If you receive this diagnosis, do not despair, there is light at the end of the tunnel. With a deliberate change to your lifestyle, the sunset of Type 2 Diabetes may be slowed or stopped. Sadly, Type 2 diabetes is escalating through the world. The medical profession has declared it a 'lifestyle disease', because the majority of people at risk are overweight, middle aged adults who enjoy a sedentary lifestyle. My husband was borderline diabetic, and through a determined effort to change not only his mind, but participate in regular physical activity, he turned his life around. Weight loss and regular exercise has confirmed that he is no longer in this borderline category. Yes, there can be a happy ending, but it takes hard work!
My husband's success in reversing his type two diabetes diagnosis was due in large measure to a small book written by Dr. Sandra Cabot "Diabetes Type 2 You can reverse it naturally" WHAS Pty Ltd 2007. The author's insight and no-nonsense advice proved itself and has formed the basis of his recovery.
Two hundred and forty-six million people worldwide, fall victim to this disease. It is expected that the number of people living with diabetes will reach three hundred and eighty million in the next twenty years, if current trends are anything to go by. The complications from this disease are disturbing, as patients can develop blindness, may have to amputations, and suffer from erectile dysfunction, strokes, kidney failure and heart attacks. Heart disease is a factor contributing to deaths in four out of five diabetes sufferers. These are alarming statistics, and serious enough to persuade and motivate borderline type 2 sufferers, to make some radical changes to their lifestyle. This is exactly what my husband did.
I adopted the same changes as even though I was not in the same category, I wanted to encourage a healthy way of life for my husband, as I knew it would take willpower and motivation. Firstly, we started reading all food labels with a vengeance when supermarket shopping, and avoided any foods with high carbohydrates contents. We also looked out low Glycaemic Index foods whenever possible. The Glycaemic index (GI) measures how quickly your blood sugar rises after consuming a particular food. The high GI foods digest rapidly, which in turn causes a rapid rise in blood sugar and insulin levels. However, low GI foods work more effectively in the body because they are more slowly digested and the rise in blood sugar is much slower than the high GI foods. Analyzing all food labeling was a good way to avoid eating not only foods which were fattening but also helped to stabilize blood sugar levels. A high GI rating is considered to be more than 70, a moderate GI rating is between 56 and 70, while any food less than a 55 GI rating is considered low GI.
To make this work and to successfully diminish a type 2 borderline diagnosis, the patient has to lose weight by reducing the diet's total carbohydrate content. The golden rule was to have a ratio of one quarter carbohydrate, one quarter protein and the remaining half of your dinner plate reflecting a variety of vegetables. We have abided by this method over the last three years, and it has worked. Of course, once the weight loss has become noticeable, small tricks are allowable. I do not advocate total abstinence from certain high GI foods, but common sense and motivation will dictate to you that moderation is the key for success, in assisting to regulate blood sugar levels and maintain weight control.
The importance of exercise can not be underestimated. Physical activity not only lowers blood pressure, and lowers triglycerides and LDL 'bad' cholesterol and improvements HDL 'good cholesterol', but it does cause heart disease and lowers peaks in blood sugar which always occurs after every meal. This is why it is paramount to engage in regular, physical activity on a daily basis. There are so many other benefits to exercise, namely, promoting better sleep, prevention of depression, increased energy levels and a boosted immune system to fight off potential infections.
However, motivation and a determination to succeed are the key points for changing any lifestyle, especially if over the years the weight has crept on due to a more sedentary lifestyle. It is a matter of changing the mindset. It is not easy at first, but with a concerted effort and also the support from a partner or friend, it can be achieved. Previous bad habits are exactly that, bad habits, and they can be changed. There may be a slip up from time to time, we are after all human, and we all make mistakes. Show resilience and return to your healthier, chosen routines of eating more nutritionally and moving that body!
By understanding this disease and taking positive steps to counteract the long term effects, you will be staving off high blood sugar, thereby allowing your pancreas to adequately manufacture the hormone insulin, essential for enabling glucose to enter into cells. This is where our energy comes from. When the body is in an unhealthy state, fatigue is one of the many symptoms. Diabetes sufferers produce insufficient insulin resulting in a build up of excess glucose in the bloodstream. By adopting healthy exercise routines, by eating low GI foods, more unprocessed food, and regularly exercising, a borderline Type 2 diabetes diagnosis can be reversed; it just takes willpower, motivation and the resolution to acquire a healthy body, once again!