major factors attributed to this early stage of diabetes include;
- Excessive Carbohydrate or Sugar Consumption
- Sedentary Lifestyle
Hormones can also affect diabetes. A hormone imbalance (such as excess Cortisol) can mean that there is increased blood sugar in the system. At the same time insulin receptors are impaired. The pancreas will work overtime to produce more insulin to lower blood sugar, leading to eventual pancreatic destruction and diabetes.
Diabetes: The Damage
Diabetes can impact a sufferer with a plethora of destructive symptoms. The common symptoms such as fatigue, dizziness, and cognitive lapses are well known, but there are some that may surprise you.
- Blood pressure is increased.
- Physiological aging increased due to cell oxidation.
- Tissue break down causing blindness, nerve damage, kidney failure, blood vessel destruction.
- Brain shrinkage at 2x the normal rate.
- Cholesterol is increased.
- Inflammation becomes a problem, causing pain, heart disease, fluid retention, and weight gain.
- Women sufferers produce more testosterone leading to weight gain, thinning hair, and increased body hair.
- Men develop more estrogen, causing breast development, prostate problems, and sterility.
- Breast and Colon Cancer risks are increased.
- More fat is stored, and is harder to burn off.
- Your body can no longer detoxify itself, so sufferers can develop all new problems on top of their diabetic symptoms.
Managing Diabetes Naturally
The symptoms of diabetes are caused by your body trying to compensate for the damage that has already been done. This is actually good news for sufferers and those at risk of developing the disease. Insulin is a hormone that is well understood and easily produced outside of the body for medical use. As destructive and dangerous as the disease is, it’s not an immediate life sentence of suffering.
The keys to managing the disease are simple;
- Reduce toxin intake by reducing processed foods, increasing fluid intake, and avoiding harsh chemicals and polluted environments.
- Manage stress. Stress causes hormonal problems that can lead to hundreds of deadly diseases. Seeking ways to manage stress or deal with long standing triggers can help to manage or reduce the risk of diabetes, or progression of the disease.
- Exercise! At risk individuals and sufferers themselves can gain massive benefits from regular exercise. Exercise can help to maintain blood sugar, normalize insulin production, reduce cravings to reduce overeating, normalize metabolism, flush toxins, and reduce weight.
- Nutrition. In addition to reducing processed foods, we need to look towards healthier foods. Carbohydrate intake should be reduced, and low Glycemic Index carbs should be the preferred source. Whole grains, fiber rich, and natural foods are key. Lean proteins should also be chosen over high fat alternatives. In addition to what we eat, supplements can help to balance deficiencies caused by early or fully diagnosed diabetes. Zinc, Magnesium, Complex B Vitamins, and Chromium will all help to normalize deficiencies in a diabetic patient.
There are opportunities for at risk individuals to prevent diabetes before it starts. For existing sufferers, there are countless avenues to pursue that will improve quality of life, restore lost health, and even prevent further deterioration.
We treat every patient as an individual, with a unique condition. We look for the root causes of your affliction and develop plans to offset progression and rebalance the harmony within your body. Understanding diabetes is the first step, but positive action is required to truly take life back.
Extensive lab work, consultation, and education help us to prevent diabetes dictating how you will live your life. With managed changes there is a bright future, and you’ll find the help you need with The Living Proof.