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Spring Of Health Volume 1, Issue 3 October, 2012
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Spring's News
Diabetes: prevent and control blood sugar naturally.

Fall is a time to relish in the wonderful autumn air, soak in the beautifully coloured leaves on the trees, and for kids to dream about the prospect of Halloween creeping in around the corner. Costumes, decorations and treats aside, November is also Diabetes awareness month.

Between 2001 and 2009 the prevalence of diabetes in Canada and the US has increased drastically. Educating ourselves on what this disease actually is, is one way in which we can reduce the amount of people it affects.

Diabetes is classified as a metabolic disorder. Metabolism refers to the way our bodies use digested food for energy and growth. Most of what we eat is broken down into glucose. Glucose is a form of sugar in the blood - it is the principal source of fuel for our bodies.

When our food is digested, the glucose makes its way into our bloodstream. Our cells use the glucose for energy and growth. However, glucose cannot enter our cells without insulin being present - insulin makes it possible for our cells to take in the glucose.

Insulin is a hormone that is produced by the pancreas. After eating, the pancreas automatically releases an adequate quantity of insulin to move the glucose present in our blood into the cells, as soon as glucose enters the cells blood-glucose levels drop.

A person with diabetes has a condition in which the quantity of glucose in the blood is too elevated (hyperglycemia). This is because the body either does not produce enough insulin, produces no insulin, or has cells that do not respond properly to the insulin the pancreas produces. This results in too much glucose building up in the blood. This excess blood glucose eventually passes out of the body in urine. So, even though the blood has plenty of glucose, the cells are not getting it for their essential energy and growth requirements.

There are 2 main types of diabetes: Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes and Type 2 Insulin Resistant Diabetes.

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In Type 1 diabetes the body does not produce insulin. Some people may refer to this type as insulin-dependent diabetes, juvenile diabetes, or early-onset diabetes. People usually develop type 1 diabetes before their 40th year, often in early adulthood or teenage years. This disease is hereditary and is treated with proper diet and insulin injections to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

However, type 2 diabetes is much different. Type 2 diabetes is when the body does not produce enough insulin for proper function, or the cells in the body do not react to insulin (insulin resistance).

Overweight and obese people have a much higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to those with a healthy body weight. People with a lot of visceral fat, also known as central obesity, belly fat, or abdominal obesity, are especially at risk. Being overweight/obese causes the body to release chemicals that can destabilize the body's cardiovascular and metabolic systems.

The vast majority of patients with type 2 diabetes initially had prediabetes. Their blood glucose levels where higher than normal, but not high enough to merit a diabetes diagnosis. The cells in the body are becoming resistant to insulin.

A few ways to avoid the onset of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes is to limit sugar and fat consumption, cutting down on junk food will help cut back on trips to the doctor. Where it is hard to eliminate sugar consider substituting it with Stevia—a natural sweetener that does not raise the blood glucose level.

As part of awareness you should also try to find out which products have hidden ingredients that are actually posing devastating effects on your pancreas. One ingredient that has become a very prevalent topic in many health magazines is High Fructose Corn Syrup. Not only is HFCS made from Genetically Modified corn—as 98% of the world’s corn is produced by Monsanto agriculture company, but it is also very high in glucose which puts much pressure on our bodies and over a long period contributes to the development of type 2 diabetes. Some products that you may not have known contain HFCS and regarded as quite wholesome include: juice cocktails, breakfast cereal, yoghurt, bread, salad dressing, and nutrition bars. If you start your day with yoghurt and cereal it may not be as healthy as it was in your parents’ time, company switches to HFCS as a cheaper alternative to sugarcane sugar, may be costing you your health. Read the label and make the switch to brands that do not use HFCS, it could save you a few years.

Lastly maintaining a proper physical lifestyle can be the biggest push to help prevent diabetes. Healthy diet and regular exercise are one of the simplest ways to stay healthy and prevent debilitating progressive diseases. Although, a few candies here and there will not do you any harm.


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