Type 2 diabetes is caused by inadequate production of insulin hormone or its failure to work on receptors found in body tissues (due to resistance). The result is persistently raised blood sugar levels that lead to both short term and long term complications. These two processes usually occur progressively over many years and can even be reversed when diagnosed early. In this article we will look at some of the strategies that can be adopted to reverse insulin resistance.
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder and is for this reason highly affected by the types of foods that we consume. Foods that are carbohydrate in nature increase the blood glucose levels by the highest degree and are likely to increase the risk of progressing from pre-diabetes to diabetes. Most processed foods have a high glycemic content meaning that they significantly raise the level of blood glucose. On the other hand, proteins, fruits and vegetables have a lower glycemic index.
Consider supplementing your diet with minerals that help reduce diabetic symptoms. Some of the supplements that have been shown to be beneficial include calcium, vitamin B complex, chromium, fish oil and oxidants. Magnesium is said to work on the digestive tract to increase the breakdown of fat which subsequently reduces what ends up in adipose tissue. Most of the others have mechanisms that are not clearly understood.
Exercise is critical. Engaging in regular physical activity helps to reduce the amount of central body fat and also improves the metabolism of sugar. The overall effect is improved insulin sensitivity and reduced resistance. It is recommended that one engages in at least 60 minutes of intense exercise for 5 or 6 days. This would include, for example, running, jogging, brisk walking, cycling or swimming. Doing these exercises immediately after dinner helps reap maximum benefits.
Stress has been shown to be a major cause of imbalances in sugar levels and by extension, hormonal resistance. Uncontrolled stress promotes weight gain and also increases the excretion of a hormone known as cortisol. Cortisol is a catabolic hormone that stimulates carbohydrate breakdown to form glucose. Regularly engaging in relaxation exercises helps to reduce stress levels. These include, for instance, yoga, meditation, massage, hypnosis and biofeedback.
There are a number of drugs which may be considered if all the other methods fail to yield results. There are several classes of drugs that can be used in various combinations. They include biguanides such as metformin whose mechanism of action is to increase the response of receptors. Another class is that of thiazolidinediones (such as rosiglitazone and pioglitazone). These drugs increase the sensitivity of cells to the hormone which in turn promotes the uptake of glucose.
It has been shown through research that poor sleep quality may predispose or worsen the symptoms of diabetes. Obstructive sleep apnea is in particular a major contributing factor as it causes obesity in a good number of persons with this condition. You should set the minimum sleep time at 6 hours per night in a conducive environment.
Problems of producing and using insulin are the underlying cause of diabetes. There are many factors that increase the risk of developing the disorder. Interventions that eliminate this factors help to reduce the risk of having hormonal ineffectiveness and resistance. Dietary modification and engaging in physical exercise are the main strategies that are employed.
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