More than 2 million Australians are at high risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes, but most have absolutely no idea. Unless detected early, the first sign of Diabetes is often a serious health complication like a heart attack or vision problems. But if you know what signs and symptoms to look out for, you can turn your health around and avoid developing this serious disease altogether.
What’s the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes?
Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune condition in which the immune system destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. It usually occurs before the age of 20.
It is unknown what causes this reaction, but it is known that there is no link to diet and lifestyle. There is currently no cure or prevention, but the treatment is administering synthetic insulin.
Type 2 Diabetes occurs as a result of insulin resistance, which develops gradually over time as a result of diet, lifestyle choices and, in some cases, family history. Type 2 Diabetes used to be called Adult-Onset Diabetes because it developed in adults over the age of 45 years, but it is increasingly occurring in younger age groups including children and teenagers. This type of Diabetes accounts for 85-90 per cent of all cases.
What causes Type 2 Diabetes?
When you eat carbohydrates, they are broken down into glucose (blood sugar), which is absorbed into the blood stream. This sends a message to the pancreas to produce insulin, a hormone that allows glucose to enter the cells via activation of insulin receptors. There, it can be burnt for fuel to provide energy. Excess carbohydrates that cannot be burnt for fuel are turned into bad fats, which over time, damage your insulin receptors. This results in elevated insulin, as the pancreas works harder to get glucose into your cells. Excess insulin increases inflammation and fatty liver, stops your body from burning fat, and can even promote cancers like breast cancer and prostate cancer.
How can you tell if you’re at risk of developing Diabetes?
Pre-diabetes is the name for people who have higher than normal blood glucose levels and rising insulin levels, but those levels aren’t high enough to be called Type 2 Diabetes. The best way to determine whether you are pre-diabetic is to have a HbA1c blood test, which is a new test we can provide for you. However, there are some signs and symptoms to look out for.
Signs and Symptoms of Pre-Diabetes:
What can be done to prevent Diabetes?
Diet and exercise work better than drugs to prevent Diabetes, even for those in high-risk categories. There are also some essential nutrients and herbal medicines that can be the secret weapon to avoiding diabetes altogether.
Try a Ketogenic diet like our ‘Shake It’ program – this is the ideal diet for people who have Type 2 Diabetes or are pre-diabetic. It involves reducing carbohydrates, while eating healthy protein, lots of vegetables and salads, plus low-glycemic fruits.
Exercise regularly – exercise helps your body to bypass insulin resistance by opening the ‘back door’ to the cell and allowing glucose to enter while you’re exercising, and sometimes after as well. For example, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) can cause your body to burn glucose for at least 2 hours afterwards. You should be aiming to do at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity 5-7 days per week, including HIIT, cardio and resistance training.
Some other things to try:
If you’re worried about your blood sugar levels, call us on (02) 4961 4975 to get tested and find out for sure.
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