Diabetes is a sensitive topic and what I am about to share with us will go a long way in helping us avoid it or manage it depending on your current health state. For the purpose of this article, I am going to focus on Diabetes type 2. I don’t intend to bore anyone as usual but hear me out for a second.
Our bodies are our primary interaction tools and it is our utmost responsibility to be on top of the way it functions. Am I right or am I right? Sadly most of us really don’t care and as long as we are walking around. We are okay even if we know deep down that all is not well with us.
HOW DOES THIS THING WORK?
Here we go! When we consume carbohydrates ad other foods that give us energy, they are broken down to glucose which is supposed to be transported through the blood to the cells where they can be used up as energy.
There is a hormone which the body produces. This hormone is responsible for moving the glucose to the cells and opening up the cells to accept the glucose. Let’s stop there for now
SO WHAT IS DIABETES?
This ain’t no medical article per se so I’m going to keep it simple. When the body, for some reason can no longer produce insulin or cannot produce enough insulin to do its work, you have a situation known as diabetes. When there is no key (insulin) to open up the cells, the glucose stays in the blood and builds up over time. When there is too much glucose in the blood stream, it could lead to a handful of problems including blindness, kidney failure etc.
AVOIDING AND MANAGING DIABETES
There is a reason why I ran us through the definition of diabetes first. Now we get what’s happening inside, we can better know what to do which in my opinion is either of these two things
- Find a way to up the insulin production level
- Make sure there is little to no glucose in the blood
- BALANCE YOUR HORMONES – This is done by a number of practices. Exercising is one of them. When we workout, we put our bodies in a state of increased activity and this balances our hormones among other things. Since insulin is a hormone, by default, the body will look into its production while doing its thing.
- BOOST INSULIN PRODUCTION – Two things which boost insulin production are magnesium and Vitamin D. In Nigeria, we have an abundance of vitamin D and it is called sunlight. Magnesium can be gotten from pumpkin seeds, leafy green vegetables, mustard seeds, and my favorite, Watermelon Seeds (that’s right! chew’em)
- REDUCE THE GLUCOSE IN THE BLOOD – We erroneously say that sugar causes diabetes meanwhile sugars such as Dates and Sugar canes – basically natural sugars are good for us. It is Glucose (an excess build up) which we have an issue with. So to avoid Diabetes, the simple trick is to make sure there is little to no glucose build up in the blood.
Our elders who deal with Diabetes are asked to stop eating Eba, White rice, ay sort of artificial sugar and even some fruits (bummer) and while that is effective in theory, it is difficult to make such a lifestyle change at such an age…so most of them struggle. Still, it is a valid practice and it would be so much easier to stick to if we start those dietary changes at an earlier age.
To drive this home finally, I will use an example. The human body starts to store more fat from age 40 so your body would be less forgiving if you were eating fatty foods. However, if you lived off junk foods, you would not know that your body was storing extra fat.
The same way the pancreas produces insulin and the more carbohydrate you consume, the more insulin your body is forced to produce. At a later age, the pancreas tends to get worn out and not so forgiving as to the Carbs and Glucose we stuff down our system. That is why we emphasize that we balance our Glucose intake with the amount of Insulin boosting foods while working to balance the hormones production itself. Does this make sense?