Diabetes is a very serious chronic disease suffered by millions of people worldwide.
If you are diabetic and fail to control your blood glucose levels you are likely to end up with one or more serious medical conditions, such as heart disease, kidney failure and damaged nerves among many others.
Pre-diabetes is a condition in which your blood glucose levels are higher than they should be but not so high that you are diagnosed as diabetic. Research suggests that up to 70% of persons with pre-diabetes go on to develop full type 2 diabetes.
But this means that 30% manage to halt the development of diabetes before it becomes a chronic disease. So, if you have been diagnosed as pre-diabetic, developing full-blown diabetes is not inevitable.
You can’t change your past behaviour, your age or your genes but you can change your lifestyle… how you disport yourself and what you eat and drink.
How your digestive system works
The foods you eat are mostly a combination of carbohydrates, proteins and fats in various proportions. A piece of meat, for example, contains mostly protein and fats. Vegetables such as potatoes contain lots of carbohydrates.
When you digest a bit of food, it is broken down into it main components… carbs, proteins and fats. These components are then broken down further in your digestive system and released into to your blood-stream which delivers them around your body.
Your energy comes from glucose. Glucose is just a simple Reversirol sugar. But it is your body’s primary source of energy.
Most glucose comes from digesting the sugar and starch in carbohydrates which you get from food such as rice, pasta, grains, breads, potatoes, fruits and some vegetables. The glucose produced by digestion in your stomach is absorbed into your bloodstream which delivers it to your body’s cells.
Glucose is the fuel for your cells… it powers your movements, thoughts and just about everything else you do.
In order to power your cells, glucose has to get into them. It can only do this with the help of insulin.
Insulin is a hormone (a type of chemical). It is produced by your pancreas. The pancreas releases insulin into your bloodstream where it travels around your body and meets up with glucose on the same trip. The purpose of insulin is to enable glucose to enter your cells.
To do this, insulin attaches itself to a receptor in the surface of the cell. This causes the cell membrane to allow glucose to enter the cell. The cell can then use the glucose as its fuel.
This glucose-insulin system has to work properly if you are to be healthy.
If the insulin does not do its job of ‘opening the cell door’ for glucose, the glucose will not be able to get into the cell… and the cell will run out of fuel.
Diabetes is a condition in which the glucose-insulin system does not function correctly.
There are two major types of diabetes: (a) type 1 and (b) type 2. More than 90% of diabetics have type 2 diabetes.
In type 1 diabetes the pancreas does not produce any insulin or, at best, very little. Type 1 cannot be cured. The only way these diabetics can survive is by taking regular shots of insulin.
In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas does produce insulin which is released into the bloodstream. But when the insulin arrives at a cell it has trouble attaching itself to a receptor. So it cannot induce the cell membrane to open and allow glucose to enter the cell.
Insulin resistance is the condition in which insulin is unable to attach itself to cell receptors.
Imagine a key trying to slide into a lock in a door. If the lock is jammed… say, with a bit of chewing gum… the key cannot get in. There is nothing wrong with the key and nothing wrong with the lock. But before the key can get in, the lock has to be cleaned out.
One of the main reasons for insulin resistance is having cell ‘doors’ that are jammed with fat. The only way to ‘unjam’ them is to eliminate all fat as far as possible from your diet for four to six weeks (at least) until the cell receptors are free of fat.