November is National Diabetes Awareness Month

diabetes Nov 21, 2023

38.4 million people in the United States alone have diabetes. That's 11.6% of the U.S. population.

Why is diabetes so prevalent in the United States? The real cause of diabetes can be narrowed down to three things.

  1. Nutritional Deficiencies - A high sugar, high fat, low-fiber diet, low levels of vitamin D - caused mainly by a lack of sunlight.
  2. Hormonal Imbalances - Low levels of thyroid hormone and low levels of testosterone in men may play a role in the development of type 2 diabetes
  3. Inactivity - A lack of exercise, along with obesity, is a key cause of type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes is a disease of chronically high blood sugar levels, and there are two main types. Type 1 diabetes (also called juvenile-onset) is an autoimmune disease. The immune system mistakenly identifies the insulin-generating cells of the pancreas as "foreign" and attacks them. Type 2 diabetes is a lifestyle disease, linked to having a high-sugar, high-fat diet; being overweight; and lacking exercise.

Type 2 diabetes is recognized as someone whose fasting blood sugar levels measure 125 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl) or higher. Those with pre-diabetes have fasting blood sugar levels of 100 to 125 mg/dl.

Both pre-diabetes and diabetes usually occur with a similar problem called insulin resistance - muscle, fat, and liver cells no longer respond to insulin, the hormone that moves glucose out of the bloodstream and into those cells. The body pumps out more and more of the hormone, and insulin levels rise.

If you have diabetes, all that extra blood sugar and insulin can damage your circulation, doubling your risk of heart attack and stroke, and setting you up for long-term circulatory problems. The complications of diabetes include:

  • Retinopathy - damage to the eyes, causing vision loss and blindness
  • Nephropathy - damage to the kidneys, causing chronic kidney disease
  • Neuropathy - damage to the nerves, causing pain
  • Ulcers - hard to heal skin ulcers that can lead to amputation of toes, feet, and legs

The good news is that it's not difficult to prevent or control diabetes and its complications.

Losing weight (decreasing fat) and exercising regularly is one of the best ways to prevent and control the disease. Here are some ways to do that:

  • Walking 150 minutes a week (taking a 30-minute walk at least 5 days a week)
  • Eating high-fat foods (such as french fries) less often
  • Eating smaller amounts of healthy high-fat foods (avocado, grass-fed butter, non-hydrogenated oils (olive oil, coconut oil), cold-water fish, nuts & seeds)
  • Choosing whole foods rather than pre-packaged, processed foods
  • Trimming fatty meats
  • Avoiding sweets (sugar) and increasing fiber
  • Choosing low-glycemic foods

Again, the best part is that you can decide to take care of your health, and make those healthy choices so that you don't end up with the above mentioned complications of diabetes.

If sugar is a struggle for you, be sure to check out my Break Free From Your Sugar Struggle Course. Now through the end of Black Friday, you can get an additional 10% off by using the code BF10.

Remember to...Take Care of You!




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