Saturday, November 16, 2013

November is National Diabetes Month: Know Your Risk!


Type 2 Diabetes is on the rise and is something that everyone should be concerned about. In 2013, 24.4 million people had been diagnosed with diabetes, 5.4 million people had died of diabetes-related complications, and over $548 billion dollars were spent on health care for diabetics across the world. Type 2 Diabetes occurs when the body develops a resistance to insulin that the body produces. Insulin is released when your blood sugar rises, and is what allows the sugar to enter into the cell walls. When people do not have insulin that works, blood sugar can remain very high and cause many complications such as glaucoma, neuropathy (numbness), skin infections, kidney disease, mouth sores, and a whole slew of nasty others!

Fear not, just a modest 5-10% weight loss can significantly reduce the risk of developing diabetes, and for those that have it, weight loss can make a huge (positive) impact on blood sugar control. One of the biggest risk factors for developing diabetes is having a large amount of abdominal fat. When fat cells fill with fat, they tend to respond poorly to insulin, and sugar builds up in the bloodstream and damages cells. Exercise is one of the best things a diabetic can do, because you need to burn the sugar and fat that are stored in the muscle cells so that the muscle can take in more sugar and re-store fat (think of it as draining & re-fueling a battery). Furthermore, when muscles are being worked as in exercise, they do not need insulin to draw blood sugar in, whereas resting muscles do.

My Recommendation: Everyone should eat as if they have diabetes. Focus on eating only whole grains, low-fat dairy, fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins. Diabetics do not need to avoid eating “sugar”, they just need to be conscious to pair the right foods with those they are eating that break down to sugar (meet with me and I’ll explain in more detail!). Also, eat the correct sugars- those from nature like fruits & dairy, as opposed to added sugars in soft drinks, coffee beverages, and sweets. Excess calories is what everyone should be avoiding to reduce their risk of developing diabetes, not sugar. Furthermore, EVERYONE should be exercising EVERY DAY. The benefits of contracting muscles lasts less than 24 hours, so you should be getting in some muscle-engaging movement every single day. No excuses. The risk of developing diabetes is high for many people, and the complications are nothing to mess with (blindness, ED, getting your foot amputated, going on dialysis, etc.).

3.        Dr. Gabe Mirkin “Why Excess Weight Kills”.

INDEPENDENCE BLUE CROSS and AMERIHEALTH Members: Personal Choice, Keystone Health Plan East, or AmeriHealth members may receive 6 free nutritional counseling sessions each year with Kelly!
*Note: Medicare and Blue Cross/Blue Shield plans are not covered & specific IBC plans may not be covered
AETNA Members: Aetna reimbursement depends upon your specific policy. Many plans do offer 100% coverage for up to 10 visits per year!

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