After posting my blog last night on the best defense against diabetes I decided to discuss with my wife about our relative's child who was diagnosed and saved while he was just in pre-diabetes. The 5 year old toddler was always thin, so how did the doctor suspect to test for diabetes ?
As my wife and I discussed I started doing more research. Turns out this is a very common symptom. This applies to non-obese children and adults as well.
The sign is a dark ring around the neck. Some parents might just think it is normal or maybe even a little dirt, but it is a sign that there is too much insulin in the system.
Medically it is called “acanthosis nigricans” and the elevated insulin levels in the body activates insulin receptors in the skin, forcing it to grow abnormally and cause extra pigment in the skin. It can also be noticed in the underarms or the groins.
Another tell tale sign is if your child has this and is always thirsty, but personally I wouldn't wait to get tested.
Thanks to good luck my nephew got saved. Today he has not diabetes at all. The parents had to do a strong dietary intervention and all chocolate, candies and shakes were stopped. But today the child has no sign of diabetes. The dark ring around the neck is gone too.
This child was thin, not even 1 kg overweight, but yet had the dark circles. I think any parent with a 4 - 10 year old should know about this marker for diabetes. In India the healthcare system is not so robust and your doctor may not be aware to test for this in a normal weight child.
How to spot childhood pre-diabetes in your child
Diabetes is a national epidemic. I want to talk about some of the research on diabetes in India and South Asia and why you might be at risk and the most important protection you need to do for yourself.
So the facts are this :
I was surprised to read that the most important reason we suffer from diabetes problems is we don't get diagnosed for it, we don't get tested for it. So we suffer damage from it before we act on it. This was reinforced to me when one of my neighbors, who is over 40 yrs of age told me he had not been tested for it. Being Indian, he should be getting tested.
So my message to everyone reading this is- if you are over 30, get yourself tested for it. If your child is obese get them tested for it. Why ? We need to catch diabetes early.
There are many diabetics at age of 30 and above. We have patients who are in their 30's and diabetic. Your body's ability to recover is greater when you are younger so the younger you start treating it the more likelihood there is for full recovery.
For obese children I want to tell a story of a very close relative of mine, who was under 10. Only a little "baby fat". Turns out he had pre-diabetes ! Fortunately thanks to catching early the parents could intervene before he became diabetic. They changed the diet plan, no more sweets, lots of greens etc etc and the child now has a HbA1c of 5.2.
Getting diabetes caught early will be your best defense.
"There is strong evidence that type 2 diabetes is inexorably progressive, with a high likelihood of insulin therapy being eventually required"
The insulin in our body is made in the beta cells of the pancreas and "beta cell function declines linearly with time, and after 10 years more than 50% of individuals require insulin therapy"
So when I am researching reversing diabetes one of the key questions in my mind is - can function of the beta cells be restored in the body ? Can a diabetic's body start producing insulin again?
Lately I have been researching medical research papers. This is where the best new medical research gets published. I wanted to see what research is there regarding revitalizing and restoring beta cells.
So a study regarding beta cells was conducted in the U.K. Its goal was to see if beta cell function can normalize after dietary intervention.
As the participants, all aged around 50 yrs went through the dietary intervention, it says "In the first 7 days of the reduced energy intake, fasting blood glucose and hepatic insulin sensitivity fell to normal"
Wow in just 7 days !
Furthermore it goes on to say "Over the 8 weeks of dietary energy restriction, beta cell function increased towards normal". Yay !!
I am encouraged that as we reverse diabetes in people their body functions will return toward normalcy and even cellular function can be restored.
In our dietary program we also reduce caloric intake, which leads to weight loss; and all the current research says this is a clinically proven way to reverse diabetes.
To see the study I am referring to, please click here.
Can the body restore insulin production after having diabetes?
Pollution affects us all. Here is a list of natural remedies and foods to help fight pollution
The air pollution in Delhi gets all of us. No matter what air purifiers we have, it does affect us and also our kids.
From a diabetes standpoint here is a recent quote from a study published in The Lancet"The global toll of diabetes attributable to PM2·5 air pollution is significant. Reduction in exposure will yield substantial health benefits."
So what can we eat to reduce the effects of pollution ?
In a quick summary we can eat things that relieve congestion, open up airwaves or boost immunity. Except for broccoli (read below) nothing we read described a food which will remove pm2.5 from your body.
Here are foods that you should eat to make life better during pollution months :
How to Make Pollution fighting foods part of your kids life every day
You know you cannot take all of this, every day. So How do we make it work.
Find the things you like. Create a ritual. Like have Honey with Lemon and Ginger every morning or afternoon. Suck on a raw garlic every morning or make the kids do this on the way to school. Drink the onion juice with jaggery at night. Pick a few and possibly do 2 of these every day and another 2 the next day.
Eat extra tomatoes one day and extra carrots the next. Or make a carrot and tomato juice every day.
We have fresh, healthy salad dressings for your tomatoes as well as fermented foods for your gut health. Be sure to ask us for these.
We hope you found this article helpful. If you have some tips and tricks that work please do share it with us.
Junior Gupta is the founder & Chief Research Officer of Cure My Diabetes. He has spent over 8 years of research of food, nutrition and diseases.