A staggering 1 in 11 Americans have diabetes-thats 30 million people. Another 86 million adults are at HIGH RISK of developing Type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes is one of the leading causes of disability and death in the U.S. If not controlled it can cause blindness, nerve damage and kidney disease.
Being overweight or obese seems to be a large contributing factor in Type 2 diabetes. Studies show that being overweight leads to a condition called IR, or insulin resistance which leads to diabetes. Fat cells make hormones that keep insulin from working to remove sugar from the bloodstream into the cells for energy.
This creates more demand by the pancreas to produce insulin. Over time, due to increased insulin demand, the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin and Type 2 diabetes ensues.
WHAT DO I DO?
There are several ways to lower insulin resistance. Medication is usually the first choice, but I am a believer that it should be the last option due to side effects and furture dependence.
Weight loss (through cutting calories and exercise) seems to be the best way to improve the body's ability to use insulin. According to The Diabetes Prevention Trial, a major clinical study, it was proven that losing modest amounts of weight and increasing physical activity lowers the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by more than half.
Burning extra calories is often as simple as doing some extra walking. Exercise in itself, with or without weight loss, helps improve the body's sensitivity to insulin.
Reducing calorie intake is best achieved through a sensible, well-balanced approach to eating. Reduce portion sizes, avoid snacks, replace calorie containing drinks with water, and limit consumption of restaurant and "convenience" foods.
Anyone wishing for help can contact me and I will be happy to assist. Through many years of dietary counseling, I realize that it is not easy, and many people dont even know where to begin.