The type 2 diabetes is a chronic metabolic disorder that is often preventable but sad to say, the condition is on the rise worldwide. Diabetes is now affecting 246 million people and is expected to hit 380 million by 2025. Each year a further 7 million people develop diabetes. It is now the fourth leading cause of global death by disease. Among the complications of diabetes are heart and blood vessel disease including stroke and heart attack, nerve damage, diabetes neuropathy in the hand, diabetic retinopathy, and kidney failure.
Diabetes is the largest cause of kidney failure and is responsible for huge dialysis costs. At least 50% of all people with diabetes are unaware of their condition and in some countries this figure may be as high as 80%. However, up to 80% of type 2 diabetes is preventable if we adopt a healthy diet and lifestyle, and increase physical activity.
Even though you are not currently diagnosed with diabetes, you can prevent diabetes from endangering your life. Otherwise you will have to get used to a diabetes diet which can be quite unpleasant at times. It is also interesting to note that even though you are normal, getting extra information on the symptoms of diabetes will assist you a lot. One way to keep this dreadful disease at bay is to constantly monitor your health and diet. Make it a habit to go for a complete blood test at least once a year. From the results of your lipid profile, take note of the values of triglycerides and the high density lipoprotein (HDL). The triglyceride/HDL ratio should be less than 2. A ratio of more than 2 indicates the tendency of developing diabetes later in life. You may be having what is known as Syndrome X as described by Dr Gerald Reaven of Stanford University (1988).
According to medical research, insulin resistance is a major factor in the development of the syndrome. When you continually consume sugar, high carbohydrate and high fat diet, your body will become less sensitive to insulin. It compensates by making more insulin. Years later, the pancreas will simply give up. The insulin level drops and the blood sugar begin to rise. Insulin resistance leads to obesity.
In order to prevent and treat diabetes, you have to take note of the following points:
1. Eat a balanced diet by combining good protein and good fat with low glycemic carbohydrates. The protein and fats can be obtained from vegetables and its oils, olive oil, nuts, beans. It is also available from the cold water fish such as salmon and tuna which are rich in the omega 3 fatty acids. Protein is also available from fowl. Get the carbohydrates from whole fruits and vegetables. Avoid refined foods. Foods like fiber, brussels sprouts, cucumbers, green beans, soy beans, tofu and garlic have an insulin-like action on the body and should be included in the diet regularly.
2. Ensure that you have plenty of exercise. Exercise will make your body more sensitive to insulin. A brisk walk of 30-45 minutes three times weekly is more than sufficient.
3. Maintain a regular intake of supplements including the following:
Multi vitamins and minerals supplement 1 capsule daily
Vitamin C 1-2 gm daily
Vitamin E 400 I.U. daily
Selenium 150 mcg daily
Omega 3 capsule 1000 mg daily
Evening primrose capsule 1000mg daily
4. Eliminate coffee, alcohol, smoking, nervous exhaustion, stress and obesity.