Heart Disease and Diabetes: A human heart is one of the most important organs in the body. It basically runs everything to keep us alive. The most basic job of the heart is to transport oxygen and remove carbon dioxide by pumping blood throughout the body. When the sugar levels inside the blood remain high over an extended period (diabetes), it damages the heart tissues. High blood sugar levels are associated with atherosclerosis, a hardening of the arteries, which is associated with heart disease and heart failure. Excess sugar in the body is stored as fat and causes the blood to become viscous. These fatty substances in the blood become obstructions to blood flow that can ultimately cause a heart attack or cardiac arrest.
The Connection: The connection between heart disease and diabetes is simple to understand; excess glucose causes heart damage. Diabetes is often referred to as a silent killer, this is because a diabetic person would not feel the actual damage until it is too late. The American Diabetes Association says that in 2015 approximately 30.3 million Americans had diabetes, with 7.2 million of those undiagnosed. It was estimated at that time, that about 84.1 million were pre-diabetic! Worldwide, approximately 422 million are diabetic. According to WebMD, 65% of people with diabetes will die from heart disease or stroke. WebMD also suggests that diabetics are twice as likely to die of a stroke than those without diabetes. “ In fact, heart disease is the number one cause of death among people with type two diabetes.”
Types of Diabetes: Diabetes is categorized into two-parent forms:
1. Juvenile diabetes, Insulin-dependent diabetes, or diabetes mellitus
This is an auto-immune disease when the immune system starts killing cells. This causes the body to stop making insulin that is necessary to regulate glucose levels. This type of diabetes often occurs in young children. It can either start early in life or later. This type of diabetes destroys cells of the pancreas which are responsible for producing insulin.
Risk factors for type 1 diabetes include:
• Having a family history of diabetes
• A child born with a genetic problem of diabetes that may affect the production of insulin.
• Some medical conditions, such as hemochromatosis
• Possibly, exposure to some infections or viruses, such as mumps or rubella cytomegalovirus may cause beta-cell damage.
2. Insulin-independent diabetes: Type 2 Diabetes occurs mostly in adults. In this type, the pancreas usually produces some insulin, but the amount produced is not sufficient enough to fulfill the body’s needs. Another kind of diabetes that comes under parent type is Gestational Diabetes, which occurs during pregnancy. Usually, gestational diabetes occurs during the mid-trimester of pregnancy. It may increase the risk of the baby being large in size. Due to excessive weight gain, the extra glucose in the mother’s bloodstream crosses the placenta which triggers the baby’s pancreas to make extra insulin. This can cause the baby to grow too large, this condition is medically termed ‘Macrosomia’.
Symptoms of Diabetes
A person suffering from this lifestyle disease is more likely to feel tired and fatigued all the time. They might become incoherent, anxious, fatigued, or weak. The diabetic feels the constant urge of urination called polyuria. This is one of the first signs of diabetes. The kidneys are unable to filter out the excess glucose, so it leaves the body in the urine, thus a constant need to urinate. This triggers polydipsia, a constant thirst or need for water. Sadly, many will not drink quality water, they drink more sugary drinks, which aggravates the situation. Additional signs and symptoms of diabetes include; dry mouth, blurred vision, frequent headaches, and unexplained weight loss. Normal blood sugar levels 2 hours after meals should be below 120 mg/dL. Normal fasting blood sugar is between 60 and 100 mg/dL. Normal A1C levels are less than 5.7% of hemoglobin, between 5.7 and 6.4% of hemoglobin are considered pre-diabetic and glucose levels over 6.4% are considered diabetic.
Remedies for Maintaining Sugar Levels
High blood sugar occurs when the body cannot effectively transport sugar from the blood into cells. When left unchecked, this can lead to diabetes. The following are 16 easy ways to lower blood sugar levels.
1. Regular Exercising and Workout
Regular exercise can help you lose weight and increase insulin sensitivity. The increased insulin level enables the cells in the body to use the glucose in the bloodstream more efficiently. Exercising regularly will also allow muscles to use sugar in the blood for energy more efficiently. It is recommended to check glucose levels regularly, first thing in the morning, 2 hours after meals, and before bed using a glucose meter. Most effective exercises include jogging, brisk walking, swimming, bike riding, or any cardio exercise. These exercises can lead to reduced blood sugar levels that will ultimately help to keep sugar levels in control. A ‘digestive’ walk after meals is also recommended as this helps to speed up the digestion process. See my blog on exercise here.
2. Controlling Stress and Tension
Stress can be one of the common causes of diabetes. According to Diabetes.co.uk a Global Diabetes Community, stress can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes by as much as 45%. It can significantly affect sugar levels in the blood. Hormones such as glucagon and cortisol are secreted during stress. These hormones can increase sugar levels in the blood. Regular exercising and relaxing remedies like meditation and yoga are really fruitful in reducing stress and thus sugar levels. It also helps in regulating the insulin process. Using aromatic oils and a heating pad can help relieve stress. See my blog on stress here
3. Losing weight
An overweight person is more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes, so losing excess weight is beneficial in controlling blood sugar levels. The overweight person will usually tend to eat too much, thus maintaining high blood glucose. There are several good weight loss solutions available. I would advise that you become educated on why you use a weight loss product since you will regain the weight or become discouraged if you do not understand the ‘why’ of doing it. Starting with a detoxifying program will greatly accelerate the weight loss process. There are links to the side of this page that will give a full program, including education and detox, for reversing diabetes.
4. Controlling Carbohydrate Intake
During digestion, the body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose which is then moved into cells via insulin. When carbohydrate intake is excessive over extended periods of time, the result is insulin resistance. When insulin dysfunctions, it automatically results in an increase in sugar level. Many studies have shown that low carbohydrate intake greatly reduces sugar level in the blood and increase insulin sensitivity. Low carbohydrate intake is generally a good thing in maintaining good health. See this blog post
5. Increasing Fiber Intake
Vegetables are proven to be an excellent source of rich fiber. Fiber is responsible for good sugar absorption and it also slows down the process of carbohydrate digestion. Fiber reduces the sudden rise in sugar levels and helps with regularity in bowel movements. All the green leafy vegetables, flaxseed, fruits, nuts, and seeds, are good sources of fiber. A proper diet, rich in fiber is essential to maintain stable sugar levels and a healthy body.
6. Drinking Water
Alkaline water is necessary to keep the body in the proper pH range and studies have shown that it is a necessary part of any protocol to reverse diabetes. It is recommended that we sip water throughout the day to keep the body hydrated and not wait until we feel thirsty. It enables the kidneys to excrete any excess sugar via urination. Alkaline water is best. See my blog on the water here.
7. Eating Foods that are rich in Chromium and Magnesium
Proper nutrition is important to maintain a healthy body. However, Chromium and Magnesium are responsible for good metabolism. They are vital for maintaining sugar levels in the blood. Reduced chromium or Magnesium in the bloodstream might inhibit the metabolism of carbohydrates thus causing an increase in the length of time glucose remains in the blood. See my blog on magnesium here.
8. Eating Low Glycemic Index Foods
Glycemic Index is used to measure how various foods affect glucose levels from foods that have carbohydrates. Low Glycemic Index foods do not cause a quick spike in glucose levels in the blood.
9. Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar
Drinking apple cider vinegar with warm water will actually help in reducing weight and controlling sugar levels. It is a natural remedy that is used for multiple diseases. You can make your own apple cider vinegar. If you need the recipe, send me an e-mail.
10. Adding Cinnamon to drinks
Similar to Apple Cider, Cinnamon is also a naturally useful substance that can help improve health and maintain normal blood sugar levels. It can be added to teas and cereals as well as used by itself to make a tea.
11. Drinking Ginger and Tumeric teas:
Ginger and Tumeric have been proven to get rid of inflammation. Inflammation is thought to be the root cause of many diseases, including diabetes. E-mail me for a tasty inflammation-fighting drink.
12. Getting A Good Night Sleep
Sleeping helps in regulating a body’s blood circulation. During sleep, the body cleanses itself from the toxins of the day. A good night’s sleep is really effective for maintaining good health. This ultimately results in better immunity that can help stabilize sugar levels in the bloodstream. (see my blog on sleep)
14. Cutting Animal Products From the Diet
All meats and animal products are acid-forming, and thus are sources of inflammation. Diabetes is an inflammatory disease.
15. Drinking Fenugreek.
Studies have shown that fenugreek seeds taken regularly, will reduce inflammation. Diabetes is an inflammatory disease. Soaking fenugreek seeds in water overnight and drinking the water regularly will significantly reduce inflammation. It is also known to help with cleansing the lymphatic system and reducing cancer cells.
16. Reduce Fat Intake
Fatty foods slow the digestion of carbohydrates therefore sugar levels remain high in the system for a longer period of time. Dr. Zeno of Wildwood Lifestyle Center suggested that fats prevent glucose from entering the cells, thus glucose stays in the bloodstream longer than it should. This is related to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
During the time I was on the statin drug, my A1C blood sugar skyrocketed to 10.3. I already showed the connection between statin and diabetes in my situation. While I was working on reducing my blood sugar levels and taking metformin, I got my first heart attack. I believe that the combination of taking statin and metformin and being diabetic along with the stress of moving house triggered the heart attack. Before the second heart attack, I had started to eat meat again after 3 years. I had stopped exercising as much as I used to and got back on a statin after pressure from my doctor. I remember clearly that I overate, the evening of my second heart attack. I had lots of carbohydrates, especially cake (Jamaican fruit cake). My system was overwhelmed with sugar and fats!. I am now completely vegan. I eat mostly organic, no sugar, except fruits, no additional fats, and fried foods and I am following the advice I give in this blog. I walk at least 4 miles per day, and I am doing extremely well. I believe that God created a self-healing body and we can heal ourselves from almost all diseases if we follow the Creator’s guidelines and eat the foods He provided for the healing of the nations, living foods. I wish you health as well!