Diabetes Chai Chat
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Diabetes Chai Chat
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When a type 2 diabetic has too much sugar in the blood for long periods of time it can cause serious health problems. Hyperglycaemia can occur and can damage the vessels that supply blood to vital organs. This can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, kidney disease and vision problems. Fortunately, there are natural and relatively easy ways to ensure this does not happen, according to the expert.
Change your attitude
Dr Sarah Brewer explained one of the first habits to change is one’s attitude. Dr Brewer said: “Focus on positives rather than negatives and engage in acts of kindness which have also been linked to optimism.
“If you live alone, consider adopting an animal companion in need of a new home.
“Caring for a pet can enrich your days, giving a sense of optimism and safeguarding you from loneliness and isolation.”
Along with the right kind of outlook in your life, reducing stress can also have a big impact on one’s health.
“Take time out to relax and address any causes of stress in your life,” said Dr Brewer.
“While having type 2 diabetes can be stressful in itself, determine to take charge – it’s when you feel out of control that feelings of stress build.
“Focus on improving your diet and lifestyle and losing weight, one small step at a time.”
Change your diet
When it comes to the foods to cut down on, sugar and stodgy foods are two of the main ones to remember.
All stodgy foods a person eats are broken down into glucose.
The type, and amount a person consumes can make a difference to one’s blood glucose levels and diabetes management.
There are different ways stodgy foods and carbohydrates can be grouped and these include bread, rice, pasta and some breakfast cereals.
Dr Brewer added: “Following a healthy, Mediterranean style diet can improve glucose control.
“Eat more fruit, vegetables, fish, beans, nuts and seeds.
“Cut back on sweet and carbohydrate-laden snacks.
“Dark chocolate and cocoa are healthy options when you need a treat.”
Other than food, Dr Brewer stresses the importance of being active.
She said: “Exercise helps to improve insulin resistance and burn off some excess glucose as fuel. Ditch the car and walk or cycle as much as you can.
“Aim to walk briskly for at least 30 minutes on most days to achieve at least 150 minutes exercise per week, and strength exercises two or more times per week.
“If weight-bearing exercise is difficult, consider swimming or yoga.”
To follow all these slight changes could make a world of a difference to one’s blood sugar levels and significantly reduce any further health risks. For the cherry on the top, taking a supplement will ensure blood sugar levels remain healthy.
“If your type 2 diabetes is being managed by diet and lifestyle, an herbal medicine can help to improve glucose levels through positive effects on insulin release in the pancreas and reducing insulin resistance,” said Dr Brewer.
“CuraLin is a blend of 10 traditional Ayurvedic medicinal herbs, including Bitter Melon, Fenugreek, Amla fruit, Gymnema and Turmeric that many people have found helpful.”
The prime minister is set to announce new measures to curb obesity next week, and they are expected to include a ban on TV junk food adverts before 21:00.
The measures are yet to be finalised but are also likely to include a ban on online ads for unhealthy foods, and limits on in-store promotions.
It comes amid growing evidence people who are overweight or obese are at greater risk from coronavirus.
But one food industry leader said the move was a “slap in the face”.
The move marks a change in stance by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has previously criticised levies on foods high in salt, fat and sugar – and described his views on tackling obesity as “libertarian”.
Mr Johnson’s experience in intensive care during his treatment for Covid-19 is thought to have contributed to his changing position.
Speaking during a visit to a GP surgery in east London, he said that while he was not normally one for “nannying or bossying”, the country did need to lose weight to protect from a second spike.
He said: “Obesity is one of the real co-morbidity factors. Losing weight, frankly, is one of the ways you can reduce your own risk from coronavirus.”
Boris Johnson has long been critical of the “nanny state”.
But the apparent link between obesity and more serious cases of Covid-19, along with his own experience in intensive care, appears to have convinced the prime minister that the government should take a more active role in promoting public health.
He has described the coronavirus crisis as “a devastating blow” so it seems that the obesity strategy will be part of a battle plan to prevent it striking so hard again.
Ministers are still finalising the detail of some anti-obesity measures, such as whether to require more prominent labelling of food and drinks with high levels of sugar or salt.
Some restaurants could be required to put calorie labels on menus.
In 2013, the journal Diabetes and Investigation published a large meta-analysis of 28 observational studies. The authors concluded that diabetes increased the risk of all types of dementia by 73%, Alzheimer’s Disease by 56%, and vascular dementia by 127%.
Read on as I describe the key points about diabetes and dementia, then explain the biochemistry as simply as possible, and outline the steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing both these devastating medical conditions.
Diabetes is a long term medical condition in which your body can no longer control the level of blood glucose.
When things are working normally, your blood glucose levels rise after eating. This triggers the release of the hormone, insulin. Insulin facilitates the uptake of glucose inside your cells, where it is needed as energy for metabolic functions. As a result, your blood glucose levels fall back within the normal range.
When you develop diabetes, your blood glucose control mechanism is no longer working properly.
4.6 million people are currently living with diabetes in the UK, according to the charity Diabetes UK. Numbers of cases of diabetes have doubled in the past 20 years.
More than 1 million cases of diabetes in the UK remain undiagnosed. Many people remain completely unaware of their diagnosis. Early symptoms may be vague and go unrecognised.
A further 12.3 million UK residents are currently at increased of diabetes because they possess specific risk factors. Many of these risk factors are modifiable, such as obesity, smoking, alcohol, and taking exercise.
Dementia is a chronic medical condition in which patients develop disordered thinking, difficulties reasoning, and memory problems. In due course, this causes interference with their daily activities. There are often speech and communication difficulties, troubles with problem-solving, and an overall deterioration in self-care. As dementia sets in, many people often undergo personality changes. They may also become very emotional. Eventually, most people with dementia cannot look after themselves and need 24-hour care.
Diabetes affects many of the complex physiologic and metabolic pathways in your body.
High blood sugars and high insulin levels cause brain inflammation which results in neurodegeneration.
There are 4 key processes/factors involved –
IR develops with increasing age and is associated with obesity, smoking, lack of exercise, high blood pressure, and sleep disorders.
Diagnosing insulin resistance is not easy. You will need to take medical advice.
IR is more likely if your abdominal circumference measures over 32 inches for a female, or 40 inches for a male.
IR often occurs as part of metabolic syndrome.
Insulin resistance is dangerous because it increases many health risks.
For example, IR doubles your risk of a heart attack or a stroke. It also trebles your risk that if these occur, they will be fatal. IR also increases your risk of many cancers.
Oncologists believe that obesity and insulin resistance play a role in the development of cancers such as breast and colon cancer.
Insulin resistance is one of the key underlying mechanisms causing dementia.
In the UK, the increase in diabetes and dementia results from our Western lifestyle – notably, a diet high in saturated fat, and lack of exercise. These factors, amongst others, lead to the development of oxidative stress and insulin resistance. This is then further compounded for example, by the formation of toxic AEGs.
Living with high blood glucose levels, and high insulin levels, with insulin resistance, prediabetes, and diabetes, are major causes of neurodegeneration.