November is national diabetes awareness month. When we realize the magnitude of the damage being done by this one disease it really is important to make everyone aware of how to avoid and reverse this disease. Diabetes affects over 29 million Americans and is a major problem in many other countries that have adopted a Western diet and lifestyle.
The full name for this disease is diabetes mellitus. The meaning in the Latin and Greek refers to a siphon or tube that carries sweet liquid. In diabetes the blood and urine are filled with sugar. So much so, that in the early days of diagnosing diabetes doctors would actually taste the urine and they found that it had a sweet honey – like taste. I’m glad I practice in a different era.
So why is all this sugar piled up in the blood and urine? Well let’s first look at normal before we go to the abnormal. When we eat food that breaks down to glucose also known as sugar, that sugar is what we need for energy. As soon as we begin chewing our food begins to break down to sugar. This sugar goes from our mouth, stomach and intestines into our bloodstream and to our cells.
The cells are the workers in our bodies. The food they need to get the job done is in the form of sugar. That sugar comes right to their front door. Almost like Uber eats. The food is brought right to them. However, for the food to get into the cell we need insulin. Insulin acts as a key that opens the door of the cell and allows sugar to enter. Without the key, you can’t open the door. Without insulin, sugar can’t go into the cell.
Many times in a diabetic person there is lots of insulin but the keyhole is jammed up with gum. Gum? Okay stay with me, this will all come together in one second. If you put gum in your keyhole you can’t get the key in. Well it’s the same thing with diabetes. There are various reasons why sugar can’t get into the cell. One could be that there just isn’t enough insulin, like in Type I diabetes. So no key, no open-door. The most common type of diabetes, which is Type II diabetes, is when the keyhole is filled up with gum. What is that gum? Well, the latest research has shown us that this gum represents fat. When the diet is high in fat it prevents insulin from properly opening the channels for sugar to go in.
There’s a lot more to be said on diabetes but that will have to be another time. For now, as you tackle diabetes focus on eating whole, unprocessed plant-based foods. Identify all the fatty, greasy foods in your diet and banish them to the dark side. As you do this you’ll see wonderful results, with less sugar in your blood and more of it going to the right place to give you the energy that you need.
Here’s to giving the boot to diabetes,