Browsing Posts tagged type 2 diabetes

Women who have Type 2 diabetes are at an elevated risk for breast cancer. Women who have Type 2 diabetes also tend to have irregularities of vitamin D metabolism. Getting the right amount of vitamin D, however, is believed by many experts to be preventative of breast cancer and many other maladies for which female Type 2’s are at elevated risk.

By now most women have heard that vitamin D protects bones. It also stimulates the release of insulin from its storage “packets” in the beta cells of your pancreas, and helps normalize blood sugar levels. And by stimulating the immune system just enough to fight cancer cells without destroying healthy tissues, it protects against not just breast and ovarian cancer in women, but also against kidney cancer, colon cancer, and pancreatic cancer in both sexes and prostate cancer in men.

Experts believe that if women were able to keep their bloodstream D levels to at least 40 to 60 ng/ml all year round, in the United States alone 58,000 fewer women would be diagnosed with breast cancer, and 49,000 fewer women would be diagnosed with colon cancer each and every year. The key is keeping healthy D levels all year around.

It’s easy to get enough D if you live in a tropical climate and you are not afraid of the sun. When a woman who has fair skin spends just 20 minutes in the sun, or when a woman who has dark skin spends about 40 minutes in the sun, her body can make up to 10,000 IU of D. That’s twice as much D as the highest recommended supplemental dosage of the vitamin. That’s five times as much D as the body needs to maintain normal bloodstream concentrations. The skin has to be unprotected to absorb the ultraviolet light needed to make the vitamin, but the vitamin is itself protective against skin cancer.

The problem occurs during winter north or south of about 35° latitude. That’s anywhere north of Los Angeles or Atlanta in the USA, anywhere in Europe, anywhere in Russia or north of Shanghai or Tokyo in Asia, and southern Australia, all of New Zealand, and the tips of Argentina and Chile. Women who live at these latitudes just can’t get enough sun during the winter months to keep vitamin D levels normal. Food and supplementation are essential.

Since the best food sources of D are cod liver oil, cream, and butter, most women will prefer to take a pill. But a pill is all one needs, 5,000 IU a day when vitamin D levels have slipped below normal, and 2,000 IU a day to maintain.

Vitamin D supplementation costs just pennies a day. That’s a small expenditure for enhanced blood sugar control and lowered breast cancer risk. Just be sure not to take more than 5,000 IU a day, especially if you take calcium and magnesium for your bones, to avoid raising blood pressure.

When you received your Type 2 diabetes diagnosis, you heard: exercise, diet, testing blood sugar levels… and, of all things sleep! These all affect your blood sugar levels. I would say you did not expect to hear about sleep loss as playing a part in Type 2 diabetes, but it has a strong impact on your health.

Sleep, or lack of it, is important because it touches on so many aspects of diabetes management. Lack of sleep can not only sap your energy and motivation to stick with the program, but can affect your hormones, actually promoting insulin resistance, obesity and Type 2 diabetes.

When Type 2 diabetics can’t get enough sound sleep, blood sugar control suffers and complications loom large. Scientists at Baylor University in Texas tell us that taking the kind of cinnamon known as Cinnamomum cassia might just help reverse the effects of sleep deprivation.

Not getting enough rest is a problem for Type 2 diabetics on several levels. Without six hours slumber, the brain does not have time to respond to the appetite-regulating hormone adiponectin. Produced by the fat (adipose) cells themselves, this important protein tells the brain you have eaten enough; and your liver that you don’t need the release of sugar. You have to get your shut-eye for your body to respond to this hormone properly.

Another issue with insomnia for people with Type 2 diabetes is that it also deprives the body of opportunities to process the appetite-stimulating hormone ghrelin. When your body doesn’t recycle this substance, your nerve endings are more sensitive to pain until you find something to eat. Too much ghrelin makes managing diabetes and losing weight more difficult… grelin is a hormone that stimulates hunger.

The scientists at Baylor found that some as yet unidentified compound in cinnamon compensates for both of these effects. It modifies signaling proteins so that cells respond to insulin better. The pancreas does not have to make as much insulin, and there is not as much insulin in the circulation to do its other job, storing fat. Taking cinnamon seems to reverse the detrimental effects of stress and insomnia.

It’s not every kind of cinnamon that has this effect, however. The type of the spice that gets sprinkled on oatmeal and baked into rolls, cookies, crisps, and snaps is not the kind that has the beneficial effect.

If you already have Type 2 diabetes, having enough shut-eye is even more important because sleep also appears to control the hormones that regulate blood sugar, and losing out on sleep can contribute to elevated HbA1c percentages.

Some of the most remarkable reversals of type 2 diabetes are accomplished through very low-fat eating plans or vegan, raw foods eating plans. These all-plant eating plans for diabetics reliably reverse type 2 diabetes in as little as two weeks. Many diabetics can’t control their blood sugars even with medication when they first begin their usual treatment plan.

Then within a few weeks of a low-fat eating plan, their blood sugars are in good control often without any medication being required. But the low-fat eating plans that really work for type 2 diabetics are very specialized and require careful planning.

Fat Is Essential: Fat in food is feared; unfortunately it’s mere presence has been known to inflict guilt on many people. The latest studies though are showing that some fats actually have a protective effect on your body. Low-fat is not the same as no-fat. Your body uses some of the fats released from food to make hormones. The n-6 essential fatty acids become hormones that your body uses to induce inflammation. This inflammation process is useful when it is used to stop a blood vessel from leaking or for activating your immune system to fight an infection.

There are also smaller n-3 essential fatty acids which your body uses to make the hormones that actually stop inflammation. These hormones instruct your:

  • blood vessels to relax
  • skin to lose its wrinkles
  • immune system to stop any reddening, irritation, pain, and inflammation

Fat is Needed by Everyone: Both kinds of fat are needed by everyone but the tricky part is knowing just how much is needed by the person with type 2 diabetes. Unfortunately most people get far too much of the n-6 essential fatty acids and this increases your risk for several chronic problems and weight gain. These include the fatty acids found in:

  • margarine
  • lard
  • corn oil
  • soybean oil
  • meat
  • butter.

Removing these fats from your eating plan will stop the root cause of type 2 diabetes, inflammation. Inflammation slowly destroys the insulin-producing beta cells of your pancreas… so stop the inflammation and you will stop the destruction of these cells!

How Much Healthy Fat Is Enough: Although some people on successful diabetes reversal diets do well with no fat at all for several weeks, a little bit of fat is fine. Eating no fat at all is something very few people accomplish in the real-world. It is almost impossible to find anyone who is deficient in n-6 essential fatty acids; but you really need to make sure you get a sufficient amount of the valuable anti-inflammatory n-3’s.

Where do you find n-3 fatty acids? Your body’s actual fat requirement is minuscule… so eating a small amount, a handful of:

  • almonds
  • pecans
  • walnuts
  • will give you your n-3 fatty acids each day. Or add up to two tablespoons of almond, grapeseed, olive or walnut oil to your salads or vegetables.

It is best to avoid sunflower oil as it is a source of the pro-inflammatory n-6 essential fatty acids… as are canola and corn oil.
Would you like more information about alternative ways to handle your type 2 diabetes?