The Maximum Health Story tells us how to create Maximum Health. The goal is to become as healthy as possible. A big part of Maximum Health is improving our habits and lifestyle to create good health. We can structure our diet to create Maximum Health and become as healthy as possible.

People who have diabetes mellitus or diabetes for short have a unique problem. Their bodies are not able to process and digest carbohydrates as well as the normal person. The result is high blood sugar if left untreated. Why do diabetic people have problems with digesting carbohydrates?

The fundamental problem with diabetics is their pancreas does not create enough insulin on demand when they eat foods containing carbohydrates. Insulin is a hormone — a special chemical — that is created by the pancreas. The pancreas is an irregularly shaped organ that is found in the abdomen under the left side of the rib cage. It is near the spleen and other abdominal contents. It is the job of the pancreas to create more insulin to help digest carbohydrates as we eat them.

Insulin’s job in body metabolism is to help sugar penetrate every cell in the body. When we eat sugar or carbohydrate containing foods like bread, grain, or fruits sugar levels rise in the blood stream. Insulin is released by the pancreas and helps this sugar to leave the blood stream and get inside the body’s cells.

All the cells of the body have a common metabolism that requires sugar as its fuel. It is critical that all body cells have just enough sugar — no more and no less. The problem that arises with diabetes is that not enough insulin is present to get the sugar out of the blood stream and into the cells where it belongs.

People who are diabetic must control their sugar levels or trouble results. The three common problems associated with uncontrolled diabetes are those of worsening eyesight or even blindness, decreasing kidney function that may lead to kidney failure, and nerve conduction problems all over the body. Circulation also is affected, and this becomes life-threatening when it involves the heart or other critical organ.

Type 1 diabetics require insulin to control their sugar levels. Type 2 diabetics control diabetes with oral medications. All diabetics must work closely with diet and exercise to improve their body’s ability to keep sugar levels low.

Key to diabetic control is to normalize weight. Your doctor can work with you to determine what medicines you may need, but reducing weight helps a lot because it lowers sugar levels. Diabetics must carefully reduce the amount of carbohydrate in their diet to keep sugar levels low. Your doctor can help you minimize carbohydrates and teach diabetic people how to avoid high blood sugar.

Exercise is especially important to diabetics. All the muscles of your body have the capacity to store sugar as a reserve energy source if you need it. That is how someone can not eat for several days and still have a reserve burst of energy to allow them to move quickly in an emergency. The diabetic benefits from exercise because vigorous exercise depletes these muscle reserves. That helps to drop the blood sugar throughout the body as the muscles restore their reserves after they have been depleted by exercise. Your doctor can help you with balancing diet and exercise to better treat diabetes.

Using diet to achieve Maximum Health is a great opportunity to improve our health. By gaining knowledge about better diet we can benefit greatly by moving toward Maximum Health. Remember — hold fast, stand firm, and persevere!

ABOUT THE DOCTOR: Dr. Michael Borger is Board Certified in Family Practice and Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment. He works to promote medical care based on health promotion — for people to enjoy Maximum Health! Contact him at Northwood Physicians in Nappanee, Indiana (574) 773-4151 or e-mail “The Maximum Health Story,” “Maximum Health,” “the Maximum Health Program,” and related indicia are copyright 2000 by Northwood Enterprise Inc. and used with permission.

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