Blood Sugar and Diabetes
Preventing prediabetes and diabetes is the fastest growing health concern in the United States today.
Blood sugar (glucose) is regulated by insulin released by the pancreas. Your blood sugar can be rapidly elevated by eating simple carbohydrates from refined white flour and sugar in processed foods like soda, blended coffee beverages, cakes, cookies, candy, and white breads. If this happens regularly, your body may stop responding effectively to insulin or not produce enough insulin to deal with the spikes, leading to free-floating glucose which cannot be used by your body as fuel and which is simply eliminated in the urine.
Diabetes causes damage to the circulatory system, the heart, the blood pressure, and the nerves, among many other side effects. Damage to the liver and kidneys, nerve damage to the extremities, and problems with vision are not uncommon side effects of poorly controlled diabetes.
While not all cases of diabetes are preventable, keeping your blood sugar at normal levels (A1C below 5.7%, fasting blood glucose below 100) is an important method to keep healthy. Diet and exercise are the key factors here. Avoiding added sugars and refined white flour in the diet and exercising daily for at least twenty minutes are the best methods of prevention we know. Eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, along with some lean protein and complex carbohydrates, is also highly beneficial.
Additional practices which are useful include getting sufficient sleep, sufficient water, and managing stress. Overweight and obese individuals are at higher risk for developing diabetes. All of these practices combined help keep weight down.
Nutritional support in the form of supplement chromium is very useful in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.
Type 2 diabetes is a major health crisis in this country. That’s why, when you go for your annual exam, your doctor typically runs blood tests to check if you have diabetes. Knowing where you stand and understanding your blood test numbers is first step toward controlling (or even avoiding) this dangerous disease.
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