ADULT ONSET DIABETES
Adult Onset Diabetes
The principal cause of adult onset diabetes is insulin resistance in the muscles. What this means is that the glucose in your blood stream is delivered to muscles, ready for action and the action doesn't happen. The pancreas has to do all the work of removing the excess glucose from the blood and arranging to have it stored elsewhere on the body. It does this by producing insulin.
In simple terms it works like this:
The Wrong Diet
wrong type of food at the wrong time.
If you look at the typical western diet it looks like this.
The body is being continually flooded with sugar-type foods, the net effect of which is to bring about a rapid elevation of blood sugar which requires a response from the pancreas to pump out sufficient insulin to bring the level back to normal. Without exercise, the increase in insulin production may cause an over-correction, leading to low blood sugar. When your blood sugar is low you can feel tired, depressed and hungry.
At this point most people reach for a snack, chocolate or biscuits which introduces sugar and starch into the system starting the pre-diabetic food cycle all over again.
wrong amount of food
of essential vitamins and minerals
It's a complicated web of interactions which make it all that much harder for the blood glucose system to work properly. Visit our Health and Fitness Bookshop for the books containing more detailed information about diet and diabetes.
Lack of Physical Activity
Due to lack of physical activity the excess blood sugar has 'nowhere to go'. As the pancreas becomes more and more stressed, its ability to maintain the blood glucose balance becomes reduced. Eventually it becomes dysfunctional. It 'gives up.'
You end up with persistent high blood glucose levels. As you become fatter it becomes more and more difficult to support the mechanism which regulates the absorption of glucose from the blood and its utilization in muscles.
On the other hand, if you exercise with vigor on a regular and systematic basis the mechanism for getting glucose out of the blood and into the muscles is maintained in a healthy state, and you'll maintain an ideal body weight.
Pathway to Adult Onset Diabetes
Keeping Track of Blood Glucose Levels
A normal level of blood glucose is between 4 and 7 mmol/litre. It doesn't much matter whether this is fasting or non-fasting. For some people fasting levels appear quite normal, whilst after a meal they may increase dramatically and show up a dysfunction.
Once it gets to 7 the amber light starts flashing. By the time it's got to 10 the red light is flashing.
You will probable be experiencing periods when you are thirstier than normal and frequent urination. You can be certain that the pancreas is struggling and on the verge of giving up. Once that happens the blood glucose level can shoot up to 20 or more with dire consequences for health. You can end up going blind, having circulation problems where you end up having your legs amputated.
When it's all boiled down, blood sugar level going too high is really a case of bad self management.
For starters you need to know what your resting and post prandial blood sugar levels are before they get out of hand. Either measure them yourself, (and this is easy if you have a blood glucose measuring kit) or have them measured at your pathologists on a regular basis. If you're in the at risk group, (over 40, unfit and overweight) having your own kit to measure your blood glucose level is not a bad idea.
On top of that you need to keep yourself in good physical shape. It's easy to do, doesn't cost much, require expensive medical intervention or depend on rocket science.