Functional Trainer: Holistic Health Series 4; Diabetes and Dysglycemia

Until fairly recently, Diabetic issues and dysglycemia (disrupted blood sugar) were of relatively rare occurrence.

Until fairly recently, Diabetic issues and dysglycemia (disrupted blood sugar) were of relatively rare occurrence.  In recent times they represent a major problem of epidemic levels and can have a devastating impact on quality of life. 

There has been a lot of research into how best to handle blood sugar problems and how to improve quality of life when living with diabetes, but it is first worth considering what has caused such a rise in sufferers and how a holistic approach will always be the most successful.

Rise in Diabetes
Whilst the death rate is declining in the UK, alarmingly the incidence of diabetes is increasing.  Since 1991, the number of women diagnosed with diabetes has increased by about 80% and it has doubled in men.  This rise is associated with increasing obesity levels and heart disease instances.

Although there are other factors, these related diseases correlate closely with the types of food we have been eating.  Given that experts and media at large would tell us that too much fat (in particular saturated fat) in the diet is the major cause of these three diseases, we might expect to see the amount of fat in the UK diet rise accordingly.  Unfortunately we actually see the opposite.  The figures from ‘The National Diet and Nutrition Survey’ cannot be ignored as they illustrate an increase in carbohydrate consumption and decrease in fat consumption.

You are what your ancestors ate! 
There are loads of great books out there on this topic, but put simply it is no wonder that our society is developing so many new illnesses and diseases, when our diet and lifestyle has changed so dramatically in such a short space of time.  For over 500 generations the human race survived on (i.e. were successful on) mainly wild animal meats and vegetation.  Refined sugars and grains did not really feature until a mere 6,000 years ago (drop in the ocean in evolutionary terms) during the agricultural revolution.  The question must be asked as to whether we have since been able to develop the mechanisms to do well on this dietary shift.  The health and disease figures seem to suggest not.

Diseases and Health Problems are never the Real Cause
We often think that factors such as high blood sugar or high cholesterol are the causes of related diseases, but in fact they could just be the symptoms.  The REAL causes are actually imbalances in the body that may lead to changes in blood sugar or cholesterol, or any other disruption in the body’s biochemistry.  The key is being able to make significant changes to these imbalances.  As opposed to only ever treating the symptom.

Holistic Approach to Diabetes and Dysglycemia
So what is the answer?  How do we prevent the rise in diabetes, obesity and heart disease and in addition how do we reverse it if we are already living with it.  When we take a holistic approach, we are simply taking an individual approach and looking at that whole individual. 

Unless we want to continue treating only the symptoms and not the causes we must take responsibility for our own health and seek change.  The key is to not treat the disease that has the person, but treat the person that has the disease.  This makes a great deal of sense when we understand that a disease such as diabetes will have many individual causes that will give rise to the problem.  If we do not treat the whole, we will just be chasing the symptoms around the body.  This cannot be done in one article, but we can introduce some foundational principles:

:: Diet and Nutrition: Essential component is for you to find out what food your body works well on.  Find out your Metabolic Type to eradicate blood sugar problems and balance the body.
:: Exercise: Plays an important role in regulating blood sugar, but is secondary to nutrition.
:: Lifestyle: Anything from how much sleep and relaxation to air quality and hydration will play a critical role.
:: Posture and Alignment: As all the body’s systems are interconnected, posture, alignment, space and length of the body are all influential on things like our ability to digest and deal with foods that we eat.
:: Mental and Emotional: You may not realise, but the food we eat can have a major impact on our mood and thoughts.
:: Stress and Toxicity:  Stress levels from physical to mental affect how healthy, strong and robust our body can be and therefore how likely we are to develop various diseases.  Toxicity in the form of smoking, alcohol, traffic fumes, plastics, heavy metals all have the capacity to block and disrupt the body’s normal functioning.

These are just some ideas when considering our health as a whole and individual.  No matter what our health complaint, diabetes or other, these will be key to our success in achieving optimal health.

Functional Trainer’ provides Corrective Exercise Coaching, The Bowen Technique and Metabolic Typing ® Nutrition.  jack@functionaltrainer.co.uk.

 

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