I have been thinking about a few things lately – the usual stuff like how can I be paid to consume coffee and pastry, should I become a professional witch and the state of our modern-day health. You know the small stuff.
Recent books I have read in between binge watching Netflix, podcasts I have listened to while drowning out the ‘talking’ book of Fred’s in the car and videos on the all mighty YouTube have once again made me ask – why are we getting this so wrong? Me included.
We all know that there is a health continuum that we go up and down on. When we are focused on eating ‘well’, moving and generally being good humans our health is good – when Christmas, Birthdays, mid winter Christmas, 1/2 birthdays, and Friday eve come around we move away from the health end toward the ‘disease’ end. This is life. We constantly live here = up and down, depending on our lifestyle and situation. My point being is that – sometimes with chronic disease we don’t even notice we have moved so far away from health until too late.
Chronic diseases, like Type II diabetes, long-term stress, inflammation driven conditions are not things that you ‘just’ wake up with. It’s the diagnosis you get after things have gone wrong for so long. They derive from this movement up and down our health continuum. The thing is though – even though it took awhile to get here, we didn’t necessarily see it coming and this leads to us being in a pretty crappy health space that we want a quick fix to get out of. And here’s the kicker – to fully solve the problem (NOT just the symptoms) a quick fix will not really help you back down to the health end of our scale.
Here’s my point: blood sugar. When you eat too much sugar on a consistent basis it can lead to *insulin resistance. The body releases insulin in response to the consumption of sugar – to help mitigate its effect on the body. It tightly controls blood sugar balance. If we have chosen to eat refined, sugary foods forever then the body becomes insulin resistant – it has got used to all the insulin the body has pumped out to try to dampen down the blood sugar. So now there is a problem – the body can NOT control the blood sugar and we get into diabetes territory. Not ideal. So medical approach – medication to help lower sugar absorption or extra insulin.
BUT what if the driver is not just blood sugar – what if it is also stress? Or lack of sleep? Or lack of personalised healthcare? This here is our modern-day problem – we are all different. We metabolise things differently, we react to things differently and we live differently. Hence being fundamentally different. So how can one drug or one approach work for everyone? It can’t,and we can’t expect that we will – it sets up us to fail.
Taking small steps to help our health and state of mind is something we can do – and do daily.
Small things; simple stuff like a glass of water when you wake up, like more social less media (Dallas Hartwig), like getting up and moving from your desk at work, adding 1 sugar if you usually have 2, starting meat free Monday, the list goes on. Small things!!!!
Anything you can do that makes this journey on the continuum a little more on the health side than the disease is a win my book.
*Insulin resistance can actually be caused by chronic inflammation as well. This inflammation can come from stress, lack of sleep, diet and lifestyle. Interestingly – only ONE nights sleep deprivation can cause as much damage (insulin wise) as 6 months on a junk food diet. Just ponder that one ah….