About 26 million Americans have diabetes mellitus, although 7 million don’t know they’ve got it. According to the Centers for Disease Control that number could grow to 1 of 3 US adults by the year 2050 if current trends continue. As Dr. Robert Lanza put it in the anti-aging documentary , “Reverse Aging Now." “Diabetes is a horrible disease. It causes blindness, limb amputation.” Diabetes also contributes to kidney and cardiovascular disease.
Diabetics have excess blood sugar, glucose, a condition known as hyperglycemia. Type 1 diabetes is caused by a deficiency of the glucose regulating hormone insulin due to the destruction of the cells that produce it in the pancreas. Type 2 diabetes is caused by insulin resistance that reaches the point where the body can’t make enough of the hormone to compensate for the cells’ impaired ability to use it. Type 2 used to be known as adult-onset diabetes, until recent years when it started to crop up in an increasing number of children. Type 2 diabetes now accounts for more than 9 out of 10 US cases.
Diabetics age faster than the rest of the population because when lipids and proteins are exposed to excess glucose, they become stiff and inflexible through cross linking, producing advanced glycation end-products (AGEs). These AGEs contribute to the development of arteriosclerosis and high blood pressure. Diabetics can expect to live ten fewer years than their peers.
Diabetes has been irreversible - until now.
This Monday, Cleveland Clinic researchers offered hope of a cure for many diabetics. In a study called Stampede the clinic performed weight loss surgery on 150 obese patients who had poorly controlled type 2 diabetes for at least 8 years. All were already taking at least 3 diabetes and 3 heart medications.
The most effective method was gastric bypass surgery; 37.5 percent of patients who underwent it got their blood sugar to normal and no longer needed diabetes medicine. After 3 years, only 5 to 10 percent of the surgery patients who had needed insulin still required doses of the hormone. The surgery also reduced the need for cholesterol and high blood pressure medication. Gastric bypass patients average a loss of 24 percent of their body weight. This type of weight loss surgery was chosen by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey.
To put this procedure in perspective: it involves major rerouting of digestive tract plumbing. Most of the stomach is stapled closed, leaving it there but creating a small pouch. The outlet of the pouch empties into the lower part of the small intestine to limit nutrient absorption. Any surgery that interferes with a body's absorption of calories can also affect the assimilation of vital nutrients such as iron and calcium which can lead to anemia or osteoporosis. The surgery itself can produce complications, such as infections or blood clots. Gastric is drastic, but it can reverse diabetes. Here’s a simpler solution– don’t get the disease to begin with.
What are the signs of diabetes?
There as several symptoms that act as warning signs that you are either a diabetic or on the way to becoming one:
- Increased urination, excessive thirst: If you are thirsty all the time and find yourself urinating a lot it could be that your kidneys are working overtime to get rid of excess glucose.
- Blurry vision: Most people get used to gradual changes in vision. If you see occasional flashes of light or floaters in the eyes’ vitreous fluid, these could be caused by high blood sugar. To see if you have floaters, look at a plain white background. Then shift your eyes and see if there are any gray spots or clumps that follow your gaze. The eyes are particularly vulnerable to diabetes. Diabetics are 40 percent more likely to suffer from glaucoma, 60 percent more likely to get cataracts, and run an increased risk of retina disorders that could lead to blindness.
- Slow healing: When cuts, infections and bruises don’t heal as quickly as before it could be a sign of poor circulation caused by diabetes.
- Weight loss: High blood sugar can cause rapid weight loss. If insulin resistance has reached the point where the hormone is no longer moving glucose into the cells, the body is fooled into thinking that it is starving and starts breaking down protein. Since most of the population is overweight, shedding pounds is usually good, but if your weight loss is spontaneous without any change in diet or activity level, take note.
- Excessive Hunger: Blood sugar can fluctuate wildly in diabetics. Excessive hunger can be a product of hypoglycemia, low blood sugar.
- Skin problems: Diabetics can have skin problems ranging from itching to discoloration, due to dry skin or poor circulation. Acanthosis nigricans is a velvety darkening of the skin around folds such as the neck or armpit area. It is often a sign of diabetes.
- Yeast infections: Candida albicans is a yeast that thrives in a sugar laden environment. White spots in the mouth could be a sign of an oral infection, especially if accompanied by a sore throat or difficulty swallowing. Women should be wary of vaginal Candida infections. Uncircumcised men can pick up genital yeast infections as well.
- Fatigue, irritability, confusion: These conditions can be caused by glucose levels that are out of the normal range.
- Tingling or numbness: Peripheral neuropathy can be the result of nerve damage caused by diabetes. It’s usually present in the feet and or hands. What starts as numbness can develop into burning pain. Neuropathy can be particularly problematic in the feet because cuts can go untreated simply because they are not felt. They can get infected, leading to gangrene and amputation.
The good news is that under Obamacare, most health plans are required to offer free diabetes screening for anybody with high blood pressure. Even if your blood pressure is normal, if you're dealing with symptoms, it's good to get your glucose level checked.
A normal level is less than 100 mg/dL when fasting for eight hours, although most people without diabetes have a glucose level of 70 to 80 mg/dL. Those who have a glucose level of 126 mg/dL after fasting are considered to be diabetic, as are people whose glucose level tops 200 mg/dL without fasting. People with high, fasting glucose levels are typically given an oral glucose tolerance test to determine the body's ability to metabolize sugar. Patients consume a sweet drink. Two hours later, their blood sugar is checked. If it's over 200 mg/dL they are confirmed diabetics.
People whose blood sugar level falls between 100mg/dL and 125 mg/dL are considered pre-diabetic. About a third of these people will develop full blown diabetes. Patients with a glucose level in this range should be tested for diabetes every 1-2 years.
How to prevent diabetes
There are concrete steps that everybody can take to help forestall diabetes. The first is by changing to a low glycemic diet. The glycemic index rates how rapidly food turns to glucose. The lower the number, the slower the food converts to glucose. The Harvard School of Public health publishes this handy list of 100 common foods to compare.
Here are some healthy eating precepts to keep in mind:
- Limit your intake of concentrated sweets to a rare treat. Completely cut out sugar sweetened soft-drinks. Cut back on pure fruit juice to half a cup a day, a good reason for serving orange juice in smaller glasses. Fruits are better consumed whole. Apples have a glycemic index of 38 while apple juice is up to 57. Fruit juice smoothies, bolstered by adding protein such as non-fat yogurt, are fine because protein slows the absorption of sugar.
- Cut way down or better yet totally eliminate refined grains like white flower and white pasta. Instead eat whole grains. Brown rice has a glycemic index of 50 compared to 89 for white rice
- Favor non-starchy vegetables over potatoes. A baked Russet has a glycemic index of 111! Instead choose sweet potatoes, beans, peas, spinach, kale, and chickpeas with a glycemic index of 10.
- Don't drink alcohol on an empty stomach. Limit its intake to 2 drinks a day for men, and 1 for women. The healthiest alcohol is red wine, rich in the anti-oxidant resveratrol.
- When it comes to fat, favor good fats like olive oil, nuts and avocados, but remember that fats have more than twice the calorie content of protein and carbohydrates, 9 calories per gram compared to 4. Completely eliminate hydrogenated fats, which lower your good cholesterol (HDL) while raising your bad (LDL).
- Choose healthful protein favoring wild-caught fish, soy, beans, and chicken with the skin removed; over processed meats including beef jerky, bacon, sausage and hot dogs.
- Eat at regular intervals, including a couple of healthy snacks if need be to maintain consistent blood sugar.
- Lose weight. You might not be able to get yourself back to an ideal body mass index, but just taking off a few pounds helps reduce your risk of contracting diabetes.
- Finally, exercise. Find an exercise you enjoy and plan to do it daily, that way even if you fall short, you'll maintain health.
Baked Kale Chips
by Carolisa Pomerantz
1 bunch torn kale leaves (stems removed)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
Whatever type of kale you choose to cook with, you will need to remove the stems before eating. Hold the kale upside down by the stem and pull the leaf off. Discard stems, or save for juicing.
Dense in nutrients including vitamins A, C, and K, fiber, and calcium, kale is one of the healthiest foods you can eat.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange kale on two rimmed baking sheets. Drizzle evenly with olive oil and toss. Season with salt. Bake, rotating trays once, until crisp, 12 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile make lemon zest, by peeling the outermost colored rind of a lemon, mince chop and toss with the kale. Serves 4; 88 calories per serving.
Reverse Aging Now, the anti-aging DVD is great for spring and the rebirth it brings to us. In Reverse Aging Now, inspirational seniors and America's top anti-aging doctors and scientists show how you can take charge of how you age. Pick up your own copy of the award winning anti-aging documentary , “Reverse Aging Now." Each has a 100+ page interactive longevity workbook on the DVD so viewers can track their own progress
The latest version also contains a TV interview with the producers about how they applied the precepts they learned to live better and younger. Plus there are free bonus videos on "Superfoods," "Superdrinks," "Saving your Face," "Exercise Basics," and "Seeing without Glasses." Preview the anti aging documentary here. As a reader of this newsletter you qualify for a special bonus: Save $10 off list price at ReverseAging.TV Get 2 1/3 hours of material for only $19.99!To see how one baby boomer is applying anti-aging precepts to his own life, go to Anti-Aging Diary.com. To embrace anti-aging you need to make a mental as well as physical journey. It's not always easy, but well worth the effort. Remember to watch our anti-aging documentary, “Reverse Aging Now.
Reverse Aging News ©2014 Checkmate Pictures
- Paul M. J. Suchecki, Editor
You got this newsletter because you expressed an interest in anti-aging. Please pass it along to your friends and relatives. To unsubscribe from this newsletter send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with "unsubscribe" in the subject line. If your email address is about to change, or you've been forwarded this newsletter and want to subscribe, please write us with your new address and "subscribe" in the subject line.