DIABETES - KNOWING YOUR RISKS COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE
Type II diabetes (non-insulin dependant) is one of the fastest rising medical conditions in our country. Over 20 million Americans currently have diabetes - that's 7% of the population!
Another 41 million people aged 40 - 74 have a condition known as pre-diabetes. This is when blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be considered diabetes. Pre-diabetes is a precursor to diabetes in almost every instance, so be sure to discuss this with your primary care provider. If you are hypoglycemic, you should also discuss this with them as it, too, can be a warning sign.
This has become an extremely dangerous situation. Diabetes greatly increases your risk of cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke. In severe cases, amputation, blindness and seizures can also result.
You have the power to change this. The first step is determining your risk factors. You must then make lifestyle changes that will eminate or reduce that risk. There are several well-known risk factors:
- Over age 45
- Family history
- Development of diabetes during pregnancy (also known as gestational diabetes)
- Impaired glucose tolerance
- Lack of physical activity
- Ethnicity - native American, African American or Hispanic
You may not be aware of some of the less publicized risks, however:
Consumption of trans-fats (partially hydrogenated oils). Over 10 years of research and the University of Maryland and other institutions have shown a direct correlation between trans fats and numerous medical conditions. One of these is diabetes. Trans fats were shown in' both humans and animals to inhibit the body's response to insulin. Trans-fats can be found in many of the foods found on store shelves. Some of the most common are snack chips, many packaged baked goods and most vegetable shortenings.
Artificial sweeteners. Aspartame (widely known as NutraSweet) can be deadly for diabetics. One of the primary ingredients in Aspartame is , which is almost immediately changed into methyl alcohol in the body. Numerous doctors have reported that they were unable to control their patients' blood sugar levels after they had consumed the sweetener. In addition, Aspartame is a neurotoxin that alters the dopamine levels in your brain. 'It is best completely avoided by all, but especially by those who have or are at risk of developing diabetes.
If your body's ph is low. This means that your body is in an acid state. An acidic environment in your body will cause calcium to be pulled from your bones. The calcium is then sent to the pancreas which causes a less insulin to be produced. Having a low ph also makes you more susceptible to other illnesses such as the flu. An alkaline body is a healthy body.
Fortunately, many of these risks factors can be avoided, eliminated or changed. In our next article we will take you through several simple steps that you can take for a healthier, happier and longer life.