Prevention of Diabetes
Shrink that Gut
Diabetes is a condition of the metabolic system where insulin doesn’t act as it should. There are many risk factors that increase your chances of developing the Type 2 variety of diabetes. Carrying too much fatty tissue on your frame is one of those risks.
The Skinny on Fat
Fat is vital to the body. It acts as a cushion for your organs and your bones. The body takes a lot of jostling especially when we are young and bouncing around a lot. Without fat, we’d be injured each time we took a tumble. As we age, we need the same cushioning to prevent injury to our somewhat more fragile bones and joints.
Fat is also used in cell membranes. Lipids are fats that have a hydrophobic end (water hating) and a hydrophilic end (water loving). Substances encased in a fatty layer for transport can enter the cell. Without fats, the body would lack a lot of what it needs to function and maintain its structure on the cellular level.
The problem comes when we have too much fat on the frame. The cushion becomes a detriment. Fat has a poor vascular system making it harder to get the nutrients you need to all parts of your body. Your organs can even become fatty because of the foods that we eat. Too much fat will impair an organ's functioning.
The Ever Increasing Spare Tire
The fat linked to diabetes is that which collects around the middle of your body. It‘s called abdominal fat, belly fat, or the “spare tire.” This fat is not only expanding your waistline, it's encasing your abdominal organs. This increased fat in the abdominal region has been linked to an increased risk of diabetes.
Years ago you may have heard the lament “a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips.” It seems that rear end fat and hip fat has migrated forward over the decades in both men and women. A “beer gut” or “belly fat” is not only unattractive, it can shorten your life expectancy and lead to diabetes.
Getting Rid of Abdominal Fat
You must do two things to get rid of belly fat: diet and exercise.
Diet: Remove the excess fats from your daily eating plan. Opt instead for foods that have less unhealthy fats and more of the kinds that the body needs like olive oil, nuts, and lean meats. Reduce fried food and make use of baking and steaming. Toss the empty calories and opt for nutrient rich foods that are low in calories, like vegetables, fresh whole fruit, oatmeal, brown rice, whole grains, and dried beans and peas.
Exercise: The truth may be upsetting, but there is no such thing as spot reduction. The only way to slim your gut is to reduce your overall amount of body fat. Your body is smart and will decide what fat comes off where and when.
No, there is no magic pill or exercise that will once and for all get rid of your belly fat. That will only happen with a healthy diet and routine exercise. Boring, but true. Do these two things and you will reduce your risk of diabetes Type 2 with each pound of fat you melt.
Diabetes Prevention: Listen to your Doctor
An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Sure, we don't want to get sick and need a doctor. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't see your doctor regularly. Along with that apple, you should be including routine physical examinations as a part of your overall health care. Doctors are not the enemy. They are often your first defense against diseases and conditions like diabetes Type 2.
Doctors do not always forecast doom and gloom. When you develop a good relationship with a doctor you trust, that doctor will be your confidant and will guide you through prevention, not just treatment of illnesses.
Running to a doctor only when something goes wrong is not good health care. Your doctor wants to get to know you and your lifestyle. He or she wants to help you maintain your good health, not fix you up after the fact. Diabetes is one of those illnesses that may be prevented, and, when caught early, can be treated and managed.
Many of the signs and symptoms of diabetes go unheeded because we don’t get regular physicals. When a physical exam is performed once a year, your doctor can monitor changes in your body that need to be addressed. Many problems can be caught in the early stages if you have yearly physical exams.
A physical exam usually entails:
· Assessing height and weight to determine BMI (body mass index)
· Assessing blood pressure
· Asking about physical discomforts
· Blood work for cholesterol, vitamin D, diabetes, liver functioning (LFTs), and thyroid
· Breast exam and pap smear (women)
· Prostate exam (men)
When the blood work comes back from the lab, your doctor may ask you to come back in to review the results. The blood work will show your cholesterol numbers. One of the risk factors for diabetes Type 2 is high cholesterol. The doctor will discuss your numbers and if necessary suggest options for reducing your bad cholesterol which will include diet, exercise, and possibly medication.
Weight is another issue which affects your risk for diabetes. None of us want to hear that we are overweight, but your doctor is doing you a favor by putting your weight into proper prospective for you. Whereas your best friend or the current fashion magazines may tell you that losing weight will make you look good, your doctor will tell you the hard truth - “your extra weight is endangering your life.”
Other medical professionals you should involve in your overall health care include:
Dentist: Unhealthy gums have been linked to health problems in the body. Gum disease can affect blood sugar. If you are diabetic, gum disease can increase complications of diabetes.
Nutritionist: If you want to eat better but don’t know where to begin, a nutritionist can help. Some insurance plans allow for visits to these professionals. Gain the knowledge you need to improve your health.
Have you been to the doctor lately? If not, this is your wake up call. Don’t sit and worry about diabetes; get proactive by getting a physical exam. Decide today to protect your life and change your lifestyle – with your doctor's help.
Supplements and Diabetes Prevention
The world of supplements is big business. People are seeing them as a tool to help improve their health. If you are at risk for diabetes, a little supplementation may help you fight back.
Supplements are just what their name implies: an addition to something else. They are not meant to be the main source of nutrients in your body. When it comes to getting proper nutrition, food is the primary tool we need to use.
The majority of the nutrients that the body needs are obtained from outside the body. We can make some amino acids and other building blocks ourselves within the body cells, but not enough to sustain us, and not without proper nutrition.
Preventing Diabetes with Multivitamins
One of the most common supplements is multivitamins. We don’t always eat right everyday even if we are trying to. There will be nutrients missed especially when we have busy schedules. That is where a multivitamin comes in. Multivitamins supply the basic recommended daily allowance (RDA) for many of the essential vitamins and minerals the body needs.
All you have to do is pop one in your mouth every morning. For people who can’t swallow pills, you can take your vitamins in liquid form. There are even chewable vitamins for kids, as well adults. For some, it's hard to find time each day to munch on all the fruits, vegetables, and grains we are recommend to eat.
Outside of the multivitamin there are other supplements that play a role in helping to fine tune the metabolic system. One of those supplements is chromium. Chromium is a mineral needed within the body.
In the body, glucose (sugar) is circulating in the bloodstream waiting to be picked up by insulin. The cells accept as much glucose as they can handle and use it for energy. In the presence of chromium, the cells can increase their glucose load, lowering the blood sugar and giving you a ready supply of energy for whatever activity you have to accomplish throughout the day. You may have heard of chromium piccolinate. It was a big deal in the weight loss arena several years ago. Maybe that is because of its effects on the blood sugar.
Another supplement is magnesium. Its role in the body has to do with insulin. It can help increase the effectiveness of it at removing sugar from the blood and transporting it where it is needed. People who have developed insulin sensitivity have a problem with the body’s cells recognizing it and taking in the sugar it offers.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant in the body. Antioxidants fight free radical damage in the body. They repair what has been damaged so that the systems of the body, including metabolism, can operate properly.
As helpful as supplements are, don’t take them unless you consult your doctor first. Consuming too much of any one substance can have bad effects on you, even when it comes to preventing something like diabetes Type 2.
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