Diabetes prevention, Diabetes Mellitus Type 1, Type 2; What is the best approach?

Diabetes prevention poses a huge challenge. Statistically speaking, the chances are that you or someone you know suffers from diabetes. One of healthcare's fastest growing problems, diabetes now affects over 20.8 million Americans per year, and almost a third of them don't even know they have it yet. There are similar worrying statistics for most of the developed world. The focus needs to be on prevention of this insidious disease.

While heredity and other issues may play a part in diabetes, physicians and nutritionists have made great strides in educating their patients on ways they can lessen the effects of the disease. However, due to doctor's bias against nutritional supplements , you'll rarely hear a recommendation of optimal levels of antioxidants and vitamins before you're handed a prescription for a drug.

In some instances the problem of diabetes prevention may be well under our own control. We can start with lifestyle changes, moderate exercise and we can avoid the problem of oxidative stress by having a balanced diet as well as taking the proper nutritional supplements daily.

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What is Diabetes?

We're told to exercise, eat healthy, and keep our bodies at a healthy weight, and then we may avoid the problem of diabetes as we age. However, this may not always be the case.

Before a person develops adult-onset insulin-dependent diabetes (or diabetes type 2), they go through a stage called syndrome X. Syndrome X is caused by the body's need for more and more insulin in order to survive. These raised insulin levels, over time, can cause a lot of damage to the body, including hypertension, heart attacks and strokes, and uncontrolled weight gain.

As syndrome X progresses, the pancreas' abilities to produce insulin wears out, and high blood sugar develops, leading inevitably to diabetes mellitus. So diabetes prevention starts with the prevention of Syndrome X

Diet and Diabetes

Our diets are perhaps the main weapon in diabetes prevention. While doctors recommend cutting down on fatty foods, they tend to ignore the heavy starches we consume on a daily basis in the West. These foods - flours, potatoes, pasta, rice - are simply sugars that we introduce into our bodies, which then cause the pancreas to pump out insulin in order to regulate blood sugar.

However, thanks to the degradation of our food supply in terms of growing practices, preservatives, freezing, drying, storing it's harder to eat a balanced diet full of healthy fruits and veggies to counterbalance this problem. We forgo the opportunity to feed our cells with the real nutients they need for cellular nutrition as we eat faster and less expensively, forgetting that we'll have to pay for it in the end through poor health.

Symptoms of Diabetes

If you have experienced any of these symptoms, you should see a physician right away.

• Increased thirst and/or increased urination.
• Fatigue.
• Blurred vision.
• Unexplained weight gain.
• Increased appetite.
• Slow healing of wounds and/or infections.

You should also, however, consider starting a supplemental program full of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals in conjunction with any other dietary modification your physician recommends for diabetes prevention.

Fighting Diabetes Naturally

The name of the game in combatting diabetes is, first and foremost, diet. Stay away from foods that will cause your blood sugar to spike. Foods like pastas, white flours, rice, and potatoes. Quitting smoking is another important step, as well. The body reacts to nicotine by a spike in blood sugar, which eventually leads to insulin resistance.

Exercise, of course, is another key factor in diabetes prevention. As you exercise, your body becomes sensitive to its own insulin, thus regulating your blood sugars a lot more efficiently and effectively.

There are also several key antioxidants you should consider supplementing your diet with to avoid developing or lessen the effects of diabetes. The additional benefits of these antioxidants are that they work very well to help protect you from myriad of other degenerative diseases - not just diabetes.

The Important Supplements to consider

Fish oil. We've all heard about the benefits of the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in fish oil, but how does it help with diabetes prevention? Various studies have shown that a diet rich in the healthy fatty acids help combat the onset of diabetes. In addition, in cultures where fish are eaten consistently, the population suffers much less, statistically, from diabetes mellitus.

Grape-seed extract. As one of the fastest growing nutritional supplement choices, grape seed extract contains very potent, very efficient antioxidants. It helps in circulation and has a powerful effect on blood vessels, protecting the body against unwanted free radicals, and keeping the body safer from prolonged high blood sugar.

Calcium. Studies have recently been released showing a link between healthy levels of calcium and vitamin D intake and a decreased risk for diabetes. To make sure you're getting the most out of your calcium supplementation regimen, take at least 1000 to 1500 mg of calcium with 450 to 800 IU of vitamin D daily.

Other important antioxidants which may assist as part of a program of diabetes prevention and/or treatment are chromium, vitamin E, vanadium, magnesium, vitamin C, and beta-carotene. There are also some arguments for the benefit of garlic supplements.

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