If you have pre-diabetes, do something about it now! If you have diabetes you need to take action before it causes permanate damage. As a health practitioner working with clients from all walks of life. I have to say, and it’s just an opinion. People with diabetes are the hardest to help. They love their foods more than they hate there condition. They may fear diabetes but their food and lifestyle has a tighter grip than many drug addictions have on drug addicts. They take their medication and keepon eating the foods slowly killing them. Everyday people lose there vision. kidneys, toe’s and legs to diabetes.
Diabetes is a growing problem that can’t be ignored. The rates are predicted to skyrocket by the year 2050. By that time 1 in every 3 Americans will be diabetic unless we make drastic changes as a country and culture. Currently, 1 in 10 Americans has Type 2 diabetes. But if new cases develop as projected, its prevalence could double or triple over the next 40 years, said Ann Albright, director of the Division of Diabetes Translation at the CDC.
Diabetes affects approximately 25.8 million people of all ages in the USA, or about 8.3% of the population, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health. Add to that about 60 million people in the United States with pre-diabetes, which is a stage of insulin resistance that develops before full-blown diabetes. If intervention is not made, those with pre-diabetes will have full blown diabetes in three to six years.
What is Diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition in which the immune system, for unknown reasons destroys the insulin producing beta cells in the pancreas. When the body can’t produce insulin this is type 1 diabetes. Some new evidence from the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), and the DIABIMMUNE Study Group suggests that type 1 diabetes may be related to changes in the body’s microbiome, which is the collection of bacteria and other microbes that live in and on the body, especially in the digestive tract. Type 1 diabetes is not caused by poor diet and lifestyle factors.
Type 2 diabetes is primarily caused by a poor diet and lack of exercise, which causes insulin resistance (the cells inability to recognize the availability of insulin so it can use if for energy) and or an environment in which the pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin. Many type 2 diabetics have both insulin resistance and poor insulin production.
There are different types of diabetes. The three metabolic and genetic types are, type I, type II and gestational diabetes. Diabetes can also be caused by medical complications or pharmacological interactions. Steroid drugs such as prednisone raise blood sugars levels greatly.
Pre-diabetes is defined as elevated blood glucose levels, however, not at a level high enough to be classified as diabetes. A normal fasting blood glucose reading is below 100 mg/dl. A person with pre-diabetes has a fasting blood glucose level between 100 and 125 mg/dl. If the blood glucose level rises to 126 mg/dl or above, a person is classified as diabetic. Pre-diabetes can raise your risk of heart disease and stroke by 50%.
If you are overweight, your risk of developing diabetes or metabolic syndrome is increased greatly. Excess weight is a contributing factor because the extra abdominal fat increases insulin resistance. If you don’t get some of the excess weight off, it is just a matter of time before you develop diabetes and potentially metabolic syndrome.
My Diagnosis of Diabetes
If you have ever had the misfortune to be diagnosed with diabetes or have one of your children diagnosed with diabetes, you know the feeling of doom and fear that permeates every cell of your being. It literally rocks you to the core.
I remember the day I was told by my doctor “Wally you have Type 2 diabetes” I was so afraid I didn’t eat for three days. I am serious; I just drank water and ate saltine crackers for three days!
My doctor at the time gave me a prescription for Metformin and told me to get a blood glucose meter and use it twice a day for a month and then come back for another appointment. There was no mention of changing my diet or exercising more. Just take the medication and keep coming back. This was 10 years ago. Within three months of the diagnosis my diabetes was gone to never return!
I had the prescription filled but it sits in my dresser drawer unused to this day. I keep it as a reminder of what could have been had I not read the side effects. The last sentence of the side effects said “MAY CAUSE COMA, MAY CAUSE DEATH!” I decided I didn’t want to die from the medication and I also didn’t want the destruction and death to my body that diabetes brings with it. I was determined to keep my feet, legs, kidneys and eyesight. I wanted to keep living! I had to decide the path I wanted to take. I made nutrition and exercise a priority and I eliminated my diabetes in a few short months!
That short introduction into my life of diabetes is the reality over 1.4 million people aged 18 to 79 deal with every year. That’s right, 1.4 million new cases of adult diabetes in 2014. In 1980 there were only 493,000 new cases of diabetes. It reached a high of 1.73 million new cases in 2010.
Diabetes in Children
Sadly, there is no routine screening by schools or doctors for diabetes in children unless their parents or siblings are overweight or have diabetes. Before 1980 Type 2 diabetes in children didn’t exist. Type 2 diabetes was an adult condition. In reality there is no reason for type 2 diabetes to exist if we all stop eating the nutrient bankrupt, chemical concoction they call foods produced by the American food system and start exercising on a regular basis.
As obesity rates climb, the number of cases of diabetes, particularly in children, continues to climb. Type 1 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes in children under 10 years of age. However, as type 2 diabetes rates continue to climb across America, the prevalence of type 2 diabetes in children is beginning to increase at a faster rate than type 1 diabetes. This is primarily due to the poor diet and low level of activity experienced by America’s children, which is the primary cause of type 2 diabetes across all age groups.
New projections indicate that, overall, the number of children 0–17 years with diagnosed diabetes will increase from almost 173,000 in 2010 to almost 288,000 by 2030. This translates to a 67% increase in the number of children with diagnosed diabetes from 2010.
Type 1 diabetes accounts for approximately 5 percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes, but is the leading cause of diabetes in children of all ages. Type 1 diabetes accounts for almost all diabetes in children less than 10 years of age.
Diabetes is one of the most common diseases in school-aged children. Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, and was previously known as juvenile diabetes. Only 5% of people with diabetes have this form of the disease.
Carbohydrates and Diabetes
Let me make this statement. Not all carbohydrates are bad. In fact, carbohydrates are necessary for life and can help manage healthy blood sugar levels. It’s the type of carbohydrate that makes them good or bad. Carbohydrates from vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, peas and lentils are exceptionally healthy for us. The more plant based foods you eat the better you can manage your diabetes and even in some cases reverse diabetes.
Most people don’t realize this but flour even whole grain flour has a similar effect on the body as refined sugar has. In fact, white flour will raise your blood sugar levels faster than refined table sugar. The only flours that will not raise blood sugar quickly are flours made from sprouted grains, nuts and seeds such as almond flour and coconut flour and flour from legumes such as chickpea flour.
How to manage diabetes
If there is one disease or health condition where diet and lifestyle changes can be effective at reducing the risk or even reversing it’s symptoms, it is diabetes (type 1 excluded). However, eating with a purpose and making smart choices can help reduce the number of units of insulin needed by type 1 diabetic’s. Diet and lifestyle can certainly help reduce the medication needed to control it.
These are my recommendations for preventing and even reversing type 2 diabetes. My opinions are based on science and practical experience. I was once a type 2 diabetic and I have helped many type 2 diabetics become symptom free. I have helped many type 1 diabetics learn to manage their diabetes better, requiring less medication. For most people these suggestions will offer amazing results if you put them into practice.
- Eat more plant based food, the more vegetables you eat the better your results may be; all vegetables (except white potatoes), low sugar fruits, whole grains, beans and nuts and seeds. Fill half your plate with vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, peppers, fennel, radishes, celery, kale, avocados, asparagus, spinach, carrots, sweet potato, winter squash, onions, garlic, beets and leafy green vegetables etc… at every meal.
- Eat 6 times per day. This helps keep your blood sugar stable by spreading out your food intake in smaller amounts.
- At least 1/2 of your vegetables need to be raw for optimal nutrition.
- Eat more high fiber foods, their fiber slows the absorption of their natural sugars.
- Remove as much bread and cereal from your diet as possible. Only Ezekiel bread is recommended and no more than 2 slices per day.
- Eliminate all grains except oats, real wild rice (its dark chocolate brown not tan or white) and quinoa. Even whole grains can create a quick rise in blood sugars. Wheat can make insulin resistance worse. Eat no more than a total of 4 servings of grains per day. They create cravings by raising blood sugar.
- Eliminate sugary drinks, soft drinks, and caffeine drinks and fruit juices from your diet.
- Eliminate all dried fruit from your diet. Eat only fresh or frozen berries, apples, plums, peaches and pears. Only 2 to 3 servings of fruits per day.
- Coffee, even decaf will make diabetes worse.
- Be aware that milk and yogurt contain lactose, a type of sugar in milk. 8 ounces of milk has about 12 grams of sugar. I recommend un-sweetened almond milk. It has no sugar. It taste great!
- Eliminate fried foods, the extra weight they pack on adds to insulin resistance and in addition they can cause heart disease.
- Learn and use the glycemic index and glycemic load.
- Avoid simple carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates are great fuel for the body. Aim to get 50% to 60% of your daily calories from complex carbohydrates, 25% to 35% from heart healthy fats and the balance from protein.
- Avoid foods with more than 6 grams of sugar per serving.
- Exercise for at least 30 minutes or more, five days per week. Work up to 1 hr. per day as a minimum. Exercise forces cells to use glucose (blood sugar) for energy. Always check with your doctor before beginning an exercise program.
- Eliminate as much refined flour and processed foods from your diet as possible. This means, chips, cookies, crackers, pastries, candies, pre-prepared foods like TV dinners, and the rice or pasta already spiced and flavored.
- Reduce your intake of animal foods as much as possible particularly processed meats. There is a relationship between processed meats and diabetes.
- Lose weight. Just a 10% drop in weight can make a big difference in your blood glucose readings.
- If you smoke, please stop.
- Alcohol is another form of sugar; eliminate it as much as is possible.
- Eat more plants
- Eat a high fiber diet
- Avoid sugary foods and drinks and processed foods
- Exercise everyday
- Loss weight
Wally Bishop I.N.H.C., C.N.C., C.I.C.P.
Integrative Nutrition Health Coach
The contents of this blog are not and should not be considered medical advice. This blog is for informational purposes only. Always consult with your doctor before making any dietary or lifestyle changes. Never quit taking prescription medications unless advised to do so by your doctor.