Health Tips: Diabetes, inflammation and cancer

When wildfires sweep across California, the risk of respiratory distress increases. In the summer and fall of 2018, the smoky air in San Francisco was as toxic as smoking a half a pack of cigarettes a day. 

When a wildfire hits your body in the form of chronic inflammation, it’s a serious health hazard too. If you have prediabetes or full-blown Type 2 diabetes, that means your body is inflamed, and inflammation disrupts a wide range of bodily functions.

How does that work, exactly? Added sugar and processed carbs in your diet boost your inflammation-provoking glucose levels. That in turn causes hormonal dysregulation and damages your DNA -- never a good thing. It also harms neural functions and blood vessels in your brain.

That’s why people with prediabetes have a 40% increased risk of brain dysfunction when they reach age 70 and folks with Type 2 diabetes have a 2.5 times increased risk of cancer -- especially of the liver, pancreas, endometrium, colon and rectum, breast and bladder. In fact, in England, cancer has now replaced heart disease as the No. 1 cause of death for folks with diabetes.

Fortunately, you can put out the inflammation fueling your prediabetes and diabetes, and reduce your risk for cancer, dementia, heart disease and other complications of diabetes. Eliminate all added sugars, syrups and processed carbs from your diet; say no to red and processed meats; eat a plant-based diet; don’t smoke or drink excessively; and get 150 to 300 minutes of exercise a week. That’ll cool it!

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