I hope you have a healthy kickoff to this holiday season. November is Diabetes Awareness Month, which is critical since most of us have gotten heavier since COVID. Pounds easily accumulate with aging, eating too much, and not moving enough. Type 2 diabetes rates are surging globally, and the CDC estimates that 1:3 Americans, or 88 million of us already have prediabetes. Many of them don’t even know they have it, so be on the lookout if you are over 45, overweight, and don’t exercise. Symptoms include thirst, frequent urination, excessive hunger, tingling or numbness in the hands or feet, and sores that don’t heal.
Our bodies naturally make the hormone insulin, which acts like a key to let glucose into the cells to provide energy. Insulin resistance happens when the pancreas can no longer make enough insulin and glucose levels rise – causing the above symptoms. This is disastrous to the body leading to heart and kidney disease, stroke, neuropathy, and cancers. The #1 preventable risk factor is obesity, and the best way to manage that is with lifestyle changes.
We only get one body, and it is our responsibility to care for it with love, taking small steps to improve our habits. Eating healthier choices is step 1 – vegetables, lean proteins, nuts, beans, and low glycemic fruits are in, sugary foods and beverages, processed food is out. Moving more is step 2 – a 30-minute daily walk, stretching, weight training, or yoga is in, sitting at your desk all day or couch all night is out. Tracking your progress is step 3 – get excited for small changes, and monitor your A1C (an average of your blood sugar) which should be under 5.7.
Surprising to some, cannabis can also be an assist. Yes, munchies can still happen with certain strains of THC, but other cannabinoids like CBD and THCV can help. THCV may reduce appetite and improve insulin sensitivity, and is found in African strains like Durban Poison, Doug’s Varin, and Cherry Pie. Extracts that contain THCV are coming, and daily dosing may facilitate the other lifestyle changes to bring progress and root cause healing. As always, look for a certificate of analysis to ensure what is on the label is also in the bottle.
Behavior change is multifaceted, so getting a health coach is the fastest way to success. Health coaches work with you on nutrition, finding the right movement for your situation, time and stress management, improving sleep, and most importantly – getting you ‘unstuck’. Many times, we don’t know what to do, so an outside view can quickly determine a better pathway.
Holistic Caring provides our clients with nurses and other health professionals to couple cannabinoids with lifestyle medicine. Our professional programs train clinicians, and our telehealth appointments work directly with patients to improve health and wellbeing. If you would like help in making small changes that lead to better outcomes, please contact us today and explore our offerings.
Finally, add a double dose of gratitude. Maintaining a positive outlook and counting your blessings can boost immunity, improve sleep, and lower disease. Keep a daily gratitude journal and see the benefits in your health, relationships, and resilience.
I am most grateful for my beautiful Holistic Caring & The Green Nurse Team! Here’s our table at the recent American Cannabis Nurses Association (ACNA) conference.
Happy Thanksgiving and many blessings to you and your family this season.