Frightening New Statistics On Diabetes

An estimated 5.5 million Americans are treated for diabetes every year. The latest studies indicate there are 5 million adults with undetected type II diabetes, or what is known as adult onset diabetes and another 20 million that have impaired glucose tolerance leading to full-blown diabetes. If this is not insulting enough medical texts are being rewritten to include obese children to this equation.

Type II diabetes, or adult onset of diabetes is the most common form, and is considered a chronic degenerative disease. (Are we talking about children, chronic and degenerative?) The pancreatic gland which produces insulin literally wears out. Although there is a genetic predisposition to Type ll diabetes, a lifetime of over cooked processed food and obesity increases the individual’s chances for developing diabetes and not necessarily later in life.

The symptoms of diabetes vary. The most common symptoms are blurred vision, itching, unusual thirst, drowsiness, especially following a large meal, obesity, fatigue, slow healing, and numbness and tingling in the feet. It can be easily diagnosed with blood tests and if you think you or your child may have diabetes it is vital that you see your physician promptly.

The National Institutes of Health reports that undiagnosed diabetes is the reason behind millions losing their vision and is the third leading cause of death in the United States due to poor circulation, heart attacks and strokes. Because diabetes can be controlled, we tend to believe that this disease does not warrant our attention, yet the numbers speak for themselves.

The diabetic is required to change their eating habits and at first will work closely with a dietitian and a diabetic diet exchange list. If the diabetic adopts these changes for a lifetime they usually do very well. The basic diabetic diet encourages whole foods and balanced amounts of protein, carbohydrates and fat. In fact the diet is so balanced most diabetic’s loose weight yet do not suffer the cravings of a reduced calorie diet. Attention all parents- No more junk food for your kids, period.

Exercise is key and in children will usually reverse first the obesity and then the diabetes. Exercise increases the metabolic rate allowing fats and sugars to be burned more completely. It also helps increase circulation and prevents further damage to nerve endings and capillary beds. We must get our children out from behind the computer, TV and video games- end of subject.

Other overlooked tips for the management of diabetes:

Digestive enzymes are a must and can be used safely with children in smaller doses. Using digestive enzymes boosts metabolic rates, pancreatic function and gives this small overworked gland a rest.

The trace mineral chromium has been shown to stabilize blood sugar and increase energy. Calcium and especially magnesium are vital for a more complete burn of fuel at the cellular level, and copper in small doses aids protein metabolism and boosts enzyme function.

Foods that help normalize blood sugar levels are berries, brewers yeast, dairy products, especially yogurt and kefir, fish, garlic, sauerkraut, soybeans and vegetables.

Avoid highly processed foods, alcohol, fried foods and transfats. Avoid large doses of vitamin B complex that may interfere with the absorption of insulin, fish oils, and beta-carotene.

There are several foundations and lots of literature about diabetes if you’re looking for more information try The American Diabetes Assoc., 1660 Duke St, Alexandria, VA 22314, or International Diabetes Center, 5000 W 39th St, Minneapolis, MN 55416.

Till next time, Rebecca.