Have you ever heard of the term “thin-fat syndrome?” Well, Dr. Mark Hayman says, “it means you are under lean but over fat – not enough muscle and too much fat (especially belly fat).” Diabetes does not discriminate. It doesn’t matter if you are skinny or obese, you could be at risk. Type 2 diabetes is growing rampant in the United States and you need to learn about the signs. Type II is called “adult onset diabetes” or “non-insulin dependent diabetes” because it most often affects people over forty years old.
See if you’re vulnerable and what to do next.
Waking up often during the night to pee
Feeling unusually thirsty
Unexplained weight loss or gain
Frequent yeast infections
Tingling in the hands and feet
Cuts that don’t heal well or infections that are difficult to get rid of
If you notice even one of these symptoms of diabetes, it’s worth bringing it up with your doctor and asking for a blood test (usually the A1C) to check your blood sugar levels. The best approach to avoid or reverse it is exercise and diet, which is key regardless of how much you weigh. Rochelle Naylor, MD, an endocrinologist of Chicago Kovler Diabetes Center recommends cardio and strength training, which can both improve insulin sensitivity. Aiming for 30 minutes a day at five times a week is the minimum requirement. Curbing the processed foods and simple carbohydrates is important. Not to mention, adding more fiber-rich foods and vegetables into your diet will give you the right balance. I’m a huge advocate for a whole-food plant-based diet.
Two recent studies show blood-sugar levels can affect the brain—-adding new evidence that diabetes might be a significant risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis found in a study of mice that raising blood sugar to abnormally high levels corresponded with increased production in the brain of amyloid beta, a protein thought to be an important factor in Alzheimer’s disease. In a separate study of middle-aged people, conducted at the University of Pittsburgh, those with Type 1 diabetes had significantly more brain lesions, and slower cognitive function, than people without the disease.
Exercise can help people feel thinner and more attractive even if their bodies don’t visibly change. Women who reported feeling social anxiety related to their body’s appearance were assigned a regime of either strength training or aerobics. After two months, both groups demonstrated proved body satisfaction, despite scant change in size or shape; eespecially, the erobic exercisers. Aerobics may be more associated in women’s minds with weight loss and “a thinner ideal, even when the scale doesn’t say so,” says lead study author Kathleen A. Nartin Ginis, a professor of health and exercise psychology at McMaster University in Ontario.
Another study conducted in 1984 showed women who participated in an aerobic-exercise training program showed greater reduction in dression than did those who participated in relaxation training or in a no-treatment control condition (Holmes et al). Seems like aerobics may be the answer for feeling great about yourself.
Regular exercise or physical activity helps many of the body’s systems function better, keeps heart disease, diabetes, and a host of other diseases at bay, and is a key ingredient for losing weight. According to the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, being physically active on a regular basis:
Improves your chances of living longer and living healthier
Helps protect you from developing heart disease and stroke or its precursors, high blood pressure and undesirable blood lipid patterns
Helps protect you from developing certain cancers, including colon and breast cancer, and possibly lung and endometrial (uterine lining) cancer
Helps prevent type 2 diabetes (what was once called adult-onset diabetes) and metabolic syndrome (a constellation of risk factors that increases the chances of developing heart disease and diabetes; read more about simple steps to prevent diabetes)
Helps prevent the insidious loss of bone known as osteoporosis
Reduces the risk of falling and improves cognitive function among older adults
Relieves symptoms of depression and anxiety and improves mood
Prevents weight gain, promotes weight loss (when combined with a lower-calorie diet), and helps keep weight off after weight loss