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Problem

Metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and insulin resistance have reached epidemic proportions where someone dies every 10 seconds in the United States from a related complication to diabetes. Diabetes and cardiovascular disease have outpaced infectious disease as the primary cause for morbidity and mortality across the globe.

Who it affects?

One in three people will develop diabetes in their life time as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Type 2 diabetes use to be a disease of the middle-aged and elderly. No longer is this the case. Approximately one in three of those newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes is under age 18. A Yale study in 2013 noted nearly one in four children between ages four and 18 is pre-diabetic.

Symptoms

Metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and insulin resistance are characterized by high blood sugars. Low blood sugar can also be problematic. Not as common as elevated glucose, low blood sugars can cause symptoms of anxiety, confusion, heart palpitations, shakiness, visual disturbances. Serious complications of low blood sugar are seizures, loss of consciousness, and death. Elevated and low blood sugars result from dysregulation of blood sugar control. There are several causes for this: Poor diet / nutritional intake

  • Lack of exercise and physical activity
  • Poor gut health
  • Inadequate sleep / circadian disturbance
  • Chronic stress
  • Environmental toxins
  • HPA (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal) axis imbalances

Elevated and low blood sugars share the same root causes. They are completely preventable. In some situations, completely reversible with diet and lifestyle changes alone.

Research

Those with diabetes have a 50% increase risk of death and higher risk for heart attack, blindness, kidney failure, stroke, and losing their toes or feet. Insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and pre-diabetes are clear indicators of blood sugar dysregulation and indicated diabetes development is underway. The modern sedentary lifestyle, Standard American Diet high in refined carbohydrates, sleep disturbances, poor gut health, chronic stress, and HPA axis dysfunction can cause blood sugar.

Solution

The solutions starts with dietary measures. Initiating a Paleo 30 day rest or low-carbohydrate variation with increasing protein intake. Monitor blood glucose and adjust carb intake accordingly. Additional dietary measures include eating fermented foods and fibers to support gut health. Using resistant starch to improve insulin sensitivity. Specific recommendations for high blood sugar includes intermittent fasting and not snacking. Those with low blood sugar recommend eating every 2-3 hours, within 30 minutes of waking, and eating a bedtime snack. Address any HPA axis dysfunction, thyroid, intestinal permeability, environmental toxins, and infections.

Lifestyle measures include sleeping deeply and creating healthy bedtime habits. Exercising with more standing, walking, light activity, and moderate-intensity. Managing your stress daily. Supplementing with specific nutrients that encourage balanced blood sugars.