Diabetes is a health condition that involves your body’s ability to regulate sugar in your bloodstream. Almost 26 million adults and children have Diabetes in the United States. You may not realize it but many foods we eat have hidden sugars in them.
Normally sugar is important for brain function and as an energy source for the cells of your body. However, when too much enters the bloodstream on a regular basis it causes havoc on your body.
The normal blood glucose levels should be around 100 mg/dL. So testing at home is a great way to see what your levels are. Your daytime blood sugar levels should be between 80 and 120 mg/dL while your bedtime numbers should stay between 100 and 140 mg/dL.
We have all experienced the sugar rollercoaster when we have some birthday cake and then all of a sudden get really sleepy. The simple sugar enters your blood stream so fast you go on an instant high, hence when the kids go crazy.
The Pancreas is the organ that secrets insulin to combat this quick elevation of sugar in your body. The body then over-compensates for the excess of sugar that has just entered your blood and as a response secretes too much insulin into the blood. It basically over-reacts due to the quick rise in blood sugar levels.
This drops the glucose levels so much, next you become lethargic. That’s when we drift off to sleepy town. Like maybe after Thanksgiving’s gluttony of foods and desserts?
Sometimes the body no longer can produce enough insulin or stops insulin production altogether, which allows your glucose or sugar levels to remain high, known as hyperglycemia. This is Type I Diabetes.
The patient usually needs an external source of insulin to maintain healthy glucose levels in the blood. It is believed to be an autoimmune disease in that the body attacks itself and stops or limits insulin production.
Type II Diabetes is when the body is still producing insulin but for whatever reason your body is insulin-resistant and won’t use it.
Type I makes up about 10 percent of the population while Type II is the most common form of Diabetes and makes up 90 percent of cases.
The likelihood of developing Diabetes increases depending on your family history, your weight, age, dietary habits, alcohol use, a sedentary lifestyle and a high-fat diet.
Race can also be strong determining factors for who has a greater likelihood of developing Diabetes. These are the races that had a higher incidence of developing Diabetes: African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders.
The symptoms of having Type 1 Diabetes include:
- Increased thirst due to dehydration
- Frequent urination
- Excessive hunger
- Unexplained weight loss
- Extreme fatigue and Irritability
- Low Potassium levels
The symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes are:
- Any of the type 1 symptoms listed above
- Vision problems
- Frequent infections
- Numbness or tingling in the forearms and hands or calves and feet
- Slow healing Cuts and bruises
- Recurring skin, gum, or bladder infections
- Can lead to Kidney Disease, Nerve Disorders, Blindness and Heart Disease
Sometimes a diabetic patient can miss a meal, exercise too much, take too much insulin or other type of medication and wind up with low blood glucose levels, known as hypoglycemia. The person will appear to have the shakes, might not be able to concentrate, could develop a headache, feel dizzy and sweat.
Usually a diabetic patient will have some immediate source of sugar like a piece of candy close by in case of an emergency. If not, find something sweet and pop that in the mouth and call 911 if necessary. Corn syrup in your pantry works too.
I used to have a case she went hypoglycemic. It happened twice and boy was I glad I had that syringe ready. Squirted it in her mouth and she perked right back up.
Twice my diabetic cat started to twitch; act confused and became rigid, which is scary as hell. I had a dose of corn syrup in a syringe tube ready for my cat just for this type of emergency. I would put it in her mouth, push it in and seconds later she would come around like nothing happened. Then you get to start monitoring insulin, blood glucose levels and food again to get back to a healthy level.
As our nation continues to become unhealthy, 79 million Americans are considered prediabetic and very likely to develop Type II Diabetes. Two out of three people with Diabetes have a good chance of dying of stroke or heart disease.
If you have any concerns or have a family history of Diabetes, see your medical doctor and they can run some simple blood tests to check for prediabetes. These are A1C, an oral glucose tolerance test and a fasting plasma glucose test.
What you can do to prevent and help control Diabetes (and many other problems):
- Exercise regularly, 20 minutes or more, 3x/wk or daily
- Get to a healthier weight
- Limit foods that are high in sugar
- Avoid sugar-sweetened beverages
- Eat smaller portions, spread out over the day
- Eat foods that are high in fiber
- Be careful about when and how many carbohydrates you eat
- Eat a variety of whole-grain foods, fruits and vegetables every day
- Eat less fat
- Limit your use of alcohol and smoking products
- Use less salt
- Stay hydrated with water
- Brush and floss your teeth regularly
Dr. Jay M. Lipoff is the owner of Back At Your Best Chiropractic & Physical Therapy, LLC, which is located in the Wildewood Shopping Center. Dr. Lipoff is also the author of “Back At Your Best; Balancing the Demands of Life With the Needs of Your Body.” It is available in book and Kindle format at Amazon.
He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Syracuse University in 1990, a Doctorate of Chiropractic (D.C.) from New York Chiropractic College (NYCC) in 1994 and he became a Certified Fitness Trainer (CFT) in 2005.
Dr. Lipoff is an Executive Board Member, International Chiropractic Association Council on Fitness and Sports Health Science; has a radio segment: Back At Your Best in 5 Minutes or Less, President and Founder; Foundation 4 Heroes, Contributing writer, Huffington Post’ Co-Founder, Drug Free Training USA; Member, NY Strength-promoting the importance of physical conditioning; Board Member of Public Relations Committee, Maryland Chiropractic Association; has spoken on nationally broadcasted radio interviews, has articles in print and referenced in over 100 print papers, magazine and on websites, President, Wildewood Business Network-promoting better business relations and community outreach.
For more information, go to www.BackAtYourBest.com, find us on facebook, or call 301-863-BEST (2378). www.f4heroes.com, 844-F4Heroes.