Diabetes has reached epidemic proportions in our industrialized society. Approximately 16 million Americans are the victim of this disease and about half of them don’t even know that they are diabetic..
Apart from the disease itself, the side effects are also threatening. One-third of all new cases of kidney disease are caused by diabetes. As much as 80% of diabetics will die from cardiovascular disease and diabetes is the leading cause of amputations and blindness in the elderly.
Two Types of Diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes usually effects children and is caused by an attack of the immune system, which makes them insulin poor.
Type 2 diabetes is responsible for 90% of the cases. This type of diabetes is caused by insulin resistance.
Insulin resistance or Syndrome X is caused by our modern life style. Our diet has taken it’s toll. Far to many people eat a high-carbohydrate and high-fat diet and as a result, many have become less sensitive to their own insulin.
Insulin is a storage hormone that drives sugar into the cells to be utilized or stored as fat. Our body wants to control our blood sugar, but when our body becomes less sensitive to its own insulin, it compensates by making more insulin.
If our blood sugar rises, the pancreas are forced to produce more insulin in order to control our blood sugars. However, increase in insulin levels can cause some serious problems, called Syndrome X, like: – inflammation of the arteries, which can cause heart attack and stroke – high blood pressure (hypertension) – high level of triglycerides ( the other fat in the blood beside cholesterol) – low level of HDL (good cholesterol) – high level of LDL (bad cholesterol) – increased risk of blood clots formation – a significant development of “uncontrolled” weight gain, usually around the waist
A combination of these factors makes the risk of developing heart disease 20 times higher. We can’t ignore the growing risk of developing heart disease as the NUMBER ONE KILLER in our industrialized world!
Cause of Diabetes.
As we have seen, in order for our body to control our blood sugar levels, the pancreas have to produce more insulin. This elevated level of insulin is the cause of the destructive metabolic changes linked with Insulin Resistance or Syndrome X.
If we want to keep our blood sugar level low and constant, we need to consume carbohydrates which are slowly turned into simple sugar by our body. Many people consume food products that cause their blood sugar level to rise rapidly, like white bread, white flour, white rice, pasta and potatoes. These foods contain the wrong type of carbohydrates, which spike blood sugars. They have a high Glycemic Index. You can read more about the Glycemic Index in my special article.
In order to test the development of Syndrome X, you can divide your triglyceride level by your HDL level. If the ratio is greater than 2, early signs of Syndrome X are present.
Cure for Syndrome X and Type 2 Diabetes.
Syndrome X or insulin resistance is totally reversible by life style changes, that means consuming a low GI diet, combined with a moderate exercise program and some basic nutritional supplements, in order to improve insulin sensitivity.
Diagnosis of Diabetes
In a review article for the Mayo Clinic, Dr. James O’Keefe stated: “Therapeutic efforts in patients with diabetes have focused predominantly on normalizing increased blood sugar levels, while often ignoring many of these other modifiable risks, which are caused by underlying insulin resistance.”
Doctors are mostly concerned about the fat content in people’s diet, instead of treating insulin resistance, which is a much better way to confront and control diabetes.
People with diabetes are deficient in the following micro nutrients: – Chromium: this is essential in the metabolism of glucose and the action of insulin. It improves insulin sensitivity. Diabetics need 300 mcg of chromium daily. – Vitamin E: apart from antioxidant defense, it also helps to solve the problem of insulin resistance. People with a low level of vitamin E have a five times higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. – Magnesium: deficiency can exist in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. It also increases the risk of retinopathy in diabetic patients. When this deficiency in older people is corrected, insulin function improves drastic. However, it is very difficult to diagnose magnesium deficiency. Cellular levels can only be tested in research labs, that’s why magnesium deficiency is under diagnosed. We all need at least 400 – 500 mg of magnesium in supplements every day. – Vanadium: This mineral is less known but can significantly increase insulin sensitivity when taken in supplements. Diabetics need 50 – 100 mcg in supplements daily.
The final question remains:If you struggle with diabetes, are you willing to make life style changes to make yourself independent of medication and live a healthier life?
To control your diabetes, you need a hemoglobin A1C of less than 6.5. This is hard to do with medication only. Watch your blood sugars closely. If it drops to much, your doctor has to adjust your medication.
Applying these principles will significantly improve your diabetic control.