Diabetes has become a global pandemic with half a billion cases expected by 2030 at an annual cost worldwide of well over a trillion dollars. Yet approximately 90% of cases are completely preventable, the blame lying squarely with the twin scourges of Western style junk diets and lack of exercise. As well as impairing the quality of daily life and causing blindness, diabetes has the potential to lead to a host of life threatening conditions including heart disease or stroke and chronic renal (kidney) failure. Chillingly, pregnant diabetic women – whose numbers are soaring – breed diabetic children. Moreover, great swathes of Asia, which historically have a good diet, are succumbing to Western junk diets as urbanization spreads and, consequently, rates of obesity and diabetes among Asians are also soaring.
Although diabetes mellitus, typically shortened to just “diabetes”, has been recorded since 1500 BC, historically the disease has been quite rare. Type 1 diabetes is associated with youth and type 2 with being overweight. A third form is gestational diabetes. By the far the most common type, however, is type 2, also called “adult-onset diabetes”. All three are caused by the body’s inability to produce enough insulin, one of the many hormones produced by the body. In this case, it is produced by a specific area of the pancreas and is used by the body to turn glucose into energy. Without enough insulin to covert it, the glucose will instead build up in the blood stream producing the classic symptoms of frequent urination, increased thirst and increased hunger. While type 1 diabetes can cause some very noticeable symptoms, people with type 2 diabetes can go for years without knowing they are ill. This can cause permanent and irreversible health problems, so it is important to try and avoid becoming a candidate for diabetes in the first place.
To lower your chances of developing diabetes, there are three essential things that you must do. The good news is that these simple preventative steps will also lower your chances of developing many other serious and potentially fatal health conditions.
• First, you need to take is to maintain a healthy body weight. Fat cells produce a hormone called “resistin”, which increases the body’s insulin resistance. It can dramatically increase your chances of developing the insulin resistant form of type 2 diabetes.