Andrew Harmon


 

   



 

Dear, Lollipop

Being careful not to discount the role of genetics in humans as biological systems, it is a fundamental task of researchers, coaches, and other educators to recognize the role of lifestyle in the formation of metabolic syndrome. It is an even greater task to transmit this information into the minds of patients and students. But first, an understanding of a metabolic syndrome is critical before attempting to combat it. It is a group of risk factors that increases an individual's chances of developing heart disease, stroke, or diabetes mellitus. The risk factors include but are not limited to cigarette smoking, sedentariness (inactivity), and obesity (because the markers and thresholds for this risk factor vary, professionalsí evaluations of it vary also). Other risk factors are systolic blood pressure greater than 140 mm Hg or diastolic blood pressure greater than 90 mm Hg, high low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) greater than 130 mg/dl or low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) less than 40 mg/dl, and lastly, fasting blood glucose (sugar) greater than 100 mg/dl (ACSM, 2010).

The commonality among these risks is that they are alterable by people regardless of family history of the disease. Take high fasting blood glucose, for example: the body produces a hormone called insulin from the pancreas whose primary function is to absorb sugar which comes from carbohydrates in food and allow it to be used by the body. When the body does not produce insulin or insulinís function is inadequate, sugar in the blood remains high-this is type I diabetes. If insulin is present when sugar accumulates, it works overtime in order to supply the demand of the ever increasing sugar in the blood to maintain normal blood sugar levels. But if the body resists against it, type II diabetes occurs.  Finally, thereís gestational diabetes which is developed during pregnancy when the body undergoes hormonal changes that make the body less responsive to insulin.

Which form is most alterable? Nine times out of ten, youíve guessed correctly- type II diabetes. To make what could be a complicated condition a simple one, the single most important piece of information to know is that the most effective way to avoid the disease is to first understand what exactly offsets it, and then one can prevent the risk factors mentioned aforetime. The symptoms could be co-morbid, meaning having two or more symptoms at once, or an individual could exhibit one symptom. Two of these symptoms are obesity and sedentariness which are researched as independent precursors. Much research has been conducted on these two symptoms, but a particular study led by Rana, et al concludes that the degree of risk contributed to obesity is far greater than that of physical inactivity (Rana, et al, 2007). Another conclusion can be derived from this study: inactivity does not cause obesity, which is excess accumulation of fat that results in bodyweight greater than what is optimal for a given height.

But the key here is excess fat in the body which branches from food. When an individual consumes a food, its components are converted, absorbed, and used by the body after they have been broken down into micro-components. If not utilized, these micro-components may be stored as fat. This is even more so the case for foodstuffs-items that are not necessarily food but are sometimes used for nutriment such as candy and other sweets. Non-obese individuals are not exempt from these precautions because the risk comes with an accumulation of fat overtime and is indicative of creeping obesity. 

In summation, what should be the simplest aspect of type II diabetes is its prevention, facilitated by professionals in the field or, more intimately, a person who has experienced and overcome the disease. One approach in planned prevention is to implement the practice of NutritionSEA: nutrition simplification, nutrition education, and nutrition application. It is important to first gain a basic yet solid understanding of general nutrition, then to be educated on what nutritional practices are aversive, beneficial, and neutral for the disease. Finally, what is to be a lifelong endeavor is the use of this education in oneís life.

Authorís Contact Information:

Marlene S. DeVose, B.S. in Kinesiology

215-828-6729

project232climbs@gmail.com

www.project232climbs.com

 

 

 

 

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