We are in the midst of a worldwide diabetes epidemic! World Health Organization estimates of the number of people with type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) worldwide were 30 million in 1985, 171 million in 2000 and 220 million in 2009. This number represents approximately 5% of the adult global population and is predicted to continue increasing for the foreseeable future. A more rapid increase appears to be occurring in the developing world and is attributed to rising obesity rates, sedentary lifestyles, aging of the population and improved survival of people with the disease.
The process begins with carbohydrate intake in the form of simple sugars or starches. This intake results from signals from the brain which are influenced by life stress, mood, thirst, physical activity, family eating patterns and social networks. Overeating is closely linked to obesity and type 2 DM.. The primary defect in type 2 DM is insulin resistance. This leads to an inflammatory state, high blood sugar and fat deposition.
Treatment plans should include nutritional counseling and exercise. Behavioral modification is often necessary. As far as nutrition is concerned, people need to be aware of the destructive effects of refined carbohydrates and eliminate them from the diet. Eat non-starchy low glycemic carbs like vegetables. These supply needed vitamins and nutrients and do not elicit a strong insulin surge. Moderation in protein intake and some good fats such as olive oil and avocado are excellent choices. Exercise will lower insulin resistance. A combination of aerobic and resistance training is best. Supplements that are important for reducing insulin resistance include Vitamin D, chromium, alpha Lipoic acid and omega 3 fatty acids. Magnesium and other antioxidants are beneficial. As far as botanicals are concerned, bitter melon and cinnamon are good choices for stabilizing blood sugar and insulin levels. Of course, some people will require pharmaceuticals such as Metformin, but if enough attention is paid to diet, exercise and other lifestyle changes, this could be unnecessary. So remember, keep obesity in check, do not overeat, avoid refined carbohydrates and attempt to normalize stress levels. Exercise five times weekly.
These guidelines will reduce the risk of developing type 2 DM and it’s complications of heart disease, stroke and dementia. For additional information please call or email me at the clinic.