13 Nov Metabolic Health and Diabetes
How does metabolic health impact diabetes?
The metabolic system is what gives us the energy and ability to carry out daily activities, whether strenuous or the simplest of actions. Metabolism refers to a set of personal chemical processes that occur in the body. Usually, these processes are designed to either convert food to energy, food to building blocks or to eliminate waste from the body.
A compromised metabolic system results in an inefficiency or inability to correctly perform metabolism. When this occurs, daily life may be significantly impacted by weight gain, lethargy, brain “fog” or a host of other symptoms. Commonly known examples of a compromised metabolic system include metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance and diabetes.
Diabetes is the most well known of these issues and occurs when too much sugar circulates in the blood. This can either be because the body’s cells are resistant to insulin (type 1 diabetes), the hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar, or because the pancreas produces little or no insulin (type 2 diabetes). Both types of diabetes require constant management, as chronic levels of high blood sugar can cause serious health problems with the eyes, kidney, nerves and teeth, as well as increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and death.
There are several important measurables in assessing risk for diabetes:
- Do you have a family history of diabetes?
- Do you know your A1C (blood measurement that represents average blood sugar over the last three months and is used as a screening tool for diabetes and metabolic disorders)?
- Do you know how much sugar you consume daily?
- Do you eat bread/bagels, pasta, crackers/pita, white rice, potatoes or pastries of any kind?
- Do you consume sugary beverages, juices, dairy drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks or sodas as mixers with alcohol?
You can take the longer version of our diabetes risk assessment here.
It is important to consult with your doctor about these risk factors, but the good news is that diabetes can be regulated with proper diet and exercise. For more information about diabetes check out the American Diabetes Association at diabetes.org.