Monthly Archives: January 2017

Reversing Type 2 Diabetes

In the long-term, diabetes causes very serious medical problems such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, nerve damage, neuropathy, glaucoma, cataracts and retinopathy, a weakened immune system, and digestive problems.

Though these medical conditions develop slowly, eventually they can be devastating. Persons who let their diabetes get out of control risk going blind, experiencing a variety of infections, having a foot or leg amputated, requiring kidney dialysis or a transplant, or becoming incapacitated or dying from a stroke or heart attack, among a host of other serious outcomes.

Thus taking steps to beat diabetes is critical. It’s not that hard – so it can be done.

Diabetes and your genes

There is a persistent myth that diabetes is all about poor diets, unhealthy life-styles and obesity.

While it may be true that most people who are diabetic are overweight, some thin people also get diabetes. And some people who have an unhealthy lifestyle manage to avoid the disease. Why so?

It is because genetics plays a part in the onset of diabetes. This can be seen from the fact that diabetes seems to run in families.

However, unlike other kinds of genes, the diabetes gene does not ‘dictate’ that you will get diabetes. It only makes it likely that diabetes will develop under particular circumstances.

For example, if the gene that controls the colour of your eyes says that you eyes will be blue, then your eyes will be blue and there is nothing you can do about it. The same goes for the type and colour of your hair. If your genes decree wavy, brown hair for you then that’s what you get.

The kinds of genes that govern diabetes are different. They merely state that if certain conditions come about then you will get diabetes, ie they predispose you to getting the disease.

For example, if your parents were diabetic, it is likely that you inherited the genes that predispose you for type 2 diabetes. So, if you eat the same food as your parents, you are likely to develop diabetes. But if you change your diet and lifestyle, you can probably avoid your parents’ fate.

The big question is, once your diabetes has developed, can it be cured?

The short answer is NO. There is no cure.

But you can beat your diabetes – ie prevent the horrendous consequences mentioned above from developing – by eating a plant-focused diet and taking up exercise.

This is relatively easy to do. If your diabetes is not too far advanced, you should be able to stop taking your diabetes medications.

You may also be able to reverse your diabetes – ie revert to your state of health before you ever had diabetes at all – by eating a vegan diet and following an extreme exercise regimen.

Beating Diabetes

To beat your diabetes, you must reduce the excess amounts of glucose and insulin swirling around in your bloodstream.

To do so, you need a diet that is: (1) low in sugar, (2) low in fat, (3) low in salt, (4) high in fibre, and (5) digested slowly. Your diet must also exclude all dairy products and eggs.

The easiest way to devise such a diet is to concentrate on natural, unprocessed foods that are mostly plants. You also need to drink plenty of water, to aid the absorption of the fibre you eat.

You should also take a range of supplements in order to cover any possible dietary deficiencies you might encounter by avoiding dairy products.

This is the basis of the diet I am using to beat my diabetes, so I know it works.

And it is easy to put into practice. All you need to do is to learn how to read food labels so that you can buy the most appropriate food products.

Because you have diabetes, you are likely to be quite overweight if not obese. Once you have been following a beating-diabetes diet like this for three or four weeks, you will notice your weight beginning to drop rapidly.

This is due to the reduced fat and sugar in your diet. You weight will drop until it has reached its natural level with a BMI (body mass index) of less than 25.

Exercise

I got my blood glucose under control by following the kind of diet outlined above without doing any extra exercise. So it seems that exercise is not necessary in order to beat your diabetes.

However, I have since discovered that exercise does help. For example, I eat the same breakfast every day and check my blood glucose two hours later. Normally I get very similar results. But I have noticed that if I go for a 20-minute walk before checking my blood, my glucose reading will be up to ten percent lower than it would be without that walk.

My experience with diabetes and exercise is borne out by recent studies.

In one recent study, people with type 2 diabetes exercised for 175 minutes a week, ie 15 minutes a day for seven days a week and ate a low calorie diet. Within one year, ten percent were able to give up their diabetes medications or had improved to the point where their glucose readings could be classified as pre-diabetic rather than diabetic.

These average results were much better for those who has less severe or newly diagnosed diabetes or who lost the most weight. Among these people, 20% were able to give up taking their diabetes medications.

I feel that if the subjects in this study had been put on the sort of diet I outlined above, rather than a diet that merely restricted calories, most of them would have been able to give up their medications entirely as I have done.

Reversing diabetes

Properly-conducted clinical trials (published in 1990) showed that a vegan diet along with changes to a patient’s lifestyle can reverse blockages in arteries.

This diet excluded all meat, fish, dairy products and eggs, so that all animal fat and cholesterol was eliminated from the diet.

Each patient had an angiogram when they first joined the trial and again after one year. An angiogram is a an x-ray technique that uses a special dye and a steady stream of x-rays to take pictures of the blood flow in an artery or vein in the head, arms, legs, chest, back, or stomach.

The results of these trials were impressive. The patients’ chest pains ceased and their average LDL (or ‘bad’) cholesterol level fell by 40 percent.

In addition, comparing the angiograms at the start of the trial with the angiograms taken after one year showed that blockages in the coronary arteries (the arteries that lead to the heart muscle) were starting to shrink and that these arteries were opening up again.

The difference could be seen clearly on the angiograms of 82 percent of patients after one year on the special diet and exercise programme – with no heart bypass operations, angioplasties (artery-widening techniques) or cholesterol lowering drugs.

Given the strong connection between heart disease and diabetes – two-thirds of diabetics eventually die of heart disease – it is likely that such a diet can reverse diabetes to the point where the patient is as healthy as he or she was before their diabetes developed, provided the diet is leavened with a rigorous exercise programme.

Conclusion

It seems to me that you can beat your diabetes, ie prevent it damaging your body beyond repair, by following a plant-focused diet along with some exercise. This is a relatively easy thing to do (as I found out for myself) and, provided you avoid all dairy products and eggs, should enable you to give up taking your medications for diabetes.

Reversing your diabetes, so that you revert to the state of health you were in before you developed diabetes, would be a much harder thing to do. But I believe it can be done, by eating a strictly vegan diet (no meat products of any sort at all) and an extreme exercise programme.

Why Do Young, Slim People Get Diabetes

According to the National Institute of Health, about 80% of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese. Without a doubt, obesity is a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes because increased body fat makes it difficult for the body to use insulin properly.

Does this mean that diabetes is just a disease of the obese? Unfortunately, being skinny is not always a protection against diabetes. Many who do not fit the typical physical description of a diabetic-overweight and older-can get diabetes. Although increased body weight is a risk factor for diabetes, it is not the only risk factor. Lean people can be at risk for type 2 diabetes for other reasons not directly related to body weight. This risk, however, is low especially in comparison to obese individuals.

It’s in the Genes

Aside from commonly known risk factors for diabetes, such as excess weight and old age, there are two strong risk factors for diabetes that are often overlooked-genes and family history. Some people are born more likely to have diabetes, regardless of their weight. In fact, according to the American Diabetes Association, type 2 diabetes has a stronger link to family history than type 1 diabetes, especially in twins. If one twin has type 2, the other twin’s risk is up to 75%. A research study published in PloS Genetics found that most lean cases are people with a strong genetic predisposition for type 2 diabetes. Even a family history of heart disease can increase a person’s risk for diabetes.

Lifestyle

It’s important to note that in the field of health and nutrition, the word “skinny” does not always mean “healthy”. Even a relatively skinny person can have a poor diet and low activity levels. Unhealthy lifestyle choices can increase the risk for diabetes. Low physical activity encourages insulin resistance. Coupled with a poor diet, a sedentary lifestyle can lead to increased body fat, especially a dangerous type of body fat called visceral fat. This type of fat is not the fat found under the skin. This is the fat that surrounds internal organs, especially around the waist area.

Such poor lifestyle choices increase the risk of hypertension, high cholesterol, and high triglyceride levels in the blood. All of these health problems can encourage the development of type 2 diabetes as well.

Smoking can also increase your risk for type 2 diabetes, regardless of your body weight. According to the American Journal of Epidemiology, a heavy smoker (16-25 cigarettes/day) has a risk for type 2 diabetes three times greater than that of a non-smoker.

Specific Populations

Research has shown that certain population groups are more susceptible to diabetes than others. For example, thin cases of diabetes are more common in the elderly or certain non-Caucasian ethnicities. These include African-Americans, Native Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders. Since these ethnic backgrounds are more vulnerable to diabetes, body weight may not make a huge difference in the risk for diabetes.

During pregnancy, women can develop a temporary type of diabetes called gestational diabetes. If this occurs, their chances of developing type 2 diabetes are higher for the next decade or so, regardless of their weight. If a woman gave birth to at least one baby weighing more than 9 pounds, she is at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes regardless of her weight or family history.

Understand Diabetes to Prevent or Delay It

There are overweight people without diabetes and thin people with diabetes. However, the diabetes epidemic (nationally and globally) lies mainly, but not exclusively, in obese individuals. According to a 2014 study published in Diabetology & Metabolic Syndrome, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes for overweight people is about 1.5-5 times higher than normal weight individuals.

Many of the risk factors for type 2 diabetes in lean people are out of their control, such as family history or genes. Weight, on the other hand, is a factor that can be controlled. If you are at risk for type 2 diabetes, weight loss is an important measure to take to prevent or delay the onset of diabetes.

The facts show that people can develop type 2 diabetes at any age or weight, even during childhood or in a lean person. However, this type of diabetes develops most often in middle-aged and older people. Regardless of the risk factors you may or may not have, it is important to recognize the warning signs of diabetes and to make healthy lifestyle choices that can help prevent it.

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Tips On Controlling Diabetes

Controlling diabetes with diet and exercise is something that every diabetic is tasked with because the alternative is bleak. Medications or insulin shots can only do so much. Diet and exercise allow you to lessen the effects of diabetes on your body and life and help you thrive even with this diagnosis. In the case of type 2 diabetes, diet and exercise may even allow you to reverse this type of diabetes. Get in the game. Fight for your life and health. Diet and exercise is the best way to accomplish this.

The Outlook is Bleak

Not taking a proactive approach to diabetes treatment will lead to kidney disease, heart disease, blindness, high blood pressure, stroke, infections and wounds that are slow to heal or never heal, limb amputation and even falling into a diabetic coma when severe. Controlling diabetes with diet and exercise is one of the best ways to ensure that this is not your present and future.

But you need not be afraid or feel powerless because simple changes to your lifestyle can produce amazing results and you will be able to live a long and productive life even if you have the more serious type 1 diabetes which is not curable or preventable.

Controlling Diabetes with Diet and Exercise

1. Controlling Diabetes with Diet

The word “diet” has such negative connotations and at the mere mention of it, many people recoil. At the mention of the word, most people think it means that you won’t be able to eat anything you like, or anything delicious, or will be starving and so forth.

But when a diet for diabetes is talked about, it simply means a well thought out plan for eating. In some cases, you may even be able to still eat some “bad” foods on occasion as long as you are aware of how they will impact your diabetic eating plan and what adjustments you may need to make when you eat these “bad” foods so that your blood sugar levels do not go crazy and cause you problems.

In addition, creating a proper diabetes eating plan will help you get a better understanding of how various foods impact blood sugar levels which will help you make the decision on which foods to eliminate and which to include. For instance, soft drinks, refined grains, etc, have been shown to increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and also increasing inflammation in the body. Knowing this will help you make the choice to eliminate soft drinks (regular and diet) and hopefully encourage you to drink more water and to select complex carbs in placed of processed foods made from refined grains.

It is important to remember that a healing diabetes diet will vary from one diabetic to another. You have to find the diet that will work for you. Some diabetics may be able to eat certain foods whereas another many have to eliminate that food. There isn’t one diet that will work in all cases. One may need to follow a low fat, high carbohydrate diet while another may need to follow a low carbohydrate, high vegetable diet, etc. Find what works for you.

While you may be confused about what to eat and what to avoid, you should be prepared to experiment with various recommended foods to see which ones raise your blood sugar levels and which ones help to normalize it.

To find which foods are best for controlling blood sugar, you need to monitor your blood sugar levels for a period of time such as two to three weeks. Measure your blood glucose levels first thing in the morning, after breakfast, after meals as well as snacks and also before you go to bed. Also measure the sugar levels before and after physical activity.

Once you have an understanding of how your blood sugar levels are affected, you will then be in a better position to create a diet plan that works for you and helps heal your body naturally.

2. Controlling Diabetes with Exercise

The other aspect of controlling diabetes is exercise. It is amazing how effective exercise can be against type 2 diabetes especially. The best thing you can do against diabetes is exercise. It is also the least expensive when you consider how much you have to spend on diabetes medications, insulin injections, etc. Effective exercise can be as simple as a walk or run, swimming, dancing, cycling, etc.

Moderate exercise performed consistently that leads to modest weight loss has been shown to prevent insulin resistance that can lead to pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes.

Those who have diabetes also benefit from regular exercise as exercise can not only help control blood glucose levels but can also help prevent serious complications from diabetes.

Exercising regularly is one of the best ways to improve insulin sensitivity. Insulin resistance is one of the main issues with the development of type 2 diabetes and results from the body not recognizing the insulin that is produced by the body which keeps glucose in the blood and not removed from the blood and transferred to the cells where it is needed for energy which ends up starving the cells in the body.

By improving insulin sensitivity with the help of exercise, this glucose will be removed from the blood by insulin and transferred to the cells and used more efficiently by the cells without any issues which will help to manage blood glucose levels.

Exercise (and diet) is also the best way to control weight. Type 2 diabetes has reached epidemic levels and the main culprit is obesity as it has been found that at least 80 percent of type 2 diabetes patients and those with pre-diabetes have been found to be obese. It is believed that obesity can lead to insulin resistance which increases the risk of developing pre-diabetes and type II diabetes.

It is also important to monitor blood sugar levels before and after exercise. If you have type I diabetes, you will need to make sure that you do not overly exert yourself to the point of becoming hypoglycemic which is a state of low blood sugar. Low blood sugar can lead to fatigue, dizziness, sweating, headaches, trembling and if severe, consciousness can be lost as well as falling into a coma.

Those with type II diabetes though they have more leeway with exercise, should still monitor their blood sugar levels before and after exercise.

If you are on medication, you need to work with your doctor to make the necessary adjustments to your exercise regimen. In addition, diabetics who deal with neuropathy need to ensure that the nerve endings in the feet are protected. High impact running or jogging may not be advised in cases of neuropathy.

Dehydration is another area for diabetics to be concerned about when exercising since frequent urination is one of the symptoms of diabtes. High impact exercise can also affect the capillaries in the eyes that have been weakened by diabetes. If you have eye problems due to diabetes, make sure that the exercise selected will not make vision problems worse or cause rapture which can occur especially if you use weights.

Talk to your doctor before beginning any exercise program and set realistic goals in order to avoid too high or too low blood sugar levels as well as the other issues that exercise may cause in people with diabetes. Start small and gradually build up.

Exercise is an important component of diabetes management and many of its other benefits include helping to lower blood pressure, raising good cholesterol (HDL) levels, strengthening bones, toning the heart and other muscles, eliminating stress, weight loss, strengthening the respiratory system, etc. Do it no matter how you feel. You will feel better and after you finish you will fill like you can conquer the world including diabetes!

Risk Of Developing Diabetes?

A study published in the Lancet, a leading international medical journal, in August 2014 found that the risk of developing diabetes is increasingly rapidly among Americans.

The study also found that this risk depends on your race, your education and where you live, and that diabetics are living longer.

This study is the first in more than a decade to calculate the risk Americans face of developing diabetes during their life-time. It was conducted by epidemiologists at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia, who have been tracking and analysing the prevalence of diabetes and the rate at which news cases are diagnosed for many years.

These researchers used mortality data for almost 600,000 persons from 1985 to 2011 (25 years) to assess the risk of developing type 1 or type 2 diabetes (excluding gestational diabetes).

Though the study only examined diabetes in the context of American people, it is likely that similar results would have been obtained had the study been conducted using European data or data from other countries where a Western-type diet and life-style is the norm.

The ever increasing risk of diabetes

The study revealed that there was a dramatic rise between 1985 and 2011 in the overall risk that an American will develop diabetes.

In 1985, American boys had a 21 percent chance of developing diabetes, and girls 27 percent. By 2011, however, that risk had jumped to 40 percent for both boys and girls. In other words, the risk for boys had almost doubled, while the risk for girls had gone up 50 percent.

The Lancet study did not analyse why this is so. But part of the reason could be the fact that people are living longer so that they have more years during which they can develop diabetes.

Diabetics are living longer

The good news is that America children diagnosed with diabetes can now expect to live more than 70 years with the disease.

Indeed, between 1985 and 2011, the number of years for which men diagnosed with diabetes can expect to survive increased by 156 percent. For women, the figure was 70 percent. Though no explanation was given by the researchers, this is probably due to advances in medical knowledge and treatments over the last 25 years.

Being diabetic shortens your life-span. Over the 25 year period examined by the researchers, the average number of years lost due to diabetes for the population as a whole increased by 46 percent in men and 44 percent in women. This is obviously due to the increasing prevalence of diabetes. It may also be partly due to the fact that there are probably fewer undiagnosed cases nowadays.

While the picture for the population as a whole seems to be getting bleaker, things are improving for the individual diabetic.

The number of years of his life a man diagnosed with diabetes can expect to lose on average decreased by almost two years (from 7.7 to 5.8 lost years) between the 1990s and the end of the 2000s. Women also gained an average of two years (their losses decreasing from 8.7 to 6.8 years) over the same time span. These improvements are probably due to better treatment regimes.

Race, gender and diabetes

While Americans overall have a gloomy 40 percent chance of developing diabetes, the outlook for Blacks and Hispanics is much grimmer.

White boys have a 37% and White girls a 34% risk of developing diabetes. By contrast, the chances for Black men are 44.7%, while for their sisters the risk is a whopping 55.3%. The chances of developing diabetes for Hispanic boys and girls are 51.8% and 51.5% respectively.

These figures, which refer to the risks of developing diabetes, reinforce the idea that diabetes has a genetic origin, at least to the extent that your genes can predispose you to diabetes. Most medical researchers agree that it’s your life-style that kicks it into action.

According to the researchers, they analysed race because that was the data they had available; but they did state that socio-economic status is probably as important as, if not more important than, race.

Nevertheless, the risk of developing diabetes for Whites is much less than it is for Blacks and Hispanics. Indeed, the risk for White girls is a third less than the risk for Black and Hispanic ladies.

As you can see, Hispanics of both sexes, as well as Black women, have a risk that exceeds 50 percent. But why Black men have a risk that is almost 10 percentage points less than Black women cannot be explained away by genetic differences.

Education and diabetes

The less educated you are, the greater your risk of developing diabetes.

According to the Lancet, in 1990 the number of new diagnoses among high-school drop-outs was 6.5 per thousand, while among high-school graduates it was 3.6 and for those who studied beyond high-school 3.2 per thousand.

This figure for the number of new diagnoses of diabetes among high-school drop-outs, high-school graduates and those who continued to study after high-school has been increasing steadily. In 2008 it peaked at 15.6, 9.4 and 6.5 per thousand respectively.

Since then the rate at which new diagnoses are being discovered has dropped off a bit. This may be due to improving life-styles.

At the same time, according to the latest statistics high-school dropouts are likely, on average, to develop diabetes at about twice the rate of persons who continued their education after graduating from high school.

It seems likely that the more educated you are, the more likely you are to live a healthy life-style and to take the threat of diabetes seriously.

Where you live and diabetes

The risk of developing diabetes also seems to vary from state to state in the USA.

In Mississippi, for example, 11.7 percent of the population have diabetes. In Louisiana, the figure is 11.5 percent. In South Dakota and Hawaii, by contrast only 7 percent of the population are diabetic.

The percentage of people with diabetes in the other states of the Union is between these two extremes of 7 to 11.7 percent.

What accounts for these differences is not known, though it’s probably a mixture of education, food cultures, exercise habits and genetics. Climate might also play a part, though this has not been investigated as far as I am aware.

The take-away

Continuing increases in the numbers of new cases of diabetes diagnosed each year combined with longer life-spans have led to increases in the risk of developing diabetes and in the number of years spent coping with the disease. At the same time, the average individual is losing fewer years from his life-span due to the disease.

These findings of the Lancet study mean that there will be a continued need for health services and extensive funding to manage the disease. They also emphasise the need for effective interventions to reduce the incidence of diabetes, such as education in healthy life-styles and regular testing of the entire population to detect pre-diabetes.