What is Diabetes?
Diabetes occurs when your pancreas can’t produce enough insulin. Insulin is the hormone that transports glucose into our cells––to keep up with the high amount of glucose in your blood; this is what people mean when they say they have high blood sugar.
Diabetes results in symptoms like:
- Frequent urination, especially at night
- Excessive hunger and thirst
- Blurry vision
- Fatigue, low energy
- Frequent infections
- Dry, flaky skin
- Burning, numbness/tingling in hands and feet [read more].
As diabetes progresses, worsening symptoms like chronic kidney disease, damage to blood vessels and nerves, and diabetic ketoacidosis may require emergency services and continuous medical attention.
What Factors Lead to Diabetes?
There are 2 types of diabetes, 1 and 2. Type 1 diabetes is a little more serious in nature and we know less about what exactly causes it. But we have a clear picture of type 2 diabetes as an illness brought about by poor diet and lifestyle habits, and probably some genetic and environmental contribution.
Type 1 Diabetes Causes
Type 1 diabetes is thought to be an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks the pancreas, destroying the beta cells that make insulin. Unlike type 2 diabetes, type 1 is thought to be more influenced by genetics and often manifests itself in childhood. It may be instigated by a threat to the immune system such as a virus that causes the immune system to become over-reactive and attack the body [ read more].
Though type 1 diabetes is not directly caused by diet and lifestyle factors, it can be managed through similar dietary and lifestyle recommendations as type 2, in addition to supplementing insulin [read more].
Type 2 Diabetes Causes
Type 2 diabetes has a lot more inputs in terms of potential causes, but it can also be treated by taking steps to reverse those causes. Causes behind type 2 diabetes include:
- Obesity: Obesity or being overweight is thought to be one of the biggest predisposing factors to developing type 2 diabetes. Likely, this is due to a lack of physical exercise, chronically high stress, and eating the Standard American Diet. You can also develop type 2 diabetes without being overweight, however.
- Low-fiber, low-nutrient, high-sugar diet: The Standard American Diet is high in processed foods, industrial seed oils, and sugar, as well as low in fiber and nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and complete proteins. Research has shown that this diet contributes to the development of many chronic diseases [read more].
- Lack of exercise: Regular physical exercise helps the body use glucose as fuel, taking it out of the bloodstream. When we are not exercising regularly, glucose is more likely to build up in the blood and go unused, leading to insulin resistance [read more].
- Oxidative stress: Oxidative stress develops when the body accumulates too many free radicals (a toxic byproduct) through normal cellular metabolic reactions as well as external inputs like pollution, medications, cigarette smoke, etc. Left unregulated, free radicals can tip the body towards disease and dysregulation [read more].
- Working night shift: Human beings are meant to sleep at night and be awake and active during daylight; when this pattern is thrown off, the body can easily become fatigued, dysregulated, and inflamed, leading to increased risk of chronic disease.
- Genetic factors: Genetics and epigenetics can certainly influence the development of type 2 diabetes, but they are not the end-all-be-all. It takes a combination of genetic and lifestyle factors to cause type 2 diabetes, and sometimes genetics may not play a role at all.
All of these factors can lead to insulin resistance, making the liver less responsive to the hormone insulin. Without invention via diet and lifestyle change, type 2 diabetes will develop.
According to the cdc’s website:
- 34.2 million people have diabetes
- That’s about 1 in every 10 people
- 1 in 5 don’t know they have diabetes
- 88 million adults – more than 1 in 3 – have prediabetes
- More than 8 in 10 adults don’t know they have prediabetes
- If you have prediabetes, losing weight by eating healthy and being more active can cut your risk of getting type 2 diabetes in half.
$327 billion total medical costs and lost work and wages for people with diagnosed diabetes. Risk of early death for adults with diabetes is 60% higher than for adults without diabetes. Medical costs for people with diabetes are more than twice as high as for people without diabetes. People who have diabetes are at higher risk of serious health complications:
- kidney failure
- heart disease
- loss of toes, feet, or legs
If you have burning, numbness, or tingling in your feet or hands we can help. Schedule your free nerve pain screening with Schrock Medical by filling out the form below: