What is obesity and diabetes?

Obesity and DiabetesThe First Lady, Michelle Obama, launched her “Let’s Move” campaign in 2010 in hopes of bringing awareness as well as solutions to the American silent epidemic of childhood obesity. The reality is that currently one in every three children in the USA is obese. Along with obesity is diabetes, also known as diabetes mellitus, a chronic condition connected to obesity and traditionally identified by high levels of glucose in the blood or high blood sugar. There are two types of diabetes: Type 1 is insulin-dependent diabetes also known as juvenile onset diabetes and related more to autoimmunity; and the other is Type 2 diabetes a non-insulin-dependent diabetes or adult onset diabetes and is usually related to obesity. Both obesity and diabetes are currently on the rise in the USA. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/05/03/diabetes-rises-in-kids/8604213/

What your doctor will tell you about Obesity and Diabetes?

Your child’s pediatrician will tell you your child’s obesity problem may be due to a lack of physical activity, unhealthy eating patterns, possibly an endocrine disorder, genetic factors due to family history, and an inactive lifestyle. Obesity is determined by Body Mass Index (BMI) which indicates how much body fat your child has. One pound of fat is equal to 3,500 calories, so pediatricians usually suggest a calorie-based diet with more physical activity. In certain situations adolescents may be prescribed the medication Orlistat, which prevents the absorption of fat in the intestines; however, the long term risks are unknown. For severely obese adolescents, surgery may be an option if the child’s weight poses a greater health risk than the surgery.

In the case of Type 2 diabetes, the cells in your child’s body do not respond to insulin, and therefore, glucose levels build up and create a condition known as insulin resistance. In other words, the sugar levels get too high for the body to handle. Your pediatrician will explain that your child ate too much sugar, got fat, developed Type 2 diabetes and long term management is the only option. Metformin, a sugar-lowering medication, is often administered but there are nasty gastrointestinal side effects to deal with. A hemoglobin A1 test is customary every 3 months to monitor the sugar levels. On a daily basis traditional finger prick tests for sugar levels or continuous glucose monitoring is the regular routine. Your pediatrician will probably suggest the diabetic meal plan which consists of 50% to 55% carbohydrates, 30% to 35% fat and 10% to 15% protein and exercising every day.

Another way to think about Obesity and Diabetes: 

Researchers now know that the missing link to the traditional obesity/diabetes thinking is the hormone leptin”. Leptin regulates blood sugar because it is responsible for controlling appetite and fat storage and for telling the liver what to do with its stored glucose. The brain and liver are also extremely important in regulating blood sugar especially in Type 2 insulin resistant diabetes. Traditionally doctors felt that too much sugar led to obesity and diabetes, but today researchers have discovered a correlation between increased leptin levels, which are pro-inflammatory, and brain hyperactivity. This means that the body may have an abnormal response to leptin which can lead to obesity. The only real way to establish proper leptin and insulin signaling is through diet; a diet that is designed to incorporate good fats and control spiking levels of blood sugar by avoiding carbohydrates and sugar. It is interesting to note that fructose is the leading cause of childhood obesity today, so if your child consumes a diet that is consistently high in sugar and grains, over time the body becomes “sensitized’ to insulin and requires more and more of it until the body becomes insulin and leptin resistant and eventually diabetic. http://www.yalescientific.org/2014/10/the-role-of-leptin-in-childhood-and-adolescent-obesity/

Obese/Diabetes checklist to start

  • Make dietary changes. Eat whole foods; buy organic. Remove all GMO, fast and processed foods and those with colors, artificial ingredients, preservatives, phenols, salicylates and inflammatory foods such as casein, gluten, soy. Eliminate fructose. Strictly limit sugars, salt, and white refined carbohydrates. Join the Feingold Association www.Feingold.org to learn more.
  • Include plenty of good quality fats, such as coconut and olive oil, avocados, wild salmon, organic chicken and turkey, ghee, eggs, etc.
  • Eat good quality protein every meal if desired organic or free-range meat, fish, eggs, legumes, and nuts.
  • Reduce grains, sugars, fructose and starchy carbohydrates.
  • Heal the gut with LEPTIN or PALEO Diet (no grains or sugar), a good probiotic, Keifer non dairy yogurt, coconut oil with MCT (medium chain triglycerides) and eating fermented and non-starchy vegetables.
  • Zinc Deficiency is associated with insulin resistance and diabetes – take zinc picolinate daily with a meal.
  • Regulate blood sugar with supplements and foods such as berberine, L-alanine, chromium picolinate and chromium GTF, white kidney bean, cinnamon, xylitol, and stevia
  • Add fermented foods and probiotics daily to keep the gastrointestinal system and microbiome healthy and strong which in turn will keep the immune system strong.
  • Increase Omega 3(anti inflammatory) to Omega 6 levels such as Krill Oil, Flaxseed Oil and Walnut Oil as opposed to vegetable oils such as safflower or sunflower.
  • Normalize Serotonin levels because low levels of serotonin can lead to hunger and sweet cravings as well as sleep issues.
  • Normalize Thyroid levels and optimize your child’s free T3 levels
  • Take Vitamin D3 – extremely important to maintain optimal Vitamin D3 levels with diabetes.
  • Avoid food before bedtime.
  • Have your child do sports or physical exercise daily and limit the amount of television and computer time each day.
  • Eat dinner together as a family.
  • Make sure your child gets enough sleep.

If you’ve addressed these issues and are still dealing with obesity and diabetes:

  • Visit a Homeopathic or Naturopathic physician who can treat obesity and diabetes naturally with supplements and homeopathy to help keep leptin levels down.
  • Hypnotherapy can help with over-indulgence, comfort food and emotional eating.

Still looking for answers? 

Visit the Epidemic Answers Provider Directory to find a practitioner near you.