How to Manage Your Diabetes
Did you know that of the 29.1 million American adults that have (Type 1 & 2) diabetes, 95% are type 2?
And did you know 25% of those adults don’t know they have it? In addition, over 80 million Americans are pre-diabetic with nearly 50% that do not know that they are pre-diabetic.
Type 1 diabetes is a lifetime of medical insulin injections but type 2 can be managed or prevented by making a few lifestyle changes.
Poor management of diabetes can lead to other chronic illnesses such as blindness, heart disease, kidney disease, nerve damage, and macrovascular complications which can lead to a stroke.
So how do you manage type two diabetes?
Before we can determine proper management, we need to know exactly what it is and the root cause.
WHAT IS TYPE TWO DIABETES?
Type 1 and type 2 diabetes are two different diseases. Type 1 refers to the underproduction of insulin while type 2 refers to the overproduction of insulin.
Insulin is a necessary function of the human body. It facilitates the transport and storage of glucose in your liver, muscles as well as your organs. This usually happens in between meals.
The overproduction of insulin causes the glucose to remain in the blood. This excess glucose (sugar) in your blood is what is linked with the onset of type 2 diabetes.
WHAT CAUSES THE OVERPRODUCTION OF INSULIN?
The overproduction of insulin (type 2 diabetes) can be caused by inadequate sleep (less than 7 ½ hours), improper hydration (water), excessive consumption of processed foods & high saturated fats, lack of exercise and smoking. As well as your body composition, body fat distribution.
Inadequate sleep – When you get fewer than 7 1/2 hours of sleep and have an inconsistent sleep schedule, you create a disruption in the hormones that control blood glucose which can lead to an increase production of visceral fat.
Dehydration – Inadequate water consumption can cause your blood pressure to fall which will then cause your body to secrete the hormones norepinephrine and epinephrine, which can raise your blood sugar. Even worse, sodas and GMO sweetened juices only contribute to the dehydration thus raising your blood sugar even more.
Processed Foods & High Saturated Fats – The consumption of artificially sweetened products (sodas, cookies, cakes, ice cream) and diets that have high amounts of saturated fatty acids and animal fat, have a two-fold higher risk of increasing blood sugar levels.
Smoking – Smokers are 30-40 percent more likely than non-smokers to develop diabetes. This is because smoking damages cells and tissues, increasing inflammation which increases the risk of diabetes. If you have diabetes and you smoke, you have higher risks for serious complications.
Visceral Fat – Carrying a high amount of fat inside your abdominal cavity is known to be associated with insulin resistance, which can lead to glucose intolerance and type 2 diabetes. The accumulation of this type of fat has a significant negative impact on glycemic control through a decrease in insulin sensitivity.
All the prior mentioned causes are a contributor to visceral fat. So, the way the fat is stored in your body plays a big role in insulin resistance and sensitivity.
This does not mean that Type 2 diabetes is an overweight (obese) disease. Yes, as obesity rates have increased, so has the diabetes rates. But there is another group that has been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, the skinny fat population.
Although this population may have an ideal body weight, the low lean mass and equal or higher amount of fat causes the same risk as the overweight/obese person.
Specific to body composition, it is the type of fat that contributes to the development of type 2 diabetes, visceral fat. There are two types of fat, subcutaneous and visceral. Subcutaneous is the fat we see in the mirror or notice when you lose weight. Visceral fat is the fat the develops in the abdominal cavity as well as in and around your organs (liver, kidneys, heart, etc.).
Knowing the above, type 2 diabetes is a serious disease and requires and full understanding of your lifestyle and body composition for true diabetic management.
It’s not solely driven by proper diet and exercise. Proper sleep, hydration and the exclusion of other lifestyle habits (smoking) play a major role in preventing or managing type 2 diabetes.
There is no one size fits all lifestyle plan that will prevent or manage diabetes. Every aspect of the changes you need to make must be specific to your life. From your diet, the form of exercise, how much and when you should drink water and most importantly, a sleeping schedule that is supportive of your daily required routine.
The Body Refined Lifestyle Management program
The Lifestyle Management program can help your nutrition for diabetes and helping you to make the necessary changes in your lifestyle. For a Diabetes Management plan that is ideal for you.
Take the integrative approach to self-care and banish the traditional approach of putting all your focus solely on exercise and nutrition. Lifestyle management is a form of integrative medicine that puts the client-patient at the center and addresses the full range of physical, emotional, mental, social and environmental influences that affect a person’s health.
Want to learn more, schedule an exploratory call to get a no-obligation screening of how lifestyle management program can help you by clicking here.
Kurt Dixon is an educated, certified and experienced health consultant who is passionate about helping his client-patients achieve their goals by adjusting their lifestyle to promote a seamless, healthy living. His experience covers healthcare, pharmaceutical, money management, telecommunications & customer service industries. He is also the founder of Body Refined and the Lifestyle Management program, an integrated consortium of measures addressing life balance, eating healthier, physical wellness and career management.