Janet did not know that diabetes could be familial and that insulin and diet were connected. She had never heard of resistance or the importance of fasting insulin levels. She had type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, arthritis and high blood pressure. She was tearful as she told us about her daughter Keyla who had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at age 45. Janet wished she knew all the things she knows much earlier. Twenty years ago when she was diagnosed as having diabetes she knew very little about the disease.
There is a connection between insulin and diet.The amount of insulin that circulates in the blood is related to the diet a person takes.A fatty meal does not cause release of insulin but a protein meal causes a slight increase in insulin and there is no effect on the blood insulin levels if its taken with fat. However a high carbohydrate meal has a large effect on the amount of insulin released but low carbohydrate and high protein does not have much effect on the blood levels of insulin. And a lot of insulin in your blood is harmful.
You cannot control diabetes without having to consider the role of insulin and diet. The amount of insulin in the blood depends on the amount of sugar in the blood and Keyla did not know it. She ate a lot of carbohydrate foods as a child and even as a teenager but she was not overweight.Although the diet may have been causing an increase in insulin she was unaware insulin and diet could turn out to be a major health risk.
Its not rare that many things could be going wrong in our bodies and we are not aware until a great damage occurs. She ate a lot of fast foods with a lot of refined sugar but she was fine. She had no health complaints.After age 19 when she was less physically active, she began to add significant weight . She did not change her eating habits. She ate all the carbohydrates and other foods she liked.
If Keyla knew that she was at a risk of diabetes as her mother later came to learn, she could have changed certain habits in her lifestyle.As she continued consuming a lot of food with high carbohydrate content she was also accumulating a lot of visceral fat. This type of fat pre-disposes one to hear disease. Since her mother was overweight and diabetic there was a great chance that she could also develop diabetes too.
When Keyla was about age 28 she begun to gain much weight and was fatter. There is a connection between weight gain and insulin resistance and there is a strong possibility that she was getting to be insulin resistant. She ate bagels, doughnuts, hamburgers, fries, cakes, cookies, chips and drank sodas and many other highly refined foods. She also ate bread sandwiches sometimes with butter or margarine. She rarely ate fruits and vegetables although she enjoyed lamb and bacon. Would Keyla have understood how insulin and diet connection would have helped her to change lifestyle considering that she did not complete high school?By age 35 Keyla had a sizeable amount of fat around the belly. Her clothes could not fit any more. This was the third time in 5 years when she had to buy larger sized clothes. All along she had most of the fat distributed around the hips. At her age she did not like her looks. She wanted to lose belly fat. She wanted the best way to lose belly fat. Where could she find one?She found a book on dieting which she read and resolved to stop eating breakfast and reduce her lunch portion. Was this going to work? She followed this schedule for three months but abandoned it. Without breakfast she was all tensed up until lunch time. She was craving for food by the time she got home in the evening. It appeared like dieting was a great torture.This would have been expected if she had insulin insensitivity. Its a typical manifestation of insulin and diet effect. She ate her dinner and snacks and managed to lose 10 pounds in those three months but could not continue. Dieting was so had for Keyla because she did it the wrong way.
At age 35 she applied for life insurance. During the medical tests it was discovered that keyla had blood sugar of 98. This was considered borderline -normal and her body appeared to have been having trouble in processing glucose. She was most likely developing insulin insensitivity due to the insulin and diet trigger mechanisms. She is however encouraged to see her physician for follow up. The physician recommended low carbohydrate diet and exercise.
Keyla was unable to keep up with the exercise and the lower calorie diet. She continued with previous lifestyle until she was 45. She began to experience blurred vision, numbness in the hands and feet and tiredness. When she went for medical checkup her doctor found that her fasting blood sugar was 135.After carrying out more investigations Keyla was confirmed to be diabetic just as her mother. She now had to start treatment for type 2 diabetes.
Keyla did not have to wait for this to happen. She should have disciplined herself by taking less amounts of carbs and increasing her physical exercises as earlier advised. Now that she was diabetic she would have to exercise to burn fat and eat foods that burn fat. In addition she had to eat lower carbs diet to reduce insulin insensitivity otherwise all the other complications would follow.
If you are at risk of type 2 diabetes you may want to know if you are likely to be insulin resistant or if you are pre-diabetic. If you have carbohydrate addictions take this seriously as carbohydrates must be broken down to glucose to stimulate glucose production. If you respond to low carbohydrate diet then you may be on the road to diabetes. Keyla in the case discussed above ignored a lot of warnings which was very unwise. You should avoid situations which could lead to insulin resistance because you will have increased risk of type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. You may even develop stroke, heart disease and other complications. Above all learn how to protect your pancreas
Approaches that have helped people at different stages of diabetes involve taking low carbohydrates diet, low carb high protein diets also referred to as high protein low carbs diet.