Type 2 diabetes can be a 'devastating diagnosis' says expert
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Conditions that have an inflammatory component are diminished from having cold showers. One such condition which could greatly benefit from this habit is type 2 diabetes. Researchers have found that chronic inflammation is the main cause for damage that occurs in the body with cold showers helping to reduce this inflammation. Dr Michael Mosley spoke more on this subject to find out how cold showers could help reduce type 2 diabetes risk.
For years we have studied the detrimental effects of cold but on the other side of this double-edged sword is the possible benefits. One of these benefits seems to be with repeated exposure to cold you habituate, and you suddenly discover that you are not getting such a large cold shock response, said Mike Tipton, professor of human and applied physiology at the extreme environmental laboratory at Portsmouth university.
He continued: “You have control of your breathing sooner; your heart rate is lower and as part of that habituation we think is cross adaptive to other stresses and is actually anti-inflammatory.
“Inflammation is of course something to underpin quite a lot of our modern condition’s problems from Alzheimer’s to depression, and type 2 diabetes.”
Type 2 diabetes and inflammation
People with type 2 diabetes don’t produce enough insulin which is a hormone that is made by cells in the pancreas and controls the amount of sugar there is in the blood.
Insulin may also have an impact on tissue in the body. Its effects on tissue are influenced by many factors, including obesity and the accumulation of fat around the belly and on major organs in the abdomen.
The fat cells can produce chemicals that lead to inflammation and scientists are now beginning to understand the role this form of internal inflammation may play in the development of chronic diseases like diabetes.
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Decades ago, researchers identified higher levels of inflammation in the bodies of people with type 2 diabetes, said WebMD.
The health site continued: “The levels of certain inflammatory chemicals called cytokines are often higher in people with type 2 diabetes compared to people without diabetes.
“Researchers discovered that in people with type 2 diabetes, cytokine levels are elevated inside fat tissue.
“Their conclusion: Excess body fat, especially in the abdomen, causes continuous (chronic), low levels of abnormal inflammation that alters insulin’s action and contributes to the disease.
“As type 2 diabetes starts to develop, the body becomes less sensitive to insulin and the resulting insulin resistance also leads to inflammation.
“A vicious cycle can result, with more inflammation causing more insulin resistance and vice versa. Blood sugar levels creep higher and higher, eventually resulting in type 2 diabetes.”
This is when the power of a cold shower comes in as this process helps to reduce the amount of inflammation in the body therefore reducing blood sugar levels and symptoms associated with type 2 diabetes.
Mosley asked Professor Tipton if he thinks cold showers help the inflammation markers in the body as chronic inflammation can impact one’s health greatly and by having cold showers a person can reduce chronic inflammation in their bodies.
Professor Tipton answered: “Cold showers help and conditions that have an inflammatory component as these are diminished because of the habituation to cold reducing inflammatory cytokines and that being cross-adaptive to other situations including diabetes.”
A few years ago, research explained that high blood sugars alone are not the cause of diabetes complications.
Instead, chronic inflammation must exist in order for damage to occur in the precious nerves throughout these areas of the body.
The significance of inflammation’s role in diabetes complications was first highlighted by a study published in 2014 when researchers found that without inflammation, glucose couldn’t enter and damage cells in the body.
This is important because reducing inflammation may be easier than reducing blood sugars for patients with type 2 diabetes battling severe insulin resistance and beta-cell dysfunction and by taking a cold shower daily, this can be achieved.
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