What Is Diabetes?
A potentially very serious disease, diabetes has major effects on quality of life – and ultimately the length of life. It is the commonest cause of blindness in those aged 18-65 years and is a major factor in the development of kidney failure, heart disease and strokes. Although genetics – the DNA which we inherit from our parents- is an important reason for many patients to develop the disease, by far the main cause of diabetes today is lifestyle and diet.
Causes Of Diabetes
• Family History – Genetic Disposition
• High Blood Pressure
• Being overweight, esp. around the middle
• Excess nourishment (too many highly processed calories)
• Sedentary lifestyle
• Mental health conditions: schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression
• Disrupted sleep
• General diet
• Lack of nutrients
What Is Insulin?
Insulin is a hormone released by your pancreas and is vital for the body to function normally and to control how the body uses and stores glucose. In excessive amounts insulin becomes a dangerous hormone. Too little is also dangerous (type 1 diabetes). Glucose is an important molecule because it supplies the muscles and organs with the energy to function. It’s a question of balance: Too much insulin can make you overweight and tired, and increase your risk of heart disease and diabetes; too little insulin means high blood sugar levels which damages your internal organs. The modern diet that encourages high insulin levels means that the body stores more glucose as fat and we are at greater risk of becoming overweight and obese
As much as we need glucose to function, glucose at too high a level leads to oxidation and this causes tissue damage. This is what happens in poorly controlled diabetes, which can lead to peripheral neuropathy, renal conditions and cataracts. Because high blood glucose is so damaging to your health your body will do everything it can to maintain normal glucose levels and it does this by releasing insulin from the pancreas. When high glucose levels remain high for a long time the body starts to become insulin resistant meaning it cannot utilise the hormone effectively which causes the body to become diabetic.
Consequences Of Diabetes Are:
• Heart disease, including high blood pressure and high cholesterol and an increase risk of thrombosis or stroke
• Kidney disease
• Nerves disease called neuropathy leading to loss of feeling and coldness in the extremities, sometimes limb amputations are necessary.
• Eye disease called retinopathy and other problems from glaucoma to macular degeneration and blindness
• Periodontal disease (Gum and teeth degeneration)
• Memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease
• Fatty liver disease
• Join stiffness
Important Factors To Improve For Diabetics
Reducing Insulin Levels
High levels of insulin can also lead to a condition called metabolic syndrome which can be a precursor to type 2 diabetes. Characteristic features of this condition are:
• Elevated insulin levels
• Raised blood pressure
• Elevated triglyceride levels (fats in the blood leading to heart disease)
A high level of insulin has potentially serious side effects, including the elevated risk of heart disease due to insulin
• Increasing hardening of the arteries
• Increasing LDL (bad) cholesterol
• Increasing triglycerides in the blood
• Reducing protective HDL cholesterol
• Increasing the production of Fat cells
• Reducing the facility to burn fat cells
The raised levels of insulin in type 2 diabetes actually cause the patient to increase weight and produce more fat. Although insulin per se is not bad – in fact a certain amount of insulin is absolutely essential for health – the problem is that our modern diet stimulates the production of far too much insulin. The problem with excess insulin is it causes excess calories to be stored as fat. Even worse it actually prevents the breakdown of fat cells, so the body is unable to use the stored fat as energy. Other negative effects of excess insulin are
• Excess production of cholesterol by the liver, causing raised cholesterol levels and increasing the risk of heart disease
• Stimulating the kidneys to retain excess water and salt, which can lead to raised blood pressure
• Increasing the levels of fats in the blood called triglycerides a very significant indicator of heart health.
Increase Micro Nutrients
Certain minerals have been found to be too low in diabetics. It is important to get foods rich in these nutrients into the diet and test to see what levels they are at so we know if the body is absorbing them properly.
• Zinc: important for hormonal health and immune system
• Chromium: not only increases the number of insulin receptors present but it also helps insulin bind more strongly to its receptor – thereby improving its overall effectiveness
• Magnesium: recognised as a co-factor for over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body.
• Glutathione – Is the bodies most important antioxidant, but people with diabetes don’t get enough of it.
Understanding Cholesterols And Its Role
The first amazing fact is that most cholesterol in your diet is actually made within your body and does not come from your diet. Cholesterol is a fatty substance made by the cells of the body, particularly in the liver, in response to certain stimulants, of which insulin is the most important. So you can see the obvious and instant link with diabetes.
Where is cholesterol in the body
• Sheaths around the nerves system
• Hormones in the body, particularly sex hormones
• Vitamin D, which regulates calcium and is made from cholesterol
• Glands in the skin which maintain healthy skin
• The digestive juices
• High density lipoproteins (HDL)
• Low density lipoproteins (LDL) (2 types look up mercola fat switch)
Reducing the level of insulin is the single most important factor in lowering the risk of heart disease in diabetic patients. And insulin is reduced by excluding refined carbohydrates from your diet.
Reducing Free Radicals And Increasing Antioxidants
Free radicals and antioxidants are probably the most important factors in preventing disease and ageing. In each of our cells, thousands of chemicals reactions occur every second. To release the energy from our food, the chemical reactions produce free radicals which are essentially molecules that have lost an electron. There natural reaction is to try to take an electron from another molecule, which causes damage to the cells of our body especially as this process occurs millions of times per second. This sets off chain reactions of stealing electrons, which weaken our cellular defences against disease and infection. Obviously, we need to stop the process by wiping up the free radicals before they can cause damage. This is where antioxidants come into the picture. Antioxidants mop up the free radicals, preventing damage and long term disease, keeping us healthy and seriously delaying the ageing process.
Zing True Health Diabetes Treatment Plans
Just as we all differ tremendously with respect to our outward physical appearance, we also have unique biochemistry and genetics. You and I process foods and utilize nutrients differently.
Success comes in steps and this programme is designed to help you reach optimum health in a step-by-step manor.
The programme is designed at aiming to help control the four factors:
Key Is Mastering Change
It is easier to take extra medication or insulin, than to change dietary and lifestyle habits – but the latter means a healthier and longer life. When you work with Zing True Health Clinic we work with you to help you make the changes by educating you, treating you, and providing excellent client care. Diabetes is the end result of eating a diet and living a lifestyle that repeatedly keeps your blood sugar at too high a level. Our job is to help you control this hormone and implement new lifestyle strategies to help you reach and achieve your health goals.