Patients with type 2 diabetes need to make a paradigm shift, and their doctors and other health providers can help them, according to AICR nutrition consultant Karen Collins, presenting yesterday at the annual meeting of the American Association of Diabetes Educators.
Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer form a “triad of disease” says Collins. These three diseases share many common risk factors such as obesity, inflammation and insulin resistance, so we can’t think of them in isolation. How patients manage these diseases through lifestyle changes can help each of these diseases and lower risk for all three.
For example, people with type 2 diabetes often focus only on blood sugar control as the way to manage their disease, but that singular focus may not always lead to better overall health. High levels of insulin seem to promote some cancers, so using more and more insulin to manage blood sugar may, in the long run, increase cancer risk.