Most of us know that diabetes = insulin resistance. But what does that really mean? What is happening inside our bodies and what can we do to stop it?
Let’s start with descriptions. Type I Diabetes is when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin to push the glucose into the mitochondria of the cell to be used for energy. Type II is when the insulin receptors become ‘rusty’ or ‘misshaped’ and the glucose is unable to enter the cell.
Everyone has heard of antioxidants. These are the combat troops that fight the enemy of oxidation or oxidative stress. Simply put, this occurs when molecules with unpaired electrons (known as free radicals) steal electrons from other cellular structures. And oxidative damage and inflammation are the underlying pathology to nearly every chronic degenerative disease such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s etc. It depends on which tissues and organs are being damaged.
Now, it’s time to paint a picture in your mind. Picture a cell with a little key hole or door (receptors) and keys, which are the insulin being released from the pancreas. When we eat, these keys take the glucose and unlock the door, so the glucose can enter the mitochondria in the cell and turn it into energy. However, when these key holes are damaged due to oxidation the key can no longer open it. In other words, the key hole becomes rusty or misshaped. This process is known as insulin resistance. When the majority of receptors are damaged, Type II Diabetes occurs.
Here’s the bad news. Drugs are given to reduce blood sugar levels, or insulin is injected to overwhelm the keyholes in order to force the glucose into the cell. And, any rapid rise of insulin either from an injection or eating a high glycemic meal causes more oxidative damage.
Now for the good news. Our cells are continually making new insulin receptors (key holes)! This means that a diagnosis of Type II Diabetes does not have to be permanent if we do our part. So, what can we do to help our bodies in the fight against oxidative stress?
• Lower intake of high glycemic foods: Breads, pretzels, crackers, bagels, etc.) Flour products are not our friends.
• Soda drinks
• Most cereals and pastas
• Corn, potatoes and peas
• Chips and Ice Cream
• Dried Fruit and snack bars
• Take a full-spectrum of high-quality vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and antioxidants every day (nutraceuticals)
• Reduce stress
• Get adequate sleep
Remember, our health journeys are about progress, not perfection. It’s not a matter of ‘I can’t’. Everything we do is a CHOICE—so, choose wisely. Please contact me, Kay Leaman, if you have any questions at HealthyDay HealthyLife, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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