There are 3 main drivers behind us developing chronic illnesses including cancer, diabetes and heart disease. I will briefly explain these ‘drivers’ and how we can measure and address them to help prevent illness and assist in optimising our health
- Insulin resistance
- Oxidative Stress
- Inflammation is a good thing when we hurt ourselves or get a bacterial infection. Our body’s temperature rises, we feel pain and perhaps swelling. These signs tell us not to walk on our damaged knee or play football when sick. However when inflammation becomes chronic (lasts a long time in a low grumbling state) it causes grief in our body. Low grade inflammation can be the reason a healthy non-smoking adult with normal cholesterol levels might drop dead on the squash court. Fortunately inflammation can be measured in the blood through your GP with a test called hsCRP (standing for high sensitive C-reactive protein). Ideally it should be less than 1. Low grade inflammation can be caused be a low grade infection, excessive fat, autoimmune disease, food sensitivities and should be addressed. Fish oils, turmeric, reducing stress and some targeted supplements can reduce inflammation.
- Insulin resistance is when your body makes adequate insulin (the hormone that shunts glucose into the cells) but the body doesn’t respond appropriately resulting in elevated glucose blood levels. This leads to higher levels of insulin as the body tried to compensate to reduce the glucose levels by making more insulin, but an anemone-like effect occurs and fat starts storing around the abdomen. This is in contrast to type 1 diabetes where your pancreas can’t manufacturer insulin. Insulin resistance seems to be the scourge of modern society – the telltale signs is abdominal obesity – tummy fat. This condition is a precursor to or seen in Type 2 diabetes, dementia, PCOD (polycystic ovarian syndrome), some cancers and cardiovascular disease. It can be measured by checking fasting insulin, HbA1C (a long term marker for sugar levels) and fasting glucose (ideal <5.5). If you have been diagnosed with insulin resistance you can improve things using exercise, dietary changes (reducing sugar and refined carbohydrates) and targeted nutrients such as chromium, Magnesium, Lipoic acid, herbs like Nigella and Gymnema. It’s best under supervision of a health professional to monitor, manage and motivate effective change.
- Oxidative Stress – There is a tug of war going on all the time inside our bodies between the ‘good’ guys (antioxidants in fruit, green tea, red wine, salads and veggies) and the ‘bad’ guys – (from excessive fat, low vitamin D levels, inflammation, insufficient or excessive exercise, toxins, heavy metals etc.) In the perfect situation, the body’s normal cellular repair functions are able to repair the damage caused from the ‘baddies’. However, if an individual has an elevated level of free radicals and not enough antioxidants to balance them, cellular damage results from oxidative stress (OS). If this is unaddressed it can seriously affect health and performance from mild complaints like fatigue and numerous health issues including serious illnesses including cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes. This marker can be measured at our clinic with a simple finger prick using a scientifically validated machine called the CR3000. For more info see: https://alldegreesofhealth.com.au/service/diagnostic-testing/ We have a special offer to our blog readers – mention this post and receive a copy of Doreen’s book “Complete Health Overhaul – Your Guide towards Happiness, Healthy Ageing and Better Sex” with every Naturopathic appointment while stocks last.