Diabetes and you?

Are you in danger of developing diabetes?

Diabetes is a common and potentially life- threatening disease requiring early diagnosis and management. Due to its frequency we need to know and understand an over-view along with the concept of insulin spikes which may have significance in the poor results some see in following standardized diets for weight loss.

What is insulin?

Insulin is a hormone manufactured by the pancreas which directs and controls the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins in the body in readiness for storage or use.

Under normal circumstances, Insulin levels increase after a meal in order to control the different groups of those. However if the food type (especially carbohydrates) appears too quickly in the blood stream, the body can’t deal with it in time and the body is in effect “overdosed”.

What are Insulin Spikes?

While some people have no or inadequate insulin (Type 1) the type 2 variety is described when the body starts to become resistant to insulin due to obesity, diet, etc. Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes associated with pregnancy.  

An insulin spike is a ‘first response’ to blood glucose increase, this response is individual and dose specific although it was always previously assumed to be food type specific only.

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a serious chronic condition which results in consistently high blood sugar levels (hyperglycaemia), and can lead to serious complications such as cardiovascular disease, vision loss, kidney failure, nerve damage, and even loss of circulation and amputation. It is a disease of age – see below.

The Online Resource for those 55+ wanting to look good, feel younger and live longer

Prevalence of diagnosed diabetes (%), by age group and sex, Canada, 2013–2014

The rising incidence of type 2 diabetes – why should you worry?

Many studies have shown that the prevalence of type 2 diabetes continues to rise in developed countries.

Studies also confirm the critical importance of being overweight in the development of type 2 diabetes obesity, particularly of long duration.

Current public health recommendations to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes recommend preventing weight gain in middle-aged men who are not overweight and by encouraging weight loss in those men overweight and obese.

In an American Heart Association Journal reported study, a community-based sample of middle-aged adults, were described to have experienced a doubling in the incidence of type 2 diabetes over the last 30 years. Careful monitoring and action as above, is therefore required given the incidence of overweight individuals.

A study reported in the Lancet illustrated the prevalence of diabetes in Ontario, Canada to have increased substantially and by 2005 had already exceeded the global rate that was predicted for 2030.

This increase in prevalence is attributable to both rising incidence and declining mortality. Effective public-health interventions aimed at prevention are reported as required, including improved resources to manage the greater number of people living longer with the disease.

Diabetes represents a heavy health care cost burden in Canada through to the year 2022. Future cost calculations provide decision makers and planners with an accessible and transparent tool to predict future expenditures attributable to the disease and the corresponding cost savings associated with interventions believed to be great.

The predicted 10-year risk of developing diabetes for the Canadian population in 2011/12 was 9.98%, corresponding to 2.16 million new cases.

Total health care costs attributable to diabetes during this period were $7.55 billion for females and $7.81 billion for males ($15.36 billion total). Acute hospitalizations accounted for the greatest proportion of costs (43.2%).

It was reported that a population intervention resulting in 5% body weight loss would save $2.03 billion in health care costs. A 30% risk-reduction intervention aimed at individuals with the highest diabetes risk (i.e. the top 10% of the highest-risk group) would save $1.48 billion.

The increasing incidence of pre-diabetes

Pre-diabetes refers to blood sugar levels that are higher than normal, but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. Almost 6 million Canadians have pre-diabetes and if left unmanaged, pre-diabetes can develop into type 2 diabetes.

Understanding type 2 diabetes

If your body can’t use its insulin properly, glucose (sugar) builds up in your blood instead of being used for energy. This excess sugar in your blood causes problems and can lead to serious health complications.

It’s important take a prediabetes diagnosis seriously because some long-term complications associated with diabetes—such as heart disease—may begin during prediabetes.

While it can be frightening to be diagnosed with pre-diabetes or borderline diabetes, it can also be a great wake up call and in some cases, provide an opportunity to change course.

With appropriate management and care it is possible to remain healthy and avoid diabetes.

If you are experiencing any symptoms (see Diabetes II by clicking here), it makes sense to have a doctor review the signs or symptoms. Diabetes Mellitus (type 2 diabetes) is a common illness that carries an increase in morbidity and mortality, that can be effectively managed with early diagnosis.

Diabetes is also associated with a significant increase in stroke prevalence.

Measuring blood sugar

Dr Stephen Bray 2019

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