Diabetes and Heart Disease Risks: It is Greater in Women
Just published in Diabetologia, May 2014: “Diabetes as a risk factor for incident coronary heart disease in women compared with men: a systematic review and meta-analysis of 64 cohorts including 858,507 individuals and 28,203 coronary events”. You can read the article here…
In this huge analysis, women with diabetes were 44% more likely than men to develop coronary heart disease, and both men and women had more than double the risk of the population without diabetes.
OK, so we know there is a risk. But what can you do to prevent getting diabetes, and once you have diabetes, what can you do to lower your coronary heart disease risk?
Preventing diabetes: Data from the Nurses’ Health Study (read here… ) shows that 90% of the Type-2 diabetes in women can be attributed to five things:
1. Being Overweight– so weight loss and maintaining a healthful diet full of fruits and vegetables would be key.
2. Lack of Exercise– exercise has been shown to protect the heart irrespective of other risk factors
3. Less Healthy Diets (junk food, high in processed foods, refined fours and sugars, etc.)
4. Smoking– you simply must get help quitting. Make this your do or die issue if you are still smoking.
5. Drinking Alcohol– Here’s another habit or addiction that you’ll want to conquer.
While this study was in women, these same principles apply to men.
Well how do we prevent Type-1 diabetes?
There are over 13,000 new diabetic children a year in the US and numbers are growing by over 3% a year. This type of diabetes, also known as IDDM (Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus), requires life-long insulin. All the experts say we don’t know how to prevent this. I disagree. While I cannot offer you 100% protection, we do know this is an auto-immune disorder, where your own immune system attacks your pancreas. So what triggers auto-immune disorders? Here are the top few things to avoid:
1. Aspartame (nutrasweet, spenda, diet drinks)- This compound gets converted to formaldehyde, a huge trigger of autoimmune issues.
2. Wheat in the USA, and thus gluten. Consider starting your babies wheat and gluten free.
3. Diets full of refined and chemical additives.
I recently saw the lab work for a nurse friend who was diagnosed with severe auto-immune mediated arthritis and scleroderma with a sed rate (ESR) of 75. (normal is less than 15). By removing grains, eating greens and vegetables and a few nuts, in 3 months she was symptom free and her ESR was normal. I’m also worried about pesticides and herbicides, so eating organic and faithfully avoiding corn, soy, and sugar (unless it is organic) would be important.