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This page provide information which is current and relevant. In this section information on key aspects of Diabetes is presented. Diabetes is on track to reach epidemic proportions by the mid 2020's. According to a new analysis conducted by United Health Group's Center for Health Reform and Modernization, more than half of all Americans is at risk for developing diabetes or Pre-Diabetes by the year 2020 if current trend continues. Knowing how to prevent this disease and how to treat it will be extremely beneficial.
There are many theories on what cause Diabetes. It has often been written that obesity, poor diet and lack of physical exercise are leading causes. It has also been written that a sedentary lifestyle is another culprit. People who are obese may have more propensities for the disease, but obesity is definitely does not cause diabetes. Results of research has shown that there are a number of contributing factors linked to developing Diabetes, and chief among them is Metabolic Syndrome X.
Metabolic Syndrome X represents a collection of medical disorders which when occur together increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and Diabetes. When describing Syndrome X, there are varying guidelines from many organizations including the World Health Organization (WHO), the American Heart Association, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), and the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) that dictates whether one is suffering from this condition. The consensus is that if you are overweight and have two or more of the following, you are at risk for Syndrome X.
Raised triglycerides over 150 mg/dL; reduced HDL cholesterol less than 40 mg/dL in males and, less than 50 mg/dL in females; raised fasting glucose greater than 100 mg/dL; raised blood pressure systolic blood pressure greater than 130 mm Hg or diastolic blood pressure greater than 85 mm Hg.
Please note these numbers vary slightly from one organization to the next. Studies have shown that in addition to the risk factors poor diet and stress can also be a contributing factor.
Poor diet has been shown to contribute to developing Diabetes, especially Type 2. Eating healthy is not only important in the prevention of Diabetes, but is also essential for those of us who already have this disease. By adhering to proper diet you are not only setting the stage for a healthier lifestyle, but you are also setting the stage to reverse this debilitating disease. Diets high in fats such as fried foods high in hydrogenated trans-fatty-acids should be avoided.
For frying choose your oil carefully, coconut or peanut oils are safe choices, these oils do not break down on heating. Other oils may break down upon heating and create free radicals. Stay away from foods high in sugar, and also processed foods, these are poor choices. Other issues that can result from poor diet are mineral deficiencies, food toxins that create free radicals, a poor digestion. Enzyme deficiency has been shown to be one of the leading causes for many debilitating diseases. Enzyme deficiency leads to aging, disease and death as reported by Dr. Edward Howell, the author of Enzyme Nutrition. Dead food, and I repeat dead food as reported in "Miracle Enzyme Secrets" is the primary reason why we age, develop diseases and die prematurely. Over cooked, and processed foods that have to rely on the enzyme resources in our bodies to digest, overtime tax our bodies to the extent where it can no longer cope with the onslaught and we develop diseases. Nature has provided foods which have sufficient enzymes for digestion but overcooking, and over processing have rendered these food useless. Eat whole grains, fruits, vegetables, protein and healthy fats such as polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats; also please limit consuming foods high in sugar.
One report that I have read during the research for this book indicated the following. Researchers are in basic agreement that the theory of oxidative stress is central to explaining one of the causes of Diabetes. To understand the theory, one must first conceptualize that a "free radical" is any atom or molecule which has an unpaired electron in its outer ring. Because it is lacking an electron, it is unstable and very much wants to find one electron to fill its need. This "free radical" will steal an electron from any other molecule it encounters that is more willing to give one up . . . and thus it becomes satisfied . . . but now the victim molecule has become a free radical itself and so it now will look for another victim molecule to steal it's much desired electron from . . . thus propagating this cycle over and over again. This cycle is called "the chain reaction of free radicals". (I apologize for the chemistry mombo jombo but all this mean that there are some cells in your body that are out of whack that need to be taken care of.)
The chief danger of free radicals comes from the damage they can do when they react with important cellular components such as DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) which is the hereditary material in humans and almost all other organisms, or the cell membrane. Cells may function poorly or die if this occurs.
To prevent free radical damage the body has a defense system of antioxidants. Antioxidants are molecules which can safely interact with free radicals and terminate the chain reaction before vital molecules are damaged. Although there are several enzyme systems within the body that scavenge free radicals, the principal antioxidants are: Glutathione, SOD (superoxide dismutase), beta carotene, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, COQ10, Melatonin, and Alpha Lipoic Acid.
Stress control is important in managing Diabetes. A study conducted by researchers at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden show that men who were permanently stressed significantly increased the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes. Stress can be in the form of physical or mental, it causes the body to act as if it was under attack thus creating what is known as the fight or flight syndrome. Physical stress occurs when the body is recuperating from something physical such as surgery or injury. Mental stress causes the body to go into that fight or flight mode and in preparing for this fight or flight the hormone levels in the body rise, thus releasing stored energy (glucose) to the cells to help the body deal with this perceived danger. In people with Diabetes especially Type 2 this extra glucose is not absorbed in the cells and pile up in the bloodstream, and the end result is elevated blood sugar. Whether you have Diabetes or not, stress can be very harmful to your health, therefore it is very important that you find ways to reduce stress.
Recent studies have shown that Vitamin D deficiency may contribute to developing both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes in both humans and animals. Results of studies have shown that Vitamin D deficiency impairs insulin function in both human and animal species. We typically get Vitamin D from exposure to sunlight and also from naturally occurring in some foods such as eggs, cod fish and salmon. People who have a darker complexion may not get sufficient Vitamin D due to the pigment melanin that is found in the skin in a greater degree, thus blocking the nutrient from been absorbed in the body. Vitamin D has also been shown to help prevent at risk individuals from developing Diabetes.
As we age so does every organ in our bodies and our ability to digest sugar also slows down. This is one reason that the onslaught of Type 2 Diabetes afflicts mostly adults; this is where the body is wearing out and more likely to have insulin resistance. From the cellular level as we get older the beta cells in the pancreas responsible for producing insulin gets tired and worn down. At this stage of the game there is also far less of them than when you were younger. Good diet is important; limit the intake of sugar and complex carbohydrates which takes a long time to digest and could result in hyperglycemia.
Type 2 Diabetes is in the process of being redefined as an auto immune disorder. The results of recent studies have shown that the B cells in the immune system which is mostly responsible for antibody responses can cause inflammation and lead to developing Diabetes. Th results of a study was published in the magazine Nature Medicine where mice were genetically engineered to lack B cells. These mice were then fed a high fat diet, high caloric diet and these mice did not develop Diabetes. The mice were then injected with B cells from obese mice that were insulin resistant; the mice then developed insulin resistance. Although this result was found in mice, in humans B cells have the same function to protect the body from infection, although these cells also have the ability to cause disease.