Preventing late onset of Type 2 Diabetes

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Type 2 diabetes occurs when the pancreas produces insulin in small quantities but not enough to fuel body cells. The body cells may also become resistant to the effects of what little insulin there is in the bloodstream. It is possible to have type 2 diabetes and not be aware that you do. People often develop this condition later in life. At present, there is said to be no cure for type 2 diabetes. However, it is possible to diminish or even reverse the effects of the disease on the body through nutrition, weight loss, and exercise.

Monitoring and maintaining stable blood sugar levels is an essential factor in preventing the onset of type 2 diabetes. Knowing your genetics is helpful as you may have a predisposition to blood sugar imbalance. Going for regular check-ups is important for prevention because it will help you determine where your numbers are at and if you are in any way at an increased risk of developing the disease. Early identification of imbalance gives you the chance to take proactive steps and prevent onset. Integrating lifestyle choices like regular exercise and eating balanced meals at regular meal times sets the stage for a positive internal response.  


UNDERSTANDING INSULIN

Insulin controls the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood and the rate at which glucose is absorbed into the cells. The cells need glucose to produce energy (known as ATP). The brain’s only “food” is glucose; therefore, the level of glucose must be maintained at a certain minimum for the brain to function normally. After consuming a meal that contains carbohydrates or proteins, blood sugar levels normally rise. This increase triggers the release of insulin from cells in the pancreas called beta-cells. The insulin “opens the doors” of cells throughout the body, allowing glucose to enter them. As glucose enters the cells, the blood sugar levels fall back toward normal, and the release of insulin tapers off until the next time protein or carbohydrates are eaten.

 

POTENTIAL RISK FACTORS

  • Being overweight

  • Increased weight-to-hip ratio

  • Having a parent or sibling with diabetes

  • Having gestational diabetes

  • Blood pressure over 140/90 mm/Hg +

  • Elevated triglycerides

  • Abnormal cholesterol levels

  • Inactivity (exercising less than three times a week)

  • Having polycystic ovary disease (PCOS)

  • Having previous tests showing impaired fasting glucose (IFG) or impaired glucose tolerance (IGT)

SUPPORTIVE LIFESTYLE

Drink lots of water all day. Staying hydrated is important factor in maintaining balanced blood sugar, and water is the best fluid you can drink.

Regular physical activity can help you lose weight, lower blood sugar levels, and boost your sensitivity to insulin, keeping blood sugar within a reasonable range. Even if going on long, brisk walks daily is the only activity you have time for, it will help.  Aerobic exercise and resistance training can help control diabetes.

Sleep can impact blood sugar imbalance.  Lack of sleep can trigger an increase in the hormones cortisol- stress hormone and ghrelin- appetite hormone. The increase in these hormones can make it hard for the body to process sugar and carbohydrates. 7-9 hours of sleep every night & sticking to the same sleep/wake schedule will help to balance blood sugar spikes.

Yoga stimulates the metabolic system which results in the cells responding better to insulin. The pancreas is then stimulated and rejuvenated and is better able to produce insulin.The deep breathing exercises within the Yoga practice support the endocrine glands when these glands are supported they release secretions which initiate optimal utilization of insulin in the body.

Try the following yoga poses: Sitting/standing crane, bow pose, plow pose, half twist pose, half spinal twist, and alternate nostril breathing.


Nourishment

Start every day with healthy fats & proteins. Plus, *Include protein at every meal. This protein can be plant, legume, meat, or grain based.

Best Sources: Clean, lean proteins like grass fed or pasture meats, eggs, and wild-caught fish. Dark leafy greens: kale, collards, broccoli, and spinach. Nuts & seeds, tempeh, legumes, brown rice & quinoa, chia seeds, hemp hearts, flax seeds, single form plant based protein powders, greek yogurt, pumpkin seeds.

Turn to natural sources for blood sugar management: like cinnamon and holy basil tea. Cinnamon increases glucose metabolism and regulates blood sugar. Holy basil tea helps to regulate and lower blood glucose levels & also helps boost the immune system!

Limit High GI Foods

Refined carbohydrates, such as white rice and white flour products are high glycemic load foods and trigger the release of insulin. As more carbohydrates are consumed, more insulin is produced. Lower glycemic load foods are generally higher in fiber, fat & protein.

Include: a variety of vegetables, fruits, nuts and whole grains (like brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat)

Eat High Fiber Foods

Fiber helps to reduce blood sugar surges. This reduces the need for insulin and also lowers the levels of fats in the blood. For snacks, eat apple slices or celery with nut butter. Legumes, root vegetables, and whole grains are also great foods to incorporate into your daily diet.

Increase Essential Fatty Acids

Good food sources of EFAs include: wild-caught fish, walnuts, chia seeds, flax seeds, sardines, hemp seeds, anchovies, olive oil, pumpkin seeds, and natto.

Chromium-Rich Foods

Chromium deficiency may be a key player in the type 2 diabetes picture. Also, chromium may help improve body composition - the ratio of fat to muscle.

Sources of chromium:  Broccoli, Kale, Grass fed-beef, turkey, Brewer’s yeast, whole grains, Sweet Potatoes, Oats.

Magnesium-Rich Foods

A higher magnesium intake lowers the risk of getting type 2 diabetes. A diet rich in nuts, whole grains, and vegetables is beneficial for prevention.

Sources of Magnesium: Most Nuts, Legumes, Dark Leafy greens, Avocado, Dark Chocolate.

 

Foods that support blood sugar regulation:

  • Ceylon Cinnamon

  • Fenugreek

  • Fennel

  • Healthy fats: avocado, virgin unrefined coconut, extra virgin cold pressed olive oil, raw nuts and seeds, MCT oil.

  • High fiber foods: fresh vegetables, flax, chia, almond, avocado, pumpkin seeds, sweet potato

  • Apple Cider Vinegar

  • Organic, grass fed meats

  • Wild Fish such as salmon

  • Free-range organic eggs

  • Green leafy vegetables

  • Complex carbohydrates: brown rice, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, legumes, sweet potato

Avoid:

  • Sugars - If you have a sweet tooth, some acceptable alternatives that won’t affect your insulin levels are stevia, lucuma, mesquite, cinnamon, vanilla

  • Fructose

  • Processed & fatty foods

  • Alcohol

  • Refined & high glycemic foods

  • Fruit juices & dried fruits

  • Excess Caffeine

 

Reduce/ Eliminate stimulants. Most stimulants not only contain sugar (alcohol, fancy coffee drinks, and energy drinks) but they also cause blood sugar to increase on their own because they increase adrenaline in the body. Adrenaline has an effect on blood sugar as it is the hormone that is responsible for your “fight or flight” sensation and wants to dump sugar into cells as quickly as possible so you can run away from that tiger. This sudden increase in blood sugar with no use for it leads to a sudden crash, which we have already learned is not a good thing.

Switch to options like  herbal tea (holy basil is fantastic!), chaga, or coffee alternatives like dandy blend. If you really cannot give up your morning coffee, maybe look into and try bulletproofing your coffee with MCT, coconut oil, or grass fed butter to help regulate the blood sugar a little bit more.


Supportive Supplementation

Chromium Picolinate: Take 200 mcg daily with each meal to improve insulin sensitivity.

Magnesium: 4-600 mg daily at bedtime.

Fish Oil- With a balanced 3-6-9 ratio. Take 2 daily.

Vitamin B6 - Protects against diabetic neuropathy and other diabetic complications and promotes intracellular magnesium levels


Herbs

Holy Basil: Stabilizes blood sugar, helps the body adapt to stress, and boosts immunity.  Take Daily in infusion, tea & tincture form throughout the day.

Ginseng: Helps to regulate insulin & has been used to lower A1C levels. Take in tincture form 3 x per day.

Dandelion root: Protects the liver, which converts nutrients into glucose. Drink daily as an infusion.

Ginger & Turmeric: Use daily to reduce inflammation & regulate insulin. Add to meals, drink as teas, or take in capsule form.

 

*Consult with a health Practitioner prior to taking or combining herbs & supplements





 

kristin dahl