A friend of mine who’s diabetic once joked ‘it’s a good thing mosquitoes don’t have anything in the way of a sweet tooth’, suggesting that if they did he’d be the preferential bite target during our regular backpack camping trips. Some of you may not get the joke, but diabetes is the result of having prolonged elevated blood sugar levels and, well – sugar is sweet. This condition is particularly common nowadays (a staggering 86 million people in the USA are diabetic) and that’s in large part a reflection of dietary choices along with a sedentary lifestyle.
I suppose it’s worth mentioning that maintaining high blood sugar levels will make your pre-diabetic first (a product of insulin resistance, detailed below). Once you’re there, it’s highly advisable you put the brakes on the development of full-blown diabetes with major diet changes and a whole lot of vigorous exercise. Supplement options for controlling blood sugar levels exist too, and AOR’s Ortho-Glucose II is an all-natural formulation that utilizes a mix of cinnamon, chromium and an herb called Gymnema Sylvestre to encourage healthy glucose metabolism and lower blood sugar levels.
But let’s break this down. The question for some has always been ‘why does it matter how much sugar is in my blood?’ Well, for starters you MUST have sugar in your blood in order for the millions of cells in your body to function properly. This fuel isn’t sugar per se in the conventional understanding of it – that being a refined white powder that you add to your java in the morning.
Rather, blood sugar is actually blood glucose, and when it’s present in just the right amount in your body it facilitates a very important process – allowing your cells to generate and crank out the energy required to run pretty much the entire gamut of physiological processes required for life, including one that’s of paramount importance – making your heart beat!
Anyways, enough about that. Be assured you need blood glucose and you’d be very badly off without it. Let’s discuss next how much is ideal, how much is too little, and how much is too much. These measurements are relative to the period of time prior to or since consuming food:
- Less than 100mg/dL but more than 60mg/dL with not having eaten for at least 8 hours previous is considered normal
- Between 100 and 140mg/dL within 2 hours of having eaten is considered normal
Exceed these levels on either end and here’s what happens, in order of detrimental significance:
- The cells of your pancreas are where insulin is produced. Long story short, insulin allows the cells of the body to use glucose as energy, and when that happens efficiently then the liver takes up glucose and converts it to storable form – glycogen. When the pancreas is overloaded with sugar, it overcompensates and the pancreas can become permanently damaged.
- A slow hardening of the arteries, called atherosclerosis, occurs and can increase the risk of heart disease as well degenerative circulatory conditions
- Blood vessel deterioration occurs, which has a whole host of potential problems then arising from it:
- Kidney disease and / or kidney failure
- Heart attacks
- Vision loss or blindness
- Weakened immune system (leading to permanently greater risk of all sorts of infections)
- Erectile dysfunction
- Neuropathy (nerve damage) with chronic painful tingling in feet, legs, and hands
- Slow wound healing, where in some severe cases amputation may even be required
Specifically cardiovascular-related concerns can also be addressed with smart supplementation, including with AOR’s Chromium Picolinate. It enhances the role of insulin, allowing it to travel through the body and control blood sugar levels with greater consistency throughout. Further, the chromium works to maintain stable glucose levels during intense physical exercise, which should appeal to endurance sports types who have become pre-diabetic.
When your blood sugar levels are balanced, you’ll be ‘firing on all cylinders’, as they say, and you’re body will be operating with an impressive level of efficiency. The opposite of this optimum functionality – and the road to diabetes - begins with insulin resistance.
Insulin Resistance: Too Little Absorption
Insulin resistance is your cells being to longer make effective use of the insulin produced by your pancreas. They have trouble absorbing the glucose, and as a result it builds up as sugar in the blood. Leave this unchecked and you’ll quickly become pre-diabetic.
You’re more likely to become pre-diabetic if you’re:
- Overweight or obese `
- Live a sedentary (predominantly inactive) lifestyle
- Have low HDL cholesterol levels or high triglyceride levels
- Have high blood pressure (140/90mm Hg or above)
- Are of American-Indian, African-American, Latino, Asian-American, or Pacific Islander descent
Fortunately, insulin resistance can be countered much more effectively than onset prediabetes, and one such product that is effective for that is AOR’s R-Lipoic Acid. The best way to prevent insulin resistance, is to eat healthily and maintain a healthy body weight.
Metabolic Syndrome X
The last aspect of the importance of moderated blood sugar levels we’ll touch on today is avoiding the development of insulin resistance syndrome. Prediabetes is the condition precipitated by insulin resistance, but insulin resistance syndrome – although related - is something entirely different. Also known as metabolic syndrome X, it’s when you have any of the following symptoms IN ADDITION TO hyperglycemia – which is the primary definer for having prediabetes:
- Central obesity (excess subcutaneous fat around your midsection)
- High blood pressure
- High triglycerides
- High-fasting glucose levels
- Low HDL-cholesterol levels
- Brain fog
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) for women
- Erectile dysfunction for men
- Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
- Acanthosis Nigricans (browning of skin around nape of neck, armpits, groin, face)
The bulk of these conditions have ties to your body’s mitochondria and their function effectively. AOR’s Co-Q Plus is a powerful mitochondrial antioxidant that promotes good health throughout the entire body, but in specific reference here it is effective as an additional source conducive to maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. Pairing it with any of the aforementioned supplements can be a good choice if you are also displaying any of the metabolic syndrome X symptoms listed above.
Enjoying life without any of the hindrances of poor health is highly preferable, and diabetes is for the most part entirely avoidable. Eat right, consume certain substances in moderation, and be very active and you’ll be able to steer clear of it without too much difficulty.