Our blog supports the annual Men's Health Week taking place this week, 11-17 June. The focus this year is diabetes. At Jung Shim we wanted to remind all of our readers about this important and prevalent topic, and to highlight what lifestyle changes can be made to protect ourselves and our loved ones from this modern day issue.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes occurs when your blood sugar (glucose), is too high (hyperglycemia). Glucose is what the body uses for energy, and the pancreas produces a hormone called insulin that helps convert the glucose from the food you eat into energy. When the body reacts to the production of insulin, by either producing too much, not producing enough, or becoming resistant to it, we lack energy as the glucose doesn’t reach our cells.
What are the types of diabetes?
There are two main types of diabetes, type 1 and type 2.
- Type 1 diabetes, formerly called juvenile diabetes, because it usually is diagnosed during childhood is an auto-immune condition in which the body does not produce insulin because the immune system attacks insulin-producing cells from the pancreas called beta cells. Type 1 diabetes is treated by using insulin.
- Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which cells cannot use blood sugar (glucose) efficiently for energy. This occurs when blood sugar levels get too high over time, and the cells become insensitive or resistant to insulin (termed insulin resistance). There are multiple medications used to treat type 2 diabetes.
How prevalent is it?
In the UK 3.8 million people are estimated to have both types of diabetes. However, approximately 90% of diabetes cases are Type 2 which is caused by genetic and environmental factors.
Diabetes is more common in men (9.6% compared with 7.6% women) and people from south Asian and black ethnic groups are nearly twice as likely to have the disease compared with people from white, mixed or other ethnic groups, (15.2% compared to 8.0%).
It is also estimated that almost 1 million people with Type 2 diabetes haven’t yet been diagnosed.
Reducing your risk of type 2 diabetes
Even if you are prone to genetic type 2 diabetes, you can still reduce your risk by changing your habits. Here are some things you can start doing today:
- Exercise. Moderate physical activity on most days of the week helps manage weight, reduce blood glucose levels and may also improve blood pressure and cholesterol.
- Eat a balanced, healthy diet. Reduce the amount of fat in your diet, especially saturated and trans fats. Eat more fruit, vegetables and high-fibre foods. Cut back on salt.
- Limit takeaway and processed foods. ‘Convenience meals’ are usually high in salt, fat and kilojoules. It’s best to cook for yourself using fresh ingredients whenever possible.
- Limit your alcohol intake. Too much alcohol can lead to weight gain and may increase your blood pressure and triglyceride levels.
- Quit smoking. Smokers are twice as likely to develop diabetes as non-smokers.
- Manage your weight. Excess body fat, particularly if stored around the abdomen, can increase the body’s resistance to the hormone insulin.
- Control your blood pressure. Most people can do this with regular exercise, a balanced diet and by keeping a healthy weight. In some cases, you might need medication prescribed by your doctor.
- Reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. Diabetes and cardiovascular disease have many risk factors in common, including obesity and physical inactivity.
- See your doctor for regular check-ups. As you get older, it’s a good idea to regularly check your blood glucose, blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels.
How Jung Shim energy treatments can help
When we have a shortage of human energy, Qi, many things can impact us. The more energy you have the more resilient you are. And with increased energy levels we feel more able to make and maintain the lifestyle changes we need to stay healthy.
Our energy treatments can be very supportive because they calm the body and can be used to de-stress, release tension and pain, detoxify and relieve anxiety and depression.