Type II Diabetes is a common condition characterized by high blood glucose levels caused by either a lack of insulin or the body’s inability to use insulin efficiently. Most often this disorder occurs from poor eating habits, poor food choices and thus weight gain from inappropriate calorie consumption. Unlike Type I diabetes, Type II is reversible with improvement of dietary and exercise habits. Type 2 diabetes develops when the body becomes resistant to insulin or when the beta cells of the pancreas stop producing enough insulin. Being overweight is a primary risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes. The less active you are, the greater your risk is of developing type 2 diabetes.
Physical activity helps you control your weight, uses up glucose as energy and makes your cells more sensitive to insulin.
Type II diabetes is now an endemic problem and many of the patients we see as physicians are suffering with it. This is in part due to the trend towards sedentary lifestyles with little to no exertion or activity, compounded by a “low fat” craze diet that has swept across the nation the past decade. Unfortunately a low fat diet is subsidized with high carbohydrate, which continuously taxes ones pancreas to secrete insulin, which over time, exhausts the beta cells of the pancreas as ones cell become “insulin resistant”, thus requiring increasing amounts of insulin to be secreted to accomplish the same job.
It is my finding that most type II diabetics are simply given a glucose regulatory drug, (i.e. metformin, glugophage, etc.), and sent on there way. It is extremely uncommon to find a diabetic patient that even has a clue what they should and should not be eating. I routinely question my diabetic patients with regards to their diets and it is quite rare for any to be eating a healthy diet and avoiding foods which will actually worse their diabetes. Over time, this poor eating trend leads to other systemic abnormalities, most commonly hypertension and dyslipidemia, resultant to increasing insulin resistance. It is at this time that most of my diabetic patients become patients as they are concerned about dizziness, dysequilibrium and “brain fog“.
Often referred to as the silent killer, hypertension affects many people. Again, this is largely due to sedentary lifestyles without exertion and poor eating habits, although there are other factors at work such as genetics, daily water intake, etc. Hypertension is simply too much force on the arteriovenous system, much like standing on the end of a hose which is open, and thus building of pressure in the length of hose up to that point. Hypertension is a major risk factor for stroke.
Dyslipidemia is a state of imbalance of healthy blood lipids which make up the constellation of cholesterol products in the blood stream. While much emphasis has (inappropriately) been placed on elevated cholesterol in the blood stream, it is in fact the lipoproteins that make up cholesterol that are of concern and actually the big player leading to cardiovascular disease, i.e. heart attacks, strokes, etc.
While blood lipids are most commonly assessed by most doctors using a standard lipid profile, which was developed in the 1960’s, and the only change having been instituted in the past few decades being the lessening of normative cholesterol from 250 to 200, not so ironically at the time statins were released. My office significantly more advanced testing developed by Atherotech and now adopted by other labs, to assess these lipoproteins in an exacting fashion with respect to molecular size and particle number, as well as other markers for blood vessel inflammation, to give the best window as to the risk for coronary artery disease, as it is vessel inflammation which causes cardiovascular disease in the first place.
Metabolic syndrome is the resultant conglomeration of symptomatology associated with all of the above. It is unfortunate that doctors are trained to individually treat the components of this disorder symptomatically, rather than treat the disease entity itself appropriately. By simply managing the individual components symptomatically, the disorder simply progresses until one finally suffers a heart attack or stroke, or alternatively manifests kidney disease concomitant to the multitude of drugs being filtered in a fatal effort to manage the condition simply by symptoms.
Our office chooses to manage patients with metabolic syndrome completely differently. First, an appropriate lab panel must be ascertained to see what the lipid profile indeed looks like and how much arteriovenous inflammation there is. Insulin must also be ascertained as to get to this point one must be insulin resistant. It is at this point that lifestyle changes and dietary changes must be instituted. It is entirely possible to reverse all of these changes through the development of these daily lifestyle and dietary changes. To say it differently, in the absence of these changes, the syndrome will continue to manifest causing increased needs for drugs in larger and harsher quantities, until the heart, brain, kidney or a blood vessel fails, causing a stroke.
Once you have had diabetes for any length of time, the inability to regulate blood glucose because of faulty insulin mechanisms, elevated blood glucose levels begin to attack nerve tissue. There is a predilection for this to occur in the nerves of the legs. When this happens there is a deadness which occurs in the lower limbs, often associated with paresthesia, (altered or electrical sensations). This leaves the limbs in a state similar to having just had your limbs injected with anesthesia. Imagine trying to walk in such a state of being unable to tell when or if your feet have actually touched the ground. As a result, people with peripheral neuropathy typically have wide based gaits in an effort to stabilize themselves from falling associated with profound dysequilibrium. Sugar also has an affinity for the optic nerves, thus it is not uncommon for diabetics to lose vision associated with diabetic retinopathy.
If you suffer from any or all of these disorders we have effective management strategies that can reverse these disorders and save your life. As such we would urge you to call our office for an appointment.
For good health it is essential to read labels of food products prior to purchasing them and certainly prior to consuming them. This is even more important for the diabetic patient.
Foods you should be avoiding entirely as a diabetic: fruit juices, synthetic sweeteners of any type, cookies, cakes, pies, candy, ice cream, pastries, (sweets and goodies of any type), white rice, white bread, white flour products in general, sodas, (except club soda, flavored is fine as long as there is no sugar or artificial sweetener), prepackaged flavored teas and energy drinks. Getting the idea?
Foods you should eat in moderation only if you blood glucose is under control: fruits, yellow vegetables, potatoes, cooked carrots, whole grains, long grain brown rice. While these foods are normally considered healthy they still have a high glycemic index and should only be consumed if permissible as per your measured glucose level.
Food you should eat: Meats, (honor serving sizes!), fish, seafood, nonfat greek yogurt, beans, green leafy vegetables, all nuts, avocado, eggs, whey protein powder supplement, (unsweetened), pumpkin seeds. These foods provide a high level of nutrition and energy comes from protein and fat rather than from carbohydrate thus making them low glycemic food choices.