National Diabetes Month
frequently hearing information on the news or in the
print media about type 2 diabetes and how the incidence
in all age groups is escalating. Yet every day many are
diagnosed with diabetes and are surprised to find they
have become a statistic.
November is national diabetes month there is likely to
be considerable emphasis on the topic. Hereís my
diabetes is preventable. First, itís important to know
if you have risk factors for developing this deadly
condition. Some risk factors you canít control but many
you can-- so address those you can fix. It is never too
early or too late to make changes in your lifestyle.
important that everyone takes this topic seriously. It
was once unheard of to see type 2 diabetes in middle
aged or young people. Since the 1990ís younger and
younger people, even kids are being diagnosed with type
the following risk factors for type 2 diabetes and note
those that apply to you or to the people you care
Obesity heads the list of risk factors especially if that
weight is around the belly.
diet that causes weight gain predisposes to
diabetes. But a diet high in added sugars and
refined carbs is especially stressful on the insulin
and blood sugar mechanism.
Couch potatoes beware. A sedentary lifestyle
increases insulin resistance (not a good thing) and
leads to loss of muscle mass.
Even though youíre stuck with your heredity,
it is the interaction of genetics and lifestyle that
really increases your risk for diabetes. So start
making those lifestyle changes now. Note that you
donít have to have a family history to get diabetes:
poor lifestyle choices over time can lead to
diabetes as well.
Ethnicity-people of African-American descent, Hispanics, Native
Americans, Asians and Pacific Islanders are
particularly prone to diabetes. Some groups develop
the disease earlier and with smaller weight
increases that Caucasians.
Women who have had gestational diabetes or
delivered large babies- more than 9 pound are at
additional risk. It is now known that the children
of Momís with GD are likely to experience additional
health problems during their lifetimes because of
their exposure to excessive insulin and blood sugar
levels while in the uterus.
Metabolic syndrome is a group of 5 signs, that if you have at least
3, means you are prone to diabetes and heart
for much more info about metabolic syndrome.
High blood sugar levels--
even those that are not yet high enough to be
classified as diabetes-- means you need to take
Abnormal blood lipids. Everyone thinks of cholesterol but high
triglycerides and low HDL cholesterol are more
important numbers than your total cholesterol.
High Blood Pressure. Most people think overeating salt leads to high
blood pressure. In some people that may be true but
many people have hypertension because of high
insulin levels made worse by a high carb intake.
High insulin levels occur long before one becomes
Age. Although advancing age increases our risk we canít fix that one.
Once again, address the things you can and you will
likely be able to avoid or delay the onset of
diabetes such a dangerous disease?
diabetes creeps up on you slowly. Since there are no
early symptoms, more than 20 % of people with the
illness donít know they have it. Unfortunately, damage
to the body can begin well before fasting blood sugar
levels are elevated enough to diagnose the disease.
Remaining undiagnosed is dangerous. Many people donít
find out they have diabetes until they are treated for
an infection such as recurring vaginal yeast infections.
the disease has progressed common symptoms such as
extreme thirst, extreme hunger, frequent urination,
unexplained weight loss, unusual fatigue, blurred vision
and the slow healing of cuts and bruises makes the
diagnosis easier. But by the time these symptoms are
apparent, blood sugar levels have been elevated for a
long time causing silent damage to every cell in the
the long term elevation of insulin and blood sugar
levels that leads to the damage to the large and small
blood vessels in the body and the complications of
diabetes. This damage results in cardiovascular disease.
(About 75% of people with diabetes die from heart
disease). It also leads to kidney failure, blindness,
amputations, stroke and painful nerve damage.
Diabetes may also put you are higher risk for cancer and
American Diabetes Association relies primarily on a
calorie diet including sugar and refined carbs and
medications for the treatment of diabetes. Once
diagnosed with this condition most people take anywhere
from 3 to 6 meds. Not only is this strategy costly, the
drugs often make weight loss more difficult and
increases risks for serious side effects. Additionally,
by eating foods with added sugars and refined flour
products the blood sugar is higher requiring more meds.
Yet even with expensive drug protocols people are not
meeting their treatment goals. Is it no wonder that
many people simply give up trying to make lifestyle
changes and surrender to the expectation of
progressively poorer health? It is time for another
Diabetes is a condition of insulin and blood sugar
dysfunction. Since carbohydrate foods cause elevation in
blood sugar and require insulin to metabolize them, it
makes sense that controlling the quality and quantity
of carbs is the key to controlling blood sugar and
insulin. Controlling carbs also makes weight management
easier. Not only is the Atkins Lifestyle an intelligent
approach to weight management and the prevention of type
2 diabetes it is an effective treatment option for
people who already have type 2 diabetes.
Research has been done comparing Atkins type low carb
diets with typical low calorie diets in people with
diabetes. The results demonstrate better blood sugar and
insulin control, better weight loss and improvements in
cardiovascular risk factors without putting additional
stress on the kidneys. Many people with diabetes on an
Atkins type program can decrease or even stop most
medications. In fact, this approach can be so effective
at lowering high blood sugar levels that it is often
necessary to decrease medication doses immediately to
avoid low blood sugar reactions. Any healthy approach
that allows for less medication use is certainly an
sure to educate yourself on how to safely make dietary
changes using low carb with the assistance of your
physician since medication doses need to be adjusted as
your carb intake is lowered. For more information read
Atkins Diabetes Revolution and Dr. Atkinsí
New Diet Revolution.
most important message in national diabetes month is to
know that type 2 diabetes can be prevented and that most
risk factors are under your control.
The information presented on this site is in no way
intended as medical advice or as a substitute for medical treatment.
This information should be used in conjunction with the guidance and
care of your physician. Consult your physician before beginning this
program as you would any weight-loss or weight-maintenance program.
Those of you on diuretics or diabetes medication should proceed only
under a doctorís supervision as changing your diet usually requires a
change in medication dosages. As with any plan, the weight-loss phases
of this program should not be used by patients on dialysis or by
pregnant or nursing women. As with any weight-loss plan, we recommend
anyone under the age of 18 follow the program under the guidance of