Before I get into a massive rant about chronic disease let me set the stage first.
Below are some of my blog posts which can help set you up for success and grab some quick wins:
Understanding Chronic Disease – What Is Diabetes?
What’s Leki’s outlook on his Personal Health? – Leki’s Health Journey
Holistic health begins in the Gut – All About The Gut
Diabetes is a chronic disease condition that affects 1 in 20 people (1.2 million Australians) and can be completely avoidable (ABS, 2017-18)!
67% of Australians or 2 in 3 people aged over 18yo are obese or overweight in Australia (ABS, 2017-18)
One of the main risk factors for developing Type II diabetes is being overweight or obese.
Diabetes symptoms include things like increased hunger, increased thirst, frequent urination, slow wound healing, and blurred vision, to name a few.
All doctors, specialists and health providers approach diabetes differently, and the management of it depends on whether your health practitioner focuses on prescriptions or takes a more holistic approach.
Some health practitioners will decide whether or not you need insulin medication, and how much.
Others will advise you on diet and lifestyle changes that can help!
A big part of my longevity regime is WHY I do it.
You see In my family tree I have a very high chance of cancer, Type II diabetes and heart disease knocking me over before my time.
So I made the conscious decision to jump in front of the curve and proactively manage my health.
If I had cancer, Type II diabetes or heart disease, what would be the medical advice that the specialist would give me?
- Lose weight
- Eat better
- Improve your lifestyle choices – quit smoking!
- Start some medical intervention
3 of 4 of these things I can do RIGHT NOW so why wait?
So taking the holistic approach I’m going to give you my Top 3 recommendations –
Researchers found that participants with diabetes went into remission by losing weight alone — even without taking medications like insulin.
If you’re not yet diabetic but you’re at risk, or if you can feel your blood sugar fluctuations (crashing and needing to eat, or feeling hungry + angry = “hangry”), consider losing weight to reduce your risk. In one study, for every kilogram of weight loss (a little over 1kg), there was a 16% reduction in risk.
Another study followed adults at high risk for diabetes for 10 years and found that people who made diet and lifestyle changes had a lower incidence of diabetes than participants who got metformin (a medication to control blood sugar) or placebo.
If you’re overweight, chances are you’re at risk for diabetes or you’re already there. It might be time to start looking into changing the way you eat (refer below)!
Piles and piles of research link high sugar consumption with diabetes. That’s because nature doesn’t make the super sugary foods and drinks that humans manufacture, and we aren’t built to handle it.
Your body breaks down the food you eat into sugar (glucose) that your cells can use for fuel. Humans are built to handle blood sugar levels that come from meals of meats and vegetables with a moderate amount of fruits.
In the last few hundred years or so, people started to isolate sugar into an ingredient and sweeten foods with it (maple syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, and other sweeteners included). Sugary foods cause a spike in the glucose in your blood. Your body can handle the occasional surge, but when sweets become an everyday thing, your body starts to struggle to deal with it.
Yhe overwork tires out your pancreas, and produces less and less insulin, which keeps glucose in your blood instead of in your cells where it belongs. Especially in the early stages of insulin resistance, prediabetes, and diabetes, simply cutting sugar drastically reduces your insulin demand, and in turn reduces the burden on your pancreas.
The most detrimental thing sugar does is cause inflammation, and inflammation is the root of almost everything that misfires in your body. There is a direct link between inflammation and diabetes, and a lower carb diet reduces C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation.
Trial a Wholefood Strategy
The research is so solid that the medical community is catching on and starting to advise diabetic patients to limit carbs. I have personally been implementing a cyclic ketogenic diet for 5 years since 2015.
Study after study shows that a high-fat, low-carb, ketogenic diet reverses Type 2 diabetes. If your carb consumption is on the high side (once you add sugar into the mix, you’re most certainly on the high side), it’s stored as fat and you end up with insulin resistance or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
The reason behind it is that carbs metabolise into glucose, and limiting carbs helps your body control blood sugar more efficiently.
It improves overall blood sugar profiles, insulin sensitivity, and hemoglobin A1c, which is a diabetes marker11. Going low-carb is especially effective if you’re in the early stages when you do not yet need to administer insulin.
Reducing carbs and upping your intake of high-quality fats reduces fat in your blood which in turn lowers your risk of diabetes. Even if making small gradual changes over time doesn’t cure you, you’ll feel so much better when you give your body what it needs and when you don’t burden it with what it doesn’t need.
Whether you’re reducing your risk of developing diabetes or eliminating your need for medication, it’s worth incorporating worthwhile changes so you can be the best version of yourself.There you have it. Start small.
Be amazed with the changes your body can make.
I hope this post helps with your own health journey.