Thursday, October 13, 2016

The 6 steps to diabetes—and how to decrease your risk

Contrary to popular belief, rarely does a person wake up one day and ZAP! they suddenly get struck with a disease that comes out of nowhere.

Even though learning that you have a disease can be shocking, trust me, it’s no surprise to your body.

And nowhere is this truer than with Type 2 diabetes.

Here is how Type 2 diabetes is created over time, and how you can help decrease your risk or even turn it around!

The six steps to diabetes

There are six steps that take you from normal blood sugar levels to Type 2 diabetes:

Step 1-Insulin resistance

Our typical diets are inundated with highly processed refined carbs which flood your bloodstream with glucose.  Excess glucose in your blood can be dangerous or even deadly, so your pancreas releases insulin to quickly restore the proper blood sugar level.

If this happened only once in a while, there would be no problem.  But growing numbers of people are taking in excessive amounts of refined carbs, causing the pancreas to repeatedly secrete insulin.

Eventually, your cells resemble a soaked sponge—they can’t absorb any more glucose so they turn off their receptors for insulin—known as insulin resistance.

Take a look at yourself.  If your four food groups are pasta, bread, chips, and cookies, you never drink anything that isn’t sweetened, and you’re overweight, chances are excellent you have insulin resistance in the making.

Step 2- Insulin resistance with hyperinsulinism

Once insulin resistance hits, your pancreas gets frustrated because the insulin it produces isn’t as effective anymore.

So what does it do?  Releases MORE insulin—and you end up with elevated glucose AND elevated insulin in your bloodstream!

High levels of insulin in your blood increases your risk of:
  • Elevated triglycerides
  • Elevated uric acid levels
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Obesity
  • Hypertension
At this stage, your blood sugar level starts resembling a roller coaster—spikes followed by drops.
If you’ve had a long-standing love affair with refined carbs and get jittery when you haven’t eaten for a while, insulin resistance with hyperinsulinism may be brewing.

Step 3-Insulin resistance, hyperinsulinism, and low blood sugar
As time goes on and your blood levels of insulin and glucose are consistently high, your blood sugar roller coaster becomes more dramatic.

Your pancreas takes longer to produce insulin after you eat and your blood sugar level skyrockets.

Then eventually the pancreas kicks in, which then causes your blood sugar to plummet.

This is called reactive hypoglycemia and if you’re noticing any of these symptoms, it may be a concern for you:
  • Weight gain
  • Sugar cravings
  • Frequent hunger
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling anxious or panicky
  • Lacking focus or motivation
  • Fatigue
Step 4- Prediabetes
Eventually, your blood sugar level will peak above the normal range and you will arrive in the land of prediabetes.

What you start seeing is a combination of sleepiness after a carbohydrate meal, along with the symptoms of hypoglycemia mentioned above.

Step 5- Type 2 diabetes with insulin resistance and high insulin production
In this stage, your blood sugar level becomes more frequently elevated.  Your pancreas is still cranking out insulin, but it’s getting slower and slower about it.  This results in dangerously high glucose levels after eating.

Step 6- Type 2 diabetes with little or no insulin production
Now your pancreas is exhausted—its beta cells become dysfunctional and can no longer produce adequate insulin or any at all.

Your blood sugar levels are more consistently high for longer periods of time—even after fasting.
The symptoms you see here are:
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased hunger
  • Frequent urination
  • Weight gain
  • Blurred vision
Change your path now!
No matter what step of Type 2 diabetes you may have reached, the condition is very preventable, and even if you have gone through all six steps, there is a LOT you can do to help keep it under control and even turn it around!

1- Eat for diabetes prevention and control

Here are some good food choices to combat diabetes:
  • Salmon and cod:  The Omega-3 essential fatty acids in fish like salmon and cod provide crucial support to your metabolism including maintaining proper insulin levels. 
  • Legumes:  Legumes are packed with fiber and protein and help regulate blood sugar.
  • Onions:  Onions are rich in chromium, which is an important mineral to help regulate blood sugar.
  • Tomatoes: Tomatoes are also a good source of chromium and antioxidants. 
  • Red and purple fruits: The anthocyanins (phytonutrients) found in fruits like cranberries, cherries, and blueberries can help lower blood sugar levels.
  • Leafy greens and sweet potatoes: Leafy green vegetables and sweet potatoes contain special compounds beneficial for blood sugar balance.
  • Cinnamon: This spice is a potent antioxidant and helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
  • Walnuts: Another great source of Omega-3 EFAs.
  • Extra-virgin olive oil: Studies show extra-virgin olive oil can have beneficial effects on blood sugar levels. 
2- Supplement with Omega-3 EFAs
Omega-3 EFAs provide vital support to your metabolism including maintaining proper insulin levels.
In addition to fatty fish in your diet, a pharmaceutical grade Omega-3 fish oil supplement can help you satisfy this crucial need.

3- Get regular exercise
Exercise increases the ratio of muscle to fat in your body.  The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism, which helps you burn more glucose.

Plus the more muscle you have, the more responsive your body is to the effects of insulin!
Pick an activity you like—even walking is helpful—get your doctor’s OK and do it for at least 30 minutes a day, 4-5 days a week.

4- Help keeps your immune system strong and sharp
Colds, flu, and infections not only make you feel miserable, but they can send your blood glucose soaring through the roof, and your best protection against illnesses like these is to have a strong and sharp immune system.

Since most of your immune system is located in your intestinal tract, having a healthy gut environment is a MUST.  Eating nutritious real foods and supplementing with a top-notch, full spectrum probiotic can help support your gut health and keep your immune system sharp and strong.

Stop Type 2 diabetes in its tracks and get on the road to better health now!


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