A Holistic Approach to Diabetes

November is Diabetes Awareness Month, a month that serves as a global reminder to raise awareness about diabetes, its prevention, and the importance of early detection. The stats are sobering. 1 in 10 adults worldwide have diabetes. Over 90% have type 2 diabetes. Close to half are not yet diagnosed. But rather than feel resigned by these stats, we’re feeling empowered. Because understanding your risk and how to support metabolic health through the gut microbiome is possible.

Understanding your risk

Diabetes is a widespread health concern affecting millions worldwide, with type 2 diabetes being the most prevalent form. Knowing your risk factors is the first step toward prevention and early intervention. Family history, sedentary lifestyle, poor dietary choices, and obesity are common risk factors that can contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes symptoms usually show up slowly, taking a few years to appear. Symptoms can be so mild that you might not realize you have them. In fact, many people with type 2 diabetes don't experience any symptoms at all. Sometimes, people only discover they have the condition when they start having health issues related to diabetes, like blurred vision or heart problems.

Symptoms of diabetes include:

  • Feeling very thirsty and needing to urinate a lot

  • Being hungry more than usual

  • Feeling tired often

  • Blurry vision

  • Very dry skin

  • Tingling or numbness in your feet or hands

  • Sores that take a long time to heal

  • Unexplained and unintentional weight loss

According to the American Diabetes Association, you should be screened for diabetes at three-year intervals beginning at age 45, especially if you’re overweight or obese. If multiple risk factors are present, screening should be done at an earlier age and more frequently.

If you have concerns, please don’t hesitate to talk to your healthcare provider. Knowledge is power.

The role of metabolic health

Metabolism plays a crucial role in how your body processes and utilizes energy. A well-functioning metabolism is essential for maintaining a healthy weight and preventing insulin resistance, a hallmark of type 2 diabetes. Insulin resistance occurs when your muscles, fat, and liver cells don't work well with insulin, making it hard for them to use glucose from your blood. To cope with this, your pancreas produces extra insulin to assist the glucose in getting into your cells. As long as your pancreas can make sufficient insulin to overcome your cells' difficulty with insulin, your blood sugar levels will stay normal. Regular physical activity, a balanced diet, and maintaining a healthy weight are key components of preventing insulin resistance and promoting good metabolic health.

What does this have to do with your gut microbiome?

Good question with a fascinating answer. Emerging research has shed light on the significant role the gut microbiome plays in metabolic health and, consequently, diabetes. A balanced and diverse gut microbiome has been linked to improved metabolic function and a reduced risk of insulin resistance. Conversely, an imbalance, or dysbiosis in the gut may contribute to conditions such as obesity, insulin resistance, and inflammation, all risk factors for type 2 diabetes. 

Know your response

Diet and exercise play an important role in not only overall health, but also gut health, and of course specifically metabolic health. It’s all connected. But if you’re looking for something more to bolster your metabolic health, check out Glucose Control, the only clinical-grade probiotic on the market for the management of type 2 diabetes.

Glucose Control

Glucose Control contains one-of-a-kind probiotics with a prebiotic in a patented formula that’s clinically shown to help improve A1C and postprandial blood sugar spikes in people with type 2 diabetes taking metformin. 

How does it work? Meet the powerful beneficial strains in Glucose Control…

Akkermansia muciniphila 

A highly targeted live strain that can only be found in Pendulum products. People with type 2 diabetes are shown to be deficient in Akkermansia, a keystone beneficial strain for gut barrier function and also associated with helping to maintain a healthy weight. 

Clostridium butyricum 

Naturally found in the human gastrointestinal tract, this strain is named for its ability to produce high amounts of the short-chain fatty acid, butyrate. It’s been associated with digestion support and immune health.

Clostridium beijerinckii

This novel strain produces the short-chain fatty acid, butyrate, which helps the body process sugar and nourish the lining of the gut.

Anaerobutyricum hallii 

This is another strain known to produce the short-chain fatty acid, butyrate, to help the body process sugar and nourish the lining of the gut.

Bifidobacterium infantis

This strain breaks down a range of foods and produces the intermediate molecules that are used by the three butyrate-producing strains. It also helps maintain a healthy gastrointestinal tract and alleviates digestive issues.

During Diabetes Awareness Month, let's celebrate with information, because knowledge truly is power when it comes to your health. Know your risk, know your response, and empower yourself with good food, exercise, and the beneficial bacteria that help keep your gut–and your metabolism–healthy and happy.

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