Discussing Diabetes

Lori Boxer
Weight★No★More℠ Diet Center

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I know diabetes is not exactly a barn-burner of a topic, but it is especially prevalent in overweight and obese people, which is how I come in contact with that issue regularly. At a time when the number of obese people in the world now outnumber the underweight, and since obesity changes your DNA, which increases the risk of diabetes for your offspring, it’s a good time to revisit the subject.

 

  1. Diabetes is a disorder in which the body cannot make proper use of carbohydrates (sugar and starches) that we eat.
  2. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas whose job it is to move sugar from the blood into the cells of your body.
  3. Insulin is a key regulator of the body’s metabolism.

 

Now, I’m sure you’ve heard of the two major forms of diabetes:

 

  • Type 2, where your body still makes insulin but is unable to use it properly; and
  • Type 1, where your body doesn’t make enough insulin.

 

Both types share one central feature: The cells of your body do not absorb enough insulin.  This results in high sugar in your blood . . . high, because it’s not removed from the blood. 

 

Here’s the normal process when it comes to eating/digestion/insulin control.

 

  • During and immediately after a meal the process of digestion changes sugar and starches into glucose and proteins into amino acids.
  • Glucose and amino acids are absorbed from your intestines directly into the bloodstream, and your blood glucose levels rise sharply.
  • This rise in blood glucose levels signals important cells in the pancreas to produce insulin to pour into the bloodstream.  Within ten minutes after a meal insulin rises to its peak level.
  • Insulin acts like a key that opens the multiple doors to your body’s multiple cells and allows the glucose (and amino acids) to enter from your blood and be broken down to provide energy to all of the cells in the body, but its major targets are liver cells, fat cells and muscle cells.  So, picture in your mind insulin in the shape of a key opening a door to a cell, moving the insulin into it, and then closing the door and locking it.

  • If any glucose remains in your blood, again signals cells from the pancreas to produce insulin to pour into your bloodstream to try to push that unused glucose to the cells of your body for energy. This is the first sign of insulin resistance–your body is becoming resistant to what insulin is trying to do.  The cycle repeats until the doors to the cells don’t close all the way and insulin is backing up into your bloodstream.  Your pancreas will still make insulin but it’s ineffective.

  • Without sufficient insulin, the unused glucose that remains in your blood after a meal builds up in the blood and passes into your urine. (This produces several, but not necessarily all, of the following symptoms: frequent urination, excessive thirst, fatigue, extreme hunger or constant eating, numbness or tingling in hands and feet, changes in vision, slow-healing wounds or sores, burning/itching of the skin, fatigue.)  This is diabetes Type 2 — again, where your body still makes insulin but is unable to use it properly — and this is when the doctor prescribes pills to help improve blood sugar control to, in a way, assist whatever insulin you do have in its attempt to do the same.

 

If you don’t lose weight, and if you gain more (and most do), eventually you will cross the line from taking pills to having to give yourself insulin injections.  At that point, even with weight loss, there’s almost always no going back to the pills.

 

I want to ask you again to visualize something for a moment: 

 

See in front of you a pile of sugar next to a pile of rock salt . . . you know, that white salt that is sprayed along the roads in the winter in preparation for a snow storm.  Well . . . the white sugar does to your strong blood vessels what that rock salt does to our nicely paved roads: It literally eats away at the insides of the veins, thereby weakening their structure. (This is why inevitably we see roads being re-paved every spring to fix the potholes created over the winter months.) 

 

Just as roadways become weaker over the course of a winter and eventually cave into pot holes, veins that are weak . . . leak! And, since our entire anatomy consists of veins (arteries, capillaries), our entire vascular structure is weakened.  A weakened vascular structure affects all the organs of your body from your eyeballs (leads to diabetic retinopathy, changes in vision) to your skin (for slow-healing wounds or sores); from your gums (weakened blood vessels lead to greater susceptibility to gum infections and periodontal disease); right down to your fingers and toes (leading to neuropathy: numbness or tingling in hands and feet) . . . and much more.

 

Weaker veins is also a major reason why surgery for overweight and obese people is always more problematic because the weaker the veins the more bleeding there is. (A great example of weak veins that leak are varicose veins.) 

 

If you’re overweight or obese, you already have a slow metabolism . . . and a person with a slow metabolism gains more weight . . . faster. But, if you’re also either insulin resistant or diabetic, and you understand, as I said earlier, that insulin is a key regulator of the body’s metabolism . . . then you understand that being overweight increases your body’s resistance to what insulin tries to do: namely, remove excess sugar from the blood.  And when you have that problem, excess sugar backs up in the blood, excess insulin backs up in the blood, and both excess sugar and excess insulin in your blood are stored as fat.

 

The best defense against #diabetes is a healthy weight. Click To Tweet

 

The best defense against becoming diabetic is to maintain a healthy weight.

 

The best defense against complications for diabetics is also to maintain a healthy weight which, in turn, gives them a greater ability to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. 

 

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Recommended reading: Five Stages of Diabetes

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I am passionate about helping my clients become (and stay!) slim and healthy. I write and release weekly blogs and podcasts to educate, motivate, inform and inspire on all issues related to weight loss, obesity, health, wellness, diet and lifestyle. To learn more about who we are and what we do, please read the Services and Programs pages, with particular emphasis on The Client, The Fees and The FAQs.