A recent meta-analysis of 20 clinical trials conducted between 2007 and 2012, involving nearly 2 million people, has shown a strong link between having diabetes and susceptibility to getting breast and colon cancers. There is also a link between diabetes and dying from those same cancers. According to this data, people with diabetes have a 23% increased risk of getting breast cancer and a 26% increased risk of getting colon cancer when compared to non-diabetics. Also, diabetics are 38% more likely to die from breast cancer if they have it and 30% more likely to die from colon cancer. These statistics alone are bothersome enough... but what about for folks that don’t have diabetes? Is there a bigger message to take from this data? The answer is a resounding YES!! Every single person should be paying attention to this information and seeking to understand the biochemical dynamic here and make changes now to avoid problems down the road. We have a tendency in medicine to think about diabetes as an “all or nothing” disease – either you have it or you don’t. The truth is that how your body handles sugar is a key underpinning to practically every chronic disease, including many cancers. And by the time that someone is officially diagnosed with diabetes, the body has probably been handling sugar poorly for 10 years or more. So the takeaway here is that you may be allowing yourself to be more susceptible to breast and colon cancer if your body is not handling sugar well... and your MD isn’t even looking for it because the only measure we use in medicine is blood sugar, which is the very, very last indicator that there is a problem. Wouldn’t it make sense to look for earlier indicators?? Here are some common “early warning signs” that your body may not be handling sugar very well...
- Look at your waist to hip ratio – for men, it should be 1 or below, and for women it should be no higher than 0.8
- High Triglycerides
- Low HDL
- Sugar Cravings and/or Hypoglycemia
- High Blood Pressure