After eating a meal, it is normal for blood sugar (glucose) concentration to rise. Usually for an hour or two while muscles and cells absorb and use the glucose for energy after which the levels return to normal. Insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas, facilitates the glucose-absorption process. It helps the body utilize blood glucose by binding with receptors on cells like a key fits into a lock allowing the blood sugar to enter the cells. When glucose levels remain high for longer than they should, blood sugar may oxidize protein which causes damage to internal organs and this creates a cause for concern. Blood sugar levels remaining high, is usually an indication of the cells becoming insulin resistant. Insulin resistance occurs when the normal amount of insulin secreted by the pancreas is not able to unlock the door to the cells. To maintain normal blood glucose concentrations, the pancreas secretes additional insulin. In some cases (about 1/3 of the people with insulin resistance), when the body cells resist or do not respond to even high levels of insulin, glucose builds up in the blood resulting in high-blood glucose or type 2 diabetes.
The exact cause leading to insulin resistance is not known, but type 2 diabetes is on the rise as more and more people in the U.S. become obese, physically inactive, or both. Diabetes is preceded by obesity 90 percent of the time. Obesity and physical inactivity aggravate insulin resistance. Also, people who are insulin resistant typically have an imbalance in their blood lipids (blood fat), with an increased level of triglycerides (blood fat) and a decreased level of HDL (good) cholesterol. These imbalances in triglycerides and HDL cholesterol increase the risk of heart disease. Hence, total cholesterol levels of diabetics and prediabetics tend to be dangerously high.
Insulin resistance and high cholesterol go hand in hand because obesity and physical inactivity are two of the risk parameters for high total cholesterol. Cholesterol concerns the amount of fat in the blood and diabetes concerns the level of glucose in the blood. When both conditions get together, the consequences can be quite destructive and deadly.
As people deposit fat around their waistlines, their blood sugars tend to rise. Belly fat is metabolically different than the fat that accumulates elsewhere in the body and is really dangerous. Fat that settles around the waist produces some harmful substances that cause inflammation and clotting and also contribute to the development of diabetes. It can be said that belly fat is not only hazardous from a diabetic viewpoint but also from an atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries one as well.
High cholesterol and diabetes have the same basic causes. They are related like two brothers or two sisters. Most diabetics have to work closely with their heart doctors as well as any specialists in diabetes. And many obese-sedentary persons with high cholesterol are only a few steps away from becoming insulin resistant and full-blown type 2 diabetics.
What is the natural treatment for high blood sugar? The same as for high cholesterol: eating heart-healthy foods, getting the weight under control, and exercising at least 30 minutes a day for five or more days a week.