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Diabetes. It's kind of a big deal. According to the US Statistical Report in 2014 29.1 million folks (9% of US population) are estimated to have diabetes. The crazy thing is that 8.1 million people don't even know! Are you sure you're not one of them?
When I talk to people about diabetes in the hospital setting, they have NO CLUE how serious diabetes really is. So many problems are associated with diabetes, including heart disease, blindness, peripheral vascular disease and even limb amputations. Did you know that the majority of limb amputations result from diabetes? That IS a big deal!
Type 2 Diabetes develops over a number of years and results when the body's insulin receptors become unable to respond to insulin. This is called insulin resistance. The result is increased blood sugar floating around the bloodstream...this is bad. After awhile your body can stop producing insulin altogether (4).
Because today is World Diabetes Day I wanted to highlight some pretty important stuff in the world of diabetes, particularly associated with men.
In case you didn't know, there have been some pretty interesting studies performed with men to find out a little bit about the "why" and the "how" when it comes to diabetes in men.
Because of the fact I and a lot of other men spend quite a bit of time in the gym and quite a bit of time at the dinner table (chasing gains), I found the results of a study completed in 1985 with a group of Seventh Day Adventists that meat intake was associated with a higher risk of Type 2 Diabetes (5). Now, if
you're like me and you eat a lot of meat this should raise your eyebrows a little.
A follow up study was done among 42,504 men, ages 40-75 with the results published in the publication Diabetes Care that showed frequent consumption of processed meat was asso
ciated with a higher risk of Type 2 Diabetes (3). So guys slow down on the Spam! Okay, okay. Also be easy on the...ugh...bacon, sausage, salami, hot dogs, and processed deli meats. MAN! That's a tough order to swallow.
I think it's also important to include the old adage "breakfast is the most important meal of the day". According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (5) men who skipped breakfast increased their risk of getting Type 2 Diabetes by 21%! So, don't go skipping the breakfast fellas.
When it comes to Type 1 Diabetes, prevention isn't on the table. However, Type 2, the major issue we're faced with in the U.S., is VERY preventable and also reversible...if you're man enough for the challenge.
First thing you need to know, cut down on the sugar...way down. Be easy on the carbohydrates too. There have been studies showing that 1 slice of white bread raises blood glucose higher and faster than spooning table sugar directly onto the tongue. Also, maintaining an exercise regimen is extremely important (8).
Let's say you've got Type 2 Diabetes and you're ready to do something about it. Medicinal management has become really complex. There are so many pharmacological agents for diabetic patients, insulin and non-insulin. It's been shown that treatment including pharmacological, diet, exercise, and education is the foundation of Type 2 Diabetes treatment and glucose control (1).
It's recently been demonstrated that the underlying cause of insulin insensitivity (body not recognizing insulin) is oxidative stress (9). This wouldn't be a huge surprise given the terrible diet in the majority of people across the U.S.. Oxidative stress is also demonstrated to be the underlying cause of over 200 chronic degenerative disease. Due to its importance, I'll cover oxidative stress in another post at length. To keep it short though, get your antioxidants folks! I get mine here.
I hope this blog post has been helpful. Type 2 Diabetes is a serious issue and can lead to lots of other complications. It is treatable, and even better than that, it can be reversible too. The best option, though, is prevention. Learn what to do and not to do so you don't come down with this horrible disease. Because of the complexity in treatment methods, when pursuing treatment be sure to seek out a clinician that has expertise and experience in this area of medicine.
*Please comment below and share this post on social media if you've found this to be valuable info. I've made it my mission to help men become the healthiest versions of themselves so they can set the example for their families or families to come.
1)-Colberg, S. R., Albright, A. L., Blissmer, B. J., Braun, B., Chasan-Taber, L., Fernhall, B., ... & Sigal, R. J. (2010). Exercise and type 2 diabetes: American College of Sports Medicine and the American Diabetes Association: joint position statement. Exercise and type 2 diabetes. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 42(12), 2282-2303.
2)-Inzucchi, Silvio E., et al. "Management of hyperglycemia in type 2 diabetes: a patient-centered approach position statement of the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD)." Diabetes Care 35.6 (2012): 1364-1379.
3)-Van Dam, R. M., Willett, W. C., Rimm, E. B., Stampfer, M. J., & Hu, F. B. (2002). Dietary fat and meat intake in relation to risk of type 2 diabetes in men. Diabetes Care, 25(3), 417-424.
4)Harvard School of Public Health, (2016). Carbohydrates and Blood Sugar. Retrieved from https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/carbohydrates/carbohydrates-and-blood-sugar/
5)-Mekary, R. A., Giovannucci, E., Willett, W. C., van Dam, R. M., & Hu, F. B. (2012). Eating patterns and type 2 diabetes risk in men: breakfast omission, eating frequency, and snacking. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 95(5), 1182-1189.
6)-Snowdon, D. A., & Phillips, R. L. (1985). Does a vegetarian diet reduce the occurrence of diabetes? American Journal of Public Health, 75(5), 507-512.
7)-Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2011). National diabetes fact sheet: national estimates and general information on diabetes and prediabetes in the United States, 2011. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 201(1).
8)-Powell, K., Holt, S., & Miller, J., (2002). International table of glycemic index and glycemic load values: 2002. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 84(2), 354-360.
9)Ceriello, A., & Motz, E. (2004). Is oxidative stress the pathogenic mechanism underlying insulin resistance, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease? The common soil hypothesis revisited. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, 24(5), 816-823.