Sugar is bad for your health and we all know that, but how in the world can eating too much sugar lead to things such as amputation, blindness and even death? Of course, eating 2 cookies during the Christmas holiday is not going to lead to any of those things, but doing that over and over again on a daily basis just might.
At this stage we’re talking about one of, if not the most destructive health problems our world is facing today (and has for a long time): diabetes. Unless you’re a type 1 diabetic, diabetes doesn’t just happen to you out of nowhere. You have to put in some serious work to get to that point. It’s months and years of neglecting your health and nutrition habits, eating too much sugar and not exercising enough that eventually leads to diabetes type 2.
How does diabetes start?
If you have read some of my previous blogs where I talk about blood sugar levels, insulin and insulin resistance, you might remember this example.
Pretend like you’re standing in a long hallway (that’s your blood) with doors on both sides. The thing that’s trying to get out through the door is the broken-down version of sugar called glucose. To open each door you will need a key (insulin), once the door is open it leads to the areas of our body where that glucose will either be used right away (the muscles, brain) or put away for storage later on (the liver). At first everything seems to be working really well, glucose is taken out of the hallway (blood), the doors are opening like they’re supposed to and glucose is granted access to the different areas of the body. After a while however, the doors and keys start to show some wear and tear because of the high amount of use. The pancreas* doesn’t know that the doors are struggling to open so it continues to make more and more insulin to get the same amount of glucose through the doors and to the different parts of the body. The point where high blood sugar level and insulin resistance meet is what we call diabetes.
*Pancreas: The pancreas produces enzymes that help digestion and hormones that help regulate the way your body processes sugar (glucose).
Basic overview of how insulin works
Glucose needs insulin in order to get through to the different parts of our body, over time, more and more insulin needs to be produced to get the same volume of work done. The need for more keys is what we call ”insulin resistance”. (more on insulin resistance here)
How does diabetes lead to losing your eyesight?
After a while your body is simply not able to produce enough keys (insulin) to let all the glucose through, the glucose can’t go anywhere else so it just starts to pile up in the “hallway” of our bloodstream. .
Imagine you put 2 dirty dishes in the sink and wash one of them. After a day or 2 that’s not a big deal, but if you keep doing that over and over again things will start to smell pretty bad. This is exactly what happens to the glucose that is piling up inside our bloodstream after a certain amount of time. The rotting glucose is obviously going to eat away at the different areas of our body like the arteries and organs where that process is taking place. This is how legs get amputated, eyesight starts to dwindle and lives are taken without the proper care and lifestyle changes.
As you can see, this process takes a long time to go from eating too much sugar to amputation (or worse). But the fact of the matter is that it does start by eating too much sugar. There’s a reason why diabetes is one of the leading causes of death all around the world and now you know why. It’s not as simple as just saying that sugar is bad for you, there are fact-based reasons behind that statement.
6 nutrition rules to follow, part 2
Welcome back to part 2 of this series, nutrition rules to follow. Really what this blog should be called is nutrition rules that you COULD follow. There’s already enough people out there that will tell you exactly what you should be doing and how to do it. Instead, I just want to give you the…
6 Nutrition rules to follow, part 1
Welcome back to another blog where we cover the wide topic of nutrition. The reason why I keep coming back to different topics related to nutrition is because the nutrition space is filled with false and misleading information. My goal is to simplify the message and give you honest information. I never want to tell…
5 Steps to getting stronger
Welcome back to this week’s blog where we cover a topic that I am super passionate about and that is getting stronger. Why am I so passionate about it? Because it has never come easy to me. Even since the start of my fitness journey I have always looked at other people in the gym…
Leave a Reply