Getting to know diabetes and how to recognize it
It is widely known that our metabolism plays a significant role in our health. Getting the correct metabolism information and understanding the metabolic process within the human body is essential. In short, metabolism conglomerates all the biochemical processes that permit the sustainability of life. For humans, this includes converting energy from food into energy for life-sustaining tasks. Understanding metabolism (and medicine) prepares each person to know if they have diabetes or are at risk.
Sleep apnea, increased mental stress, excessive hunger, and thirst are just a few of the signs to be aware of if you have diabetes. The article below is offered for people wanting more information about diabetes (the metabolic process) and the signs to look out for if you are at risk or practice unhealthy eating habits.
Metabolism is a large part of a person’s overall health and wellness outlook. If you want a deeper dive into diabetes, hormones, and the metabolic process, check out a book I wrote based on more than thirty years of experience, research, and practice, “Metabolism & Medicine.” This two-part book series details the workings of the metabolic system, including the endocrine system that manages all the body’s hormones, including insulin.
To learn more about the metabolism, endocrine, and diabetes correlations and to gain a deeper understanding of the human body as a machine, buy Metabolism & Medicine.
Here’s How to Know if Your Have Diabetes, Say Physicians
By Heather Newgen | 3.8.22
Diabetes is a chronic disease that if left untreated can cause serious health problems like heart attack, heart disease, stroke and kidney failure. Diabetes happens when a person’s blood sugar is too high. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases explains, “Blood glucose is your main source of energy and comes from the food you eat. Insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, helps glucose from food get into your cells to be used for energy. Sometimes your body doesn’t make enough—or any—insulin or doesn’t use insulin well. Glucose then stays in your blood and doesn’t reach your cells.” There’s many signs that indicate if you have diabetes and Eat This, Not That! Health spoke with experts who revealed the common ones to be aware of. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had COVID.
Endocrinologist Dr. Brian Fertig, M.D., F.A.C.E., Founder and President of the Diabetes & Osteoporosis Center explains, “4 out of 5 men and the majority of women with diabetes have sleep apnea. It often promotes the onset of diabetes in an analogous way to synthetic processing as well as over and underconsumption of food, that promote oxidation effects, inflammation, high blood insulin levels, insulin resistance and damage to energy-producing machinery of cells. Sleep apnea fragments sleep, including deep (slow wave) sleep, that results in fatigue in addition to impairing the quality, quantity and timing of eating patterns. Together, these effects potentiate insulin resistance and elevate glucose and fat levels in the blood, worsening diabetes.”
Increased Mental Stress
Dr. Fertig says, “The high levels of inflammatory mediators (cytokines) in the blood, promoted by elevated blood glucose and lipid levels and excess body fat stores, access the emotional centers of the brain to reduce the threshold of perceived stress. This amplifies stress behaviors that further worsen blood sugar control, in another feed forward self-amplifying loop. This occurs at any stage of diabetes when the blood sugars, lipids and body fat stores are high, but tends to also correlate with advanced age.”
Lauren Harris-Pincus, MS, RDN, founder of NutritionStarringYOU.com and author of The Everything Easy Pre-Diabetes Cookbook reveals, “Something I look for in clients is Acanthosis Nigricans which presents as a dark patch or band of velvety skin on the back of your neck, armpit, groin, or elsewhere which could mean that you have too much insulin in your blood. It is often an early signal of type 2 diabetes.”
Excessive Hunger, Thirst and Urination
According to Harris-Pincus, “Excessive hunger, thirst and urination are the classic signs of undiagnosed diabetes. The excess sugar in the bloodstream makes you have to pee more frequently as the body draws water into the kidneys to help process the extra sugar. This is what makes you thirsty. And the excess hunger happens because you are not properly converting the food you eat into energy.”
Lifestyle Factors that Increase the Risk of Diabetes
“Diabetes is a multifactorial disease,” says Harris-Pincus. ” So many things affect blood sugar beyond what we eat. Aside from genetics we cannot change, things we can improve on include:
-Poor sleep hygiene
-Poor stress management
-Lack of adequate physical activity- both cardio and strength training
-Excess calorie consumption- especially an excessive intake of ultra processed foods high in added sugar, fat and sodium.”
How to Help Prevent Diabetes
“There are many small changes people can make to help prevent diabetes,” Harris-Pincus states. These include:
- Maintaining a healthy body weight for YOU. Each person is different and BMI is only one measure. If you have elevated blood sugar and are overweight or obesity, a modest 5-7% weight loss may help to significantly improve blood glucose.
- Get the recommended 7-9 hours of quality, restful sleep each night. Try to avoid screens one hour before bed if you have difficulty falling asleep and avoid eating 3 hours before bed if you experience acid reflux that interferes with your sleep.
- Manage stress through physical activity, quality sleep, breathing exercises, meditation, enjoyable activities and nutritious food.
- Eat blood sugar stabilizing meals that are rich in fiber and protein with fruit, veggies, beans, whole grains, nuts, seeds, low/nonfat dairy, and lean proteins.”