Unique Solution for an Invisible Pain
Diabetes is one of the most common diseases in the United States and Canada. In the U.S., one in three people has some degree of the disease. In very urban and very rural areas, this number can be even higher. One of the biggest problems with diabetes is that the complications it causes really slow down the body. When you have high blood sugar, the condition affects your entire body, even the tiniest capillaries. It also affects the millions of nerve endings throughout your body.
Nerve Damage From Diabetes
The term used to describe nerve damage and nerve disorders is neuropathy. Diabetic neuropathy occurs when the body is unable to process insulin properly. As a result, your system must deal with the nerve complications of diabetes. These symptoms often occur in the extremities. It is important to note, however, that it is possible to have these symptoms without having diabetes.
Approximately 70 percent of people with diabetes have nerve damage.
An estimated 70 percent of people with diabetes also have nerve damage. In most cases, these problems can be severe. Many older people with diabetes struggle with “tingling,” the primary symptom of diabetic neuropathy. If you really want to learn more about neuropathy, we recommend that you check out The Neuropathy Solution. You can read more about it on The Neuropathy Solution website, or alternatively read our review. It is important to recognize and treat these problems. Just a little tingling or numbness can signal more important and pressing problems under the skin. Digestive problems and neuropathy are sometimes caused by the same problem. However, most people think they are unrelated. Having problems with circulation is a dangerous situation. The essence of circulation is, of course, oxygen. Oxygen is as important to your body as your lungs.
Management Without Cure
The most important information about diabetic neuropathy and diabetes in general is that there is no “cure. There is no pill you can take that will eradicate the disease or make the symptoms go away. The reason for this is that diabetes and diabetic neuropathy are the result of many factors. To control the problem, we need to work on all of them-sometimes different things-at the same time. Imagine you are planning to drive a long distance. If you were worried about the fuel system in your car, the first thing you would probably do is check your gas gauge. Do you have enough gas? Is the gas burning too fast, or is your car smoking while burning gas? Blood glucose levels for a person with diabetes are basically their gas gauge.
Many factors can affect diabetes. But the first thing you should do is find out what your blood glucose levels are. To do this, see a doctor and get your glucose (sugar) levels tested at a healthcare facility. Once you have your readings and baseline values, your doctor can help you understand what your problems might be. Keeping your blood glucose at a healthy level requires a balanced and healthy diet. It also requires regular physical activity. These two activities are half the battle with diabetes and neuropathy. Once you know your blood glucose levels, you can talk to your doctor about what kind of treatment you need.
Fried Foods and Refined Sugars Are a No-No
Either way, as mentioned above, it's important to start eating well and exercising. Some dietary tips: stay away from fried foods and stay away from refined sugars. This includes those found in soda and processed, packaged sweets. Instead, look for unprocessed, “raw,” whole foods and try cooking from scratch, such as these 10 helpful websites for healthy recipes. Also avoid refined carbohydrates. Examples of refined carbohydrates include white bread, white rice, and white pasta. For many people, cutting back on refined carbohydrates is difficult. Mostly, this is because “white carbs” are the cheapest type of carbohydrate available in stores. Alternatively, pasta and red sauce (or pasta and olive oil, pasta and pesto, etc.) can fill you up for a low dollar amount.
When too many refined carbohydrates are introduced to someone with a problem processing carbohydrates and sugars, a problem occurs. White carbohydrates” act like sugar once they are absorbed by the body. They have been “stripped” of other nutrients in their primary creation process. This makes them easy for the body to absorb. The ease of digesting a white carbohydrate causes the body to act as if you just ate a few packets of sugar. A small amount of sugar can be converted into energy by your body. A large amount, however, is something that's relatively unknown and rare in nature. This is what makes sugar so tasty and addictive. It is a rarity in the natural caveman world that our bodies have inhabited for thousands of years. When our bodies suddenly get a surplus of white carbohydrates or sugar, they respond by storing these foods for later use.
Why Are Refined Carbohydrates Bad for People With Diabetes?
When white carbohydrates, or sugar, enter the body, we produce insulin to break them down and store them specifically as fats. These are stored for future use to produce energy. As a result of this process, there used to be a long-held belief that carb-loading was good for people who planned to compete in endurance sports days later. People believed that the carbohydrates and sugars would be sent away for future use by the body. Unfortunately for diabetics, these types of foods put too much stress on their system. This does not mean that carbohydrates are “bad. You just need whole and complex carbohydrates in your diet, and not so much of the other kind.
Fruits and Vegetables: An Alternative Carbohydrate Source
The best sources of carbohydrates for your body's needs are vegetables and fresh fruits. These types of carbohydrates contain B vitamins, which specifically include enzymes. These enzymes cause your body to convert carbohydrates into energy instead of “packing them away” as fat. Refined carbohydrates, on the other hand, have been linked to many types of disease. They negatively affect the heart, liver, pancreas, and kidneys. Research has shown that diets high in refined carbohydrates lead to problems such as learning disabilities, hyperactivity, and violent tendencies. When your body has an inconsistent source of energy, it even begins to affect things like your mood. Finally, do not believe the processed food manufacturers who like to slap phrases like “fortified with B vitamins” on their packages. Science has proven that this kind of artificial “fortification” does not help your body at all.
Let us also talk about the use and consumption of refined grains and cereals. As we mentioned earlier, the “fat” from actual meat consumption is nowhere near as bad as the use of refined grains and carbohydrates, which act like sugar in the body. Especially in the 1990s, “low-fat” and “lite” foods and diets were all the rage. Unfortunately, many people replaced protein fats with carbohydrates and grains. Diabetes follows where those nutrients go.
Vegetables and fresh fruits are rich in fiber, water, vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes.
The ability of your stomach to break down a piece of food is called its ‘Glycemic Index'. Foods with a high glycemic index take a long time to digest and sometimes require a lot of energy for your body to absorb. However, this does not always mean that foods with a high glycemic index are bad for you. Fruit juice, for example, has a very high glycemic index because of the natural sugars it contains. But there aren't many things better for you than fruit juice. Corn, rice, and other grains like wheat also have a very high glycemic index. They are very starchy. They tend to “fill you up” quickly.
The amount of actual nutrients in these types of foods is not very large. It is better to fill up on food sources such as vegetables and fresh fruit. This is where you can and should go wild. All of these types of foods are high in fiber, water, vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes. You should also consider foods that are high in fiber. Fresh berries, coconuts and coconut water, as well as peas, okra, and Brussels sprouts are what you're looking for. Don't overlook legumes. All types of beans, for example, are high in fiber. Look for foods that are nutrient-dense and low in artificial ingredients. A simple “life hack” that can make a big difference when it comes to diabetes is to replace your daily soda with drinks like water, juice, and herbal tea. Instead of chugging sports drinks after a workout (which are loaded with sugar and artificial ingredients), you can dilute orange or apple juice with water. Try filling one-third of your glass with juice and two-thirds with water. It tastes similar to a sports drink, but only has ingredients that are good for you.
Another necessary life hack is to broil and roast foods instead of frying them. Avoid fried foods as well as excess starch and white carbohydrates. Also, eat fruits and vegetables. Those are the basics, but let's dig a little deeper. As always, it's a good idea to check out the excellent guides and articles over at The Neuropathy Solution. Their website is The Neuropathy Solution if you're interested.
Diversify Your Food Sources
Continuing with our theme of dietary improvement, there are many other components to a diabetes-fighting system that we will go over a bit more. You know about cutting down on “white carbs” and processed foods. You know about loading up on fruits and vegetables. But there are a few more tricks.
Remember that your body thrives on a balanced diet. So it is a good idea to add some healthy fats and things like wild-caught fish to the dietary mix. Wild-caught (as opposed to farm-raised) fish are loaded with diabetes-fighting nutrients. Wild salmon, for example, is full of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help regulate some of the symptoms of diabetes and neuropathy on their own. Yes, you can take fish oil supplements, but there's no substitute for the real thing. There's also a lot to be said for “healthy fats,” which also help prevent the body from developing the complications of diabetes and neuropathy. Chia seeds, avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, coconut milk, and many other nuts and seeds are great for you.
Another less obvious way to help regulate blood sugar levels is to eat a reasonable and healthy amount of lean protein. Unfortunately, this is a situation where inexpensive options may not be as healthy. On the other hand, more expensive options such as grass-fed beef and pasture-raised rather than cage-raised poultry are good for you. These types of lean proteins are instant fuel for your body. Plus, they do not negatively affect your insulin levels. Replace your table sugar with stevia. Most “sugar substitutes” are actually worse for your body than real sugar. Stevia, on the other hand, is natural and will not negatively affect your blood sugar levels.
Staying Hydrated and Avoiding Sodium
Another compound you need to try and avoid if you want to reduce the effects of diabetes and neuropathy is sodium aka SALT! Strange, but a lot of packaged and processed foods are loaded with salt. Don't even get me started on fast food! Most of the items on the menu at places like McDonald's and Burger King are loaded with salt. Even salads at many popular fast food restaurants are high in salt, thanks to the dressings and cheeses on top.
Finally, remember to drink plenty of water. Hydration is critical to overall health, and it is water that will curb any negative effects of a high-fiber, low-white carbohydrate diet. Most nutritionists recommend staying under 2000 or 2300 milligrams of sodium per day. In many cases, that's just a burger and large fries at a fast-food restaurant.
So if fast food is out, what is in? Healthy snacks. You can avoid eating junk if you pack a backpack or bag full of tasty things that will fill you up without making you sick. Think protein bars and granola bars instead of candy bars and street food snacks-most of which are loaded with sugar and preservatives. Check the ingredients on some of those “granola bar” and “trail mix” packages and see how healthy they are. Fortunately, most of these snacks are just as sugary as their candy counterparts. Oatmeal is better for you in the morning than a sugary cereal, and fruits and nuts are a much better snack than any candy. Fruit Leathers” and homemade fruit snacks that come out of a food dehydrator are a very good idea. If you do not have the time or inclination to make them yourself, most health food stores have a snack section that sells these types of snacks. Stop by and grab a bag instead of eating something greasy or fried for lunch; your body will reward you later.
The Importance of Exercise in Controlling Diabetes
The other extremely important component to stopping diabetes and neuropathy is, of course, exercise. There's a popular Reddit post called “no zero days” where the author talks about the idea that you should always take steps, no matter how small, that will help you reach your goals. This is how you should approach exercise and sports if you are not currently exercising. If you are not used to it, even walking for a while or lifting weights for 15 minutes can be physically exhausting. Still, try. Strengthening your heart and cardiovascular system will help fight nerve damage.
A good idea, especially if you're new to exercise, is to try low-impact activities like walking, swimming, or riding a bike. Not only are these types of events great cardio workouts and effective for fighting diabetes, but it's relatively easy to ride a bike or walk, even for short periods of time. Do it every day or at least five days a week. Soon your body will reward you with better feelings. As you get in better shape, your body will respond better to insulin and fight neuropathy symptoms. Your circulation will improve, and this type of physical fitness will also reduce “bad cholesterol” and lower your stress levels.
Less Stress, Fewer Complications
When you're stressed, your body reacts more negatively to the symptoms of diabetes and neuropathy. Exercise, hobbies, and being around friends and family should help! Of course, being happy is part of this whole wellness program. The happier you are, the less stress you will experience. In fact, stress has been shown to cause and increase the swelling associated with diabetes. When you fight stress, you're not only happy, you're healthier. I hope this article helps you beat diabetes! For more information, see The Neuropathy Solution.