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Exploring how your dietary habits could lead to an increased risk of type II diabetes.

You are what you eat!

Do you like eating a nice juicy steak or meaty hamburger on a regular basis?  Is your love of red meat possibly unhealthy?  According to a recent research study, a diet high in animal protein could be setting people up for an increased risk of type II diabetes.

What is protein and why is it important for the human body?

Without protein the human body cannot function properly. Protein is an essential nutrient which can be found in animal products, beans and nuts.  The body uses protein to build new cells, maintain healthy tissues and to perform basic bodily functions.   The most common way of obtaining protein is through eating red meat, but new research has discovered a high intake of animal fat can increase a person’s risk of developing type II diabetes.

How many people worldwide have diabetes?

According to statistical information released by the International Diabetes Federation, approximately 382 million people in the world currently have diabetes.  By 2035, the IDF is estimating the number will climb to 592million.  The number of individuals with type II diabetes is increasing in every country and the most common group are people between 40 and 59 years of age.

What is type II diabetes?

Formerly called “non-insulin dependent or adult onset,” type II diabetes happens when the body cannot use insulin effectively.  

Type II diabetes accounts for 90% of people with diabetes around the world and the most common reasons are due to body weight and physical inactivity.

The symptoms of type II diabetes are similar to type I, but are often less pronounced which is why it takes so long to diagnose.

What causes type II diabetes?

Insulin is a hormone that is manufactured by the pancreas by beta cells.  The hormone is needed in order to move sugar into the cells of the body, where it is then stored up and later used for energy.  When a person has type II diabetes, the muscle cells, fat and liver do not respond correctly to insulin and it causes a condition known as “insulin resistance.”

When sugar (glucose) cannot enter cells, high levels wind up in the bloodstream and it causes hyperglycemia.  

Type II diabetes usually happens gradually over time and most people with the disease are overweight.

Family history and genetics play a strong role in the development of type II diabetes and physical inactivity, poor diet and excess body weight can also increase the risks of someone developing the disease.

What are the symptoms of type II diabetes?

People who have type II diabetes will often have no symptoms when it first develops.  In fact, people with the disease often do not have symptoms until it has progressed to the later stages.  The early symptoms of type II diabetes may include the following:

  • Increased urination
  • Bladder, kidney and skin infections which are frequent and slow to heal
  • Hunger
  • Increased thirst
  • Fatigue
  • Blurry vision
  • Pain or numbness in the hands or feet
  • Erectile dysfunction

See Also: High Dietary Acid Load Increases Diabetes Risk

What kind of test or exam is necessary to diagnose type II diabetes?

A healthcare provider may think you have diabetes if your blood sugar is higher than 200 mg/dL.  To confirm a diagnosis of diabetes, one or more of these tests must be performed:

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