Sunday, 31 May 2009

Diabetes - Take Back Control of Your Life

by Robert Reddin

Diabetes is said to be the fastest growing "disease" in the World today, particularly in the "Western" World. We all know someone who has diabetes. It may be a loved one, a work colleague or a friend. Indeed, so wide spread has diabetes become that is becoming accepted part of the natural progression of life.

Some people are genetically predisposed to developing diabetes, but current research suggests that those sufferers who are not so predisposed are the architects of their own misfortune.

Risk factors
It is now recognized that lifestyle and diet are important risk factors in the development of diabetes, particularly type II diabetes. The statistics from a century ago show a much lower incidence of diabetes in the population. This can be attributed to the more active lifestyle of the time - the automobile was still a novelty; and diet. Whole grain foods, fresh fruit and vegetables formed a greater part of the diet one hundred years than they do today. There was also far less processed food and saturated fats in the diet then than there is now.

Our modern "Western" dietary habits and lifestyle are primarily responsible for the diabetes epidemic. We are literally eating ourselves into an early grave.

Research has also shown that obesity is a contributing factor for the on set of type II diabetes. There are about 24 million people in the United States, or 8% of the population, who have been diagnosed as having diabetes. It is estimated that many more than this have undiagnosed diabetes.

Diabetes is a symptom not a disease
In reality, Diabetes is not a "disease" at all. It is a symptom of a pancreas that is too damaged to produce the insulin your body needs!

Doctors tell you that when you have diabetes, it is because your pancreas is not producing enough insulin or produces none at all. That is correct but fails to answer the question why it is that your pancreas is not producing enough insulin.

Scientists have established that the root cause of diabetes is when the pancreas becomes diseased by acids, sugars, carbohydrates, excess fats and uric acid - all of which are very common in our modern "Western" dietary habits.

Tackling the root causes of diabetes can stabilize your condition and then slowly reverse it as your pancreas gradually recovers. The good news is that this is not difficult to do and only requires small adjustments to our dietary habits and lifestyle.

How may this be achieved?

A healthy diet
The first step is to tackle your poor diet.

Replace the high fat processed foods with a balanced diet. A diet for people with diabetes should be low in fat (especially saturated fat and trans fats), moderate in salt and sugar, with meals based on whole grain foods, vegetables and fruit. Try to eat five portions of different fresh fruits and vegetables each day.

Diabetes sufferers who practice food combining have reported significant progress in stabilizing and then starting to reverse the effects of their condition.

Take moderate exercise
The second step is to start a moderate exercise routine.

According to the US Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), while some medications may delay the development of diabetes, diet and exercise work better. The DPP also found that in addition to a healthy diet, just 30 minutes of moderate physical activity a day coupled with a 5-10% reduction in body weight resulted in a 58% reduction in diabetes.

There is no need to go to the expense of joining a gym or buying any exercise equipment. Swimming or walking at a brisk pace is adequate exercise. The key point is to elevate your heart rate slightly for 20 to 30 minutes while you exercise. Introduce variation into your exercise routine, that way you will not get bored with it and the effects on your diabetes condition will be more noticeable.

Take responsibility
You can turn your condition around, but you must:

  1. recognize that your condition is probably the result of your poor dietary habits and lifestyle choices; and
  2. take responsibility for the dietary and lifestyle choices that you make.

You only have one life. Make the most of the one that you have as you will not pass this way again.

You can get more information on treating diabetes here.

Robert Reddin is a writer with more than 7 years experience and has numerous off-line and on-line articles to his credit. His interest in diabetes arose when a close family member was diagnosed with the condition. There is more information on treating diabetes here

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