Diabetes is a metabolic condition whose main characteristic is abnormal utilization of insulin hormone. In type I disease, the cells that produce the hormone in the pancreas have been damaged through an autoimmune process. In type 2 disease, the hormone may be normal, but changes at receptor level make it difficult to utilize the hormone. There are several things that you need to know if you intend to reverse diabetes.
Several risk factors have been identified as predisposing to type 2 disease. These include among others, hypertension, elevated blood glucose levels, genetics and increased LDL cholesterol levels. All these are considered risk factors of insulin resistance (and diabetes). Efforts to reverse the disease revolve around reducing the impact of these factors. The good news is that most of them can be tackled through lifestyle changes.
Excessive intake of refined sugar not only predisposes to insulin resistance but also worsens the same in patients that are already diabetic. Most beverages, fruit juices and soda are sweetened with this kind of sugar. Once an individual takes any of them, there is an accompanying spike in the blood sugar levels. Individuals at risk of diabetes should make every effort to use alternatives such as maple syrup and honey but this should be done in moderation.
There are several supplements that have been shown to be beneficial in preventing insulin resistance and subsequent progression to the disease. They include those rich in calcium, magnesium, chromium, fish oil and antioxidants. In addition to preventing cell injury, magnesium has the added benefit of facilitating the digestion of fats and minimizing fat deposition in the body. This helps reduce the risk of central obesity.
Both stress and psychological stress have been identified as causes of disordered metabolism. They specifically trigger the release of a stress hormone known as cortisol. The hormone increases fat deposition especially in the anterior abdominal region resulting in central obesity. Getting enough adequate sleep and regular relaxation through yoga, meditation and biofeedback help suppress this hormone.
There are several drugs that minimize the risk of developing insulin resistance. There are many classes of these drugs all with various mechanisms of action. They are commonly used in combination so as to increase the chances of success. Examples of these drugs include thiazolidinediones and biguanides. Thiazolidinediones work on cells to improve insulin response and uptake of glucose so as to reduce its levels in the blood.
Achieving weight loss should be the main focus particularly if one is considered obese or overweight. Cut down on your consumption of carbohydrates and increase the amount of protein, vegetables and fruits. Regular physical exercise will also help in achieving weight loss. During physical activity, increased muscular contraction increases the demand for glucose and this reduces its levels in the blood.
Changes in lifestyle are the mainstay in reversing the progression to diabetes. Healthy lifestyles have been shown to minimize the dependency to medication. As a result, the quality of life of affected individuals is markedly improved. It is in fact possible to have normal levels of blood glucose without necessarily using pharmacological agents. When this is done, the individual is said to be having diabetes remission.
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