Our lifestyles function as an extension of ourselves and our surroundings, a kind of interface between our internal and external environments. Research continues to demonstrate the serious effects imposed upon us by unhealthy environmental and lifestyle factors: Exposure to chemicals through our daily consumption of over-processed foods, sugary drinks, chemical laden body and household products; where we live, how we live, work, exercise, sleep, etc.
Often when talking about the negative effects of environment and lifestyle habits, it is the C word that comes up: Cancer. But recently, researchers have been discovering that environmental pollution and toxins can trigger type II diabetes (not to mention a host of other diseases).
In addition, researchers have demonstrated another lifestyle risk factor: poor sleep habits which alter circadian rhythms can also lead to type II diabetes. New research also shows that blood glucose is involved in the replication of cells at the level of DNA/RNA transcription, and that abnormal levels of glucose in the blood – a major component of diabetes — can have an effect on healthy, normal cell replication.
Research reveals your environment may effect your diabetes risk
What we are seeing here is an increase in known diabetes risk factors that share many of the same risk factors as cancer — correlations that are currently being studied by the American Diabetes Association and the American Cancer Society. Their findings suggest that cancer incidence is associated with diabetes and certain diabetes risk factors as well.
As the number of people diagnosed with diabetes and the pre-diabetes condition known as metabolic syndrome continues to steadily climb, these risk factors and correlations with other diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease are coalescing into an epidemic of extreme magnitude. Recently, a news article stated that by the year 2050, one in three Americans will have type II diabetes.
But can we prevent and control the most common and devastating illnesses facing us today with the same methods? As an integrative doctor with experience treating these and other life threatening diseases, I can say yes. In integrative medicine, each disease treatment depends on many variable factors and is tailored to meet each individual’s specific health needs.
Ultimately type II diabetes IS preventable
However, many of these diseases are preventable and even reversible, using some similar approaches. You can reduce your risks for type II diabetes, as well as cancer, and cardiovascular disease by following a low glycemic index diet, practicing weight control, reducing inflammation, getting regular exercise, reducing stress and following healthy sleeping patterns which can allow your body to regenerate. And if you have been diagnosed with diabetes or any of the above conditions, these lifestyle habits are especially critical for controlling and potentially reversing these diseases.
With type II diabetes and especially the pre-diabetes condition known as metabolic syndrome, many people are unaware that they may even have the condition.
Ultimately, type II diabetes is preventable, regardless of genetic or other predisposition. As with many chronic illnesses, our diet choices, lifestyles and environments have significant influence on our health and well being. This is both good news and bad news, as it shows that we do have the power to take control of our health, but it may also feel daunting when many factors in our environment seem out of our sphere of influence.
I encourage you not to give up however, because even the slightest improvements in how we treat ourselves and live our lives can offer huge benefits to our entire being. Remember, the right knowledge is available and there are always choices, and with both of these comes the empowerment to take control of your health, no matter where you are in life, or what environment you find yourself in.
Dr. Isaac Eliaz, a pioneer in the field of integrative medicine since the early 1980's, is a respected author, lecturer, researcher, product formulator and clinical practitioner.
Since 1991 Dr. Eliaz has maintained a busy private practice in northern California that focuses primarily on integrative, holistic protocols for cancer patients. He leads an integrative medical team at Amitabha Clinic in Sebastopol, California with focus on cancer and other chronic ailments.
To learn more, please visit www.dreliaz.org.
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