diabetes prevention, disease preventionDiabetes is an early aging disease because it deteriorates your organs over time, sooner than people without this issue. Diabetes Type II is a dietary disease and quickly becoming an epidemic linked to poor lifestyle.

Back when I was selling very technical niche software, sitting down with the CIO of a very large company in Mexico, he said: “Margarita, please explain this to me as I were a 6-years-old child.” His words got stuck in my head as they can be applied to almost anything including the question we are considering.

Through the years, I have noticed that people who know a subject seem to expect others to know what they are saying and/or expect us to quickly understand and adapt making it more difficult for some of us to open.

Maybe that’s why I like the science-based teachings of William Sears, MD, a pediatrician who is used to explaining in simple ways to children and parents about health and wellness. Hopefully, the following explanation of the diabetes connection is simple enough to better understand diabetes or how I like to call it, the early aging disease because it deteriorates our internal organs sooner.

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is the condition in which the body does not properly process food for use as energy.  Insulin is the body’s master hormone and it controls blood sugar levels.

DiabetesKnowing the relationship between blood sugar (glucose) and insulin (master hormone) is key to avoiding getting diabetes. The cells in our bodies need the “right” carbohydrates for energy.  When we eat carbs, our sugar level rises, and our pancreas releases Insulin to take that glucose into our cells for energy.

Our cells are very smart and will resist excess amounts of blood sugar from entering, creating the foundation for pre-diabetes or insulin resistance. The insulin has to find other areas, like our belly or liver, to store the excess glucose as fat.

This cycle of excess sugar makes the pancreas work harder to produce lots of insulin. The pancreas eventually becomes exhausted. Someone with high sugar levels in the body will disrupt his insulin production. He can potentially develop high blood pressure, pre-diabetes, type 2 diabetes, insulin dependent, and hardening of the arteries.

Sample Diabetes Statistics

Nearly half of California adults are on a path to diabetes right now. Statistics in San Diego County, in 2009, showed that whites and blacks had the highest rates of death due to diabetes, more males than females died from this disease, and the 65 years and older age group leading with 13 times more deaths than the 18-64 years old.  Diabetes increases the risk of heart disease and the most common cause of death for adult diabetics is heart disease.

According to Dr. Sears (2010), “High insulin and high blood sugar contribute to high blood pressure and high cholesterol” precursors to heart disease. According to the American Heart Association, adults with diabetes are two to four times more likely to die from heart disease than adults without diabetes.

The Connection

The connection between diabetes and heart disease starts with high blood sugar levels. Over time, the high glucose in the bloodstream can damage the arteries, causing them to become stiff and hard. Fatty material builds up on the inside of these blood vessels and can eventually block blood flow to the heart or brain, leading to heart attack or stroke.

Healthy eating and moving are key to stay vibrant and to avoid a life of discomfort and disease. It is important to understand this connection of heart disease-diabetes-blood sugar-insulin to feel well.

The risk of heart disease with diabetes is further elevated if an individual has a family history of cardiovascular disease or stroke.  The good news is that there are many small lifestyle changes that can help prevent heart disease and manage diabetes more effectively.

Feeling good is very much related to the state of your body, the “quality” food you feed it, how you move it, how deep you breathe, your spiritual connection.

When was the last time you felt good? You have this one life in that body, make it enjoyable! Be an active participant in your health by taking care of “You.” Ask your doctor, “What can I do?” instead of “What can I take?” Your doctor will probably be happier to advise than to prescribe. Never stop or lower a dose of any medication without your doctor’s consent.

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