Diabetes is now in epidemic numbers worldwide. Many people feel it is genetic, it runs in the family, it is going to happen sooner or later!
Really, to tell the truth, Diabetes is a disease of diet and lifestyle much more than your genes. Yes you may have a small genetic tendency but it actually can be controlled and prevented by diet, exercise, life habits and use of supplements to aid sugar control.
Statistics show that its increase has more than doubled since 1980. World Health Organization estimates 422 million diabetes were diagnosed in 2014, an increase from 108 million of 1980. The numbers are higher in low to middle income families in many countries.
Type 1 diabetes is insulin dependent, due to deficiency of insulin production. Usually diagnosed in young children, there is no known etiology, at this time is not preventable.
Type 2 diabetes is preventable and is due to ineffective use of insulin by the cells in your body; as a result of excess sugar and carbohydrates. Diabetes symptoms start early but go unnoticed; many of these people are pre-diabetic, and may go undiagnosed for many years.
To prevent or reverse diabetes: start with changing your diet and lifestyle choices.
Diabetes symptoms to look for:
- Thirsty all the time
- Urinating more often.
- Feeling hungry a lot, even though you are eating.
- Wounds not healing very fast.
- Extreme fatigue
- Vision blurry and unclear.
- Pain and numbness in feet and hands
In Diabetes, insulin from the pancreas gland transports glucose, a sugar, into your cells for energy. As your sugar intake increases the pancreas try’s to make enough insulin to match amount of sugar you take in. Then your pancreas becomes overworked, it stops producing the insulin hormone, and you now have insulin resistance.
The result is a buildup of glucose in your blood since the cells do not have the capacity to receive glucose. So, you have no energy; since no insulin is available to bring it inside the cell.
It is amazing that 1 in 4 Americans……now has diabetes or pre-diabetes. This is a disease that is fully preventable and can be reversed by appropriate diet and lifestyle habits.
Normalizing your weight, your blood pressure and cholesterol will get you started on the right road.
Learning about How to Control Your Sugar
Diet and exercise are effective components for successful management or prevention of diabetes. Studies have been published on Pub med and in Diabetes journals among others that confirm that food and exercise help to control your sugar levels.
Many Diabetes programs have suggestions on diet, food and exercise therapies to help control patients sugar levels. In fact, therapies that can help include: lifestyle habits off stress, sleep, digestive issues to alcohol intake.
Let’s talk about diet tips for eating to keep your sugar levels in a good range.
Food and Diet Tips to Lower Your Blood Sugar
- Decrease your Processed and Packaged food. Anything with chemical additives, sugars, fat, salt or dyes. Read the labels.
- Cutback and then work on avoiding soft drinks, (soda or cola). Decrease fruit punch, vitamin drinks or juices; they are very high in added sugars. Even the powdered packets sold to add to your water have sugar and chemical additives.
- Avoid baked goods and white breads since they all break down as a simple sugar. These can include boxed cereals to oat bars to “healthy muffins”. We recommend using stevia, a natural herb, as a sweetener in drinks.
- Stop consuming unhealthy saturated fats, the villains here are the Trans fats, partially hydrogenated fat, like in fried foods. This includes margarines, vegetable shortening and Omega 6 fats such as corn, canola, and soy oils.
Instead, we recommend Omega 3 and mono saturated fats like olive, coconut, nut butters and avocados.
- Decrease intake of carbohydrates and grains. White rice, pasta, white flour which all convert to sugar rapidly in the body. You can try small amounts of whole grain like brown rice, quinoa or oatmeal.
- Increase your vegetables, lack of diversity means fewer nutrients. Practice shopping at local framer’s market or natural grocers to find the freshest greens and veggies. Partake of fresh fruit for a sweet treat.
- Fiber will lower your sugar. All veggies and fruits are high in fiber which slows down fermentation in gut (gas and bloating), promotes feeling of fullness.
- Add herbs, seeds, nuts and spices to create the flavors you miss from no sugar. Explore new tastes; sprinkle nuts like almonds or walnuts on salads.
- Hydration is important, drink plenty of water so your blood sugar does not increase or become concentrated. With diabetes your kidneys do not function as well and you have to urinate frequently.
Compensate for your water loss by drinking more.
Mix your water with flavoring like lime, lemon or orange slices. Or try cucumber or fresh herbs like mint or basil. No Gatorade or vitamin drink or energy drinks…their full of sugar!
Learn to slow down and sit to eat, relax with a cup of tea or do some meditation.
You can do this; try to start with just one tip and then when you’ve got that down, try another tip.
Whatever you can change……….sometimes even one tip…… it could help prevent or reverse your disease.
Lifestyle Changes for Diabetes Management and Disease Reversal
Each individual handles their health issues differently. Some may “go all out and work hard to just stop it, get rid of it! Or others may not have that kind of fight….just getting it under control is enough.
Both of these attitudes benefit by these lifestyle recommendations that we discuss here. Any or all of these changes can help prevent, control or reverse many different disease issues.
- Relieve Stress or Emotional Issues. Meditation, music, exercise or soaking in a hot tub. If your problems are emotion driven such as sickness, death, divorce or job related find a support person or group to talk it over. Just the calming ritual of making a cup of tea, and sitting to drink a warm cup can relax you.
- Review your Sleep Patterns. Your body needs 7-8 hours for the immune system to repair. This only happens during uninterrupted sleep cycles. I myself know how hard that is to do!!
Try to stay away from EMR’s (electromagnetic waves) such as your phone, T.V. or computer for at least 30 minutes before bedtime. And enjoy a cup of chamomile tea before sleeping.
- Exercise at least 3 times per week. If weak or out of shape start by walking in short spurts, bike riding, swimming or simply stretching.
- Lose Weight, if that is your main goal, many diabetics are overweight and it does resolve some of your symptoms after loss of extra pounds. Diet and herbs can help.
- Optimize your Gut flora, your good bacteria. Probiotics, the good bacteria, are beneficial, use in capsule form, to keep the digestive and immune system working effectively.
- Decrease your alcohol intake of beer, wine or liquor. These all have added sugars and carbohydrates. They affect liver function and can interfere with any medications you are currently taking.
Remember diabetes disease only gets worse as it progresses, if you do nothing. Even on meds you can still have kidney loss of function, uncontrolled infections, neuropathy or loss of feeling in toes or feet. (See: www.merryherb.com)
Many other organs are affected by diabetes; heart, kidney, nervous system and eyes are major areas of concern.
Taking care of yourself and following some of these habits can make a world of difference for you and your family.