The Diabetes Debate: Muscle Mania (part 3)

Katie: Today we’re discussing who’s to blame for Body’s recent diabetes type two diagnosis. We’re talking with special guest, Muscle.

Muscle: Wassup, yo.

Katie: Your Body’s blood glucose level, that’s what’s up. Any comments?

Muscle: Yeah, Dude. I have plenty of glycogen. Tell ‘em to put me in the game!

Katie: Glycogen? What’s that?

diabetes-debate-9.jpgMuscle: It’s this stuff that gives me energy. I store it until I need it. I’ve been dying to use it, man, but Brain’s been keeping me on the bench.

Katie: Did she say why?

Muscle: Straight up excuses. She’s busy, she’s tired, blah, blah, blah. I need to move, dude!

Katie: Will you exercising help Body lower her blood glucose level?

Muscle: Yo, man, I don’t know, I leave that brain stuff to Brain. All I know is that I store glycogen, when I move I use it, then I get more.

Katie: Where does glycogen come from? How do you get more?

Muscle: From the blood. It’s called glue…something. After I exercise, I suck in the glue thing, change it to glycogen, and save it so I’m always ready to move. I want to do squats so bad!

Katie: Wait, glue-something…do you mean glucose?

Muscle: Yeah, that sounds right. Can you ask Brain if I can do some squats?

Katie: Do you need insulin to suck in the glucose?

Muscle: The what?

Katie: The glue. Do you need insulin to take the glue-thing out of the blood?

Muscle: Nah, man, after I exercise I’m so hungry for it that I just take it. No insulin needed.

diabetes-debate-10_0001.jpgKatie: So if Body had exercised when she was insulin resistant, then you, Muscle, could have lowered her blood glucose level without insulin?

Muscle: If that’s what I said, then sure.

Katie: That’s amazing.

Muscle: Yes, I am. You should see me when I flex.

Katie: Muscle, my assistant just handed me some research. It says studies have shown that exercise can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. One study showed that even if Body overeats, exercise will help her regulate her blood glucose level.

Muscle: Cool. I work with Heart a lot. She says she feels better when I move too.

Katie: I was just discussing the blood glucose level’s affects on the cardiovascular system with the Kidney Twins! Exercise is extra important for diabetics because diabetes increases Heart’s risk of a heart attack. Look at this study: exercise plus moderate weight loss—as little as ten pounds—lowers Body’s risk of type two diabetes by 58%!

Muscle: Sweet.

Katie: Let’s get Brain in here. We need to ask her about your squats.

Muscle: Cool, but before we talk to Brain, Bladder’s full again.

Katie: Then I suppose we’ll take a break. Stay with us: we’ll be right back.

The Diabetes Debate: blood glucose levels

Katie: Welcome back to Pass the Blame. We’re here with Pancreas discussing her body’s recent diagnosis of type two diabetes. And we have two special guests with us, organs who say they’ve been cleaning up after her for years. Let’s welcome the Kidney Twins!

diabetes 5Kidney 1: Hi, Katie. Hello, Pancreas. You certainly keep us busy.

Pancreas: Hmph, again with the finger pointing. I blame the system. If only the…Katie, why are you laughing?

Katie: Because the body is a series of systems and you blame the sys…never mind. Kidney, what did you mean when you said you clean up after Pancreas?

Kidney 1: Remember how she said that when glucose can’t enter a cell it stays in the blood? Well, after a while, the blood fills up with glucose. It’s not safe and somebody has to remove it.

Katie: That somebody is you?

Kidney 1: That’s correct. We remove glucose the way we remove anything that shouldn’t be in the blood. We turn it into urine so it can be pumped out of body.

Katie: Your twin doesn’t say very much.

Kidney 1: She’s calculating how much urine needs to be produced and it’s more and more these days. We’ve been working overtime.

diabetes-6.jpgPancreas: You’re not the only ones.

Kidney 1: If you did your job and moved the glucose into the cells like you’re supposed to, we wouldn’t be up to our elbows in liquid waste!

Pancreas: Oh, boo hoo! I was working overtime way before you! I’m doing everything I can!

Kidney 1: It’s not enough! I’m not sure if what we do will be enough. The blood glucose levels are all over the place. It’s like a roller coaster in the blood stream and we’re going to lose Foot or Eyes!

Kidney 2: There, there, Kidney, don’t cry. Save the water for the urine. We’re not that far along yet. Brain is pushing the thirsty button almost constantly now, and body is drinking more. We’ll get ahead of it.

diabetes-7.jpgKatie: Ladies, can we agree that you all look exhausted and move on from there? Thank you. Now, what would happen if you all took a day off? What’s so bad about the blood glucose levels being high for a while?

Kidney 2: Glucose messes with the nitric oxide in the blood.

Kidney 1: The more glucose there is, the less nitric oxide there is. Nitric oxide makes the blood vessels relax and open wide.

Katie: So without sufficient nitric oxide, the blood vessels are stressed out?

Kidney 1: They become stressed, yes. They stay tight and hard and constricted which makes it harder for the blood to flow.

Katie: And if the blood can’t flow freely…

Pancreas: Then Body gets high blood pressure and eventually the body parts farthest from the heart don’t get enough blood.

diabetes 8Kidney 2: The nerves become damaged. It’s called neuropathy. Sometimes neuropathy causes pain or tingling and sometimes it causes numbness.

Katie: That’s why you’re worried about Foot; she’s far from the heart. Why are you worried about Eyes?

Kidney 1: High blood pressure can damage the blood vessels feeding the retina. When you mess with the retina, you mess with your vision. Eyes can lose focus or even become blind.

Katie: Wow, no wonder you ladies are working so hard.

Pancreas: We can’t give up.

Katie: We’ll be right back with a special guest who says she can help reduce Body’s glucose problem.

The Diabetes Debate: Whose Fault is it? (part 1)

Katie: Welcome to Pass the Blame. I’m your hostess, Katie Robles. With us today is the talk of the body, Pancreas. Thanks for granting us this interview, Pancreas.

Pancreas: Happy to be here. I want to set the record straight.

Katie: Pancreas, your body has been diagnosed with diabetes type 2 and many organs are laying the blame on you.

Pancreas: It’s not my fault and they know it.

Diabetes Debate 1Katie: Isn’t diabetes—in its essence—a lack of insulin? And as the pancreas, isn’t it your job to make insulin?

Pancreas: I’ve been making insulin perfectly for decades, Katie. Decades! I’ve done my job.

Katie: You’re saying this problem is new? Everything was fine when your body was young?

Pancreas: Absolutely.

Katie: Don’t some children have diabetes? Couldn’t your body have been covering for you until now?

Pancreas: No, no, no. Juvenile diabetes is totally different: the pancreas in those cases can’t produce insulin. I can. I did. I do!

Katie: Calm down, please, Pancreas, we’re just trying to get the facts. Maybe it would help if you explain what it is that you do.

Diabetes Debate 2Pancreas: You know what glucose is?

Katie: Glucose…as in sugar?

Pancreas: Yeah, close enough. When you eat, the carbohydrates are broken down into glucose.

Katie: Carbohydrates?

Pancreas: You know: bread, pasta, rice, potatoes—

Katie: French fries?

Pancreas: Yes, and lentils, beans, fruits, milk products, and the list goes on. They all break down into glucose which is fuel for your cells. No glucose, no energy. Blood delivers the glucose to every cell in the body, but cells are paranoid: they don’t let just anything in. You have to have the right key.

Katie: Let me guess: insulin is that key?

Diabetes Debate 3Pancreas: That’s right. Without insulin, the cell doors stay locked tight and glucose stays in the blood.

Katie: And the cells have no energy?

Pancreas: Right.

Katie: And you say you still make insulin?

Pancreas: Yes, I do.

Katie: Then why is your body diabetic?

Pancreas: Body was pumping in extra glucose for years and I produced extra insulin to compensate. It worked for a while, but eventually my keys didn’t fit the locks anymore.

Katie: Why is that?

Pancreas: I don’t know, but it’s the locks that changed, not the keys. I didn’t have a word for it at the time, but Brain has been reading pamphlets and she says it was Insulin Resistance. I worked overtime making insulin and that helped a little.

Katie: Body had no idea something was wrong?

Pancreas: Not consciously, no. Skin says she made a dark circle on the back of body’s neck, but Eyes never saw it, so Body kept doing her thing. Over the years a bunch of Belly Fat moved in, Body stopped exercising, and my insulin keys only worked part of the time. That’s when the finger pointing started.

Diabetes Debate 4Katie: What do you want our audience to know, Pancreas? Set the record straight for us.

Pancreas: I’m a hard working organ; always have been. My product is the key to glucose absorption in cells and if the key isn’t working, maybe they should blame the lock.

Katie: Pancreas, a few organs have noticed that because you produce so much insulin, body has been feeling hungry. Body eats more, more glucose circulates, and you make more insulin. I give no credence to the conspirators who claim you’re trying to wag the dog here, but why don’t you simply slow down insulin production?

Pancreas: Look, orders come in, I fill them. I’m not authorized to do anything else. But my production units are so overworked they’re starting to break down, so those conspirators might just get their wish.

Katie: Thank you, Pancreas. We’re going to take a short bathroom break because Bladder is full, but we’ll be back in a moment.

Slow Motion Arm

There once was a woman from Goshen

With one arm equipped with slow motion.

When eating her mutton,

She pushed a small button

That slowed down her arm’s locomotion.

 

This woman’s slow arm lifted forkfuls

To her mouth at half speed of normal.

She chewed with delight

And savored each bite

And felt satisfied with her belly full.

 

This slow motion arm gave her time

For her belly to talk to her mind.

“I’m full,” belly said.

“That’s great,” said her head,

“Stop eating now.” Slo-mo worked fine!

Diet vs. Exercise

From the red corner… weighing in at three meals a day plus snacks and beverages… said to have the potential to change your life… is Diet! From the blue corner… weighing in with sneakers and dumbbells… considered a champion of fitness… is Exercise!

Which of these contenders will win the title of Weight Loss Champion of the World? Which of our contenders—Diet or Exercise—will help you lose weight, keep that weight off, and stay healthy and fit for the rest of your life? Let’s find out!

diet vs exerciseRound One: They’re circling each other, calling out random numbers of calories. Exercise calls out 100 calories burned by walking a mile. Oh! Diet lands a solid hit with not consuming one half cup of spaghetti noodles to save that same 100 calories. The crowd roars! So much easier to eat fewer noodles than walk a mile.  Ding ding!

Round Two: Exercise takes an early lead! She barrels out of the blue corner with determination! Going to the gym for one, two, three, four hours a week! Diet stumbles, but is back on her feet. Exercise has burned off a lot of calories with that gym move. Is Diet down? No, Diet’s up! One of those hours spent in the kitchen instead of in the gym could have saved even more calories by cooking meals with lots of vegetables and prepping healthy snacks.  Ding ding!

Round Three: Exercise jabs at Diet. Diet throws a hook, bringing up studies that show diet helps you lose more weight than exercise in the short term. Ooo, that had to hurt. Exercise shakes it off and runs at Diet. Exercise has Diet trapped in the corner. Exercise is pummeling Diet with studies showing that 90% of people who lose weight and keep it off exercise regularly. Ding ding!

Round Four: Diet springs from her corner calling out calories like she did in Round One. Exercise just can’t compete with Diet’s speed cutting calories! Exercise is reeling, trying to keep her feet! She pulls back for a big swing! When cutting calories alone you lose muscle as well as fat, but BAM! With exercise you build muscle and burn more fat than with diet alone, leaving you leaner if not lighter. Diet is catching her breath against the ropes. There’s the bell!

Without a knockout, the judges can’t declare a winner! Diet and Exercise will have to share the Weight Loss Championship belt! Diet is awarded 80% of the belt and Exercise is awarded 20% of the belt. That’s right, folks, Diet gets the leather, and Exercise gets the buckle: Diet is a huge part of weight loss, but Exercise keeps it together.

Be a Champion of Health yourself by keeping both of these champions in your corner!

 

Run in such a way as to get the prize. …we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 1 Corinthians 9:24b,25b,26 (NIV)

 

 

Healthiest Hearts in the World

tsimane heartsThe Tsimane people of Bolivia have the healthiest hearts in the world. You can read the details for yourself, but here are the highlights applicable to us today:

How much healthier are their hearts? By age 75 only one third of the Tsimane show signs of clogged blood vessels (and therefore the risk of heart attack) compared to 80% of septuagenarians in the United States. That’s a LOT healthier.

Why are their hearts healthier? You’ve probably already guessed the answer: diet and exercise. The Tsimane’s diet is roughly 25% wild game and fish and 75% plants (fruits, nuts, rice, maiz, etc). For exercise, they average over 15,000 steps per day plus the extra exertions of bending, lifting, climbing, hacking, hauling, pulling, carrying and so forth involved with farming and hunting.

tsimane hearts 2Why does this matter? There are many factors preventing us from living like the Tsimane: winter weather, for example, or the fear of giant jungle tarantulas. But it gives us confidence that when we exercise and when we eat plants, our hearts are benefiting. Today we can walk an extra ten minutes, climb the stairs, and turn to fruits and vegetables to fill our plates and be our snacks. We might not have the healthiest hearts in the world, but we can still make our doctors proud.

 

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. 1 Peter 3:15a

Creative Napping (Part 2)

google nap podIf the Google Corporation has nap pods and Japanese businessmen are paying to take naps in special nap stores, then napping is certainly worth a try for you and me. Here are a few more ideas to work those energy boosting minutes of down time into your day:

  1. The Lunch Nap. If you work outside the home, use your lunch hour wisely. Pack a lunch so you can eat quickly and then close your eyes for a few minutes. If your work space lacks privacy, sleep in your car and set an alarm. I repeat, set an alarm.
  2. The Carpool Nap. Arrive twenty minutes early to pick up the kids, put on sunglasses, and lean your seat back. If you’re worried about oversleeping, hold your keys in your hand and rest your hand on the steering wheel. When you drop your keys, the sound wakes you up and your nap is over. That or the sound of the honking horns when the pick up line is moving and you’re not.
  3. The Coffee Nap. Caffeine takes about twenty minutes to affect the body, so that instant alertness you feel with your first sip of coffee in the morning is all in your head. That bean-brain delay is perfect for a Coffee Nap. Simply drink coffee and close your eyes for twenty minutes. The benefits of the coffee and the benefits of the nap will kick in together and leave you tap dancing through the rest of your day.

japanese nap storeIf you don’t like naps, there is another way to boost your energy: exercise. If you’re at home, clean a bathroom or carry things upstairs to put away or do some jumping jacks. If you’re at work, get yourself moving over your lunch or coffee break. Go for a walk, climb some stairs, or do a squat every time one coworker complains about another. (Unfortunately for some of you, that will equal about three hundred squats an hour.) Any kind of exercise will get your blood flowing, wake up your brain, and make you feel more energetic.

Whether you prefer napping or exercise, your body will be reset and ready to finish your day.

Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
    my body also will rest in hope. Acts 2:26 (NIV)