2 types of Diabetes,
lately seeing “3” types in the news , the third seems to be a preventative diagnosis or an educational opportunity, so here:
Type 1 or Juvenile Diabetes comprises about 5% of the population. It is a
challenging cross to bear for the families faced with this diagnosis. It
requires constant attention to the disease and is usually revealed at young
ages through chronic illness and extreme fatigue. It is a condition in which
the calories consumed are not converted properly by the person who just ate
them, insulin does not get produced and therefore the red blood cells
effectively starve because the glucose never converts to energy. The pancreas
does not respond to glucose, which will be explained below, and needs help doing its job (that’s why these folks take continual insulin injections) in order for the proper functioning of the body. Activities of the brain, heart, liver, kidneys, circulatory system, as well as for extras like running, playing sports & school activities- remember
the whole machine in motion.
It is a constant ritual of understanding and care for these folks-individuals, families, friends, teachers and anyone in their lives, to patiently and religiously be mindful and watchful of daily health. The epidemic of the “Diabetes” you are hearing about all over the news in our country is not this type, remember, these folks comprise about 5% of the entire diabetic population.
Type 2 or Adult Onset Diabetes is what you are hearing so much about. This disease
used to be typed “Adult Onset” because it was tied to an aging population whose
bodies naturally slow down due to time. Can’t you just hear older folks saying, “I don’t move like I used to” ? It’s exactly true with the organs of the body as it ages. Aging is a health risk you cannot control. Adult onset diabetes would typically begin to show up in the later years of life as a person’s METABOLISM slowed down due to natural age. NOW, we are seeing these METABOLISM shifts at younger and younger ages because of lifestyle behaviors, eating more & moving less is actually causes the body to change metabolically at younger ages. In the Cholesterol section I discussed clogging arteries, high fat & heavy sugar diets that clog up the circulatory system.
If the system continues to become and stay clogged for more frequent and longer
stretches of time, METOBOLIC changes happen inside the big machine. So, if you
don’t have a sudden stroke or heart attack from clogged arteries, your food-to-energy
converting system will begin to go haywire.
Choosing more complex food helps that conversion take longer and allows
your body more time to convert the food into energy because it takes longer to digest.
Every bite you take of anything that is food, converts to glucose during digestion and energy for your body. Earlier in the blog I said, you either burn it off or store it as fat.
SIMPLE VERSION OF HOW THE CONVERTING PROCESS HAPPENS: When you eat a simple mint, you know, the pastel ones-almost hallow at the hostess stand of some restaurants, made completely of simple, airy processed sugar and it hits your tongue then begins to melt with the saliva mix immediately? Well, that’s when your body has begun a process of digestion- breaking down those calories into energy at that
moment you eat it, converting those little calories into energy, also known as
Next, the pancreas, an internal organ, responds to the digestion process by releasing a hormone called insulin. I think of this release like an army of soldiers sent into the blood stream to push the glucose into the red blood cells where it is further converted to nourish those cells and provide you the energy needed to go about your daily life. However active you are depends on how much energy you need (see ‘Calories Consumed’ in the January blog post).
In well working systems, the ‘insulin army’ is released through the pancreas “doors” in an organized fashion. The army marches into motion and does its job well by pushing the glucose to the healthy cells and you use the energy for physical activity-brain, lung and heart function (‘Basal Metabolic Function’ see New You Resolution, January blog post) are also part of this activity, as well as, more strenuous activities (see ‘Calories
Burned’ in New You Resolution, January blog post) like moving around-walking,
biking and all those other things you do throughout the days and weeks of your
life. The more active your lifestyle the more efficiently the energy is burned
off on a daily basis and the army is strong. The lazier lifestyle- the less effective that army becomes slowing down the process of caloric burn- we sometimes refer to this in general as a slowing metabolism. Calories Consumed minus Calories Burned is a statement directly related to Weight.
Long stretches of time of inactivity, calorie consumption and weight gain, the insulin “army” becomes lethargic and unorganized. The foods you eat and activity level you
maintain contribute to the hormonal response of the insulin’s job in your body.
Type 2 Diabetes at younger ages, by that I mean younger than 70 years old maybe,
is a LIFESTYLE DISEASE. Diet and Exercise are choices.
So, TYPE 2 Diabetes happens over time! The insulin begins to go haywire- too
much released too often into the body. It becomes ineffective because too much gets
released too often; the red blood cells become damaged from too much glucose
and not enough energy expenditure. This is not one Halloween binge although
that can make anyone physically ill, strung out and haywire from simple sugar
overload…bouncing off the walls then the delayed reaction while your body
stores up the unused energy into fat, it’s a disgusting sluggish physical
reaction. Hey, we’ve all been there at least once, right? However, the contradiction of being there once is how accustom has your body become to this type of feeling? Undiagnosed Type 2 diabetics may not realize how bad they actually feel that’s why testing your blood sugar on an annual basis is important for knowledge about fasting blood glucose.
Pre Diabetes: the new diagnosis: In response to a recent push to understanding diabetes, I feel like more and more of my clients are telling me their doctor has diagnosed them with “Pre Diabetes.” What I just explained above, the process of becoming diabetic IS the gradual shift of PRE Diabetes. Clinically, a Fasting Glucose (not eating anything for 8-12 hours prior to the blood test) should produce a number between 64-99. If you fasted and are what I call “spilling sugar” with a glucose number between 100-124, then you could likely be pre-diabetic. Other health risks that tie into a pre-diabetic diagnosis are climbing blood pressure (it’s continually creeping towards hypertensive) or already high blood pressure, high triglycerides or high risk ratio blood cholesterol (see Cholesterol page in blog).
- Sidebar: I believe the rise in Pre Diabetics is part of the realization that we are in the midst of an unbelievable Diabetic-Coronary Health EPEDEMIC…some professionals I have met are calling it DIOBESITY because of the direct relationship between excessive weight, continual poor diet and inactivity at younger ages of diagnosis.
This is not a disease of glamour. It is crippling if uncontrolled. Diabetes causes blindness, amputation, heart problems, sudden stroke and further bodily disease because, well, the body is one big machine.
It is also EXTREMELY expensive to manage once it is full blown. Dialysis
centers are popping up everywhere, renal and liver failure, strokes, comas,
insulin pumps and procedures related to this LIFESTYLE DISEASE are not solely
at the expense of the individual… that’s another subject though. However, ask any
type 2 diabetic who now cares about what they have learned, they’ll tell
you: Take care of your body. Most of them have recently learned “how” to
eat and exercise; most of them want to turn back the hands of time and simply
move more and eat less and make better choices along the way.
Change the process…Live In Forward Motion:
A diet full of complex foods is necessary –complex carbs and cholesterol free proteins are great for you!! Follow me here, broccoli, walnuts and hearty grain-filled breads do not ‘melt in your mouth’ but a double mocha frap with whipped cream and doughnuts do; therefore, vegetables, nuts and whole grains require longer digestion time to convert into glucose…
A life rich with motion– it’s cliche, but Move It or Lose It! Get up off the couch and enjoy some daily activity!
YOU CAN, YES YOU CAN is the attitude of change in motion. Watching your weight and keeping a healthy attitude towards activity and fitness is so important. We are all tired at the end of a long day, but making good nutritional and activity choices are the best way to combat fatigue and disease. You have to put these choices into motion!
Here is a fantastic one page print off to use to ask questions for understanding diabetes during doctor visits. Print It-Bring It and Use It! (Your Health Matters.org)