Type 2 diabetes and its precursor conditions make up the largest, most costly and most deadly pandemic in the history of mankind. It’s the number 1 cause of heart disease, kidney failure, blindness and limb loss. It occurs when the body does not properly use insulin which is a hormone the allows glucose into cells for storage or conversion to energy controlling your body’s metabolism and blood sugar level. Type 2 diabetics are unable to get glucose into cells resulting in high blood sugar. Unlike Type 1 diabetes which develops suddenly usually in children, type 2 diabetes develops over time and is usually a result of unhealthy lifestyle choices.
Causes of Type 2 Diabetes
While genetics play a role, the primary cause is related to lifestyle. Americans eat large amounts of processed food loaded with sugar and starch and stripped of fiber. So sugar, with no buffer, is poured into our bodies provoking a constant flow of insulin which leads to insulin resistance and insulin overload. Elevated insulin provokes fat storage in and around the liver and pancreas leading to a fat belly. As our cells become more resistant to insulin blood sugar rises. Elevated blood sugar, even when slight, damages everything it touches including the brain, eyes, nerves, blood vessels, kidneys and skin.
Prediabetes comes first
Type 2 diabetes doesn’t develop overnight. Prediabetes is the stage before type 2 diabetes develops often lasting 10 or more years. According to the CDC, 96 million American adults have prediabetes. That’s 1 in 3!! And the most concerning thing is that 80% are unaware. People with prediabetes often don’t experience any symptoms so it is important to watch for one of the many signs and /or to have a doctor who is adept at diagnosing it. The first and most prominent sign is “metabolic syndrome” which is a cluster of conditions which occur together due to a common root cause. These are abdominal obesity (35 in. female, 40 in. male) high blood pressure (130/85 or higher), elevated triglycerides (> 150 mg/dl), low HDL -“good cholesterol” (< 40 men, <50 women) and elevated blood sugar (> 100). Other conditions include polycystic ovarian disease, elevated uric acid, low T/high E in men, elevated insulin levels and fatty liver disease.
Type 2 diabetes is reversible
Type 2 DM, especially when caught in the prediabetic phase, is reversible. The most effective way to attack this deadly condition is through diet. Priority #1 is to reduce the intake of sugar and starch. We believe that the most effective way to accomplish reversal is by radical carb reduction down to 20-40g per day. This lowers insulin and allows cells to restore insulin sensitivity. It also lowers blood sugar and allows fat burning to resume. Belly fat burns rapidly clearing out the liver and other organs. Triglycerides often drop 100-300 mg/dl or more, HDL often rises substantially and blood pressure drops into normal range. In other words, metabolic syndrome goes away. Carbohydrate reduction is not the only dietary change but it’s the most important on the front end. We call it a “keystone behavior” because many other positive changes result from it. Nutrient dense whole foods are also important along with adequate protein to prevent muscle loss. Lots of healthy fat preserves hormone production, prevents calories from dropping too low and prevents the development of excess hunger. Eventually, when disease is reversed, carbs are slowly reintroduced to the level tolerated and we seek a balance of carbs, fats and protein. We also promote vigorous exercise outdoors if possible. We think building muscle is great for functional strength, bone health, injury prevention and metabolic health including regulated blood sugar. We also promote long walks with mindfulness of everything around us especially natural wonders. Cultivating peace and sound sleep is also part of the picture. The ultimate goal is freedom from disease, a lean body with strong muscles and a well aligned frame, robust energy and learning to enjoy a wide variety of healthy food.
Do you have the desire to make these lifestyle changes, but you aren’t sure where to start? VitalSigns was created to solve this very issue. Dr. Pardue saw just how much people were struggling with chronic diseases and weight loss--instead of simply telling patients what to do, he created programs to guide them step by step through their health transformation.
The wellness professionals at VitalSigns will guide you on the journey to better health by focusing on the 4 pillars of wellness: nutrition, exercise, sleep and peace.
This individualized program is a valuable tool for people trying to establish and maintain healthy habits, lose weight and reverse disease. 1 on 1 check-ins providing nutritional education, coaching for the development of new habits and accountability will provide you with the guidance and support necessary to attain and maintain a healthy body.
Vitalfit is a group exercise program designed to help you develop a strong and functional body. Surrounding yourself with people who have similar goals is a great motivator and exercise classes are a great way to hold yourself accountable and create a fitness routine.
Like most things in life, taking control of your health is easier to do if you don’t have to do it alone. The experienced wellness professionals at VitalSigns have a proven ability to transform the lives of people struggling with weight loss and chronic health conditions. Take the first step toward a healthier future by calling (865)249-7566 or clicking here.