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Why is it so hard (to treat prediabetes)?

Nearly half of U.S. adults either have prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. This is a sizeable increase from the previous numbers where, just a few years ago, the figure was closer to one in three adults.

An equally troubling stat is that nine out of 10 people with prediabetes don’t even know they have it. This is nothing short of an epidemic, largely because it’s not a disease with a simple treatment, despite the seemingly long list of therapies currently on the market.  

Why is this?

First, prediabetes is an extremely complex disease, whose cause rarely – if ever – stems from a single issue like a poor diet, as many might suspect. In fact, many individuals with prediabetes are physiologically predisposed to it because of foundational issues relating to both blood sugar metabolism and insulin resistance.  

Identifying these problems isn’t an easy task, and often, patients seek to only address the resulting symptoms. But as you can imagine, only going after the symptoms will never be successful in reversing prediabetes. These therapies might show some promise early on, but ultimately fail, as demonstrated by a 2004 Diabetes Care study, “The Burden of Treatment Failure in Type 2 Diabetes.”

Diet and exercise are, and will always be, a necessary part to any prediabetes regimen. But for those who also are battling underlying physiological challenges, attacking those problems must be part of the solution as well. 

If you’ve struggled to find success in reversing your prediabetes, your body may not be able to process vitamins, carbs and other nutrients effectively. PreD was developed for this very reason, and with a combination of ingredients specifically intended to address the complexity of sugar metabolism, with the intent to reverse the underlying causes of prediabetes.

The Pains of Metformin (and other prediabetes drugs)

A quick Google search of how to treat prediabetes and type 2 diabetes will return a bevy of recommendations. Some are relatively straightforward, like diet and exercise. But not all treatment therapies revolve around lifestyle changes. As we’ve discussed, often there are fundamental issues going on that determination alone can’t resolve.

One of the most common drugs for type 2 diabetes is called Metformin, which is designed to help reduce blood sugar levels. It does so by increasing muscles’ sensitivity to sugar and also by inhibiting sugar production in the liver.

While proven to be effective at reducing blood sugar levels, Metformin also comes with several side effects, namely gas and upset stomachs. In fact, if you do enough reading about metformin, you’ll likely find a comment or two about “met gut.”

This is not severe for some individuals. But for others, it poses some uncomfortable – not to mention embarrassing – moments. And then there are some individuals who would rather not take pharmaceuticals if it can be avoided, either because of health insurance or preferring a more natural option. Moreover, it’s very important to note that patients with certain cardiac or other conditions may not be candidates for Metformin. In other cases, patients “fail” with Metformin and don’t realize its potential benefits, This means that It can literally stop working for some patients, or simply not work in the first place.

These were some of the reasons why we developed mitoManage. We’re not dismissing the effectiveness of drugs like Metformin, but for some people, they may simply be trading one health problem for another. Also, as we’ve previously mentioned, the issue you need to solve may be bigger than lowering your blood sugar levels.

If you’re looking for an alternative to Metformin or have been struggling to find an effective therapy for your prediabetes, we’d love to answer any questions you have about mitoManage. You can call us at 844) 411-MITO (6486) or email at info@mitomanage.com

The Problem with Your Diet Might Be You
One of the most touted, and proven, ways to reverse prediabetes is through lifestyle changes, specifically diet and exercise. In fact, those with prediabetes who lose 10 percent of their body weight within six months dramatically reduce their chances of developing type 2 diabetes.
So what about when someone with prediabetes doesn’t see any weight loss?
The assumption is that either they weren’t sticking to their diet or exercise enough, right?

This isn’t always the case though, and is the source of a lot of confusion, frustration and guilt for those who keep seeing the same number on the scale.

As we’ve noted before, prediabetes is often the result of some “under the hood” issues going on in the body, chiefly how your body digests food. First some background on that process.

Food isn’t truly in your body until it’s been digested and absorbed into your blood stream, where it can be transported to cells throughout your body. Bacteria is generally seen as dangerous, but in the case of your stomach, it’s critical to your body’s health, and to some degree, the success of your diet. Your gut bacteria is what breaks down the food you eat to be used as fuel for your body. It’s no surprise then that having the wrong amount of gut bacteria is big problem. This is where not having enough bacteria can make you sick. Your body can’t fully digest the food, starving your cells of needed fuel sources.

This is called malabsorption syndrome, where the body can’t absorb the nutrients from the small intestine. So despite eating all the “right” things, if your body isn’t producing the right enzymes to break it all down, your diet will fail.

Your body’s mitochondria need broken-down food, in the form of glucose (or sugar), to create energy. But if your body isn’t digesting the food properly, the mitochondria in turn can become damaged. This leads to metabolism problems, resulting in weight gain.

You can see how important it is for your body’s different functions to be working properly and in sync with each other. Fortunately addressing this problem isn’t as complicated or intrusive as you might think. mitoManage was developed to address these underlying issues that can make or break an individual’s prediabetes regimen. Click here to learn more about the science behind Pre-D.  

 

Jumpstart your Healthy Diet with These Fall Foods

Fun fact about the human brain: we are wired to want variety in the food we eat. This is largely why we get “bored” with certain foods. Even the healthiest foods don’t have everything, in terms of nutrients we need for a healthy diet. So our brains make sure that we seek out other foods to get what we’re missing.

The challenge is seeking out the right alternatives when we want to change things up. 

And because sugar is so addictive, our brains don’t always have our best interest in mind – pun intended – when deciding between new foods.

Fortunately, the changing seasons can help with this dilemma. With the exception of winter, for the most part, each season brings with it a number of fruits and vegetables that are extremely healthy and a great source of variety for your diet – and the fall is no exception.

Here are some of our favorite fall foods to pick up at your local grocer or farmers market.

  • Pumpkin: Well, yeah… There isn’t a fruit or vegetable more synonymous with a season than the pumpkin. But many people don’t actually enjoy pumpkins for their health benefits. It’s loaded with vitamin A, fiber and has surprisingly few calories (compared to a tall pumpkin spiced latte). Did you know you can make soup, a smoothie, oatmeal, even hummus, from pumpkin puree? Health.com gives you the rundown on all those recipes.
  • Squash: High in vitamins A and C, the squash is incredibly effective at boosting your body’s metabolic functions. Butternut squash soup is a welcome treat on those first few cold fall evenings. And for pasta lovers, try spaghetti squash, which is where you dig up the inside with a fork to resemble spaghetti noodles.
  • Figs: Arguably the biggest enemy of a healthy diet is the sweet tooth (see previous statement about sugar’s addictive qualities), so finding healthy, but still sweet, alternatives is a tremendous aid to people struggling to eat well. High in potassium and fiber, the fig is a way to get a small-sized sweet treat that actually will make you feel full, as opposed to most other sugary treats. Figs are also surprisingly versatile and can be used for a number of healthy recipes.

This is just a small snapshot of the amazingly healthy and delicious foods to discover this fall. We’d love to hear about your favorites on our Facebook page or in the comments below, so please let us know!

 

Making Healthy Living a Family Affair
Two of the most telling prediabetes statistics are that one in three U.S. adults have it (38% of the total population in 2012, according to JAMA), but 90% of those individuals are undiagnosed. The figures got worse earlier this summer with a new study that showed nearly 18% of teens also have the disease. Unsurprisingly, the earlier a healthy lifestyle is adopted, the more likely they will be successful reversing their condition.
Expanding your own personal prediabetes regimen to the whole family is great way to make sure your loved ones are living a healthy lifestyle. Here are some first steps to getting everyone on board.

Staying within budget (both money and time)

There is a misconception that eating healthy is synonymous with spending more on food. While a lot of organically branded food at your grocer may be higher priced, that doesn’t always mean it’s actually healthier for you. Simple fruits and vegetables can be purchased fairly inexpensively, and lean proteins like chicken are often sold in larger family-sized packages at a discount. Once your taste buds get used to “real food” you may be surprised at how flavorful chicken with olive oil, salt and pepper can be. Here’s a guide of recipes you can cook with simple (and cost-effective) ingredients.

You can also save time by making meals in bulk and freezing them for future use. This is tremendously helpful for busy families who default to fast food when schedules get demanding. Also consider planning out your meals a week in advance. This helps you make sure you have variety in what your family is eating, as well as eliminating those frustrating “What do we have to eat?” thoughts on your way home from work.

Exercise together

Whether it’s walking the dog, going to the park or gym, or doing yard work, make it a point to exercise together. Multiple studies show that people are more likely to reach their fitness goals when they work out with other people. Start small by setting two activities a week where everyone is physically active together for at least 30 minutes.

Be positive

Eating healthy and working out regularly is not an easy switch for many people. As difficult as it may be at times, try to stay positive in front of your kids. They will likely be resistant to some (or all) of these changes, and if you waver too, chances are you’ll be back to your old habits.

This will take some time, and you’ll probably see some backsliding, especially at first. But it’s important to be consistent and to keep up with it, even if you’ve fallen off track for a couple days!

 

Every body is different – and so is the “right” diet
Everyone’s physiology is different, and as a result, reacts differently to respective diets. More simply, some people can eat certain foods and see health gains – or consequences – that others might not.

This was most recently documented in a 2015 Israeli study, which showed that people can have vastly different blood sugar responses to the exact same food. Given how important a proper diet is to any prediabetes regimen, what does this mean for you?

No golden diet

First, be weary of articles promoting any “one-size-fits-all” diet. Not that they are inherently wrong. As this study shows, it’s easy to see how certain diets can be extremely effective – for certain groups of people. Instead of advising everyone to abide by the Mediterranean or Paleo diet, people should seek out tailored diets based on their body’s chemistry.  

Finding what’s right for you

The key to a good diet and health-related longevity is finding what foods create the healthiest blood sugar level. Again, foods and drinks that cause your blood sugar to spike may cause your friends’ to stay level.

Unfortunately, this isn’t something you can determine by taking an online test. Your doctor or nutritionist can help you determine the right diet based on your medical history, lifestyle and other physiological factors. This is especially critical for those who’ve tried dieting time and again without any improvement. You need to seek out professional advice on what you need to do for your body.

Other factors at play

One other thing to keep in mind is the other internal issues that may be impacting your diet, specifically your body’s ability to break down and process food into energy. For example, depending on the severity of your prediabetes, you may have mitochondrial damage, which can be an attributing factor to high blood sugar levels.

You need to remedy these foundational problems first. It’s with these issues in mind that we developed mitoManage. The ingredients in both the day and nighttime formula work together to make sure the body receives the right amount of vitamins it may be lacking, and that each is processed effectively in the body.

Have you adopted a tailored diet for your body? Please let us know in the comments below!

 

Health Food Myths: Separating fact from fiction
 There’s a saying that you can’t outrun your fork. What that means is, no matter how fast or far you run, if you’re eating poorly, then many of the health gains you’re hoping to achieve through other means may be negated. What makes this even harder is that for a lot of the food in your local grocery, “healthy” is more of a marketing gimmick than a statement of fact. The healthiest products are unprocessed, real foods like fruit, vegetables, lean proteins, etc. These foods have simple carbs that the body can easily break down and process.

The seemingly healthy foods at the grocery store often are loaded with the same ingredients you’re actively trying to avoid and cut back on.

Here are some of the biggest offenders and what you should look for when trying to make the right buying decisions.

Low- and no-fat

Low- or no-fat options sound great, not to mention logical. If you want to lose weight, then eating less fat is an obvious first step, right? Not in this case. Simply removing the fat from something generally is at the expense of its taste. So to keep you from immediately throwing it away and never buying it again, low/no-fat foods have increased amounts of sodium and/or sugar to make them more palpable.

The maximum amount of added sugar a person should eat in one day varies for men and women. For men, it’s 37.5 grams, and for women, 25 grams. This may seem like a lot, but once you start looking at nutrition labels, you’ll see that it doesn’t take much to hit that limit.

Multigrain vs. 100% whole grain

The dangers of white bread and processed flour are pretty widely known at this point. The problem though is that all wheat (or at least wheat-looking) bread isn’t created equal. Case in point, multigrain bread. It sounds healthy, right? Frequently, multigrain simply means the product contains whole-wheat grains, but it also has white flour, and in some cases, its primarily the flour. As the name suggest, 100% whole grain is completely made up of the whole grains that are healthy and good for your body. 

“Healthy snacks”

Similar to white bread, most people will admit Doritos and the like are not a healthy snack option. But what about things like dried fruit and granola? They’re a staple at many organic and “healthy” grocery stores. But just like many low- and no-fat products, foods like dried fruit and granola often have a high percentage of added sugar to make them taste better. It’s also easy to overeat these things because of how healthy you think they are.

Eat the healthy foods in moderation too

Even though healthy foods like fruits are significantly better than processed foods, you still need to be mindful of their sugar content as well. A banana, while loaded with potassium, also has 14 grams of sugar. Many athletes rely on bananas for a post-workout potassium boost, but an avocado can provide the same benefits without as much sugar. 

While not a fool-proof philosophy, one way to avoid these “health” food traps is to limit your grocery shopping to the store’s perimeter and stay out of the aisles where most of the packaged and processed food are available. In most stores, the perimeter is where the “real” food like produce, meat and dairy is kept. 

 

Drink Up
When people talk about dieting, they often spend a great deal of time thinking about what they eat rather than what they drink. But if they aren’t drinking enough water, which most Americans aren’t, they are already in trouble. According to a 2013 study, three in four Americans suffer from chronic dehydration. And this isn’t just during the summer when temperatures are soaring. Year round, the majority of us are not getting enough water.

Why is this so prevalent? Many people opt for flavored drinks like coffee, soda, alcohol and juices because they “taste better.”  Or maybe it’s because many of these drinks have a lot of sugar (not to mention sodium), which our bodies get addicted to pretty easily. A panel of nutrition experts led by Barry M. Popkin, a nutrition professor at the University of North Carolina, found that 21 percent of the calories Americans two and older ingest come from drinks. That’s a lot of needless calories.

People with diabetes and prediabetes are at an increased risk for dehydration too. One way the body tries to rectify high blood sugar levels is through increased urine output, which makes it harder for the body to maintain a proper hydration level.

Contrary to diehard fans of coffee and diet soda, water is the only drink the body needs to survive, and quite frankly, also thrive.

Here are several health benefits from drinking water.

  • Boost your metabolism: As we’ve discussed many times, problems with your metabolism can play a huge role in your prediabetes. A study in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found that drinking cold water can boost your metabolism by up to 30 percent because the body needs to heat up the water in your system.
  • Clearer mind: What you drink also affects how you think. Dehydration negatively affects your cognitive function, making you more irritable, anxious and distracted.
  • Take care of your internal organs: Water is akin to oil in your car. It’s critical in making sure the different parts run smoothly. Case in point, your kidneys. A 1990 study found that dehydration was a factor in 20 percent of kidney stone cases.

Drinking water in the summer can be easier when you’re already hot and need to cool off, but be sure to continue this habit into the cooler months. Whether it’s 100 degrees or 10 degrees, your body needs water just the same.

While eight 8-oz. glasses of water a day is a good rule of thumb, every body is different and it’s important you understand how much water you need to drinkto stay healthy. Some recommend keeping a glass of water next to your bed to drink when you wake up because of how much your hydration levels drop off after eight hours of sleep.

Have you noticed an improved in your health from drinking more water? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!

 

Little Steps Aren’t Always Little

Sometimes it’s hard to gauge success – especially if you aren’t sure what success looks like.

One of the ways to diagnose prediabetes and type 2 diabetes is the A1C test, which determines a person’s three-month blood sugar level average. Because these levels are in constant flux, it’s necessary to get an average over several months for an accurate look.

A1C levels between 5.7 and 6.4 are considered prediabetic, with anything above 6.4 being diabetic. That’s because there’s excess sugar in the blood that’s not getting to the mitochondria to be turned into energy. The higher the sugar level, the more damage being done to the body because the mitochondria aren’t receiving the right of amount of glucose.

This is an important distinction that many people may not realize. The impact of higher A1C levels on a person’s health is exponentially greater as the numbers increase. For example, a .3 increase from 6.5 to 6.8 will affect the body more severely than a .3 increase from 5.8 to 6.1.

 The good news is that conversely, a decrease at higher levels will have a greater improvement on your overall health! In fact, this is one of the most meaningful improvements you can make when treating prediabetes. Blood sugar levels are a defining problem of prediabetes, so any decrease in these levels will allow your body to better function, allowing you to more easily see improvements in other areas like your blood pressure, heart rate and weight.

As you look to reduce your A1C levels, here are some things to keep in mind. 

  •          Look at the numbers, not percentages: Going from 6.5 to 6.3 is a 3 percent decrease, which may seem like an insignificant improvement. That is far from the truth, and any decrease should be celebrated.
  •          Set small incremental goals: Each tenth of a point is a big deal, especially for those with higher A1C levels. Consult with your doctor and set small, achievable goals that are suitable for your health and current levels.
  •          Know what it’ll take to bring your numbers down: Diet and exercise are two of the most important changes to make in improving your health and lowering your A1C levels, but every body is different and you need to consult with your doctor to make sure your making the right lifestyle changes. Some bodies simply have a more difficult time processing sugar, which causes elevated A1C levels. This is where supplements like mitoManage can help with these processes, so the other lifestyle changes you’re making will have their intended result. 

When you’re first diagnosed with prediabetes, it can seem like the only worthwhile goal is completely reversing the disease. And while that’s a goal worth having, it’s important to understand that even seemingly small steps are proof of your success.  

Summer Fitness Guide Part 2: Getting outside to get moving
Getting into a consistent fitness routine is challenging, and something that’s difficult for everyone, not just those who suffer from prediabetes. But like dieting, finding small ways to build momentum is a great way to move toward a healthier lifestyle, and hopefully, reversing your prediabetes.

Summer offers some fantastic opportunities to build healthy habits that may not be available at other points in the year. Part two of our summer fitness guide explores some ways you can get in the habit of staying active during the warmer summer months

We hope you’ll find your own “summer fitness cheats,” but here are some to get you started:


  • Walk more: While you need to be careful during the middle of the day when temperatures can be dangerously hot, walking more places is a great first step – pun intended! This can include a morning or evening walk around the block, taking in some fresh air at a local park or even a long stroll on the beach if you have a vacation planned. Is your neighbor having a cookout? Consider walking to their house instead of driving!
  • Embrace house and yard work: Chances are, you can look out of your window and find loads of “exercise” options. Whether it’s weeding your garden, washing your car, mowing your lawn, frequently doing these tasks not only makes your home and car look nicer, it builds up stamina and strength from being on your feet and using your body to get the tasks done. 
  • Join a summer rec league: Most cities offer a variety of summer fitness options throughout the week for adults, which can be a great way to build up your fitness level and learn a new sport! Water aerobics, tennis lessons, and basketball – these are all common classes and leagues that are offered with beginner options, so don’t get discouraged if you’re new to the sport or out of practice.
  • Drink lots of water: As essential as it is, drinking water regularly can be a difficult adjustment. But water tastes especially good on a hot day, so listen to your body and enjoy several cool glasses of water throughout the day. It’s refreshing and helps keep your body’s temperature regulated.
  • Check with your doctor: Exercise may be one of the most effective ways to battle prediabetes, but it’s important to understand how much physical exertion is healthy for your body. Before tackling any of these suggestions, ask your doctor what kind of exercise regimen he or she recommends based on your overall health.

The hard truth about working out is that it’s hardest at the beginning when your body isn’t used to it. That’s why doing things that don’t feel like exercise (not completely at least) can be a great way to “break your body in” as you get acclimated with working out and being active.

What are some ways you enjoy getting outside and active in the summer? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page. We’d love for you to share your tips with others!

 

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