Minimize Inflammation with Good Sleep
Diabetes affects millions of Americans, and is a leading cause of death in the United States. Recent studies have shown that addressing inflammation-causing factors such as stress and insufficient sleep can result in a significant decrease in glycated hemoglobin (A1c) levels. High A1c levels are associated with elevated blood sugar levels. So, in addition to weight and diet, people who care about health are now looking at how inflammation and the factors that lead to it can affect outcomes among diabetes patients.
Historically, medical treatment for diabetes has emphasized prescription intervention as a number one treatment option, followed by exercise, switch to a diabetes-friendly diet, and lastly,stress reduction and ensuring adequate sleep.However, in November, 2018 the American Diabetes Association published an article reversing this order. The new recommendations emphasize reducing stress and obtaining adequate sleep as the number one point to address in treating diabetes, followed by exercise and diet, and finally prescription drug therapies.
Of course, primary care physicians have been prescribing exercise and diet as a first step to treat diabetes all along, and both of these can affect stress levels and inflammation. However, clinical outcomes of these recommendations typically fall short of what is needed to ensure patient health. Doctors are then forced to prescribe anti-diabetes medications to avert a cascade of negative health impacts.
Part of the problem may be the “pill for ill” mentality shared by many patients, who are seeking a simple solution when more systemic change is needed. Complicating matters further,most insurance companies are not willing to pay for anything other than medical services and prescription drugs. Because of this, the costs associated with lifestyle modification and health coaching are prohibitive for some patients. However, an increased role for non-physician medical providers, diabetes educators, and nurses may be needed. Compensating these professionals for their services is imperative to support the efforts of physicians, because ultimately doctors and patients alone are not enough.Solving this larger problem will require sustained efforts in both government and non-government sectors. These efforts must focus on the importance of non-physician healthcare professionals and identify the best ways to educate patients and help them adopt and maintain healthy lifestyles.
Adopting healthier, lower-stress lifestyles is key. Inflammation occurs when stress causes a class of chemical called cytokines to release and circulate in the body. Reducing stress levels leads to lower levels of inflammatory response, which in turn causes conditions to improve. Studies have shown that when inflammatory stress is relieved, all chronic health conditions will benefit,including diabetes, heart disease and chronic pain.
Here are 5 simple ways to decrease inflammation:
Do not stay mad or get even
Get enough sleep
Cut down on red meat consumption
Eat more veggies and fruit
Exercise and move move your body.
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