Friday, February 5, 2010


Ok...I normally don't watch The Oprah Winfrey Show. However yesterday while flipping through the channels, I stopped as something caught my eye. The show was with Dr. Oz and Bob Greene about the silent killer of Diabetes. I stopped because I have family members that currently suffer from diabetes and the side effects the disease causes. Oprah, Dr. Oz and Bob Greene are attempting to bring more awareness to the disease and educate us on this disease that in most cases is a preventable, treatable and curable disease. I am of course talking about Type 2 Diabetes. Type 1 is genetic and is treatable. However, in most cases of Type 1 diabetes, it is not curable.

Type 2 Diabetes however, is 98% man made. It is the disease that most overweight people will get and endure. Studies show there are approximately 6 million Americans right now that are living undiagnosed. Our diets and our sedentary lifestyle has increased not only the chances of more and more Americans to be diagnosed, but in the next 10 years, it will be the number 1 disease in America. Have I shocked you yet with all of these details? Wait...there is more. There are hidden sugars everywhere. For instance, who doesn't have these things currently in their fridge and eat regularly...ketchup and ranch dressing? For every 2 tablespoons of ketchup, there are 2 teaspoons of sugar. For 1 serving of ranch dressing, there are 3 teaspoons of sugar. One can of soda contains 10 teaspoons of sugar. And, if you consume 1 can of soda a day, based on a Harvard study, you are increasing your risk of getting Type 2 Diabetes by 83%.

Needless to say, my jaw hit the floor. If you are like me and you have family members that currently suffer from diabetes, your risk factor for Type 2 Diabetes is almost certain. This doesn't mean you shouldn't consume any sugar at all. Our brain uses sugar to process data and think, our bodies need natural sugars as much as it needs protein and carbohydrates. Most people think Type 2 Diabetes is only about sugar, but this is a common misconception. It is about all the foods we eat. Eating simple carbohydrates and sugars that are highly processed, "white foods" as an example, and eating them in such quantities that our bodies can't produce enough insulin to help our bodies absorb nutrients properly. Oh, and most of Type 2 Diabetics will not die from a diabetic coma, they will die from a heart attack. The unprocessed sugar pumping through our bloodstream will scratch the lining of our blood vessels running through our heart. This will cause an abrasion to the vessels and the body will try to repair the damage. In doing so, over time, the repaired vessels will continue to become abrased and repaired causing scar on top of scar and ultimately close off the vessel. This is what will cause the heart attack. The same abrasions can and will happen in the legs causing loss of blood flow to the feet and legs. Many diabetics then suffer from amputations of their toes, feet and portions of their legs.

I have to say I have read many articles and seen many shows about Diabetes, but this actually spoke volumes to me. I was shaking my head almost through the whole show. The cure is very simple to hear and understand, but very difficult for most, including myself to do. Eat healthy, reduce processed food and sugars. Most importantly....EXERCISE! Exercise not only helps you to lose weight, but also helps to lower your blood sugar. I am not ashamed to say that I hate to exercise. I wish that were not the case. I have a chance right now not only to help myself, but to teach my Brownies before they are engrained in poor eating habits and a sedentary lifestyle.

One of the things I continue to hear in my head...EXERCISE IS NOT NEGOTIABLE! I can easily make an excuse every minute of every day of why I can't find time to exercise. I need to clean the house, I'm tired, I want to do something fun and crafty or the most common...I just don't want to. I am lucky enough to have a husband that is very active and encouraging. Even when I don't want to, he helps motivate me in a positive way to get me up even if it is 11:30p at night. The Oprah Winfrey Show honestly didn't tell me anything I didn't already know, maybe the details about hidden sugar and really defining for me how Diabetes damages the body internally. The eat healthy and exercise...doesn't everybody know that part? If you are overweight, I hope you too are motivated to get up and do something. 30 minutes a day of exercise is all it takes. Repeat after me...EXERCISE IS NOT NEGOTIABLE!

1 comment:

almost five said...

Great reminders and motivation... my family also suffers from its share of diabetes, and I think about that often in trying to keep our family healthy.

Hope you guys are staying warm down there... been too long! Congrats on all the potty training success... you're amazing!!!