The primary health concerns of the late 19th and early 20th centuries were infections diseases. A shift in adverse health came about after the fortification and enrichment of foods. Chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer and stroke became the prevailing ailments. These diseases continue to rise, some at alarming rates. Let’s take a quick look between two prevalent diseases today: Heart Disease and Diabetes. I am going to especially look at the incidents in Nacogdoches County in the State of Texas. [PDF of this post here]
Some quick stats:
Is this a sign of malfunction in the bodies of the population?
Maintaining a healthy status requires a homeostasis of the bodily systems. Having healthy levels of glucose in our blood is vital for proper balance. When we eat, signals are sent in our body to aid in the metabolizing of the food we just ate. Insulin is secreted as a result of some of those signals. It is the “key” which allows glucose to enter the cells. Without proper signaling of insulin, glucose cannot enter the cells. This results in glucose going to other parts of the body. For our body to function properly it is important to keep glucose levels stable.
When our glucose levels are outside a healthy range it attaches to proteins resulting in Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs). Excessive AGEs leads to plaque forming in the blood vessels. One consequence is an impairment of the endothelium which lines the blood vessels. It is hindered in releasing nitric oxide into the blood stream. With this compromised cardiovascular system, the body has a difficult time repairing daily wear and tear. Thus an increase in inflammation. Heart disease often ensues.
In fact…. Studies have shown an increased incidence of heart disease in the presence of diabetes!
With a high prevalence of heart disease and diabetes there is a need to understand the role of a proper functioning body. In regards to diabetes and cardiovascular disease the role of glucose balance is of marked importance. Maintaining proper levels eliminates an exacerbating risk factor for both diabetes and cardiovascular disease. A body which is in homeostasis is free of disease contrasted with a body where malfunction is present, disease emanates.
What can you do today to ensure a proper functioning body?
Eat Quality Foods
Get Adequate Sleep
Promote Healthy Digestion
Embrace Peace & a Spiritual Connection (Eliminate Stress)
A.G.E. Foundation. What are AGEs http://agefoundation.com/age/
CDC Interactive Atlas of Heart Disease and Stroke TablesGeographic Area 2010-2012.
Davis, C., and E. Saltos. (May 1999) “Dietary Recommendations and How They Have Changed Over Time,” America’s Eating Habits: Changes and Consequences, Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 750, USDA, ERS. Chapter 2.
Texas Department of State Health Services. (2012). 2012 Texas Heart Disease and Stroke
Fact Sheets, (2013). Diabetes Prevalence Among Adults BRFSS data Tables
Yamagishi, S-i., Nakamura, N., and Matsui, T. (2016) Glycation and cardiovascular disease in diabetes: A perspective on the concept of metabolic memory. J Diabetes, doi: 10.1111/1753-0407.12475.