How to Stop Diabetes Now!
Do you ever feel like you're the main character of a country and western song? Your rent is overdue, you hate your job, the truck broke down and now your doctor says you've got diabetes. Yee-Haw! No wonder we are stressed to the max.
Just to clarify- bear with me here - your body communicates with itself using chemical messengers called hormones. Several organs in the brain and body produce hormones that flow to other organs through the blood where these messages are received and the corresponding organ responds by producing another hormone that fixes a problem detected by sensors in your nervous system that alerted the brain in the first place.
Insulin is a hormone. It chemically dissolves sugar molecules in the blood so that they can be converted into the energy that powers the heart, organs and muscles.
Diabetes comes in two types. Type one is usually hereditary. The autoimmune system in your body goes haywire and attacks the cells in your pancreas that produce a hormone called insulin. Without the sugars being broken down you won't have much energy.
Type two diabetes is caused by the pancreas not producing enough insulin hormone even though the brain keeps signaling it to. If you have a faulty pancreas you are at a higher risk of type two diabetes and need to take steps now to not aggravate the situation. It is unfortunate to have either type one or type 2 diabetes, but if you have type 2, you are at an advantage because you can actually stop diabetes from attacking your body by implementing your own plan of attack. But first I'll explain why it is so vital that you pledge to take charge of your health from this day forward. And because this is a serious disease that I treat in rehab therapy on a daily basis, I'm not going to beat around the bush because lives are at stake! If I can help you know the facts, maybe I can help you.
Diabetes is one of the leading causes of blood vessel disease and heart disease giving you two to four times higher a chance of dying from heart disease. Another shocking fact is that people with diabetes have a sixty percent higher chance of having one or both limbs amputated!
Thirty minutes of exercise a day is vital for your health and survival. Exercising with diabetes literally gives your body physical medicine as working out with diabetes actually helps to stabilize your blood sugar. Your body also has receptors in them and if you are overweight, the receptors that help normalize your blood sugars don't work properly. So weight loss and increased activity is a must.
Side effects include more energy, stable blood sugar, improved circulation, longer lifespan and you get to keep your legs. In the case of diabetes, it really is use it or lose it. As an occupational therapy practitioner, I often find the biggest challenge is motivating my patients with diabetes to exercise. Sadly some don't take the advice and eventually I am called upon to teach them how to use a sliding board transfer from their wheelchair to their bed because they no longer have legs. Use your arms, use your legs, and get your circulation going! I know this may not sound pretty, but it is heart breaking to see people who could have saved their legs if only they used them while they still had them.
Diabetes is a silent killer and slowly attacks your body without you even realizing it. When diabetes advances even further, you can lose your eyesight. The choice is so simple. Eat right and exercise. Make sure to choose exercises that don't involve isometric movement - these are exercises where you tense up a muscle and don't move your joint. Whether you have diabetes or pre-diabetes, a fitness and nutrition plan is crucial.
If you have pre-diabetes you can make the right choice now to to not be one of the 800,000 new cases diagnosed in the US each year. That's 91 people every hour. The more you exercise with diabetes, the less dependent your muscles are on insulin, so even if your pancreas isn't producing much, that's OK, it doesn't need to. Working out when you have diabetes keeps your blood sugar and body in balance. Since exercise controls diabetes from attacking your body, exercise is a must when you have diabetes. I've never had a patient tell me they enjoy their blindness or amputation. But after you work out, you feel good! And you deserve to feel good. Just make sure that your blood sugar isn't under 100 when you workout.
So keep your mind on the bright side of things and don't become the subject of a sad country and western tune. You can live a full and active life after all. Yee haw!
Suzanne Andrews founded Functional Fitness in 2008, the most popular fitness series for boomers and seniors broadcasting on over 159 Public Television stations throughout the US and Canada. Read Suzanne’s inspiring comeback story of how she survived a near fatal accident, From Deaths Door to Producing a National Fitness Series. Feel free to send Suzanne a message here.