When most people hear about a world epidemic they think of some sort of infectious disease such as AIDS or Hepatitis C. That’s why it’s a bit surprising to discover that the fastest growing ‘epidemic’ in the world isn’t infectious at all.
See if you can guess what it is from these facts:
- In the past 20 years the worldwide number of people with this disease has risen 767%.
- It not only affects huge numbers of people in modern cultures, it also affects many people in developing countries. In fact the two leading countries in terms of total numbers affected are China and India. The U.S. comes in third.
- In the Caribbean and Middle East, there are regions where 20% of the population are affected. This number is expected to double in the next 20 years.
- 6 million people each year are diagnosed with it.
- It is now the fourth leading cause of death in the world. 3 million people each year die from it.
- Half of all the people in the world who have this don’t even know it.
- When left untreated, the effects of this disease include blindness, amputated limbs, and heart disease.
Did you guess? If you said diabetes, go to the head of the class.
Diabetes, particularly adult onset, type 2 diabetes is increasing faster that any other disease in the world. The question is why?
Here is what the experts say:
- Overeating – more people have access to more food than ever before. Because weight gain and type 2 diabetes go hand in hand, this contributes to the problem.
- Inactivity – exercise helps the body regulate blood sugar and helps keep weight down. People are living increasingly sedentary lives.
- Bad food choices – when more processed and refined foods are eaten, chronic and degenerative diseases such as diabetes increase.
Of course genetics also plays a role. If one or more of your relatives has diabetes, your odds of getting it are higher.
Recent research also indicates that one of the most powerful factors in identifying diabetes early is a relatively obscure substance known as leptin. Leptin is a powerful hormone that regulates blood sugar in your body. Some researchers even suggest that leptin plays a far more important role in your health than cholesterol.
For example, leptin plays significant if not primary roles in heart disease, obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis, autoimmune diseases, reproductive disorders, and perhaps the rate of aging itself.
Many chronic diseases are now linked to excess inflammation such as heart disease and diabetes. High leptin levels are very pro-inflammatory, and leptin also helps to mediate the manufacture of other very potent inflammatory chemicals from fat cells that also play a significant role in the progression of heart disease and diabetes.
Not surprisingly, the ways to regulate leptin include:
- Eating the right foods for your Metabolic TypeÃ‚Â®. This insures that your body gets everything it needs, thus reducing the tendency to over eat.
- Getting sufficient amounts of exercise. There are very specific ways to exercise that give you beneficial results without creating more problems or requiring hours of your time each day.
- Making sure that the food you eat is as close as possible to its whole natural form. Long research shows that the more processed a food is, the more likely it is to lead to chronic degenerative problems such as arthritis, diabetes, and weak immune system.
You can completely avoid becoming part of the world’s fastest growing disease by following these simple suggestions. If you’d like help and support in the process, feel free to contact my office and schedule an appointment.