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Stop the Children From Dieing
Warning: Children with type 2 face adult complications.
“We are getting the first reports of people who were diagnosed as teenagers and had diabetes for 10 years. They are now in their late 20s and developing kidney failure, requiring amputations, dying and going blind at a higher than expected rate” according to D- David Ludwig, MD, director of the Optimal Weight for Life Clinic, a program for prediabetic children at Boston Children’s Hospital.
This is a terrible situation and I want to make it clear that even if you are not diabetic, the rise and fall of your blood sugar or insulin levels puts you at risk for these serious complications. I have known people with kidney failure and neuropathy who do not have diabetes. A recent article I read states that recent studies have shown a 51% increase in Stroke in boys between the ages of 15 and 34. These numbers were reported by the American Stroke Association and come from the first large nationwide study of stroke hospitalizations by age. . They compared hospitalizations in 1994 and 1995 with those in 2006 and 2007.
I want to draw your attention to Metabolic Syndrome because this is a pre-diabetic condition that is not always diagnosed unless you are under the care of a heart doctor. Therefore, a child or adult may never know they even have it. The warning signs or symptoms are an increasing waist size, slightly elevated blood pressure and low levels of good (HDL) cholesterol, increased triglycerides and high fasting blood sugar levels. Having 3 or more of these findings increases your risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Metabolic Syndrome was once a disease of old age but now begins at age 15 or 20 or 30 and even in the pre-teens. Health consequences can take 15 years to develop, which is why we don’t see these first reports of devastating results in young adults.
There is nothing more important in the prevention of Diabetes and its subsequent health complications than a healthy diet.
I believe the most important thing leading to this epidemic is the increasing use of microwaveable meals and foods that come in a box or can. We need to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean cuts of meat like chicken and fish. Eating healthier will improve your metabolism, which in turn leads to more energy and exercise. The next thing we need to do is supplement. It is known that soils are so polluted that we do not come close to the amounts of vitamins from our food. Adequate nutrition is key to prevention of chronic diseases and illnesses. According to the American Medical Association “70% of diseases are related to diet”
It is common for people who have diabetes to have low levels of the following vitamins and therefore supplementation may be a good idea.
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Chromium- “There are several lines of evidence that suggest that higher doses of chromium supplements may be beneficial,” says William Cefalu, MD, associate professor of medicine and clinical trials at the University of Vermont College of Medicine in Burlington. Diabetes experts say 600 micrograms a day has proven effective.
- Magnesium – one in three diabetics is low in it. Experts recommend 400 milligrams.
- Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA) – there are small amounts in spinach and meat, but experts say more is needed to help relieve a common diabetic condition known as neuropathy, which develops when high sugar levels damage nerve endings. Look for a supplement with 600-1200 milligrams. Note: If you take medication for diabetes, talk to your doctor before supplementing, as it may affect the dosage of your medication. Often less medication is needed with a healthier diet.
- Selenium – an antioxidant that can reduce the risk of heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis and some cancers.
Here are 6 ways to reverse or prevent metabolic syndrome:
- Shedding a few pounds- in a Finnish study even extremely overweight people who lost just 5% of their total body weight (even if they didn’t exercise) reduced their risk of diabetes by 70%.
- Eat smarter – choose foods with a low glycemic index. These foods digest slowly and release sugar steadily into the bloodstream.
- Add fish and Walnuts – this will help increase your HDL while lowering LDL.
- Walk Around the Block activity helps reduce blood sugar and insulin levels by forcing blood sugar into muscle cells.
- Strength Training – Get some resistance bands or hand weights.
- Quit Smoking – smoking increases insulin resistance and even increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer.
Prediabetes can pour enough glucose into your system to damage blood vessels and nerves. This sets the stage for dire complications including blindness, kidney failure, neuropathy, infections and amputations and also puts you at significant risk for fatal heart attacks and a blow
It is sad to find out that by the time one is even diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, they have had prediabetes for 10 or more years. Right now it is estimated by the Center for Disease Control that 41 million Americans have prediabetes.
A third of Americans who have diabetes don’t know they have it. The key here is prevention. Whether a child or an adult, eating healthier reduces the risk of chronic disease and illness. Don’t skip meals. Skipping meals can cause blood sugar to spike. It is always better to eat more often. Smaller portions every 2-3 hours rather than waiting until your hunger gets that blood sugar spike and then overeating.
If your child is overweight and you notice the following warning signs of type 2 diabetes, schedule a doctor’s appointment.
- Frequent urination
- Excessive Thirst
- Extreme Hunger
- Unexplained Weight Loss
- Increased Fatigue
- Blurred Vision
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