Pre Diabetes? Is it YOU?
I recently read a shocking statistic: 1 out of 3 adults living in the United States have pre type 2 diabetes – not that they might have it, or likely could have it, but do have it.
Are you the 1 out of 3?
What’s the big deal about having prediabetes anyway? Plenty! Just break down the name of the condition and you’ll understand right away: Pre- (before or prior to) diabetes (type 2, specifically; type 1 is usually diagnosed in children and young adults when the body does not produce insulin, and only about 5% of people with diabetes have type 1). So, there is a stage or condition between normal and diabetic and it is called prediabetes. And the great news is, it’s preventable and reversible! Don’t let that pre- become the real thing! If you’re not familiar with the damage diabetes can cause, here are a few facts to consider:
Eyes – the eyes can experience blurry vision, “floaters” or spots, and blindness can develop.
Brain – the brain is subject to inflammation just like other areas of the body (inflammation is present with prediabetes). Diabetes is associated with a profoundly increased risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Kidneys – you need ‘em – diabetes often causes kidney failure.
Heart – the risk of heart attack and stroke rise in diabetic patients.
Peripheral neuropathy – with diabetes, nerves are often damaged in the extremities (hands, arms, feet, and legs) and numbness (“peripheral neuropathy”) often results. As a Reflexologist, I work with a number of diabetic clients who experience peripheral neuropathy. Reflexology isn’t a cure, but the improvement to circulation of the feet and hands, body balance and stress reduction provides welcome relief.
According to the American Diabetes Association, “Before people develop type 2 diabetes, they almost always have "prediabetes" — blood glucose levels that are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.” People with prediabetes can often reduce and even eliminate this condition, by doing what we’ve all known all along (get ready for it!): live a healthy lifestyle by eating healthy foods, keep weight down, get regular aerobic exercise and ensure you have a great sleep every night. Easy-peasy, right? A simple blood sugar test administered by your health care professional will check blood sugar levels to determine if you are normal, have prediabetes, or have diabetes. There’s even a “Type 2 Diabetes Risk Test” available online from the American Diabetes Association that you can take to see what your risk score is. Now that’s easy-peasy!
The Link between Gluten Intolerance and Diabetes:
Back to that “healthy lifestyle” comment… the American Diabetes Association states that about 10% of those with type 1 diabetes have celiac disease (a digestive disorder that damages the small intestine when gluten is eaten). It’s reasonable to assume that if one has prediabetes that they also may have a sensitivity to the gluten protein. In his ground-breaking book Grain Brain David Perlmutter, MD (www.drperlmutter.com) offers research and reason when it comes to the connection between Alzheimer’s disease and wheat, carbs and sugar. Dr. Perlmutter states, “…the fact that we can associate high levels of insulin with brain disease is why talk of “type 3 diabetes” is starting to circulate among researchers.” (Note: I’ll be writing much more about celiac disease and gluten intolerance in an upcoming blog.)
Pre-T2? Don’t let it be YOU!
Take the risk test mentioned above, examine your lifestyle choices, and learn as much as you can about how simple changes in eating, exercise and sleep can profoundly and positively affect your health now, and in the future. Remember, there is only one fantastic, unique, glorious YOU – protect it with all you’ve got – you are worth it.
© Beth Schroeder, CBP, CAT, NBCR, CCA; Certified Practitioner and Instructor can be contacted at Living Well Center for Health (www.livingwell4health.com)