LIFESTYLE LINKS DIABETES: HOPE FOR THE DIABETIC

Jimmy’s story.  Jimmy was a big baby—10 pounds at birth.  By age ten, he  tipped the scales at 150 pounds.  Just baby fat, his mother reasoned.   He will grow out of it.  Jimmy did grow out of it and into something  worse: diabetes.  By age thirteen he was twenty pounds heavier, tired  all the time, and constantly hungry.  He satisfied his hunger with  donuts and soft drinks.  At school he chose pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs,  fries, and brownies or cookies for dessert.  He rarely ate salad, whole  grains, beans, or fresh fruit.  He seldom exercised.  He was thirsty no  matter how much pop he drank, and suffered from depression and poor  concentration.  His pediatrician told him that on his current course, he  would be dead by age 25.
Sadly, Jimmy’s story is not uncommon.  One out of three children born in  the US in the year 2000 will develop diabetes by young adulthood.   There are roughly 30 million adult diabetics, and nearly 90 million who  are in the process of developing diabetes, called “prediabetes.”1 These  are grim numbers, but there is hope for the diabetic and prediabetic.   Lifestyle changes dramatically change the numbers and the outcome of  this disease. You are not a number.  You are a person, and there is hope  for a new life, better health, and hope in your healing journey.
What is diabetes? Diabetes is a group of diseases characterized by high  levels of sugar in the blood.  But that is only the tip of the iceberg.   Diabetes is a metabolic disorder that causes the body’s cells to be  deprived of fuel (glucose).  When uncontrolled, it causes problems with  circulation, heart health, kidney function, eyesight, immune function,  depression, mental processing, and cancer and dementia risk. Most  diabetics, up to 95%, are type 2, a form of the disease that develops  due to a combination of inactivity, poor nutrition, and overweight.   Eight out of ten people who suffer from type 2 diabetes are overweight.   Those who carry fat at their waist are at higher risk.  Type 1  diabetics have an autoimmune disorder and require daily insulin.  All  forms of diabetes respond well to positive lifestyle choices.

Diabetes, Metabolism, and Microbiome.  Inactivity doubles the risk of  developing diabetes.  Being overweight triples the risk.  When  waist-size in women increases from 28 inches to 38 inches, the risk of  developing diabetes is increased 6
2

fold! The good news is that as much as 90 percent of type 2 diabetes can  be prevented with lifestyle improvement, even if diabetes runs in your  family. 2   The great news is that the very tools that prevent diabetes  also manage and reverse symptoms.  
A low-fiber diet causes a shift in the gut bacteria, called  “microbiome,” that affect metabolism, weight gain, and  insulin-resistance.  A diet rich in vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, and  seeds shifts the gut population to aid in weight loss, insulin  sensitivity, inflammation, and overall metabolism.  Think “crunch” foods  such as celery, raw veggies, apples, and other fibrous foods. Adding  crunchy fiber foods and beans to your meals is a delicious way to curb  cravings and improve weight and blood sugar control. 3
Lifestyle Links for Better Health How can this terrible trend be  reversed? Lifestyle choices can dramatically affect the risk, severity,  and progression of prediabetes and diabetes. Lifestyle links for  preventing and even reversing prediabetes and early diabetes include:  quitting smoking, managing stress, getting adequate sleep, choosing  whole foods, and carving out regular exercise—especially walking after  meals.  
Make Memory Meals.  More home-cooked meals using more vegetables,  fruits, and beans  Eat a high fiber breakfast, including whole grains  and fresh fruit  Start your meal with vegetable soup, salad, or fruit   Increase beans (eat every day if possible), vegetables, and salads    Eliminate/curb high-fat fast foods and sweets  Decrease meat and dairy  intake

Ditch the Drinks  Eliminate soda pop, both diet and regular  Replace  high-calorie lattes and juice drinks with pure water   Replace alcohol  and caffeinated beverages with herbal teas  Drink at least 8-10 glasses  of water each day

Walk to Wellness  To begin, walk briskly for 10 minutes after meals   Plan daily moderate exercise into your schedule  Create an exercise  plan that builds up to a total of one hour a day  Exercise with friends  to keep you motivated  
 The Living Word
Engineered for success.  Every human being is designed by God for  renewal, restoration, and recovery.  Uncontrolled diabetes disrupts body  systems, destroys health, and drains energy.  Fortunately, positive  lifestyle choices can help the diabetic to recover health, restore the  body, and renew strength. God’s plan for healthful living also includes  powerful principles for restoring mental, spiritual, and emotional  health.   
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Whether you suffer as a result of poor choices, a destructive  environment, or inherited risks for depression and disease, God wants to  place you on His healing path—a path which ends in eternal life.  Even  though we live in a world where suffering happens as a result of sin and  evil, we can avoid the needless suffering that comes through choices  that violate health principles that govern our bodies.  Thankfully, even  when we have made wrong choices, we have the promise: “I will restore  health to you and heal you of your wounds, says the LORD.” Jeremiah  17:30
One day at a time, Jimmy started exercising and eating better—and was  able to avoid the terrible prognosis of his doctor that day.  Forming  new habits requires a “one-day-ata-time” mindset—a mindset that doesn’t  look back at past failures.  The apostle Paul illustrated this “can-do”  mindset:  “This one thing I do, forgetting what is behind me, and  reaching forward to the things which are ahead, I press on toward the  goal, for the prize of God’s heavenward call in Christ Jesus.” Phil  3:13-14. Will you make the decision for better choices and health  today?  A healing path is open for you!

1 http://www.cdc.gov/features/diabetesfactsheet/2014. 2 NEJM 2001;345:790-7. 3 http://www.foodandnutrition.org/May-June-2015/Microbiome-The-Garden-Within/


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