Type 2 diabetes warning: A popular activity is dangerously affecting your blood sugar
Type 2 diabetes is a condition that causes the body to lose control of the amount of sugar in the blood. The body doesn’t respond to insulin properly and may not produce enough, causing blood sugar levels to become too high. If blood sugar levels aren’t controlled properly and stay too high, a number of problems can occur, including kidney failure, nerve damage, foot ulcers, heart disease and stroke.
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Eating a poor diet can cause sugar levels to rise and increases a person’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
This is why it is often recommended that one should eat a well-balanced, healthy diet including plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Exercise is also a necessity and its advised to aim for at least 150 minutes of physical excursion a week.
One surprising aspect that has been proven to raise blood sugar is being on your phone or tablet for an hour at night before sleep.
Exposure to light in the hours leading up to bedtime, in particular, the light from the electronic device or television may affect health including weight and blood sugar levels.
This is according to a study published in Physiology & Behaviour.
What the experts said
Dr Kathryn Russart a postdoctoral researcher at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Centre in Columbus said: “Even at levels you may think are harmless, light exposure at night can trigger a number of health problems.
“Light at night is an environmental endocrine disrupter. Our circadian rhythm is geared to 24-hour solar days and we use environmental cues, such as light, to keep our body clock in sync.
“Among the tasks guided by our circadian clock is to manage a regular hormonal rhythm in endocrine tissues, which seems to be thrown off by too much exposure to light at night, making it harder to fall asleep.
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“The net result, not enough sleep but that’s not all. More worrisome, is a negative impact on blood glucose levels.
“For example, we see from the research that light at night can cause weight gain, without an increase in calories and it can interfere with metabolic function.
“Our circadian rhythm is also influenced by the nightly secretion of the hormone melatonin, and light at night inhibits the production of this sleep-promoting hormone.
“That, in turn, could affect the hormone leptin,3 otherwise known as the satiety hormone that signals your brain that you are full, so when this hormone messaging is thrown off, you gain weight.”
It’s recommended to have as low as five lux of light at night in order for it not to disturb the circadian rhythm.
Putting that into perspective means a TV or a cell pone held about a foot away from the face cam emit up to 40 lux of light.
Whatever the sources of light at night, it’s a potential long-term health hazard.
Dr Elena Christofides an endocrinologist in private practice in Columbus, Ohio suggests: “You may use blight light blocking glasses, widely sold online to help reuse the exposure to the blue light from electronics.
“My advice is to put the special glasses on around dinner time and keep them on as long as you are using the computer, smartphone, iPad or watching TV.”
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