Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Men’s Health Concern #6: Type 2 Diabetes

Per the Mayo Clinic the 6th biggest threat to men’s health is Diabetes, specifically Type 2. If you have been reading along, you will note one of the men's interests and issues repeated here is nutrition and diet. It is partly due to the environmental impact of our food supply but also because of the health and wellness aspects of eating well. Eating well can tie into most of the 7 threats, in regards to prevention, but it is integral to the issue of Diabetes.


Per the American Diabetes Association, Diabetes 2 is:
the most common form of diabetes. Millions of Americans have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and many more are unaware they are at high risk. In type 2 diabetes, either the body does not produce enough insulin or the cells ignore the insulin. Insulin is necessary for the body to be able to use glucose for energy. When you eat food, the body breaks down all of the sugars and starches into glucose, which is the basic fuel for the cells in the body. Insulin takes the sugar from the blood into the cells. When glucose builds up in the blood instead of going into cells, it can lead to diabetes complications which for men include: heart disease, nerve damage and kidney damage. Amputation, blindness and even death can all result from not properly diagnosing or treating diabetes

Men with type 2 diabetes can even have their sexual health affected. They are twice as likely to suffer from low testosterone as a man without diabetes and apparently Erectile Dysfunction is higher in men with diabetes as well. That should be a kick in the... um behind... to men to monitor their health.

There are many resources and you can read up more about the effects and symptoms of diabetes. But here I would rather speak to prevention as I would like to see all men - and women - be aware of the easy ways to prevent what can be a serious illness.

There are really two main ways to prevent Diabetes 2: nutrition and exercise. It really is all about maintaining a healthy weight. Now, not being a big exercise guy myself and being a food lover, I prefer to focus on the nutrition aspect. Studies show that for most Americans losing 5 to 7 pounds can drastically reduce the chances of getting Diabetes 2, as well as other health issues. We should all exercise, but 5 pounds is something you can easily lose by small changes to your diet. I am not going to go into a whole plan or long spiel about nutrition. Again you can look up that information if you want. All I am going to say is - whole and natural is better than processed, home cooked is better than fast food, and if you eat animal products make sure they are taken care of - it effects your health not just theirs. If you want to read more I have plenty of posts here that you can find under Well-Fed such as giving up wheat which has allowed me to lose over 10 pounds in two months and with it likely my blood-sugar, blood-pressure, and other risk factors.

Diabetes 2 can be prevented or delayed, and even managed if you get it, simply by your health and wellness. That is much better than the complications and the medication if you have it so please take a look at your life and see if small changes can improve your chances.