Posted by: yourhealthradio | November 23, 2011

House Calls – Insulin Levels & Shin Splints

House Calls from the Carrboro Citizen 11.23.11

Dear HOUSE Calls, What can I do to control my insulin levels?
Insulin is one of the hormones that regulates blood sugar levels. It’s necessary to get nutrients into the cells to make energy. People with insulin-dependent diabetes make no insulin and need insulin from a shot or pump to survive. People with non-insulin dependent diabetes usually have higher-than-average levels of insulin, but their cells cannot use insulin as well as others. This is known as insulin resistance, and when insulin resistance increases, the body compensates by increasing insulin production. High levels of insulin are often a precursor to diabetes, and controlling your insulin level can prevent diabetes. The best things to do to control your insulin level are exercise daily; eat a balanced, healthy diet; and lose weight. We know that is a tall order, but losing weight if you are overweight is the best way to control insulin levels if you have diabetes or just high insulin. Working with a nutritionist or a specific diet program may be helpful. Foods high in processed carbohydrates (like sugar and white flour) may be particularly likely to increase insulin levels. We would also encourage you to work with your family doctor to set goals and determine appropriate medications.
Dear HOUSE Calls, Sometimes I get shin splints walking to class. What causes that?
Shin splints cause pain near the tibia or shinbone, usually on the inside of the leg. We think of this as an overuse injury, which usually comes from increasing use in a sporadic or intermittent fashion. For example, if you are sedentary over the summer and then start walking several miles a day, you would be at risk for shin splints. This is a fairly common problem in runners, often from a training error in which people increase training volume too quickly. Additionally, people who pronate too much and those with relatively flat feet are prone to shin splints. The good news is that shin splints usually respond well to conservative measures such as relative rest, ice, over the-the-counter arch supports or custom orthotics and more supportive shoes. We encourage you to keep up with the increase in physical activity while giving your shins a break. Try swimming or biking. We hope this helps.

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