Are You At Risk Of Insulin Resistance and Type 2 Diabetes?
I wanted to write today about non-insulin dependant diabetes, which is a very common condition these days.
Even more so than you think and unless you are eating healthy foods almost all the time, you are very likely to develop this condition yourself.
It used to be called adult onset diabetes but now it is so common in young people, including children, that the name does not fit the disease anymore.
Insulin resistance is basically when the body becomes resistant to the effects of insulin. Insulin is one of the most powerful and important hormones in the body and it’s job is to get energy (in the form of glucose) from your blood into your cells and regulate blood sugar levels. Without it, you would die as your body would not be able to use the energy (glucose) that your diet supplies no matter what or how much you consume. People who cannot produce their own insulin have Insulin Dependent Diabetes and must use insulin injections instead to prevent hyperglycaemia, coma and eventually death.
A diet too high in carbohydrates and a lack of exercise are two of the leading causes of insulin resistance. When you eat carbohydrates, glucose is released into the bloodstream. This signals your body to produce insulin to take some of this energy to the cells for immmediate energy. It also converts some to glycogen which is sent to the liver and muscle tissue for short term storage. This energy can be used when blood sugar levels drop again. This short term storage is limited and so excess glucose is converted to body fat for long term storage.
This system works really well most of the time, but an excess of carbohydrates and certain kinds of carbohydrates are more quickly converted to glucose and cause a flood of glucose into your bloodstream. This causes an equally large surge of insulin which causes your blood sugar to drop very quickly and triggers fatigue and cravings for more carbohydrates.
When this happens regularly, your insulin levels remain high and your body struggles to convert all the glucose properly. It then continues to produce insulin in an attempt to overcome this and eventually the receptors in the cell membranes become less and less effective in recognising the hormone insulin.
Another side effect of the glucose that remains circulating in your bloodstream is that it begins to effect your heart, kidneys, nerves, eyes and blood vessels. I am sure that you have heard of amputations and blindness being caused by diabetes.
Eventually your pancreas is unable to supply enough insulin to maintain stable blood sugar levels and your blood sugar rises above normal levels. At this stage you may be diagnosed as having Non Insulin Dependent Diabetes.
If you do not get this under control (because you don’t change your dietary and exercise habits or you haven’t been diagnosed and don’t know you have it) your pancreas will eventually falter and be unable to keep up with this condition. This may lead to having to take insulin injections as you progress to having Insulin Dependent Diabetes. (The cause is different to people who experience Insulin Dependent Diabetes from childhood)
If detected early, this condition can be managed and full blown diabetes can be prevented.
Don’t wait till you have been diagnosed, do something about it now. Clean up your diet and exercise regularly.
Some preliminary symptoms include but are not limited to:
- Anxiety, fatigue, sleeplessness, head aches, palpitations
- Eating in response to emotions
- Cravings for high carb foods
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
- Frequent hunger or thirst
- Dizzy spells
- Pins and needles
These are just some of the signs and you may have all or none of them. (these symptoms can also mean other things so check with your doctor if suffer from any of them)
Please note that I am not recommending that you do not eat carbohydrates. What I am recommending (after studying loads of research) is that you change your sources of carbohydrates to fruits, vegetables, some yoghurt and limit your intake of grain based carbohydrate foods like breads, pastas cakes, pastries, biscuits, sweets etc.
I am also researching at the moment on the latest info that says it is actually our overconsumption of carbohydrate foods of this type and not our saturated fat intake that is increasing the rate of heart attacks, stroke, high cholesterol etc.
I will bring you more on that later. The above is a simplified, but accurate, version of how your body works in regard to insulin production. If you are interested, I can recommend good books that provide more information on this.
Please also think about this stuff and how it relates not only to yourself, but to your loved ones as well. For instance, don’t let your kids get to the stage where they worry about how they are going to lose the excess weight and get their health problems under control. Teach them now about healthy foods and encourage them to eat a variety of real foods rather than filling them up on junk. Just remove the junk from the house and take healthy foods with you when going out. It can be done and they will not starve when they refuse to eat it. Don’t give in-this is their health and yours that we are dealing with.
Remember when party food was only eaten at parties?? Now it is a regular addition to peoples’ diets several times every day.