06 Nov Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes 101
November is Diabetes Awareness Month. Do you know much about diabetes or if you are at risk to get it? More than 100 million American adults either have diabetes or are at risk to get it. Prediabetes is tricky, as it often shows no symptoms even though blood glucose levels are very close to becoming diabetes. This condition can stay with you for life and can cause a shorter lifespan, poor circulation, insulin resistance and more. Find out all you want to know about diabetes, how we can help you reduce your risk for it and therapies to help with symptoms of the disease!
When you eat, your body must break down your food so it can use it for energy and building cells. When you eat, your body processes your sugars into energy. Carbohydrates are broken down into sugar in the blood to be used as energy. Added sugars in foods are also broken down to be used as energy for the body. Your hormones regulate your body processes, like energy production. Insulin is one such hormone that your pancreas produces that helps regulate your blood sugar (glucose) levels.
Glucose is another name for sugar, and you can find instances of sugar in your food ingredient list by looking for words that end in “ose” on the food label. Thos substances are broken down as sugars in the blood. However, that sugar shouldn’t stay in your blood. Insulin is made by your body to help bring sugar out of your blood and to your cells to be used for cell building and energy production. With diabetes, your body becomes insulin resistant, so it can’t take sugar out of your blood for cells to use. That means your blood becomes flooded with sugar, which can cause fatigue, aches and pains, nerve and cell damage, and even death. That is why it’s so important to control your diabetes with the correct medicine and lifestyle changes.
What Is Prediabetes?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that about 100 million people in the U.S. have either diabetes or prediabetes. Around 30 million Americans have doctor-diagnosed diabetes. That means about 70 million people in the U.S. are prediabetic, or in a stage where they body is showing signs of insulin resistance. Once that insulin resistance happens, it can’t be reversed. If you are in a prediabetic stage or have a history of diabetics in your family, you want to do all you can to prevent diabetes from developing.
Some tips to avoid diabetes include:
- Keeping your weight down. Being overweight or obese increases your risk for diabetes. If you need diet counseling or weight loss help, we have trained specialists to assist you.
- Exercising more. Those who are more physically active will be less likely to develop diabetes.
- Cutting out added sugars. Sugar is not always a factor with diabetes, but flooding your system with too much sugar can make you insulin-resistant and can increase your weight. The more fat you carry, the more your cells become resistant to insulin.
- Eat nutritious foods like veggies, whole grains, fruit and protein sources.
- Take diabetes medication as prescribed.
Some Treatments for Diabetic Patients
Diabetes can cause countless problems in the body because the condition damages blood vessels and circulation, tissues, organs, muscles, energy levels and more. Some patients with diabetes will have completely different symptoms than others who have the disease. A lot will depend on lifestyle. Neuropathy is a common symptom in many diabetic patients. This is a loss of feeling to areas of the body such as numbness or tingling. Chronic pain, stabbing pain, weakness, tremors, stiffness, loss of range-of-motion and more are all common neuropathy symptoms. Those will develop as blood vessels become damaged and nutrients can’t get to nerves and tissues that need them.
If you already are diabetic, we recommend that you reduce (or stop) any tobacco or alcohol use, as this can damage blood vessels and nerves even more. Eat a balanced and nutritious diet, which can provide you with nutrients your tissues and nerves need to stay healthy. Exercise should continue, but we may need to help you with modified stretches and exercises that can strengthen areas of damage. Many patients find that electrostimulation, massage therapy, chiropractic adjustments and physical therapy can all help with neuropathy symptoms. All of these therapy services also help bring circulation and nutrients to areas that are most likely to be damaged by diabetes.
Treat or Prevent Diabetes and Prediabetes
There are medical treatments and medicines for any condition you can think of. However, the majority of conditions can see improvements if you focus on diet, exercise and lifestyle habits. Diabetes—like many other conditions—can be controlled by a proper and nutritious diet. Because the body is insulin resistant, however, medicine is needed to help keep the body working properly. You can stop your diabetes from getting worse by listening to diet and exercise guidelines and following them. This will lengthen your lifespan as well as your quality of life throughout the years.
If you don’t have diabetes, prevent it by cutting out added sugars from your diet. Eat more veggies, fruits, whole grains and proteins instead of processed, sugary or low-nutrient foods. You will see not only an improvement in how you feel, but fewer problems with chronic conditions or symptoms that make it hard to reach your goals. If you are eating a balanced diet, but still feel fatigued, bloated, or you have heartburn, aches and pains or other abnormal symptoms, consider being tested for food allergies. If you have diabetes, prediabetes, or you are trying to control or prevent other chronic illnesses, we can help. Call Mile High Spine & Pain Center today at (720) 507-0080 for your health evaluation and personal plan!