Blood Sugar and Type 2 Diabetes
Blood sugar isn’t always a bad thing.
Because this sugar, glucose it is our body’s primary source of fuel, blood sugar is actually necessary. The sugar in our blood comes from foods that we eat that are processed during digestion and enter our blood stream. Our body also naturally produces insulin in the pancreas, which is a hormone that causes our cells to absorb sugar from our blood for energy. In people with Type 2 Diabetes, this system does not work properly and the pancreas is ether not making enough insulin, or cells have become resistant to insulin and do not absorb sugar. The result is excess blood sugar building up in the blood stream and not enough going into cells. In the long term, excess blood sugar can cause damage to the eyes, kidneys, nerves, and heart among other lifestyle related diseases. The prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes has increased significantly over the past 50 years along with obesity, which is considered a primary cause of Type 2 Diabetes. Because obesity is reversible through weight management, Type 2 Diabetes is also generally considered reversible, or at a minimum greatly improved through healthy lifestyle choices.
To Prevent and Reverse Type 2 Diabetes:
- Maintain a healthy body weight
- Follow a regular fitness routine
- Avoid a high carbohydrate diet and choose high fiber and whole grain options
- Avoid high calorie, low nutrient foods
- Eat whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, natural meats, nuts and seeds
- Avoid processed foods – they often have more sugar than you might think
- Manage stress – It can affect your blood sugar and hormones
- Limit alcohol consumption to no more than 1-2 drinks per day
- Don’t smoke, it can cause complications with diabetes
Because high blood sugar can go undetected for a long time, it is important to have levels checked regularly by a qualified professional. If you have high blood sugar, make a plan with your health care provider and include the assistance of other professionals to help you reach your health goals. Although blood sugar can be affected by our genetics and family history, many people are able to lower their sugar to healthy levels and reverse Type 2 Diabetes completely by making healthy lifestyle choices alone.
For assistance in building a plan to improve your blood sugar, search our Merchant Directory for Nutrition, Fitness, Stress Management, or Holistic Health services.
Sources: Mayo Clinic, American Heart Association, Wikipedia, image courtesy of sacredgardenblog.com
Author: Tony Montijo, BS Kinesiology, CPT, CES