Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Diabetic Pain of Dieting

The overlooked diabetic pain is dieting. If you have diabetes, it can literally hurt not to eat. However, going off your diabetes diet is not the only thing you can do about it.

No doubt you have heard the old adage, “Out of sight, out of mind.” If you are a type 2 diabetic struggling to stay on a diet, it's a no-brainer that it's easier for you if you keep the cupboards closed, if you put the salad at the front of the shelf in the refrigerator, and you don't stop to take a call on your cell phone in the parking lot of the all-you-can-eat buffet.

Ghrelin's Yellin'

But the really hard part of staying on your diabetes diet may be dictated by your fat cells. If you are both a type 2 diabetic and overweight, and even more if you are a type 2 diabetic, overweight, and under a lot of stress, your body is slow to turn off its responses to a hormone called ghrelin. America's TV doctor Mehmet Oz is fond of saying, “If you are making ghrelin, your stomach's yellin'.” Ghrelin increases your central nervous system's sensitivity to pain until you eat.

Consuming food, however, turns off the pain signal. If you are overweight and even more if you are overweight and have type 2 diabetes, unfortunately, ghrelin keeps on yellin' even after you have eaten your meal.

Ghrelin Makes Diabetics Stray from Diabetes Diets


The action of ghrelin on the brain is to encourage risky behaviors that have reasonable payoffs. In overweight diabetics, this means that you will tend to risk running up your blood sugar levels by eating a big dessert or a big helping of potatoes or anything else that looks tasty, and your dietary adventurism is stimulated by the act of eating!

If you don't eat, you'll feel hungry. And if you do eat, you'll feel hungry. It is just not fair! But there really is something you can do about this dreadful complication of type 2 diabetes that seldom receives a sympathetic understanding.

Getting Your Zzzz's Helps You Stay in Charge of Your Eating


First of all, be sure to get enough rest. Six or more hours of uninterrupted sleep enables your body to “detox” excess ghrelin so you will not have the urge to eat, and eat some more, at every meal. Then, be sure to leave time to eat every meal slowly and enjoy your food. Put off eating extra at least until your body has had a chance to turn off the ghrelin signals, at least 20 minutes after you eat what is in your plan. If you rush a meal you will almost certainly want to eat more. Slow down, and you will find it easier to eat less.

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