Metformin and diabetes scare

Diabetes is a pandemic with prevalence in USA and most of the world. Metformin is one of the oral pills prescribe by doctors as an alternative to injected insulin. Metformin is a treatment for Diabetes 2. In order to get cured, a diet and exercise regimen must be integrated as a routine lifestyle. Sadly, most people continue taking pills, drink soda, eat Oreo, and watch TV. Then they wonder why Metformin dose increases as Diabetes grows worse.

More than 100 million U.S. adults are now living with diabetes or prediabetes, according to a recent report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). People with type 1 diabetes don’t produce insulin, and are born with it. People with type 2 diabetes don’t respond to insulin as well as they should and later in the disease often don’t make enough insulin, according to Healthline. There have been higher incidences of Diabetes Type 2. Type 2 diabetes has several causes: genetics and lifestyle are the most important ones. A combination of these factors can cause insulin resistance, when your body doesn’t use insulin as well as it should. You may not feel it. Could be major or minor. A blood test at your primary care physician is the best way to get clues.

So you’ve got the results of your blood test. Basic glucose is in normal range. Your triglycerides are in the normal range. But the Hemoglobin A1C is getting mighty close to the pre-diabetic range. The A1c test evaluates the average amount of glucose in the blood over the last 2 to 3 months by measuring the percentage of glycated hemoglobin in the blood and has been added to blood tests over the past 10 years. Now your doctor recommends starting Metformin on prescription. Metformin is a commonly prescribed drug. Metformin works to lower the amount of sugar in the blood of people with diabetes. It does this by lowering the amount of sugar produced in the liver, and also increasing the sensitivity of muscle cells to insulin. In your blood test, it helps reduce your Hemoglobin A1c score. Does it make you non-diabetic?

There are a few things to consider:

Metformin leads to significant reduction in testosterone levels, sex drive and induction of low testosterone-induced erectile dysfunction. Of course so can diabetes.

Commonly reported side effects of metformin include: lactic acidosis, diarrhea, nausea, nausea and vomiting, vomiting, and flatulence. Other side effects include: asthenia, and decreased vitamin B12 serum concentrate. 77% of metformin users with vitamin B12 deficiency also had peripheral neuropathy, a common form of nerve damage associated with type 2 diabetes. Peripheral neuropathy is a type of nerve damage most often characterized by pain, tingling, and numbness in the hands and feet. Vitamin B-12, or cobalamin, is a nutrient you need for good health. It’s one of eight B vitamins that help the body convert the food you eat into glucose, which gives you energy.

Impaired renal function can lead to the accumulation of metformin, and elevated concentrations of metformin have been associated with lactic acidosis.: Metformin may have an adverse effect on renal function in patients with type 2. Metformin is not considered intrinsically hepatotoxic. In fact, metformin may be beneficial in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Damaged liver diseases may not work with metformin.

Metformin has been around since the 1920’s. It is based on natural sources. Metformin was originally developed from natural compounds found in the plant Galega officinalis, known as French lilac or goat’s rue. Metformin was also marketed as Glucophage. Generic metformin and Glucophage are prescription medications for Diabetes Type 2, and are taken orally.

We mention that Diabetes 2 may be linked to poor diets and lack of exercise. Medical News Today notes: Exercise can reduce insulin resistance and improve type 2 diabetes symptoms. However, some research suggests that taking metformin in the short term may reduce the positive effects of exercise on insulin sensitivity. One study showed metformin alone and exercise alone led to 55% and 90% improvements in skeletal muscle insulin sensitivity, respectively. Significantly, however, metformin + exercise led to a smaller improvement at 30%.

Is it better to focus on activity lifestyle changes than resorting to Meformin? Does diet factor in?

Per Healthline, Metformin doesn’t really link with helping weight loss. f you’re losing weight while taking metformin, it may or may not be the result of the medication. Weight loss can result from other factors as well. For example, some health conditions may cause loss of appetite, which can lead to weight loss. These conditions include:
depression
stress
anxiety
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
cancer
AIDS
Parkinson’s disease

Classic signs and symptoms that suggest you’ve moved from prediabetes to type 2 diabetes include:
Increased thirst.
Frequent urination.
Fatigue.
Blurred vision.

The symptoms of diabetes 2 are something to get depressed and anxious about. The early signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes can include:
Frequent urination.
Increased thirst.
Always feeling hungry.
Feeling very tired.
Blurry vision.
Slow healing of cuts and wounds.
Tingling, numbness, or pain in the hands or feet.
Patches of dark skin.

According to Mayo Clinic, a blood sugar level less than 140 mg/dL (7.8 mmol/L) is considered normal. A blood sugar level from 140 to 199 mg/dL (7.8 to 11.0 mmol/L) is considered prediabetes. This is sometimes referred to as impaired glucose tolerance. If you receive a prediabetes diagnosis, it means you have a higher-than-normal blood sugar level. But, it’s not high enough to be diagnostic for diabetes. If you don’t get treatment for it, prediabetes can lead to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

Now Hemoglobin A1C makes it simpler. An A1C level below 5.7 percent is considered normal. An A1C level between 5.7 and 6.4 percent is considered prediabetes. Above that, you’ve Diabetes 2 to contend with.

Hypoglycemia is another non-diabetic form of pre-diabetes. Hypoglycemia is the condition when your blood glucose (sugar) levels are too low. It happens to people with diabetes when they have a mismatch of medicine, food, and/or exercise. Non-diabetic hypoglycemia, a rare condition, is low blood glucose in people who do not have diabetes.

Hyperglycemia is the technical term for high blood glucose (blood sugar). High blood sugar happens when the body has too little insulin or when the body can’t use insulin properly.

More doctors and endocrine specialists are happy to prescribe Metformin merely from A1C test results but when you observe the different mechanisms of diabetes a glucose tolerance test should be recommended. A glucose tolerance test measures how well your body’s cells are able to absorb glucose (sugar) after you consume a specific amount of sugar. Doctors use fasting blood sugar levels and hemoglobin A1c values to diagnose type 1 and type 2 diabetes as well as prediabetes. These tests may last 1 to 3 hours on average.

According to Healthline, a two-hour, 75-gram oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) is used to test for diabetes. A healthcare provider will take a fasting lab draw of blood to test your fasting glucose level first. They’ll then ask you to drink 8 ounces of a syrupy glucose solution that contains 75 grams of sugar.

You’ll then wait in the office for two hours. The healthcare provider will draw blood at the one- and two-hour marks.

Blood glucose, or sugar, is sugar that is in your blood (easy enough!). It comes from the food that you eat — foods that contain carbohydrate, such as bread, pasta and fruit are the main contributors to blood glucose. The cells in our bodies need glucose for energy — and we all need energy to move, think, learn and breathe. The brain, which is the command center, uses about half of all the energy from glucose in the body. When we eat food, the pancreas (an organ that sits between the stomach and the spine) goes to work, releasing enzymes that help to break down food and hormones that help the body handle the influx of glucose. One of these hormones is insulin, and it plays a key role in managing glucose levels in the blood.

The lifestyle changes are exercises and reducing carbohydrate consumption throughput the day.

There are supplements that may be good alternatives to Metformin use:

Chromium is an essential trace mineral that helps the hormone insulin to function at its full potential. Nicotinate and picolinate are two forms of chromium. … Additionally, in a direct comparison against chromium nicotinate, the picolinate source was less effective in supporting the action of insulin.

Cinnamon may help lower blood sugar and fight diabetes by imitating the effects of insulin and increasing glucose transport into cells ( 6 ). It can also help lower blood sugar by increasing insulin sensitivity, making insulin more efficient at moving glucose into cells.

Vanadium compounds are potent in controlling elevated blood glucose levels in experimentally induced diabetes. However the toxicity associated with vanadium limits its role as therapeutic agent for diabetic treatment.

Bitter melon is linked to lowering the body’s blood sugar. This is because the bitter melon has properties that act like insulin, which helps bring glucose into the cells for energy.

Of course neither of these supplements haven’t received FDA approval to support or deny their claims. Most evidence is derived from small studies in Europe and Asia.

Sunergetic Blood Sugar Support has all the above and more. It helps me keep my A1C scores within normal range. But this claim is by no means scientific.

Large overdoses of metformin can lead to lactic acidosis as well. Suicide with metformin is rare. Intake of 35 g of metformin has been shown to be lethal. Severe liver problems could lead to a buildup of lactic acid. Lactic acid buildup raises your risk of lactic acidosis. Metformin also raises your risk, so taking it if you have liver problems is dangerous.

Because supplements have little supporting research, no figures were established. Properly dosing supplements requires a good licensed nutritionist. It will help recommend dosage to avoid side effects. Doctors, in USA, are not trained with nutritional avenues of alternate medicine. So it’s Metformin or 2 or 3 others on the prescription market.

Dietary restrictions are one way to help get Hemoglobin A1C levels down. You’re better off consulting a nutritionist. They work with your doctors. Philosophy is different. Doctors approach is what you can’t eat. A nutritionist focuses on what you can eat. How and when.

There’s a good 4-letter word for a diet that literally knocks out all those carbs that drives your pancreas crazy if you’re diabetic 2. The word is Keto. According to keto proponents, by slashing the carbs you consume and instead filling up on fats, you safely enter a state of ketosis. That’s when the body breaks down both dietary and stored body fat into substances called ketones. Your fat-burning system now relies mainly on fat – instead of sugar – for energy.

Proponents claim a keto diet is great for weight loss. Can it reduce diabetes 2 symptoms? The ketogenic diet, according to Healthline, has the potential to decrease blood glucose levels. Managing carbohydrate intake is often recommended for people with type 2 diabetes because carbohydrates turn to sugar and, in large quantities, can cause blood sugar spikes. f you already have high blood glucose, eating too many carbs can be dangerous. By switching the focus to fat, some people experience reduced blood sugar. But fat is also a source of triglyceride. Here again, a nutritionist might be helpful.

One problem with keto are ketones. Diabetic ketoacidosis is a serious complication of diabetes that occurs when your body produces high levels of blood acids called ketones. Theu can be tested with a urine test. When levels get too high, you can develop DKA. DKA may happen to anyone with diabetes, though it is rare in people with type 2. Treatment for DKA usually takes place in the hospital.

Discovering you are pre-diabetic or have diabetes 2 is scary. Is it as scary as doing an hour of cardio-exercise four times a week?

The alternative is to just take Metformin and don’t be frightened until you lose peripheral body parts and lose vision. Yes, that is the long term problems with Diabetes 2.

Your main job is to get your Hemoglobin levels back to safe levels and keep them there. Keep all sugar levels in normal range. Then you’re out of the fear zone. The path is ominous and dark. But you’ve many to co-miserate with. Connect with a diabetes support group and share your experiences. Make friends but don’t go out to dinner. lol

I believe in a holistic attack on diseases. Diabetes 2 is one of them. Diabetes 2 influences your life and your emotions about your life. Change your lifestyle and diet choices. You may soon be clinically diabetes 2 free.

Eating healthy requires acquired taste obedience

Eating healthy requires acquired taste obedience for many reasons as a lifestyle. While most food addicts follow undiscriminating diets, eating healthy means making choices that we hope will keep bodies and minds healthy and well. A healthy lifestyle offers no assurances of longevity. Eating healthy results rely mostly on faith through obedience in optimizing your living life by choice.

In Corinthians 6:19-20: Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. Many forget that phrase, especially when it comes to eating healthy. A few remember that, as a body temple, how, what, and when you eat is bound to body and soul and even fewer practice eating healthy.

A recent recent study published in the Journal of the American Health Association Journal 3/7/2017, discusses observations of those eating healthier as a means of dieting. The article, Change in Percentages of Adults With Overweight or Obesity Trying to Lose Weight, 1988-2014 indicates that there is a percentage loss among these dieters when compared to studies in 1990. About 2 out of every 3 Americans are either overweight or obese, a decline of 7 percent means millions more people may have given up on dieting. The stumbling block is a motivational drop-off. Those who focus on eating healthy make a life-long commitment, for whatever the results.

Eating a healthy diet and what it means starts at younger ages. When integrated into a learning process when younger, eating healthy is normal. It is definitely a nurturing process.

Eating healthy requires acquired taste obedience as an alternate lifestyle. While there are many foods considered healthy, there are some with dietary restrictions due to illnesses. Among the lists of healthy foods, there are serving size considerations. Eating healthy requires focus and acquired taste as an alternate lifestyle sense of obedience. In most cases and situations, eating healthy in a world surrounded by snacks and sugary desserts, is a form of strict discipline. After all, eating healthy is not normal. There are so many attractive, delicious less healthy foods all over the place.

At the supermarket, the customer in front of me purchased 5 largebags of assorted chips, 2 boxes of crackers, 2 pounds M&M’s, potato salad, cole slaw, 10 liters of Coke and 2 packs of cookies. She also added about a dozen of those Ramen noodle soups in a cup. Thankfully, she added family packs chicken and steak. I noted to her that it looks like a great diet. She says, “That’s what my family wants. I make them happy.” While eating healthy requires discipline, eating unhealthy delivers quick gratifications of happiness. It’s a sharp contrast of rewards.

If you look at supermarket circulars, many listings promote normal lifestyles. Some support healthy lifestyles, where available. People choosing to eat healthy is a minority.

Eating healthy is akin to a religion. There are guides and scores of information. There are no spiritual leaders. The adage of “Seek and Ye Shall Find” requires lots of fervor. The rewards are fewer diseases, weight management, and going to heaven later than sooner. Most do not follow this faith. They’d rather die happy with lunches of 2 burger deluxe and 2 cans of coke. While eating healthy requires a tossed salad or sandwich on multi-grain bread, with spring water. Quite an alternative! Who is happier? Who is sicker?

How and what you eat influences your health and mental state. Eating unhealthfully may affect your body weight, blood pressure, your spine, your arteries, your heart, and brain. It may confuse hormones and the vital fluids that flow through them. There are no guarantees that your body won’t suffer by eating healthy, but eating healthy might skew the variables to your favor.

Statistics do seem to show that unhealthful eating and physical inactivity may result in disabilities as you age. An unhealthy diet may a leading cause of disability. Unhealthy eating habits and physical inactivity are leading causes of loss of independence: Roughly 73,000 people have lower-limb amputations each year due to diabetic infections that may develop in obese people. Based on the Center for Science in the Public Interest over 600,000 deaths per year in the United States have been associated with unhealthy eating and inactivity.

According to studies at EPIC-Oxford, vegetarians had lower rates of mortality from pancreatic cancer and lymphatic cancer. Semi-vegetarians had lower rates of death from pancreatic cancer. Pesco-vegetarians had lower death rates from all cancers but higher rates of cardiovascular diseases.

According to Harvard University Center of Public Health, eating more whole grains may reduce mortality rates overall, as part of a healthy diet.

Although dietary supplements of vitamins and antioxidants are helpful, eating a balanced diet is vital for good health and wellbeing. Food provides our bodies with the energy, protein, essential fats, vitamins and minerals to live, grow and function properly, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Eating healthy may help allow longer, active lives because people followed a healthy lifestyle AND avoided unhealthy eating and inactivity.

For the long term, gaining weight to obesity and the potential for numerous nutritional diseases, many tend not to follow health maintenance and rehabilitation over the long term. While much is written about eating healthy foods, there are no real specific formulas (many contradict) what a healthy eating diet implies.

Thus, the popular umbrella over eating healthy does require more science research and evidence of what eating healthy means, along with benefits and consequences.

There are some who have genetic and/or developmental problems with foods that are deemed part of what eating healthy accepts.

Sometimes the rules for eating healthy don’t apply. For example, nuts are considered healthy. Tree nut or seed allergies, for some people, may be extremely harmful allergens. Tree nuts can cause a severe, potentially fatal, allergic reaction (anaphylaxis). Tree nuts include, but are not limited to, walnut, almond, hazelnut, cashew, pistachio, and Brazil nuts. Seeds include sunflower or sesame. Most packages notify if a food product was manufactured in a factory that is exposed to nuts or seeds. Having a soy allergy might knock out even more products.

While meat, poultry and fish are (by small servings) traditionally great sources of complex proteins, many people watch their blood cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels.

Then, of course, there are those that are gluten-free – no wheat products. Diabetics have to watch carbohydrate intake – basically all foods that grow from the earth. As you see, for many, eating healthy faces some very difficult obstacles. No way fits all. Eating healthy diets might also be dangerous to your health!

Eating healthy and setting activities may have something to do with appearance or fashionable vanity – Body Image. People are seeking more than health – attraction, romance, perceived fashionability, social – and eating healthy or obsessively healthy can lead to eating disorders that are also harmful for health. Eating healthy for health and wellness might be individually specific. As a consumer cyclical, more money, more marketing, high motivation is spent on getting the body image you seek. Eating healthy as a lifestyle may be targeted at more than personal health. The aim may be more social. Those that eat healthy may also pursue many activities and seek to make their bodies as attractive as possible.

Bariatric surgery is often advertised on TV. It clips an area of your stomach to inhibit food intake. The use of bariatric surgery is suggested for those people who weigh 100 pounds or more than their average weight and have related health issues. When asked why they were pursuing bariatric surgery, the answers were generally, “tried everything else to improve my body image.” Health was often secondary as they received medicine for that.

Despite side effect possibilities from bariatric surgery, and possible dangers with any surgery, it is a very popular route to improved body image. The number of bariatric surgeries increased to 179,000 in 2013 with 34.2% of surgeries as Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, 14% gastric banding, 42.1% gastric sleeve, 1% as duodenal switch, 6% as revisional surgery and 2.7% classified as other (American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery).

Biliopancreatic diversion is able to lead to an average of 73% excessive weight loss after two years, while gastric bypass about 65%, sleeve gastrectomy 56%, and gastric banding 49%, according to the study “Biliopancreatic Diversion: The Effectiveness of Duodenal Switch and Its Limitations.”

As one of my early internships, I sat in with groups who had the surgery and I observed, over a course of of 6 months, that several regained their weight and complained about vomiting when they ate too much. Most in the groups had depressive states due to no visible improvements in body image and social successes.

While the discipline of eating healthy is designed to help support weight management, there are several genetic predispositions and rare diseases where excessive weight is unmanageable. There are rare diseases that may also be associated with weight gain that general medical practitioners don’t necessarily focus on. Rare hormonal imbalance conditions may override healthy eating habits that result in excessive weight gain.

For all of those people with sensitivities and diseases, eating healthy might be extremely challenging. Among the reasonably healthy population, finding ways of healthy nutrition is easier. It still requires motivation and fortitude. It may require acquired tastes and compromises but easily adaptable via a continuous lifestyle.

Sadly, many people compromise their options and sensitivities. For quite a few people, eating healthy is filled with unique challenges. Then again, for numerous reasons, noy eating healthy may contribute yo developing diabetes 2.

Eating healthy is about eating the right foods, at the right times, with suggested servings. A serving is usually a few ounces. That may mean that a big salad or large steak each day might be more toxic.

Different plans present different options and formulas to help maintain healthy weight and overall wellness. Choose one of these or create one of your own. As a lifestyle approach, eating healthy guidelines may change as you age or what you do.

Choosing a healthier diet of foods for weight management or some irregular blood score may be helpful. See if your physician can refer you to a qualified nutritionist. For those that eat healthy as a lifestyle, regardless of age, your discriminating dietary obedience MAY pay off with more robust spirit with generally good feeling and body image.

A growing number of people regard the biblical concept of the body as a temple (whether observant or not). Eating healthy is a discipline and habit that you observe through your life span.

Scientifically, eating healthy doesn’t necessarily guaranty that your overall life, wellness, and body image will be excellent. There is a faith and motivation quotient that following a wellness lifestyle will be better than not following one. It is alternative thinking that makes sense to you. As any lifestyle, eating healthy requires motivation, rules, obedience and pleasure.

Eating healthy isn’t a matter of deprivation. If you are celebrating and see attractive food, sample it. Just don’t eat the entire portion. You deserve it. Just don’t exceed serving sizes.

Follow these habits as a core to your healthy eating lifestyle:


1) Developing healthy eating habits isn’t as confusing or as restrictive as many people imagine.
2) Consume a Variety of Foods.
3) Keep an Eye on Portions.
4) Eat Plenty of Produce.
5) Get More Whole Grains.
6) Limit Refined Grains, Added Sugar.
7) Enjoy More Fish and Nuts.
8) Cut Down on Animal Fat.
9) Try to add exercise into your daily routine.

Many might agree or disagree. Eating healthy is an individual choice. For many, healthy food is an acquired taste compared to average eaters. No temple is the same as another. Vive la différence! Choose which healthy mode you want to obey.

Your body may be leased from God but your body health is part of you and your personal responsibility. Seek and find your paths to eating healthy. Any thoughtful healthy actions you contribute may help you live a little bit better.

Vitamin E and metabolic syndrome

According to Ohio State University research, 1 out of 3 Americans may need more vitamin E to combat metabolic syndrome.

Vitamin E is an essential antioxidant that helps reduce free radicals (or sludge) from your body. Other major vitamin antioxidants include vitamins A and C. Antioxidants may come naturally from many fruits and vegetables. People in the study who drank milk along with the natural form of vitamin E absorbed between 26.1 and 29.5 percent of the vitamin, depending on their health status. Those with metabolic syndrome absorbed considerably less.

Those who have been diagnosed with Metabolic Syndrome would then have to be more vigilant in taking vitamin E supplements.

Metabolic Syndrome is not just one disease or condition. It is a cluster that brings symptoms such as high blood sugar level, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol levels together. Doctors believe that these symptoms are involved in increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Studies have correlated those as cofactors that may lead to those main diseases.

As an anti-oxidant, Vitamin E helps eliminate byproducts within your body for cellular and organic wellness. Lack of dietary antioxidants may result in damaging vital networks that keep your body healthier. Some studies have been investigating a vitamin E role in preventing degenerative mental imbalances such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Good thought when applying for research grants.

Dietary sources of vitamin E include: Almonds, Raw Seeds (sunflower and pumpkin), and Hazelnuts. Plant oils also have vitamin E. The benefit with these as they are high in good fats – mono- and poly-unsaturated. The downside is that excessive consumption may lead to fat elevation because these are still high in fat content.

Kale, spinach, collard greens, turnip greens and Swiss chard are low calorie vegetables that eaten raw or cooked releases vitamin E with natural co-factors that may help absorption without fats.

Foods high in antioxidants help reduce bad cholesterol levels and elevate good cholesterol levels when taken as part of an habitual diet, with minimal dietary cholesterol intake from meats and fish.

As a cluster of possible conditions, metabolic syndrome may actually have several other reasons. One is called insulin resistance that may be hereditary or dietary. Under normal conditions your digestive system breaks down many foods you eat into sugar (glucose). Insulin is a hormone made by your pancreas that helps sugar enter your cells to be used as fuel. People that are resistant to insulin don’t respond normally to insulin, and glucose can’t enter the cells as easily. Thus results in elevated glucose. It is a pre-diabetic condition that may likely contribute to belly fat accumulation.

Age also factors in belly fat as lean muscles tend to soften and develop fatty deposits up to 5% nearly each decade of age. By the time you reach 70, you may have lost 20% lean muscles and added belly fat.

Fats and sugars are fuels that keep your body going. Excesses often result in raising glucose levels, belly fat accumulation, and cholesterol markers.

Centuries ago, metabolic syndrome was less likely as people needed to walk and labor manually. In today’s age, fewer people walk and labor is more sedentary. Metabolic syndrome may be an adaptation to technology. Yet this adaptation may elevate risks of heart attacks, strokes, and diabetes.

Essentially, any activity after eating, dietary vigilance, and use of vitamin supplements at moderate levels will help adjust metabolism to normal levels over time. Vitamin E is only one possible factor. There are, as you see, many more. The Ohio University study only provides a glimpse of a much larger picture.

The good news is that Cow’s milk over water promotes absorption of supplemental vitamin E.

Carbohydrates and Weight Loss

When it comes to weight loss, carbohydrates are often viewed as the bad guys. Yet, we are the descendants of people that have eaten carbohydrates as food staples. Why are carbohydrates getting such bad press? Can they actually help with weight loss? What should you know?

As you escalate upwards on clothing sizes and notice bulges where you don’t want them, it may be time to consider weight loss. Many diets over the past 10 years have been lashing out on those nasty carbohydrates (carbs) and are professing that minimizing carbs help lead to weight loss quickly. The problem is we love our carbs. We need our carbs.

Carbohydrates are sugars and starches that are naturally found in most foods, excluding meat and fish. Basically, if it’s a plant (fruit, vegetable, legume,grain), juice, or dairy product, there are naturally occurring sugars or starches. Foods high in carbohydrates are an important part of a healthy diet.

Historically, people had high carbohydrate breakfasts because these natural sugars and starches provide bursts of energy required to start the day. In those days, people worked on farms and ranches. There were no cars and more people walked where ever they needed to travel to or rode on horses (that required upkeep). Carbs were considered great for most times in human history and, currently, in most uncivilized areas.

In civilized countries, sedentary lives suffer from too much carbohydrate intake. People drive cars, work with personal computers, and all sorts of mobile devices. Physical activity is more of an option as many more people choose to go home and watch TV for a few hours. Is this you?

Carbohydrates provide the body with glucose, which is converted to energy used to support bodily functions and physical activity. Your brain requires carbs for thinking as do many cellular networks. Sedentary lifestyles, following traditional eating habits formed for thousands of years, find that their trim bodies grow larger and they can’t figure out why.

A key problem is in society itself. Many “bought” foods use processed grains and add sugars to make them more palatable. These carbs are fine if you plan to go running for fifteen minutes after eating. The reason is these are simplex carbohydrates. These have simple, easily digestible carbs that are quickly absorbed by the body.

Examples of these are:
◾Table sugar
◾Brown sugar (including raw and organic sugar)
◾Corn syrup
◾Honey
◾Maple syrup
◾Molasses
◾Jams, jellies
◾Fruit drinks
◾Soft drinks
◾Candy

Then there are complex carbohydrates that naturally occur in fruits and vegetables. The key difference between simple and complex carbs isn’t easily seen by your eye. It’s at microscopic levels. A carbohydrate is a molecule. Complex carbs have larger molecules than simple carbohydrates.

To understand this, you must be aware that our planet and everything on the planet and its atmosphere are made of atoms. There are many different types of atoms. When atoms are mixed together, you get molecules. For example, two hydrogen atoms meet one oxygen atom and, when they get together, the result is water. Zillions of these atomic bonds comprise our oceans. Carbohydrates are molecules, a group of atoms bonded together, representing the smallest fundamental unit of a chemical compound. There are many different carbohydrate molecules and those differences lie in what makes one better for you than others.

Foods containing the healthiest sources of carbohydrates—unprocessed or minimally processed whole grains, vegetables, fruits and beans—promote good health by delivering vitamins, minerals, fiber, and a host of important phytonutrients (nutritive molecules that help distinguish one food from another). Less healthy sources of carbohydrates include white bread, pastries, sodas, and other highly processed or refined foods. These items contain easily digested carbohydrates that may contribute to weight gain, interfere with weight loss, and promote diabetes and heart disease.

How can carbohydrates promote heart disease? Excess sugar in the bloodstream can contribute to plaque, arterial wall residue and releases a hormone called insulin from your pancreas. Carbohydrates (starches and sugars) raise blood sugar levels and trigger the release of insulin. Insulin helps leads in the reduction of excess sugars and starches in the bloodstream that would be thickening blood, in high amounts. Insulin helps convert those carbs into energy.

When there are problems with insulin production, thicker blood in arteries can result in plaque that could disrupt vascular flow to your heart, brain, or elsewhere. This may contribute to strokes, heart attacks, and issues throughout the body.

One of the problems that can occur over time, in previously healthy individuals, is the development of insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is a condition in which the body produces insulin but does not use it effectively. When people have insulin resistance, glucose builds up in the blood instead of being absorbed by the cells, leading to type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes. Type-2 diabetes is usually found among obese people. In insulin resistance, muscle, fat, and liver cells do not respond properly to insulin and thus cannot easily absorb glucose from the bloodstream. As a result, the body needs higher levels of insulin to help glucose enter cells. This is hyperglycemia, a condition of insulin resistance, where not enough insulin can be produced to deal with excessive carbohydrate consumption.

On the other side of the coin, there’s a hypoglycemia condition. Hypoglycemia may be a result that, when carbs are present in your bloodstream, excess insulin attacks them. Hypoglycemia is a condition characterized by an abnormally low level of blood sugar (glucose), your body’s main energy source. Normally, there are certain pancreatic beta cells that help bring carbs to the cells but the flow is disrupted. In many cases, hypoglycemia occurs after meals because the body produces more insulin than is needed.
For those with hypoglycemia, excessive simple carbs can result in confusion, sleepiness, and (in extreme cases) unconsciousness. Other possible symptoms may include:

•Heart palpitations
•Shakiness
•Anxiety
•Sweating
•Hunger

When hunger occurs, a hypoglycemic is not satisfied after eating a full meal and feels the need to eat more. Eating more helps lead to excess weight gain and, perhaps, a higher degree of exhaustion.

How does your body react to carbs? There’s a rather long, tedious blood test that illustrates what happens after high-carb intake. The glucose tolerance test acts as a guide for you and your physician to take proper steps.

Carbohydrate consumption and problems associated with it may often be genetically linked, inherited through familial generations. In some ways, this may account for body appearance, and energy levels throughout a life span. Often, it can go undetected for many years under routine medical care.

Considering weight loss with carbohydrates? It is possible. The United States Department of Agriculture or USDA provides an excellent website with tons of information and recipes for each meal. Carb lovers needn’t worry. Slight modifications to how and when you eat, and how much you physically move, may contribute to an enduring weight loss program.

Carbs may not necessarily be the evil behind weight gain. How you consume carbs, especially mixed with excess saturated fats, may contribute to excess pounds. Consider that when you down a 4 ounce bad of chips and a liter of soda while wat5ching TV.

Knowing and using appropriate carbs and moving more actively may just help you achieve weight loss over time. Carbs are part of our history and are very addictive. Adapting responsible carb intake into a sedentary lifestyle may not be an easy task. Total carb withdrawal can be dangerous. Finding the responsible path may require aid from a certified nutritionist. Over years, you may find that your excess pounds have shed and your energy has improved, if you understand the virtues and dangers of carbs. It’s a lifestyle adaptation for the new lifestyle. It is not a quick-fix!