Reverse Your Diabetes with 4 Simple Lifestyle Changes

By Megan Lester I

t is of no surprise or coincidence that obesity and diabetes are on the rise. While your waistline increases, so

does your risk of developing diabetes. In our high stress, fast paced society it has become more prevalent to overeat, not exercise, sleep less, and neglect self-care.

Diabetes Mellitus is characterized

by a dysfunction of blood sugar regula- tion. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that allows your body to use glucose, or sugar, as energy. Hyperglyce- mia, or an excess of blood glucose, may result from a relative insulin deficiency, insulin resistance, or a combination of the two. Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus is an auto- immune destruction of pancreatic beta- cells (the cells that produce your insulin). Type 2 Diabetes is multifactorial and strongly correlated with obesity, which is on the rise in the United States.

The rate of adult obesity in the United States is higher than ever at 42.4%. Obesity is characterized by an excess storage of body fat and can be defined as having a body mass index, or BMI, greater than 30.0. Obesity is one of the strongest risk factors for developing diabetes.

What Exacerbates Obesity and Diabetes? Obesity itself increases the risk of

developing insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Contrary to popular belief, weight loss is typically not as simple as eating fewer calories than you burn. Chronic stress, inadequate sleep, food intolerances, and hormonal imbalances all may contribute to weight gain and obesity.

Besides obesity, other risk factors for

developing diabetes include hyperten- sion, dyslipidemia, inactivity, smoking, nutritional deficiencies, having a family

12 Natural Nutmeg - November/December 2020

history of diabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), gestational diabetes, being in a high-risk ethnic group (African American, Hispanic, Native American, Polynesian), and more.

Complications of Obesity and Diabetes

Obesity is associated with an increased risk of many diseases, including cardiovascular disease, hypertension, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, sleep apnea, asthma, erectile dysfunction, osteoarthritis, depression, cancer, gall- bladder disease, and more. Some long- term complications of diabetes include, but are not limited to, nephropathy, neuropathy, retinopathy, atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, heart failure, stroke, poor wound healing, altered immune function, and gangrene, which may even require amputation.

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